Tenkara Fly Fishing – A More Affordable Option

Fly Fishing By a Mountain

Fly Fishing is not a new method of fishing by any means. In fact, fly fishing is thought to have been invented in England during the 13th century.

Fly Fishing – The Traditional Method

Many of us are familiar with the process of rigging our reels with the backing line, our choice of fly line, and finally our desired leader and tippet. The process continues onto the setup of the fly rod, connecting all the sections and aligning the guides to ensure the fly line is straight. This is thought, by many, to be the simplest form of fishing. It requires much skill and is very interactive. This is why fly fishing is one of the most enjoyable methods of fishing.

Tenkara Fishing Rods – A More Simple Approach

What if I told you there was another form of fly fishing that was even more simple and arguably more fun. Now before I offend anyone I want to clarify that I still love western fly fishing in every aspect of the sport. However, the method of Tenkara fly fishing is a great alternative for those with fewer funds, or someone looking for a more pure form of fishing.


Tenkara Rod and Line Holder

Tenkara fly fishing consists of three things, the rod, the line, and the fly. That’s right, tenkara does not use a reel. This method of fly fishing originated in Japan about 400 years ago and was effective in fishing small mountain streams. The rods are typically made from fiberglass or carbon fiber. They are significantly longer than western fly rods as well, with most rods reaching 12 feet long or longer. The line is approximately the same length as the rod and is usually made from a floating line or a furled line. Most anglers that use tenkara use a Japanese style of wet fly called a kebari fly. This fly is very simple consisting of only a tapered thread body and a reverse soft hackle.

Tied Fly

Cheap Tenkara Rods – A More Affordable Choice

I mentioned earlier that tenkara was more affordable, well it’s not just a little less expensive, it’s MUCH cheaper. A high-end fly rod can cost thousands of dollars! Alternatively, a high-end Japanese tenkara rod is less than $300! If you are a beginner and want to get going without breaking the bank, or you’re a seasoned veteran and want to expand your arsenal, this could be a great fit for you.

Included are a few of my favorite tenkara rods and brands. I will also include a VERY AFFORDABLE option if money is especially tight. All are great rods and all will catch fish!


DRAGONtail Tenkara

DRAGONtail Shadowfire

DRAGONtail FoxFIRE (Mid Level Rod)

DRAGONtail Mizuchi zx340 Zoom (Mid Level Rod)

NIRVANA 370z Zoom Tenkara Rod (High-End Rod)

DRAGONtail Futsu Kebari Combo 24 Tenkara Fly Pack

DRAGONtail Tachi Furled Tenkara Line


Tenkara USA Fly Fishing Sato Rod (High-End Rod)

Tenkara USA ITO (High-End Rod)


Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments you might have!

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