Tenkara broken tip and other problems with a tenkara rod

Fixing a tenkara rod

If you ever break your Tenkara USA rod or tenkara rod tip, you can contact us at 888.483.6527 or email us. If you break a rod tip you may order the tip or even just replacement lillian directly from our website without needing to contact us. Regardless of what part you break in your rod, it will be easy to fix with a replacement part and most likely you will not need to send it back to us.

If you need to contact us it may help to learn about the anatomy of a tenkara rod. Here’s how we identify the segments needed.


Commonly people may need to access the different segments of the tenkara rod. Perhaps the segments of the tenkara rod got stuck together inside (e.g. tip slides down and other pieces get stuck into other segments), or one can’t find the tip of their tenkara rod. Other times you may be out fishing and need to repair your tenkara rod. Please take a look at the instructions below.

Rod Troubleshooting:

Problem: “I can’t find the tenkara rod tip/ tenkara rod tip stuck inside the rod”

  1. Watch this video. Often the “Lillian” (red braided material) is stuck in the second segment,

  2. Take the top plug off

  3. Keeping the fingers over rod opening, tilt the rod down slightly  until first available segment shows, hold first available segment between fingers and give it a firm shake up and down trying to shoot tip out while being careful not to let all segments slide down

    1. Rod tip out?

      1. Yes:  finished

      2. NO: see instructions below

Problem: “I need help replacing the tip of my rod”

  1. Watch this video. Unscrew bottom cap of rod

    1. Take pieces out through back

    2. Remove broken parts, and reinsert replacement ones into thicker segments (Tip: for replacing the very tip of your tenkara rod, spin tip as you insert it to prevent the braided portion from getting stuck) 

Problem: Stuck segments

Stuck tenkara rod segmentsClosing tenkara rod segments

Problem: Broke tenkara rod tip, but still have the lillian or have replacement lillian available? Field Repair of tenkara rod tip and replacement lillian:

  1. ****TIP: Most breakages are caused by one or two things that are easily preventable: When tying or untying the line to the tip of your tenkara rod, put the hard tip of the rod inside the rod and expose only the red braided material called the lillian. And, when collapsing your tenkara rod, hold the segments with two fingers only (as opposed to whole hand), do not apply sideway pressure and hold as close to the joint as possible to prevent undue leverage.Here is a good thread on our blog on how to fix the tenkara rod tip: Repairing tenkara rod tip
  2. Replacement tips, replacement lillian for your tenkara rod tip, and plugs for your tenkara rod can be found here: tenkara rod parts
  3. If you break anything on the rod, feel free to contact us: 888.483.6527 or info@tenkarausa.com (our warranty procedure and handling and shipping cost is found here).

on May 27 | by

26 Responses to Tenkara broken tip and other problems with a tenkara rod

  1. Andy Ward says:

    I purchased an Iwana rod about six months ago, and I broke the third Lillian from the tip this past week. I was wondering how I go about ordering a replacement part.

  2. bill manser says:

    a few comments on the field repair video… the place where the break occurs is larger in diameter than the original connecting point. i had to sand down the “new” rod tip end. then there was not enough sleeve on the rod tip so i slipped shrink wrap tubing over the sleeve and tip – crazy glued the sleeve to the tip – slid the shrink tube in place over both tip and sleeve and heated it . if it sounds confusing it’s because it required quite a few more steps than just cut off the old and reattach… now if it doesn’t hold, i’ll chase the fish until i can snag the line trailing behind….

  3. Chris says:

    I recently purchased the Iwana set from a distributor (Cross Currents Fly Shop) in Montana and had it shipped to Calgary, AB (Canada) in record time! They were great to deal with! I got it two days before a work-related fish sampling field trip which was perfect. This was my first time using the rod and I was hesitant to use in place of my regular fly fishing gear; however, the ideal situation presented itself and after having an Athatbasca Rainbow Trout chase, hit and miss my fly a half-dozen times I finally landed it. Great experience and fun fight. Shortly after I ended up breaking the second last tip. The folks here at Tenkara USA worked with me to get the replacement in less than a week! So happy with the service. Thanks again. Chris

  4. Marius says:

    Broke second section from tip on my Sato. My own stupidity by applying too much force while retracting. Problem is I stay in South Africa. My brother stays in Alexandria VA and might be able to bring in December. How do I go about replacing and what would cost be? Cant wait to get first fish with this amazing set up!

  5. David says:

    I broke the 6th blank of my Amago rod and called for a replacement blank on Friday and was pleased to receive the new blank on Monday. However, I still have a portion of the broken blank still stuck in section 5. Any recommendations on how to remove this frozen broken blank?

    • David, is a part of the thinner one sticking out a bit? If so you could push it back in and usually it will fall right out. In these cases we normally replace both segments together.

  6. Lynn says:

    New rod: telescopic feature is not working properly: segment fell out in middle of rod, never used. Is there a technique to remedy this?

  7. Jack Harford says:

    I bounced a Tenkara kit that has a swivel. What glue should be used to attach the swivel. Thanks

    Tight lines

  8. Elliot says:

    I broke my Iwana, at section five. The process for replacement was simple. However, I took it to the Fraser to fish yesterday and the new number five sheared clean off while hooked up to a medium sized fish! I was using tenkara brand 5x, which I think should have broke first. When it broke at 5, all the sections above flew into the river never to be seen again, still hooked up to that poor fish no doubt. My honest opinion? My gear needs to be hearty, two outings in a row I’ve broken this rod, and although the first time was my fault, the second was not. Small trout shouldn’t break a rod. I’m not bothering to fix it this time….

    • Elliot, so sorry about that! I completely agree, and feel awful that happened twice. My only thought is that the part may have possibly been damaged. It’s very unusual to see breakages, and I hope we’ll find a way to give you confidence on the rod again. We’ll send you an email and get you fixed up.

  9. Tyler Haag says:

    Bought my third tenkara rod, 2 Rhodo’s one for me and one for my wife, then last week I bought a Sato went fishing with it the next day and within the first hour the Lillian broke off why’ll I was casting and losing the $20 13′ braided line that I was using. I’m about disappointed but I really like the rods, what do I need to know to replace the Lillian the roof tip is not broken you can see were the Lillian just parted were the epoxy ends.
    Thank you for the help

  10. Michael says:

    Can a section of rod that has been installed backwards be removed without damaging either section. The “butt end” is sticking out about 1″ from the other sections tip end.

    • Hi Michael,
      If the segments are feeling very stuck it may be hard to get them out. You may want to give us a call, you can try to get them out first but we may end up having to mail you segments regardless. Please reach out to us at 888.483.6527

  11. Joshua says:

    My line got caught on a tree and I pulled my rod slightly, straight, without bending, and the tip of my rod broke. I’ve always handled the tip with care, I’ve watched the resourceful videos online but didn’t realize the tip would break so easily. Would something like this qualify for material malfunction?


  12. Jeff Taylr says:

    I just received the Rhodo rod. Im having trouble with the smallest section (tip) not fully extending. It seems that the tip section is hanging up in the next section for some reason. There is nothing that I can see preventing the tip section from fully extending. Possibly, the second section is the problem? Fully extended, the rod is only 8″ in length. What am I doing wrong?

    • Hi Jeff, that almost sounds like it could be a defective tip, or something stuck inside of it. I have asked our team to reach out to you, possibly send you a replacement tip set. If you can send any photos of the part that may not be extending to info@tenkarausa.com that will help a lot in figuring out what may be happening too. But the team will reach out very shortly.

  13. Lee says:

    After breaking tips on both my Iwana and Ito rods, I realize that when I hook anything that requires bend stress on the tip section, I must lay the rod down and pull the line slowly in so as to grab the line. It is hard to acquire this mindset after more than 60 years of fishing with conventional gear. I do really enjoy the portability of Tenkara and want to continue using it. Hopefully I will be able to overcome the muscle memory I have been used to.

    • David Walker says:

      Light but too light? I too really enjoy the experience of the Tenkara style. But.. even small cut throat seem to over tax the capacity of the material. I have broken 2 tips (actually the 2nd section) with minimal use over a week long trip.
      I’m wondering if there is a more stout version. Too much money to be this disposable…

      • Hi David, please email us at info@tenkarausa, we do not think our gear is too light and have a lot of experience with larger fish. Please communicate with us via email so we can figure out what may be happening. Sorry for the late response here.

  14. Joe McDonald says:

    my Tankara is stuck, I am unable to move it , and yes I tried using a rubber grip. May I send it to you for repair ? if yes, what is the cost so that I may include payment. Also, I have managed to lose the threaded cap on the tube, add the cost of that too.

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