Which tenkara rod to use in this area?

On June 12, 2020
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One of the most common questions we get is which tenkara rod to buy for use in “my” area?

Tenkara fishing mountain stream drag free
We can give two types of answers: a generic “this tenkara rod is ideal for small streams”, “The Ito is ideal for fishing larger streams and rivers”, etc. Or, we can attempt to be more specific to the area where a tenkara angler will find himself. We have done a good job at the first type of answer. But, today, I will attempt to start giving more specific examples focusing on regions where tenkara anglers are going with their tenkara rods and recommending the tenkara gear they need.

This is essentially what we already do when we participate in fly-fishing shows around the country. We normally try to fish while we are visiting a new area, but when we don’t have experience in a particular region, we have local people helping us at our booth who are very good at giving the answers that really resonate with people. Bringing up the imagery of a specific stream a person is already dreaming of fishing makes the future experience real.

I won’t forget being at a fly-fishing event in Idaho. And, whereas I could talk about tenkara in general I had little knowledge of the area. So when someone completely new to fly-fishing was telling me about a trip he was planning for the following weekend, one of our long-time customers jumped in on the conversation, “The Iwana is the tenkara rod for the Sawtooth area; in fact I was just fishing Alturas creek and it was handy having the longer reach.” I was not familiar with the lakes and streams of the Sawtooth range, and although I also wanted to backpack there, and envisioned it would be an open range, that local knowledge was crucial in helping a backpacker get into fly-fishing.

Since that experience I have fished a lot around the country. From mountain streams to spring creeks I have used tenkara rods to catch many fish species and can write about more areas today. So I will start by sharing some of my experiences using tenkara from the Smoky Mountains in the Appalachian, going through the Rockies and to using tenkara rods in the Sierra Nevada, where I spent most of my early tenkara years fishing.

And, then I would like share content from people who have experience in other particular areas. So, this post is a bit of a call for submissions. I will start by focusing on mountain areas. If you have experience tenkara fishing in a broad mountain area, please drop me a comment below so that we can connect.

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2 Responses to Which tenkara rod to use in this area?

  1. David Noll says:

    In the Driftless Area I use either a 360 cm or 395 cm rod depending on the amount of trees.

    • Thanks David. The streams I fished in the Driftless region were largely open and a long tenkara rod a big asset. But I did get the impression there could be some tight areas. I had the Ito most of that trip and it was great for that.

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