Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ultra-cheap, Ultralight Short/Kids Tenkara Rods

Two collapsed sub $10 5.5' and 7' rods at top with an 9' foot all-fishing-buy rod and 11' fountain head rod at bottom.
I've been an extremely casual fly fisherman since I was a kid. I've always enjoyed exploring mountain streams and practicing casting more then actually catching fish. In the last few years I've found that Tenkara is a great match for my style, the gear is simple and light enough to carry on a hike where fishing is only an afterthought.

A few casts on an overnight trip in the cascades.
Tenkara USA and Tenkara Bum sell a variety of nice rods, I've had good luck with my cheaper 11' Fountainhead Stonefly and a cheap 9' rod I bought from all fishing buy for brushy creeks.

Working my way up a small stream with minimal gear on a warm day.


My young nephew has started to express an interest in fishing so I decided to see what was out there in terms of cheap and short rods. In turns out that you can find a variety of rods on amazon and ebay using searches like"Como Telescopic Fishing Rod For Travel."


I bough two, a "Retractable 7 Sections Telescopic Blue Fishing Rod 2.1M" (about 7') and a "1.7M Length 6 Sections Fresh Water Telescoping Fishing Pole Rod Yellow Black" (about 5.5'). I bought both from the seller uxcell and they showed up in a single package after a couple of weeks.

Current conditions are not the sort I fish in.
 I haven't had a chance to use these rods yet but I'm initially impressed by them for the price. The shorter one feels a bit dead due to the short length but the 7 foot one seems lively enough to enjoy casting with. I'm looking forward to trying them as an ultralight option for myself in addition to teaching my nephew with them.

Both my rods came ready to fish with firmly attached lillians. 
They lack any sort of handle but are extremely light and compact. One user review on amazon compares the rod to an unfinished blank and suggests fashioning a handle on ones own. The small diamater of the grip region will be nice for my nephews small hands though I may add some cork road bike handle bar grip tape.

I plan to set them up with TenkaraBum Hi-Vis Fluorocarbon and tape some paper clips to the rod as a line holder. I'll start my nephew out with a short, easy to manage line but i'm I'm curious to experiment with using a longer line on them for more reach. I may also pick up a longer (12-15') one for myself at some point as even my 11' Stonefly is a bit short for larger alpine lakes. Building ones own "zoom" mechanism to allow a variable length rod would also be a fun project.

45 comments:

JIMOBO said...

I have several rods from both Tenkara USA as well as Tenkara Bum. They are all awesome rods. I did also start purchasing the $10 rods from amazon and they work just fine. I usually carry a couple of the cheapos with me for people to try. On occasion i will just give a kid one of these rods to keep if he seems to enjoy it. Its a great way to introduce kids and adults alike to this great sport. Thanks for the post!

Mike said...

My son and I wanted to try Tenkara but didn't want to spend a lot. Looking around the web we got inspired by Ten Dollar Tenkara on Instructables. We got some $7 Uxcell poles and have been having a blast. They work great for high mountain lakes! No need for fancy gear.

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