Best Tenkara Rod [2022 Review]

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The finest Tenkara rods inspires you to refine your fishing skills and propels you to pursue your fish. Also, the appropriate rod greatly reduces the odds of a disappointing fishing trip, especially if you know how best to use them. To this end, it is important to have some background knowledge on the best Tenkara rod for anglers.

Our Top Tenkara Rod Recommendations 

Before hitting the local or online stores for the right Tenkara rod for you, here are our top reviews to ensure that your search is seamless and quick. This way, you can be pretty certain that you are making an informed decision.

Brand
Teton Zoom
Aventik Pro Tenkara Rod
Dragontail Mizuchi zx340 Zoom
Product
Tenkara Rod Co. The Teton Zoom Package
Aventik Tenkara Rods Pro IM12 Nano 6:4 Action 5...
DRAGONtail MIZUCHI zx340 Zoom Small Stream 3...
Material
Wood
Graphite
Carbon fiber
Item Weight
0.718 Pounds
0.175 Pounds
0.85 Pounds
Brand
Teton Zoom
Product
Tenkara Rod Co. The Teton Zoom Package
Material
Wood
Item Weight
0.718 Pounds
Brand
Aventik Pro Tenkara Rod
Product
Aventik Tenkara Rods Pro IM12 Nano 6:4 Action 5...
Material
Graphite
Item Weight
0.175 Pounds
Brand
Dragontail Mizuchi zx340 Zoom
Product
DRAGONtail MIZUCHI zx340 Zoom Small Stream 3...
Material
Carbon fiber
Item Weight
0.85 Pounds

Best Overall Tenkara Rod: Teton Zoom

Tenkara Rod Co. The Teton Zoom Package

The Teton Zoom, made by the Tenkara Rod Co., should be at the top of your list if you are searching for a rod that packs a punch and works well in a wide variety of water conditions. This is a high-performing rod with an extended length of 12 feet and a collapsed length of 23 inches, suitable for all types of fishing conditions.

The rod’s two casting lengths make it versatile for use in both smaller streams and those with larger trout, unlike the Mizuchi ZX340 rod, which comes in three length options for anglers who may not be sold on the idea that longer rods are better rods.

In contrast to the Tenkara USA Hane rod, which is designed only for use with smaller and medium fish, this rod may be adjusted in length to accommodate a wider variety of fishing situations and sizes without compromising the rod’s casting or loading capabilities. However, its length can be problematic for beginners learning to use a Tenkara rod.

Pros

  • The flexibility to cast at two different lengths without sacrificing precision
  • Solid structure for fish of all sizes making it highly versatile

Cons

  • Since it is larger than most rods, casting with it may be uncomfortable
  • The aluminum butt cap screws on tightly, and it loosens very easily 
Tenkara Rod Co. The Teton Zoom Package
  • Adjustable to fish at either 10.5 ft or 12ft.
  • Versatile, all around type rod.

Best Flexible Tenkara Rod: Aventik Pro

Aventik Tenkara Rods Pro IM12 Nano 6:4 Action 5...

If you want a rod that can be used for more than just trout fishing, the Aventik Pro Tenkara Rod is a fantastic choice. Similarly to the Teton Zoom, this rod features a 6.4 action and is versatile enough to be used in any body of water.

It comes in the same three lengths as the Mizuchi ZX340 rod: 10’8″, 11’10”, and 12’9″. This Tenkara pole works well in both large and small streams, as well as in shady situations. The 10’8 length is perfect for casting into small pools after squeezing through dense vegetation.

The 18-inch compressed length would not take up too much space in fishermen’s bags, and the quick assembly means they can get to fishing immediately. The durability and dependability of the product are guaranteed by its nano-carbon construction. It is a great rod, however, the tippet is its Achilles’ heel. It can become damaged with prolonged use.

Pros

  • This rod can adapt to a wide variety of fish and fishing conditions
  • It is available in three different sizes to accommodate different depths and current strengths

Cons

  • Heavy fish can put a lot of strain on your rod tip, reducing the effectiveness
  • After prolonged use, the tippet may peel off
Aventik Tenkara Rods Pro IM12 Nano 6:4 Action 5...
  • SUPER COMPACT&FAST SETUP: Aventik Pro Tenkara Rods are compact and easy setup for fishing wherever...
  • STANDARD TENKARA: 10’8” collapsed to only 18.4 inch 46 cm and weight only 2.4oz/69g without...
  • MINI TENKARA: Aventik Mini 9’ and 12’ Tenkara rods collapsed only to 14.8 inches / 37cm, Weight...

Best Tenkara Rod for Beginners: The Dragontail Mizuchi zx340 Zoom

DRAGONtail MIZUCHI zx340 Zoom Small Stream 3...

If you are new to Tenkara or are looking to make the conversion from conventional fly fishing, the Dragontail Mizuchi zx340 Zoom is the rod for you. Three lengths make it a versatile alternative. Like the Tenton Zoom, this is a foolproof method of learning the basics of Tenkara.

Try out Tenkara with the help of the Dragontail Mizuchi zx340 Zoom. Although Dragontail advertises the rod’s versatility by allowing you to choose between three lengths, this is a feature that is starting to appear on a growing number of rods, the Aventik Pro being a prime example.

Due to its short folded length of around two feet and relatively light weight of 2.86 ounces, this rod is not ideal for long-distance travel. The Dragontail Mizuchi zx340 Zoom has several advantages, however, one major negative is that it is significantly less maneuverable when not fully extended.

Pros

  • The length is variable between 7.88 and 9.58 meters (25 and 11.14 feet)
  • Well built; rubber butt cover ensures safety

Cons

  • Even at its more manageable lengths, it is difficult to cast and manipulate
  • Even when retracted, it is more over 2 feet in length, implying that it is not compact
DRAGONtail MIZUCHI zx340 Zoom Small Stream 3...
  • 3-Tenkara-Rods-In-One For Tight Spots & Open Casting (8ft, 9.6ft, 11ft).
  • Co-Designed by Tom Davis of Teton Tenkara.
  • Includes: Rod, Hard Case & Sock, 10ft Furled Line, 1 Line Holder, 3 Flies, and Tippet.

Best Lightweight Tenkara Rod: Tenkara USA HANE Rod

Tenkara USA Fly Fishing HANE™ Rod with Case,...

If you are looking for a lightweight monster, go no further than the Tenkara HANE rod. It is a highly lightweight and versatile rod that will replace all of your other travel rods in no time. The HANE is a great choice for fishing for bass in a city pond or trout in a mountain stream. Regardless of where you go or what you encounter, this rod will hold up well.

The Hane, which collapses down to a mere 15 inches extends to a lofty 10 feet, 10 inches (330 centimeters), and is a fantastic rod for pike fishing, hiking, and other outdoor excursions. The Tenton Zoom rod has the advantage of being able to fish for a wide variety of fish sizes, although this rod is limited to small and medium fish, which is also a downside.

The rod is available in the same three lengths as the Dragontail Mizuchi zx340 Zoom. The truth is, though, that any of these rods would do fine work for a beginner starting with the Tenkara technique. Being our smallest rod, the USA HANE is perfect for taking on any trip.

Pros

  • A small and light rod that makes fishing more pleasant
  • Great for beginner and seasoned anglers alike
  • This rod is ideal for streams, rivers, ponds, and small lakes while hiking or riding a bike

Cons

  • Not appropriate for all fish sizes, severely impacting versatility
  • Due to the excessive weight at the tip of the rod, casting and reeling become more difficult, especially for beginners
Tenkara USA Fly Fishing HANE™ Rod with Case,...
  • ✅【Most popular Rod 】The HANE is one of the most popular tenkara rods on the market. It is a...
  • ✅【Compact & Lightweight】The HANE measuring just under 15 inches when collapsed but extending...
  • ✅【Tenkara Rod For Beginners】The reality is that the tenkara method is excellent for beginners...

Best Graphite Tenkara Rod: Wild Water Tenkara

Wild Water Complete Tenkara Fly Fishing Starter...

The Wild Water Tenkara lives up to its name by being as straightforward to use as any other Tenkara rod. It is lightweight, compact, and effective in a wide range of conditions, including small to medium streams, ponds, and hiking. Both newcomers to the sport of fly fishing and seasoned veterans will find this rod to be an excellent choice.

The Wild Water rod is constructed of graphite, which is less durable than carbon fiber, however, still strong enough to reel in your fish, in contrast to the USA HANE rod made of carbon fiber, which promotes an extended product life. When fully extended, the length of this rod is 12 feet, and the remaining eight parts of the telescoping rod can be stored conveniently in the handle.

The Wild Water Tenkara, like the Tentom Zoom Rod, features a 6.4 action that enables quicker loads and a smooth feel for fishers. Matte black, this Tenkara fishing rod features a replaceable laser-etched end cover made of aluminum. On the other hand, Lilian is vulnerable to wear and tear, which presents a significant obstacle.

Pros

  • Fishing in mid-sized streams and ponds while hiking is a breeze with this rod
  • Thanks to its 6.4 action, it supports quicker loads and provides a pleasant feel for anglers

Cons

  • Intense use might take a toll on the Lilian cord
  • With larger fish, the rod could snap
Wild Water Complete Tenkara Fly Fishing Starter...
  • TENKARA ROD: Weighing just 3 ounces, this 12-foot fly fishing rod has a 6:4 rod action. It includes...
  • PROTECTIVE ROD CASE: The Wild Water Fly Fishing Starter Package comes with a durable nylon carrying...
  • WATERPROOF FLY BOX WITH TWELVE FLIES: Our starter package includes a rugged plastic fly box that can...

Features to Consider Before Buying a Tenkara Rod

For some, selecting a rod is the single most challenging component of the sport. For this reason, It is better not to overanalyze the situation.

A high-quality rod, then, performs admirably in a wide variety of situations. The length of your first rod will be determined mostly by the size of the water and the quantity of overhead cover you will encounter.

Fish size, material quality, and collapsible length are a few other considerations. The following are some of these features:

Tenton ZoomAventik ProUSA HANEDragontail MizuchiWild Water TK
Rod Length (feet)10.5/1210’8/11’10/12’910’108/9’6/1112
Rod MaterialWoodNano CarbonCarbon fiberCarbon fiber/glassGraphite
Rod Action 6.46.46.46.46.4

Rod Length

A Tenkara fly fishing rod will typically be around 12 feet in length like the Wild Water Tenkara and the Tenton Zoom. Finding a high-quality 12″ rod is a wonderful place to start for beginner and veteran anglers.  These 12″ rods are also fantastic options for the angler who likes to fish in a wide variety of environments and settings with the hope of landing any species of fish.

When fishing in bigger creeks or smaller rivers, a longer rod is preferable to a shorter one. Tenkara rods are 9 to 14 feet long. 13 foot rods are ideal for longer casts. Short rods reduce casting distance in certain areas and you would not be able to retain your anonymity to your prized fish with a short rod.

Fishing in tighter, more enclosed creeks where you cannot spread out? Spend your money on a shorter, 9 ft. rod if you want to fish accurately in these water conditions. You should not use a rod longer than 11 ft. in these waters.

A person in a black jacket holds a Tenkara rod with a yellow fishing line to fish in the lake

Rod Size

If you enjoy fly fishing in a variety of environments and wish to have greater freedom in terms of where and whatever you fish for, an adjustable rod is a fantastic investment.

Adjustable rods are also very helpful for beginners, though they are typically quite stiff. The Aventik Pro is a good adjustable rod, giving anglers different row sizes for different water situations.

When shopping for a rod, size is the most important consideration. When it comes to Tenkara fly fishing, nothing is more important than rod length, regardless of quality, price, or any other attribute of the specific rod you choose to use.

Rod Action

Taking any kind of action is largely a matter of taste. Some prefer gentler actions and others want stiffer rods. Nothing has been decided as right or wrong. Some fishermen like casting with a 5:5 or light 6:4 like the Wild Water rod because it loads quickly and has a smooth feel. Tippets can also be protected by using softer rods.

A more rigid rod will have greater strength to land a heavier fish and will let you cast further and more precisely at closer ranges, however, this may be compensated for with skill and practice.

These rods are more bendable and have softer tips than western fly rods, which makes it simpler to cast very light lines. If you are used to casting a fast-action western fly rod, you may find the more rigid action of a Tenkara rod to be preferable.

Size of the Target Fish

Smaller fish, such as trout and other species, can be caught with any Tenkara rod, as these rods are designed for fish ranging in size from 8 to 18 inches. Fish up to roughly 20 inches in length can be caught with any Tenkara rod. If the fish you are going after falls within those parameters, you can use pretty much any rod you like.

There are two rods on our list that are more robust, meaning they are stiffer and heavier, should you regularly capture fish larger than 17 inches. The Tenton Zoom and Dragontail Mizuchi zx340 Zoom are your go-to rods.

Rod Balance

The absence of a reel on a rod eliminates the need to balance the pole. You are merely carrying a rod, some line, and possibly a little line holder that will assist you in sending out more lines so that you can cast further.

Aside from that, you should not be too concerned about maintaining your equilibrium when fishing in this manner.

This is something you should only be concerned about in the most severe circumstances, such as when you are using a line that is too thick for your rod or when your line holder is too large.

A brown wooden fishing rod beside different fly fishing bait is placed on a black surface

Rod Material

When it comes to the construction of Tenkara rods, carbon fiber is by far the most preferred material. The fact that these rods are constructed out of this material enables them to have an exceptionally high quality. A shining illustration of this is the Tenkara USA HANE rod.

Carbon fiber permits the construction of extremely powerful rods that are, at the same time, lightweight. You will find that this is helpful when fishing in larger water or when battling bigger fish on lighter lines.

However, other rods are made of graphite, which is virtually as good as carbon fiber rods and can be found in some models. The Wild Water Rod is an excellent illustration of this point.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Most Suitable Line for a Tenkara Rod?

The majority of rods are designed to cast a flat line, which is uniform in width from the top to the bottom. Casting tapered mono or coated nylon that mimics the look and feel of conventional fly lines is possible for others.

A Tenkara rod’s range is limited by its length. With a 12-foot rod, 15-foot line, leader, and tippet, you could theoretically cast 27 feet, and possibly beyond if you reached. And that’s usually more than enough distance to go.

Should a Beginner Try Tenkara?

There is no doubt that Tenkara is a fantastic fly-fishing method for beginners, and It is also a fantastic fly-fishing method for hikers and backpackers wishing to diversify their outdoor activities.

You can enjoy fishing with a Tenkara rod without ever having to “upgrade” to a more conventional fly fishing setup. Tenkara is easy to learn and highly effective at catching fish, so much so that many traditional fly anglers are switching to it.

What Does “Tenkara Fly Rod” Mean?

The Japanese developed the Tenkara method for fishing in tributaries and smaller streams. Since that day, improvements in rod technology have made it possible to fish in virtually any water condition.

Tenkara does not require the use of a reel. Nothing more than a fly line, leader, and tippet. This makes it an excellent choice for novice fishermen who are still getting the hang of casting. Fly fishing newbies benefit from the casting motion’s simplicity.

What Is the Best Rod Size for Me?

The best Tenkara rod size for any angler depends on several factors like the sort of fishing preferred, and the water level in the river or lake used by the angler, among others.

You can fool even the smallest mountain trout into thinking they are bigger than they are with your rod. When dealing with bugger rivers or lakes, heavier rods are the order of the day, and while It is true that some rods aren’t up to the task of landing a prize trout, such rods do exist.

Conclusion

Our top recommendations for the best Tenkara rods currently available are detailed above. Keep in mind that the length of the rod is the single most crucial aspect of any Tenkara rod. It can make the difference between a successful Tenkara fishing trip and one you’d rather forget. Achieving proficiency in Tenkara fishing is now within reach, thanks to this helpful manual.