Just the Basics

Fly fishing can be an intimidating sport; it’s expensive and takes some practice. Enter Tenkara Rod Co.—a simple fly fishing alternative. Based on a traditional Japanese method, this is about bringing only the basics—the rod, the line, and the fly. Tenkara Rod Co. kits include all three. Extend the telescoping fishing rod, connect the handcrafted line, and put the fly out. It’s uncomplicated, and the reel-less design is quiet, elegant, and suited to enjoying nature. These rods are made with high-quality cork and other lightweight materials. They're similar to traditional fly fishing rods, but much lighter, more portable, and easier to learn. The rods shrink down to less than two feet and weigh almost nothing—the heaviest model is 3.4 ounces (lighter than an iPhone). They’re so easy to bring along hiking or backpacking and are affordable at just a fraction of the cost of a typical, $800 or more fly rod. Wondering how to bring in a fish without a reel? Easy. You angle the rod back, and it bends given the weight of the fish. Grab the line or a net and catch your prize. Founders Drew Hollenback and Tanner Flake know how fun a simple approach to fishing can be. As kids, they would visit the creeks of Idaho, attach some line to a stick, and fish. They wanted to bring the sport they love to a bigger audience. This is a great rod to start with if you’ve been looking to try fly fishing. And if you’re looking to recruit someone to join you on the stream, it makes a perfect gift. So get out on the river or stream and start fishing, minimally.

Tenkara Rod Co.

No Reel Fly Fishing Rod

Just the Basics

Fly fishing can be an intimidating sport; it’s expensive and takes some practice. Enter Tenkara Rod Co.—a simple fly fishing alternative. Based on a traditional Japanese method, this is about bringing only the basics—the rod, the line, and the fly. Tenkara Rod Co. kits include all three. Extend the telescoping fishing rod, connect the handcrafted line, and put the fly out. It’s uncomplicated, and the reel-less design is quiet, elegant, and suited to enjoying nature. These rods are made with high-quality cork and other lightweight materials. They're similar to traditional fly fishing rods, but much lighter, more portable, and easier to learn. The rods shrink down to less than two feet and weigh almost nothing—the heaviest model is 3.4 ounces (lighter than an iPhone). They’re so easy to bring along hiking or backpacking and are affordable at just a fraction of the cost of a typical, $800 or more fly rod. Wondering how to bring in a fish without a reel? Easy. You angle the rod back, and it bends given the weight of the fish. Grab the line or a net and catch your prize. Founders Drew Hollenback and Tanner Flake know how fun a simple approach to fishing can be. As kids, they would visit the creeks of Idaho, attach some line to a stick, and fish. They wanted to bring the sport they love to a bigger audience. This is a great rod to start with if you’ve been looking to try fly fishing. And if you’re looking to recruit someone to join you on the stream, it makes a perfect gift. So get out on the river or stream and start fishing, minimally.
Crowdfunded
Handcrafted

Grommet Launch Conversation

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Drew
    Drew

    Hello everyone! I'm proud to introduce the Tenkara Rod Co. to The Grommet. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have!

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    7/30/2015 10:40 AM

    Let’s very easily pretend I know nothing about Tenkara fly-fishing. What is it and what are its advantages over or differences from traditional fly-fishing?

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 2:03 PM

    While Tenkara is an older form of fly fishing, we have found ample advantages and differences to what most people call western or traditional fly fishing. Not to say that it is better, but just different. For example, without the reel, one is able to concentrate more on presenting the fly. So for a beginner, it is much easier to grasp the concept of fly presentation and how important it is when fishing, rather than worry about how to cast, mend, or manage a long fly line. We like to say that Tenkara is a simple way to fly fish.

  • Manuel
    Manuel
    7/30/2015 2:04 PM

    @Mike

    In my personal opinion, It's the original way, from it, fly-fishing was developed. I'm not saying its the best or most efficient. It's the "origin of".

    From a point of reference Bow-hunting is to hunting, what fly-fishing is to fishing. That being said, in Bow-hunting there are several types of bows and arrows. Tenkara would be to fly-fishing what traditional hand made bow and arrow would be to bow-hunting. Again, not saying its the best, its just the purest.

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 2:07 PM

    @mike to consolidate my answer, Tenkara rods are lighter, easier to use and master, and less expensive.

    @manuel Thanks for making some great points!

  • Lynn
    Lynn
    7/30/2015 12:21 PM

    This is a great concept; but, I'd like to see a full video of someone bringing in a fish. We see a before and after. My nephew wants to try his hand at fly fishing. I don't want to set him up for frustration and disappointment.

  • Jeffrey
    Jeffrey
    7/30/2015 1:06 PM

    @Lynn The casting motion is the same as traditional fly fishing. The Roll Cast is the simplest concept to grasp and the motions are not complicated. I would point you to any youtube video on the roll cast for fly fishing.

    Bringing in a fish is basically like you were using a bamboo cane pole. You would raise your arm and tilt the rod back over your shoulder to bring the rod tip overhead and that would bring the fish toward your feet.

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 1:14 PM

    @Jeffrey there are plenty of videos of people bringing in fish on youtube and other sources. Landing a fish is extremely intuitive. Generally you are fishing a length of line that is the same length more or less as your rod, so you simply lift the rod and angle it back to play the fish, by the time your rod is behind your head the line and fish are both right in front of you so you can simply net or grab the fish in front of you.

  • Michael
    Michael
    7/30/2015 3:31 PM

    @Drew I have been using a Tenkara rod on the small creeks in N. Idaho and Western Montana for about 10 years. Absolutely the best way to fish these 3-10 wide waters as their is no line or reel (which you don't need anyway) to snag on bushes or branches. Mine is a 12 foot model that will easily handle an 18 in West Slope Cutthroat.

    Highly recommend

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    7/30/2015 4:20 PM

    Glad to hear it, Michael! Thanks very much for the feedback!

  • Lynn
    Lynn
    7/30/2015 12:22 PM

    How do I know which rod to order for my husband? He is new to fly fishing and this rod seems perfect for taking on rafting trips or while kayaking. The Cascade or the Teton pkg? We live in western WY, 50 miles from Grand Teton National Park.

  • Jeffrey
    Jeffrey
    7/30/2015 12:59 PM

    @Lynn I would base the choice on what he will be fishing for and how far away from the fish will he be able to get. The larger the fish, the stouter the rod. Also,if he will be wading in the water, he can get closer to the fishing spots and not require as long of a rod.

    I am not familiar with the individual models and their relative strengths. Drew would be familiar with the specifics of these rods.

  • Jeffrey
    Jeffrey
    7/30/2015 1:11 PM

    @Jeffrey Lynn, as I read through the product descriptions, based on the locations you specify, I would suggest the Teton package. That would cover trout, large panfish, small bass and be the best 'general/overall' package. I would say the Cascade is for small fish and small flys while the Owyhee would be something I'd use for bass, salmon, light salt water, or generally larger fish.

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 1:17 PM

    @LYNN I would recommend the Teton package for that area. We are based out of Driggs, Idaho, in the shadow of the Teton mountain range so we designed that rod with all of the water around that area in mind. It is a strong enough rod to handle larger fish but also works exceptionally well on the small creeks in that area as well.

  • William
    William
    7/30/2015 12:34 PM

    Does the line tie to the tippet or run through the hollow rod and out the tippet?

    A video running the line and attaching a fly before casting would answer these two questions.

  • Jeffrey
    Jeffrey
    7/30/2015 12:55 PM

    @William On Tenkara rods, the line attaches to the rod with a larkshead knot (a loop doubled over itself) in the line to a small piece of cord extending from the rod tip called a lillian. The lillian is a few inches long with a stop knot at the end so the line does not slide off it. It's a very simple system. The line does not travel through the rod, just one simple attachment to the end.

  • John
    John
    7/30/2015 1:30 PM

    See this video:

  • christopher
    christopher
    7/30/2015 2:15 PM

    @John I see ALOT of novices (which stated it's designed for) snapping the tip right away! perhaps something as simple as an included ?cork? stopper instead of young fingers holding the tip inside of the blank? what are your age recommendations, as I can't see this lasting with kids that your trying to introduce to the sport. thank you.

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 5:19 PM

    @christopher the rods are very durable. But nothing is bombproof especially in the hands of little ones. What we have found useful is keeping the line attached to the lillian at all times. That way a younger person can just extend the rod rather than spend a lot of time handling the individual sections. There isn't really an age limit my 2 year old fishes with me and he has never broken a rod and we have also seen people in their 80's use them.

  • Mike
    Mike
    7/30/2015 1:16 PM

    Can you cast without fully extending the rod? For example if you are fishing with one of the longer models and find yourself in tight quarters where a shorter rod would be handy.

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 1:20 PM

    @Mike it definitely is possible to do this (but not recommended). Sometimes you might be fishing a spot with a little more trees than you would like so you can break down a couple of the sections, then you have to choke up on the rod and use a different section as the handle. As I mentioned, that is not how the rods are intended to be used and in most cases you do not need to do this but it is possible if needed.

  • kcstimpy
    kcstimpy
    7/30/2015 1:48 PM

    I thought, wow that is pretty neat... until I seen the price. Honestly, $160 or more, I'll stick to my triditional ways of fishing. Sorry, but that is just the way I feel.

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 1:51 PM

    @kcstimpy thanks for looking! A traditional fly fishing setup will start around $500 for a mid level setup and can easily cost over $1000. So we are just trying to be affordable. We use a high quality carbon material which isn't cheap. Thanks anyway!

  • Robert
    Robert
    7/30/2015 2:20 PM

    My 16 year old son wanted to take up fly fishing last year. I purchased the Sawtooth package for his birthday. The Sawtooth is a little more flexible than the Teton so when he gets a bite, he has more fun landing it. We live near a number of trout streams in MN and he takes this rod every time he goes out. It's well made and hardly takes up any space in his backpack.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    7/30/2015 4:40 PM

    Thanks for the feedback, Robert! Glad to hear it's been used with success!

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 5:07 PM

    @robert thats great! Exactly what they are meant for!

  • neil
    neil
    7/30/2015 3:27 PM

    How much line is with each rod and are there replacement lines available? Do you fishit with the same for wet and dry flies and how does it get down in the water if its not a dry?

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 3:57 PM

    @neil each rod comes with a fixed length of line of either 10.5 feet or 13 feet. It is a furled line that has the ability to either float or sink. If you apply a floatant to the line it fishes dry flies really well. If you leave it like it is you can get nymphs and Tenkara flies subsurface and it will fish them very well also. We also have replacement lines available in different sizes and colors and materials.

  • Suzanne
    Suzanne
    7/30/2015 4:57 PM

    We will be fishing in Mongolia for the Taimen - a large summoned fish - 33-66 pounds+. Will this rod hold up??? Suzanne

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 5:07 PM

    @Suzanne I don't know if anyone has ever tried :). The nice thing is they have a lifetime warranty so if the rod didn't hold up we would get you taken care of. I wouldn't take a Tenkara rod as your main tool for Taimen but it definitely would be a thrill if you could get into one!

  • Suzanne
    Suzanne
    7/30/2015 5:02 PM

    So much for spell check - salmonid fish of the salmon family. Suzanne

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 5:20 PM

    @Suzanne we are hoping to make it to Mongolia sometime in the next couple years to try this out!

  • Laura
    Laura
    7/30/2015 5:54 PM

    I am 5' 8" what size rod should I use? I wanted to fish!!

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 10:23 PM

    @Laura either the Teton or the Owyhee would be well suited for you.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

 

Tenkara Rod Co.

No Reel Fly Fishing Rod

Just the Basics

Fly fishing can be an intimidating sport; it’s expensive and takes some practice. Enter Tenkara Rod Co.—a simple fly fishing alternative.

Based on a traditional Japanese method, this is about bringing only the basics—the rod, the line, and the fly. Tenkara Rod Co. kits include all three. Extend the telescoping fishing rod,
connect the handcrafted line, and put the fly out. It’s uncomplicated, and the reel-less design is quiet, elegant, and suited to enjoying nature.

These rods are made with high-quality cork and other lightweight materials. They're similar to traditional fly fishing rods, but much lighter, more portable, and easier to learn. The rods shrink down to less than two feet and weigh almost nothing—the heaviest model is 3.4 ounces (lighter than an iPhone). They’re so easy to bring along hiking or backpacking and are affordable at just a fraction of the cost of a typical, $800 or more fly rod.

Wondering how to bring in a fish without a reel? Easy. You angle the rod back, and it bends given the weight of the fish. Grab the line or a net and catch your prize.

Founders Drew Hollenback and Tanner Flake know how fun a simple approach to fishing can be. As kids, they would visit the creeks of Idaho, attach some line to a stick, and fish. They wanted to bring the sport they love to a bigger audience.

This is a great rod to start with if you’ve been looking to try fly fishing. And if you’re looking to recruit someone to join you on the stream, it makes a perfect gift.

So get out on the river or stream and start fishing, minimally.
Read More Read Less
Tenkara Rod Co. - No Reel Fly Fishing Rod

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Drew
    Drew

    Hello everyone! I'm proud to introduce the Tenkara Rod Co. to The Grommet. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have!

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    7/30/2015 10:40 AM

    Let’s very easily pretend I know nothing about Tenkara fly-fishing. What is it and what are its advantages over or differences from traditional fly-fishing?

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 2:03 PM

    While Tenkara is an older form of fly fishing, we have found ample advantages and differences to what most people call western or traditional fly fishing. Not to say that it is better, but just different. For example, without the reel, one is able to concentrate more on presenting the fly. So for a beginner, it is much easier to grasp the concept of fly presentation and how important it is when fishing, rather than worry about how to cast, mend, or manage a long fly line. We like to say that Tenkara is a simple way to fly fish.

  • Manuel
    Manuel
    7/30/2015 2:04 PM

    @Mike

    In my personal opinion, It's the original way, from it, fly-fishing was developed. I'm not saying its the best or most efficient. It's the "origin of".

    From a point of reference Bow-hunting is to hunting, what fly-fishing is to fishing. That being said, in Bow-hunting there are several types of bows and arrows. Tenkara would be to fly-fishing what traditional hand made bow and arrow would be to bow-hunting. Again, not saying its the best, its just the purest.

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 2:07 PM

    @mike to consolidate my answer, Tenkara rods are lighter, easier to use and master, and less expensive.

    @manuel Thanks for making some great points!

  • Lynn
    Lynn
    7/30/2015 12:21 PM

    This is a great concept; but, I'd like to see a full video of someone bringing in a fish. We see a before and after. My nephew wants to try his hand at fly fishing. I don't want to set him up for frustration and disappointment.

  • Jeffrey
    Jeffrey
    7/30/2015 1:06 PM

    @Lynn The casting motion is the same as traditional fly fishing. The Roll Cast is the simplest concept to grasp and the motions are not complicated. I would point you to any youtube video on the roll cast for fly fishing.

    Bringing in a fish is basically like you were using a bamboo cane pole. You would raise your arm and tilt the rod back over your shoulder to bring the rod tip overhead and that would bring the fish toward your feet.

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 1:14 PM

    @Jeffrey there are plenty of videos of people bringing in fish on youtube and other sources. Landing a fish is extremely intuitive. Generally you are fishing a length of line that is the same length more or less as your rod, so you simply lift the rod and angle it back to play the fish, by the time your rod is behind your head the line and fish are both right in front of you so you can simply net or grab the fish in front of you.

  • Michael
    Michael
    7/30/2015 3:31 PM

    @Drew I have been using a Tenkara rod on the small creeks in N. Idaho and Western Montana for about 10 years. Absolutely the best way to fish these 3-10 wide waters as their is no line or reel (which you don't need anyway) to snag on bushes or branches. Mine is a 12 foot model that will easily handle an 18 in West Slope Cutthroat.

    Highly recommend

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    7/30/2015 4:20 PM

    Glad to hear it, Michael! Thanks very much for the feedback!

  • Lynn
    Lynn
    7/30/2015 12:22 PM

    How do I know which rod to order for my husband? He is new to fly fishing and this rod seems perfect for taking on rafting trips or while kayaking. The Cascade or the Teton pkg? We live in western WY, 50 miles from Grand Teton National Park.

  • Jeffrey
    Jeffrey
    7/30/2015 12:59 PM

    @Lynn I would base the choice on what he will be fishing for and how far away from the fish will he be able to get. The larger the fish, the stouter the rod. Also,if he will be wading in the water, he can get closer to the fishing spots and not require as long of a rod.

    I am not familiar with the individual models and their relative strengths. Drew would be familiar with the specifics of these rods.

  • Jeffrey
    Jeffrey
    7/30/2015 1:11 PM

    @Jeffrey Lynn, as I read through the product descriptions, based on the locations you specify, I would suggest the Teton package. That would cover trout, large panfish, small bass and be the best 'general/overall' package. I would say the Cascade is for small fish and small flys while the Owyhee would be something I'd use for bass, salmon, light salt water, or generally larger fish.

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 1:17 PM

    @LYNN I would recommend the Teton package for that area. We are based out of Driggs, Idaho, in the shadow of the Teton mountain range so we designed that rod with all of the water around that area in mind. It is a strong enough rod to handle larger fish but also works exceptionally well on the small creeks in that area as well.

  • William
    William
    7/30/2015 12:34 PM

    Does the line tie to the tippet or run through the hollow rod and out the tippet?

    A video running the line and attaching a fly before casting would answer these two questions.

  • Jeffrey
    Jeffrey
    7/30/2015 12:55 PM

    @William On Tenkara rods, the line attaches to the rod with a larkshead knot (a loop doubled over itself) in the line to a small piece of cord extending from the rod tip called a lillian. The lillian is a few inches long with a stop knot at the end so the line does not slide off it. It's a very simple system. The line does not travel through the rod, just one simple attachment to the end.

  • John
    John
    7/30/2015 1:30 PM

    See this video:

  • christopher
    christopher
    7/30/2015 2:15 PM

    @John I see ALOT of novices (which stated it's designed for) snapping the tip right away! perhaps something as simple as an included ?cork? stopper instead of young fingers holding the tip inside of the blank? what are your age recommendations, as I can't see this lasting with kids that your trying to introduce to the sport. thank you.

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 5:19 PM

    @christopher the rods are very durable. But nothing is bombproof especially in the hands of little ones. What we have found useful is keeping the line attached to the lillian at all times. That way a younger person can just extend the rod rather than spend a lot of time handling the individual sections. There isn't really an age limit my 2 year old fishes with me and he has never broken a rod and we have also seen people in their 80's use them.

  • Mike
    Mike
    7/30/2015 1:16 PM

    Can you cast without fully extending the rod? For example if you are fishing with one of the longer models and find yourself in tight quarters where a shorter rod would be handy.

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 1:20 PM

    @Mike it definitely is possible to do this (but not recommended). Sometimes you might be fishing a spot with a little more trees than you would like so you can break down a couple of the sections, then you have to choke up on the rod and use a different section as the handle. As I mentioned, that is not how the rods are intended to be used and in most cases you do not need to do this but it is possible if needed.

  • kcstimpy
    kcstimpy
    7/30/2015 1:48 PM

    I thought, wow that is pretty neat... until I seen the price. Honestly, $160 or more, I'll stick to my triditional ways of fishing. Sorry, but that is just the way I feel.

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 1:51 PM

    @kcstimpy thanks for looking! A traditional fly fishing setup will start around $500 for a mid level setup and can easily cost over $1000. So we are just trying to be affordable. We use a high quality carbon material which isn't cheap. Thanks anyway!

  • Robert
    Robert
    7/30/2015 2:20 PM

    My 16 year old son wanted to take up fly fishing last year. I purchased the Sawtooth package for his birthday. The Sawtooth is a little more flexible than the Teton so when he gets a bite, he has more fun landing it. We live near a number of trout streams in MN and he takes this rod every time he goes out. It's well made and hardly takes up any space in his backpack.

  • Mike
    Mike – Grommet Team
    7/30/2015 4:40 PM

    Thanks for the feedback, Robert! Glad to hear it's been used with success!

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 5:07 PM

    @robert thats great! Exactly what they are meant for!

  • neil
    neil
    7/30/2015 3:27 PM

    How much line is with each rod and are there replacement lines available? Do you fishit with the same for wet and dry flies and how does it get down in the water if its not a dry?

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 3:57 PM

    @neil each rod comes with a fixed length of line of either 10.5 feet or 13 feet. It is a furled line that has the ability to either float or sink. If you apply a floatant to the line it fishes dry flies really well. If you leave it like it is you can get nymphs and Tenkara flies subsurface and it will fish them very well also. We also have replacement lines available in different sizes and colors and materials.

  • Suzanne
    Suzanne
    7/30/2015 4:57 PM

    We will be fishing in Mongolia for the Taimen - a large summoned fish - 33-66 pounds+. Will this rod hold up??? Suzanne

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 5:07 PM

    @Suzanne I don't know if anyone has ever tried :). The nice thing is they have a lifetime warranty so if the rod didn't hold up we would get you taken care of. I wouldn't take a Tenkara rod as your main tool for Taimen but it definitely would be a thrill if you could get into one!

  • Suzanne
    Suzanne
    7/30/2015 5:02 PM

    So much for spell check - salmonid fish of the salmon family. Suzanne

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 5:20 PM

    @Suzanne we are hoping to make it to Mongolia sometime in the next couple years to try this out!

  • Laura
    Laura
    7/30/2015 5:54 PM

    I am 5' 8" what size rod should I use? I wanted to fish!!

  • Drew
    Drew – Special Guest
    7/30/2015 10:23 PM

    @Laura either the Teton or the Owyhee would be well suited for you.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.