Do you hate making decisions? I know I do. I’ve been dating the same girl for 7 years and I still haven’t popped the question. No kidding. 7 years.
For someone new to the Tenkara game, the ever-expanding selection of things like rods and lines can get a bit overwhelming. Some of the most frequent questions we come across in email, on forums, and on the phone are “Which rod is right for me? What line should I get? 6:4 action or 5:5? Furled or Level?”
Such questions are usually followed more questions. Questions about what type of water, wind speed, or fish size you expect. But that just complicates the picture. Before you know it, you’re spending hours on the internet searching for answers and explanations when you could have been fishing and having fun. That is the point, right? Go outside, catch fish, and have fun?
So in the interest of getting people out there, fishing and having fun, we wanted to provide a “no decisions needed” list of basic gear, including a brief explanation of why each item was chosen, and a URL where you can make your purchase where applicable.
Here’s the Tenkara Guides answer to The Ultimate Tenkara Starter Kit:
Tenkara USA 12ft Iwana. The best all-around rod on the market. Covers a wide range of conditions, types of water, and fish sizes. Great quality at a great price. And wonderful customer service.
Tenkara Bum Hi-Vis Fluorescent Orange Level Line, size 3.5.
Hi-Vis means you can see your line, which makes learning to cast and detect strikes easier. 3.5 means your line is light enough to easily keep it tight and off the water, key skills when fishing Tenkara. It balances well with the Iwana rod. Cut it into 10-12 foot sections, and you’ll get 4-5 lines out of one 20 yard spool.
Size 5X monofilament, any brand.
You can find this stuff at any fishing shop. Or pick some up at Tenkara USA when you buy your rod. 5X is the best all around size. We rarely use anything else. We use fluorocarbon most often, but monofilament is cheaper. Either way, we NEVER LEAVE ANY tippet or line on the river.
The Fly Stop Kebari, Black, size 14.
Fish eat flies. So do trees, bushes, submerged logs and rocks, etc. You’re gonna loose flies. At 55 cents per fly, it’s hard to argue with the Fly Stop. Get a dozen or two. Black size 14 is a great all-around style. Mix in size 12 too. When you’re ready to start tying your own, try Tenkara Bum Utah Killer Bug Kit (the one fly we use most often).
Total price for a quality kit with everything you need to get started? About $183.55.
Beat that, Western fly anglers.
We’ve got a few posts in the works reviewing all sorts of other rods, lines, and accessories. Worry about all that other stuff later. Right now . . .
. . . GO FISHING.