Best Tenkara Rods: Ratings, Reviews, and Top Picks

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Are you interested in tenkara fishing and are curious about the best tenkara rods on the market? Finding the right tenkara rod can be challenging, specifically because of the many options on the market. This guide reviews our favorite tenkara rods by comparing rod lengths, actions, and costs.

man holding trout with tenkara

Buyer’s Guide: Tenkara Rods

Choosing the best Tenkara rod is a bit challenging, especially for beginners. But you don’t have to worry since we will tell you some of the vital features you must consider before purchasing a Tenkara rod.


Most Tenkara roads are made of carbon fiber for sturdiness and durability. The material also ensures that the rod is lightweight, giving it great power to fish even larger fish in more extensive water.


The length of a fishing rod is essential. Some people prefer a rod that is shorter or longer than a standard rod. A longer rod will enable you to fish in large water bodies, which can be impossible using a shorter Tenkara rod. Shorter rods allow you to cast in smaller streams comfortably. However, the average Tenkara rod length is 12 feet.

grayling caught by tenkara
Grayling caught in a forest river using a tenkara rod.


A Tenkara fly rod slightly differs from a standard fly rod. Tenkara rods are not classified based on weight or motion. They employ flex and length. Action and flex are closely related. Ensure you choose a tenkara rod with fast action.


The rod pieces matter most in Tenkara fishing. Most Tenkara rods, if not all of them, are made of a single telescoping piece. Most rods can be reduced to a diameter of 20 inches or less, making them the ideal fishing rods for trips. 

When camping, trekking, or backpacking through the woods to locate the ideal trout stream, you may quickly bring a rod with you.

Top Tenkara Rods

1. Tenkara USA Fly Fishing HANE Rod

The Tenkara USA Fly Fishing Hane is a popular Tenkara rod for adults and kids and is ideal for beginners. It is a compact and all-around Tenkara rod you will enjoy using in all your fishing adventures. The rod works excellent when fishing for bass in a pond or trout in a mountain stream. You can use it in a variety of circumstances without sacrificing its durability.

The all-around rod is ideal for hiking, bike fishing, and other adventures since it fits comfortably into a small daypack. It measures 10 ft 10in (330cm) when extended and 15 inches when collapsed. The rod comes with a full lifetime warranty.

Key Features

  • Compact and Lightweight
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Ultra-portable and durable
  • Easy to use
  • Made of carbon fiber material
  • Full lifetime warranty

2. DRAGONtail Shadowfire 365 12’ Tenkara Fly Fishing Rod

The DRAGONtail Shadowfire rod is a solid Tenkara Rod that performs better than expensive Tenkara rods. Other than delivering excellent performance, it is also one rod that is cost-effective.

The rod is designed for small to medium-sized fish but is strong enough to handle larger fighting fish on a fixed line rod. It is also suitable for fishing small trout and casting 3.5 in a level line.

The rod is 12 feet long and weighs 2.9oz. It has everything you need to start fishing: an EVA foam line holder, stylish rod sock, storage tube, high-quality furled line, and three soft hackle flies. Besides, the rod is easy to set up, and you don’t need costly fly fishing gear. The rod is perfect for tempered line casting or light line casting.

Key Features

  • Travel-friendly rod
  • Complete starter package
  • Universal & regular tip caps included
  • Handle length: 10.125 inches
  • Collapsed rod length: 23.25 inches

3. Wild Water Tenkara Fly Rod

The Wild Water Tenkara is an affordable, versatile rod used to fish various fish species. It is suitable for new Tenkara anglers. The rod is 12-foot long and weighs only 3 ounces.

The rod comprises nine sections of long-lasting IM8 graphite and has 6:4 rod action. The wooden stopper on its 9 3/4-inch-long cork handle protects the rod during storage. It has an aluminum detachable laser-etched end cap and a matte black color finish.

The rod has a high-quality nylon carrying case and a stretchy rod sock for travel and storage. In addition, it includes fishing lines like 10.5 feet furled polyester line, 11 feet PVC line, and 15 feet polyester-furled level line and metal ring.

It is a perfect trout rod.. You can use it for fishing in ponds and small streams for small bass, panfish.

Key Features

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Waterproof fly box
  • Simple to use
  • 6:4 rod action
  • Carrying case
  • All accessories included

4. DRAGONtail MIZUCHI zx340 Zoom Small Stream 3 Length Tenkara Rod

The DRAGONtail MIZUCHI zx340 Zoom is a Tenkara rod with three lengths, allowing you to cover a variety of water with a single rod. It is an excellent rod for fishing in mountain lakes, backpacking, and stream fishing.

The 11 feet-long length is ideal when fishing in various water types where there is plenty of room for casting. The 9.6 feet medium length is perfect for a long rod when the canopy or stream is tight, but you don’t need a short rod. The 8 feet short length is suitable when fishing in canopy overgrowth areas.

The MIZUCHI zx340 Zoom rod is kids friendly as children can use the rod’s short lengths that are simple for them to handle. The kids can use the rod’s longer lengths as they grow.  

The rod is very lightweight and comes with a stylish rod sock, hard tube case, three flies, a line holder, a tippet, and 10 feet furled line.

Key Features

5. Tenkara USA Fly Fishing SATO Rod

The Tenkara USA is an excellent Tenkara fly rod for fishing small fish and large fish. It is an excellent option for beginners than any other Tenkara rods.

The rod is compact and ultra-light for versatile and precise casting. The three lengths enable Tenkara anglers to fish at various lengths.

It offers a 6:2 rod action, and the longer rods let you fish even in large water bodies. Take this strong rod in larger rivers and lakes to catch decent-sized fish.

Key Features

  • Super lightweight
  • Three fishing lengths
  • Travel friendly
  • Suitable for beginners

6. Kaida zx320 Pack Multi-Length Tenkara Rod

The Kaida zx 320 is a medium soft action Tenkara rod with a hint of fiberglass, making it ideal for fishing small trout. The fiberglass is added because most Tenkara fly rods are stiff due to numerous sections.

The rod loads well and is perfect for casting very light lines quickly on shorter lengths in small canopies. The 9.4 feet length is short enough for tight fishing, while the 10.5 feet length is appropriate for fishing in open areas.

The Tenkara rod is lightweight, ensuring you spend all day on the water with minimal fatigue. It is fun to fish little mountain trout with this rod, but you can also use it to catch decent-sized trout.

However, it is great for softly presenting weightless flies, and it’s hilarious on smaller fish while still handling a slightly bigger fish quite well.

Key Features

  • Multi-length zoom rod
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Short collapsed length
  • Medium soft action

7. DRAGONtail Tenkara Hellbender Zoom 13′ / 11.3′ Tenkara Fly Fishing Rod

Are you looking for a Tenkara rod for catching big fish? Search no more. The DRAGONtail Tenkara Hellbender Zoom Rod is specially designed to catch big fish like fat rainbows, brown trout, and other lunkers between 16 and 22 inches.

It is one of the best big fish Tenkara rods in the market with a 7:3 action. The rod is made of the highest grade IM 12 carbon graphite, making it an extremely robust yet lightweight fly fishing rod. It weighs only 3.4 oz and collapses to 24 inches; hence it will snugly fit into your fishing backpack.

The rod features a telescopic zoom function that enables Tenkara fishermen to fish in wide-open water and tight streams. It has a zoom range of 13.3 to 11.3 feet.

Although most Tenkara rods cannot cast heavy flies, the Hellbender Zoom Tenkara rod can comfortably handle them. When casting weighted flies using a Tenkara rod, you must be careful since it can alter your casting motion and weaken your rod if it hits it.

Key Features

Final Thoughts

The best tenkara rod for 2023 is the HANE by Tenkara USA.

We tried a bunch of these rods, and for the beginner getting into tenkara fishing, the Hane has everything you need to catch trout. The handle is comfortable, the design is compact, making it easy to stuff in your backpack, and the warranty puts you at ease if you break a section. Another option is the Dragontail Shadowfire 365, which has been our rod of choice for years now. It’s held up in the backcountry of Yosemite and has caught plenty of trout.

Tenkara rods give you a fascinating way to fly fishing. They are easy to set up and use. Most of these rods are beginner-friendly; you can use them in small rivers, wide creeks, tight overgrown canopies, mountain creeks, still water, and ponds.

Diana Nadim
Fishing Expert
Diana began fishing at the age of seven, as it has been a long-time family tradition. From catching small bullheads to catching strippers on the backwaters of Bighorn, she loves to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water. Her dad was an expert angler, and he taught her fishing along with her two siblings. They used to go to the Bighorn River in Montana and Henry’s fork, Idaho. As a pragmatic person, she is obsessed with creating well-researched and practical guides and reviews of the best fishing methods and gear.
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