Short Easily Packable Tenkara Rods - latest trend

Sure there are existing short rods, like the Tenryu & Sukura models, and others that fit though not marketed by the manufacturers as “tenkara” rod, but to me they seem to be kind of a trend in 2017. I don’t much backpack to places to fish, I just find it interesting.

Tenkarabum’s new contender. TB Traveler

Tenkarabum Travler

And I just discovered this Dr, Ishigaki inspired Shimano contender too.

パックテンカラ ZW 「Pack Tenkara ZW」

Are there others ?

Oh, and the Shimano River Index appears to have started this past April, and it’s kind of fun to look around at the 19 volumes published thus far. Especially if you are into other forms of fixed line fishing.

The TenkaraBum Traveler is not a short rod comparable to the Tenryu Furaibo TF39TA or the new Shimano Pack Tenkara. I call it the Traveler for its versatility not for its collapsed length. The idea is that you only need to pack one rod for a wide variety of fishing locations. It is short enough to fit in a carry-on bag and it does not extend far enough above a backpack to catch on overhead branches. That’s short enough.

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Sounds mostly like a marketing thing to me. I think the only rods I own that I haven’t taken backpacking are my Airstage 380, 450, and my Kyogi. Any other rod has comfortably fit in with the rest of my gear. LOL




When I travel, even for a dedicated Tenkara trip, I want my rod to go inside my carry on. I don’t want to carry a rod bag.

I don’t need to take my favorite rod with me in order to have a good time. I just need a rod that works.

Travel rods are for uhh, travel.

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Tenkara Furaibo TF39TA テンカラ風来坊TF39TA

This is an expensive rod, and it’s now premium price in the market. sigh…

The previous trip to Montana and the most recent trip to Idaho I transported several rods and used this:


They are cheap, made out of cardboard and available at just about any office supply store. I could fit three Keiryu rods in there or two cork handle rods. The tubes are long enough to fit the collapsed lengths of all rods that I own. One of my carry-ons is an old Camelback Rimrunner backpack. The mailing tube goes in the water bottle pocket. Never had an issue. Once I’m on the plane, I’ll put the tube in the overhead bin next to my actual carry-on bag. The backpack goes under the seat. On the trip to Idaho, I brought along my 5 wt western rod and found I was able to fit another Tenkara rod in that tube as well. Had my hands full that trip!

With regards to backpacking, the current collapsed length of Tenkara or Keiryu rods is small enough that the side water bottle pockets on backpacks can hold several rods if needed. I backpacked over September and brought along just one rod, a TUSA Iwana, which fit neatly in the side water bottle pocket.

Seems like every market for every product pushes attributes to extremes.
Sometimes its good…sometimes ridiculous. Like quibbling over minutia or details that are not perceivable.

As peeps note most tenkara rods are already travel ready…backpacker friendly. To not consider a regular tenkara rod travel friendly is pretty funny.

If I were to pick a rod for travel. I would pick one that can take a beating. Durability trumps collapsed length…as long as the rod collapsed is under 24". Its not like we need to stash the thing in our purse…hahahhahaha. Because you are traveling, and probably aren’t bringing a backup or spare parts, having a rod that can take abuse offers huge utility.

I think it has been noted that the more segments in the rod can affect performance. I would opt for taking a rod I already own over buying a special travel rod.

A zoom rod is nice choice. I like them and can see why they would be good for travel. I also feel like I tend to fish them 80% of the time at one length…so I see the zoom aspect a luxury and not a necessity for travel.

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Adequately short collapsed length, versatile, and robust seems to be the most wanted attributes.
Whatever the marketing catchy phrase name. :wink:

Short, versatile and robust = TUSA Rhodo.

Honestly though, I’m with Gressak…any tenkara/keiryu rod that I have held or fished is perfectly acceptable as a light, packable rod for backpacking. I came to tenkara (and fishing in general) from a backpacking background, but I have never felt the need to search for something beyond the normal rods that are available. They are all plenty small and light.

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Of the tenkara rods I own and have handled. I consider the rhodo and sato to be the ugly sticks of tenkara rods in their durability. I swear, I could use them as weed wackers. Well, that is an exaggeration, but the point is they can take some abuse.

This comparison is not meant at all to belittle these rods as I find both to be fine rods and there are plenty of respectable reviews from folk that give them the nod. They are both great rods and are made for the wild environments we fish them.

Are there better casting rods out there?..yes.

If I were to pick one rod for a backpacking trip would it be a TUSA sato or rhodo? …Yes.

A buddy of mine went on a six month hiking/backpacking adventure and he mentioned that he fished a rhodo on a lot of his journey. I was surprised that it was his choice as he owns a lot of nice rods and didn’t even realize that he owned a rhodo. Pretty clear and understandable choice.

I don’t consider regular tenkara rods travel rods.

The Nissin Mini V3 is a delicately but strong travel rod just so long as you are not heavy handed, like Chris Stewart says on his excellent review of it. I covered this rod too bla bla bla

I have now used the new Hane which is an excellent travel rod. I really like the stiff 7:3 with a soft tip. Handles a wide range of fish. The Kongo is also a great travel rod.

Been using inside my bag travel rods since day one. They are called travel rods because they are for uhh, travel.

To each his own.

Travel rods are some of my favorites but not what I use on my home streams.

I enjoy diversity.

I like that everyone has their own ideas on how to do it. Fun to read, share and contemplate if someone has a good idea.

But my regular everyday Tenkara rods are not what I want in my bag. Too long, not easy to pack.


I always have the Sato in its tube strapped to the backpack that I take everywhere. People have stopped why brought a fishing rod, the answer has always been “-You never know…” Sometimes the Ito is on there too, really like that rod.

I remember when 9’ 4-piece rods came in fashion in the 90’s, and how they where marketed as ‘travel rods’. It’s easy to put the Sato next to one of those rods and see the difference in packability.
Perspectives change I guess. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Joakim touches on what i am getting at.

Spin and fly rods design for travel are still longer and bulkier than nearly any tenkara rod.

If you dont fish your travel rods locally…it sounds like they may not have desireable attributes.

Why go through the expense of traveling somewhere to fish and use a rod you would not choose on your home water?

On the otherhand…i can see picking a compact rod to stash in a pack as a just in case sort of thing…but if i knew i was fishing…i would deal the the minor hassle of the extra 6 inches or whatever the difference is.

Here is the thing…

Sometimes people don’t understand why individuals do the things they do because the the person that doesn’t understand does things like everyone else.

I researched the Nissin Mini V3 and bought one, then two more to have three lengths and spare parts when I’m on a trip.

I used that rod set last for months as a primary rod before going to make sure I liked it.

I did.

Used it on my last trip to Japan and some other trips.

…and now I use the Hane.

My Mini V3 kit just sits there, awesome rod, don’t use them any more but I like them and have them.

I like a rod that disappears into my bag. I forget it. Same with a little bag with my stuff.

It’s liberating and decadent. I usually catch as many if not more than the people I fish with.

It’s not a competition though.

I believe the concept is called the ten colors of tenkara?


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I like your style.

You get it.

Back at you my friend!

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Not debating the freedom for peeps to do as they like. Where did i say peeps cant buy compact rods.

Its more the distinction between a regular tenkara rod and a travel tenkara rod is pretty funny stuff. I am just poking fun at the concept a little.

Its up there with guys getting fatigued casting a 3oz rod. Hahahaha…my surfcasting rig weights well over a pound and a half and i am casting 2-5 oz lures for 6-8 hour sessions.

My travel surfcasting rig is a 2 piece 9’ or 10’ rod…hahhaha. those are 4.5 or 5’ segments.

Like you note adam…comments are relative to ones perspective. And to me for someone to say a regular tenkara rod is inconvenient to travel with…really has no idea what inconvenience is

Surf rods, spin rods, debates…

Travel rods are travel rods.

It’s really simple.

Tenkara is not difficult. People make it difficult but it is not.

Argue, debate, hate, like… not tenkara, forum and people stuff.

Diversity is the spice of life. Fitting in isn’t my thing, it is someone else’s concept. I would rather have a conversation on a topic and then listen and learn than contribute to arguing.

Travel rods are what they are. That’s what they are called, designed for, it’s the person using them that gives them life.

Your regular tenkara rod may be your travel rod. Got it. Easy to understand. Makes sense to me.

But I use a travel rod when I get on a plane. I stuff it in my carry on. I forget about it till I want to go fishing. Then I pull it out, amazed, so small, petite. Stretch it out and I’m in there. Fold it up, what’s for dinner?

No worries.

All good.

Are you sure about that?

Hahaha. History tells no lies.

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The past is over.

Change is constant.

History is open for interpretation.

What I have learned is that no matter what you write or say, it does not matter, what you remember is how you feel.

I’m moving forward.