I've previously mentioned Tenkara on this Blog before. It's beautiful, technical and ultimately addictive. In the quest for the true Tenkara experience; the real Japanese experience - I set out to find a way to manufacture my own Tenkara rod.
I've seen many Japanese anglers fish with bamboo rods, some generations old. These rods are created to suit the fisherman's needs and his/her personal style. For us newcomers to this art, spending years learning how to expertly split a bamboo cane in order to create a perfectly suited rod isn't always convenient. This said, I recently stumbled upon Tenkara Customs , a relatively new (est. 2014) Tenkara business that provides anglers with all the materials needed to create their very own Tenkara rod.
Tenkara customs currently sells two 'rod-building kits', one twelve foot 6:4 rod building kit and one smaller 9 foot 7:3 version. These are ideal for anglers searching to create their own customizable rods. I managed to get my hands upon the longer 12' version of this kit. John from Tenkara Customs was very kind and even packed a free 'Tenkara Customs Cap' into my order. It soon arrived and I began the quite simple task of assembling the rod. In less than 24 hours the rod was ready to fish. Obviously, for those wanting to create a true 'work of art' - more time is needed to apply engravings and other personalizations.
The very next day I ventured into my nearby river and started to test this very cool rod. At first, let's be honest, casting was tough. For about two whole hours I struggled to get a nice, accurate cast. My line would knot-up at the end of each cast and the fly would never present correctly on the water. Soon afterwards however, I discovered a pool with plenty of open space, a better casting environment. Here, I perfected my casting skills and began to really enjoy this new, attractive rod. From here on, and in numerous other pools, I caught many beautiful fish. Both Grayling and Brown Trout were lured in by the beauty of my newly made rod.
The rod is sturdy, good-looking and with a little extra personalization, can suit any angler regardless of the fishing environment.