A few days ago the family and I got out to a local pond. We did some kayaking and a little Tenkara fishing. The kids really enjoyed the Tenkara. My nephew, who has never fly fished, was having great fun landing bluegills on the TenkaraUSA Ebisu.
It’s great that a rank beginner could get the casting stroke down pretty well in a matter of minutes and start catching fish. Simplicity is not the main attraction of Tenkara for me, but there is no doubt that it can be simple to pick up. The casting was easy and the kids could focus on the fishing and not on the gear. The other nice thing is that without a heavy fly-line slapping the water, the kids were able to splat sloppy casts all over the place without spooking every fish in the lake. I would recommend Tenkara to anybody interested in getting their younger kids into fly fishing. It’s a great entry point, and they may never need to go any further for a lifelong pursuit.
In addition to the TenkaraUSA Ebisu I also had the Kenpo SE 360 with us. This is an inexpensive Tenkara rod that a friend bought for me in Japan. It fishes great. I cannot attest yet to long-term quality (I haven’t had it long enough – but it seems to be pretty well made), but so far I give this rod an enthusiastic thumbs up. It is a 7:3 action , as opposed to the Ebisu which is a 6:4 action. Basically the nomenclature regarding the action refers to the ratio of stiffer to softer. Therefore 7:3 means that the top 3/10ths of the rod is more flexible, as opposed to 4/10ths on the Ebisu. So the Kenpo is a stiffer or “faster” rod. I think I can tell the difference, but it may be in my head.