New anglers have so much to learn about fly fishing gear and techniques as they approach their first day on the water, it's intimidating. Learning to cast a line, what fly to pick, and where to find fish in the river can take a number of outings before you start to get the hang of things. Simplifying things a bit, Tenkara Rod Co. and Topo Designs have again assembled a well-rounded kit that’s ready-to-fish right out of the box.
The second collaboration for the two likeminded brands (the first kit having been released back in 2016), the new Topo Designs x Tenkara Rod Co. Fly Fishing Kit ($250, available May 23rd) will include Tenkara's Sierra rod alongside a Topo accessory shoulder bag and a Leader Wallet from Topo, each imprinted with co-branding and made in matching stream-appropriate colors.
One of the first things you’ll likely notice about the Sierra rod, even if you're just geting into fly fishing, is that it lacks a reel. By definition, Tenkara fishing involves a reel-less rod that otherwise functions similarly to a traditional fly rod. With no reel to manage the line, the metallic green Sierra rod casts a shorter 10.5-foot line to match its 10.5-foot length.
When a Tenkara angler inevitably hooks a fish, they simply manipulate the angle of the rod until their non-dominant hand can grab the line somewhere above the hooked fish to bring it in, no reel necessary. While the Sierra’s length may seem unwieldy compared to an average 9-foot 5-weight rod, it’s actually super portable once telescoped down its collapsed 20-inch length and stowed in a matching rod tube.
Bundled inside the small camo Leader Wallet is a high-vis fly line, a spool of monofilament for attaching flies to the line, and three flies packaged in a little tin case. There’s plenty of room inside the musette-style Accessory Shoulder Bag to carry the wallet along with a larger fly box and any other accessories you end up collecting as your fly fishing career blossoms.
If all the technical gear is preventing you from trying out fly fishing or you just think Tenkara is an interesting way to go about catching fish, then Tenkara collab kit might help simply things and get you out of decision fatigue doldrums. The kit is available now in limited quantities from Tenkara Rod Co. and Topo Designs.