So, you’re thinking about purchasing your first (or second or third) Tenkara rod from Tenkara USA and you’re wondering, “which rod is the best?”
Tenkara USA is one of many tenkara rod companies. The company’s claim to fame being the first to commercially introduce tenkara in the United States.
Currently, Tenkara USA offers six models: the Amago, Hane, Iwana, Ito, Rhodo, and Sato. So, which is the best? That’s a question I posed to the passionate members of the Tenkara Anglers Facebook Group, which is affiliated with Tenkara USA).
Here’s how fifty-one tenkara enthusiasts ranked Tenkara USA’s rods:
3 (tie). Rhodo
3 (tie). Ito
And #1 was the Sato tenkara rod
Let’s dig a little deeper …
5. The Hane tenkara rod is 10′ 10″ in length and costs $150. The Hane (pronounced “huh-nay”) is described as “a superb tenkara rod for backpacking, bikefishing and other adventures. Whether you are targeting trout or bass, the Hane was designed to work well in your mountain streams as well as your urban fishing outings.”
Tenkara angler Jeremiah voted for the Hane because “it’s the only Tenkara rod I’ve ever tried. I got it because I wanted something to take hiking, backpacking, and camping, where fishing would be secondary.”
4. The Amago tenkara rod is 13′ 6″ in length and costs $169. The Amago is one of Tenkara USA’s longest rods. According to Tenkara USA, “longer rods provide distinct advantages over shorter rods. Generally speaking, we recommend using the longest rod you can for the stream you are fishing.”
I personally use the Amago and the reason is because of its reach, since I fish some larger streams and rivers.
Tenkara angler Tonino says, “Amago for me, because I live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada and you never know if you would hook a 8” Rainbow or 24” Dolly Varden! Fun rod to play any size fish in my opinion.”
Woody says, “when we … target the big boys we both use our Amagos.”
And Arnie says, “I just got the Amago and love that rod. I have the Iwana for nine years now. Still like that rod.”
There’s clearly lots of enthusiasm for the Amago even if it came in 4th in vote totals.
3 (tie). The Rhodo tenkara rod has a triple zoom and can measure 8′ 10″, 9′ 9″, and 10′ 6″. The Rhodo costs $235. Tenkara USA says they designed “a rod that can be fished short when things get tight, or longer when the stream opens up.”
Woody, while enjoying the Amago, voted for the Rhodo. “I have all of these except for the Hane, I vote for the Rhodo because it performs so well. It handles the tight small water flawlessly and one day I got to see Jean land an 18″ and a 20” Iowa Rainbow like a hot knife through butter. Finesse with an attitude is the Rhodo.”
3 (tie). The Ito tenkara rod measures 13′ – 14′ 17″ and costs $245. It is the main rod Tenkara USA recommends for those who fish more wide streams and rivers.
Tenkara angler Scott says, “I only have the Iwana and the Ito. I like both but I really like the Ito. For me, the longest rod I can get away with, the better.”
And David says, ” I like the reach of the Ito, but I really like the casting feel.
2. The Iwana tenkara rod measures 12′ and costs $157. Tenkara USA says that the Iwana has become their “classic all-around rod at a great value.”
Despite receiving around 20% of the votes cast, no one left a testimonial.
And #1. The Sato tenkara rod. Like the Rhodo, the Sato is a triple zoom measuring 10’ 8”, 11’ 10”, and 12’ 9”. The Iwana costs $235.
The Sato received an overwhelming 43% of the vote, but just like the Iwana, no one left a testimonial. Tenkara USA describes the Sato as “a compact and lightweight tenkara rod. At its shorter length it is perfect for tighter streams, and at its full length it will be ideal when the stream opens up again or when you find a bigger pool to cast your fly.”
Do you agree with this list? Let us know in the comments!