I recently came across a post in one of the many tenkara groups I belong to, which asked, ” So. If you were going to tell someone why you tenkara, what would you tell them?

Here is what 24 people had to say about tenkara and why they love it:

Best accuracy and presentation.

It’s amazing 🙂

Size Matters LOL, size of rod length, size of wallet needed for Western Fly Fishing, size of the streams that I can bow-shot that fly in/under the low hanging brush….Size Matters

Not as complicated as fishing with a reel. I’m getting a friend into fly fishing. He is just not getting the fly line/fly reel/guides/ loading.

Effectiveness. I catch more fish with tenkara in warm and cold water.

Less gear = more adventure

KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)


In this order for me: better presentation, compact and easily stowed while moving on stream, simple, fun on even small fish.
And I catch more fish than ever before!

 I enjoy Western fly fishing, I enjoy spin fishing, and I enjoy tenkara; I guess I just enjoy fishing in general (except baitcasting, I always tangle those reels up). Tenkara allows me to fish almost anywhere with minimal extra gear in my bag or car. A rod, a line, a spool of tippet and a handful of flies fit in pretty much any backpack I take out for a hike or can hide under a seat in my car with nobody the wiser.

Fishing across currents and drinking beer. You can have a free hand with a beer in it at all times. Casting across currents and over obstacles is a big key for me. Pocket water is where tenkara is deadly. 

Light and compact, you can bushwhack through all kinds of stuff way faster with a rod tucked away in your backpack. And of course manipulating flies.

To paraphrase M. R. Montgomery “because it is sufficient unto the fish”

I’m a woods gnome and tenkara was made for just that.

A lot more fun to travel with!

Backpackers delight!

Cheap and easy. I saw it described as how a ten year old would invent fishing. I think if tenkara was the way people were introduced to fly fishing, there be a lot more people fly fishing.

For me , the reason is, ” Because I Like the simplicity of it and it’s relaxing . I look for things that can or will reduce the stress in life . Why complicate things ? A Rod ,a Line, a Fly, a stream, Mother Nature and Peace . I get my sanity back. What more does one need !” 😉

It fits on my bike

It makes fly fishing less work and more fun.

Best tool for the type of streams I usually fish.

It is simply a very efficient form of angling and I like efficiency. It means more fish.

I’m surprised that no one has mentioned that it’s way way way cheaper than Western fly fishing. In terms of actual time on the water about 60/40 tenkara/Western, but the money I spend is about 70/30 Western/tenkara.

Just fish.