March 6, 2010

New Tenkara Rod: Amago

I love my Iwana tenkara rod from Tenkara USA.  I think I used it more than I did my spinning or conventional fly rod combined since I got it last fall.  There's just something to be said for the simplicity of tenkara fishing - just rod, line, & fly.
My Iwana - Rigged & Ready

Tenkara USA released its latest rod recently, the Amago.  Whereas my Iwana is 11' and probably the lightest tenkara rod, the Amago is the longest at 13.5'.  Similar to the Iwana, it's a 6:4 rod (lightweight), but obviously an extra 2 and a half feet longer.  If streamside canopy is not a concern, the extra length should come in especially handy to reach places you just couldn't effectively with the Iwana.
While I'm not exactly in the market for another tenkara rod yet, when I am, I think the Amago is going to be at the top of my list.

Product Description from Tenkara USA website:
Named after one of Japan's most beautiful mountain stream trout, the Amago is our longest rod at 13ft and 6inches long (410cm). Longer rods provide distinct advantages over shorter rods. We recommend using the longest rod you can for the stream you are fishing. The Amago is sure to become a quick favorite for its versatility and reach.

Based on the request of several tenkara anglers this rod has a matte black finish for reduced light reflection. The handle was meticulously designed to provide good counterbalance to the long rod and for extra comfort on a long day of casting your delicate line and fly . The wider end of the handle serves two purposes: it provides a slightly better counter balance to the rod, and serves as a good grip for using the full length of the rod.

The Amago is a lightweight 6:4 rod. The 6:4 action provides a accurate pin-point casting action. The light weight of the rod, similar to the popular Iwana rods, makes this rod a delight to handle and when catching fish of any size.


  1. Mike, I was talking to the guys out at the pond last week about "How many rods do you really need". The concensus of opinion was, one more.


  2. I just can't seem to "get" the Tenkara philosophy. I mean, I understand it, but it doesn't click with me. But I love the fact that you and other Tenkara devotees are so into it.


  3. @ Shoreman - Those are some smart guys you fish with.

    @ Wolfy - I hear you. There's quite a (vocal) bunch in the tenkara crowd that get very "spiritual" when talking about it.

    For me, it's not a religion just another tool in my toolbox. I probably value the simplicity & practicality most (ever try to hike through some thick cover with a 9' fly rod in tow?). A telescopic fly rod that collapses to about 20" takes all of the pain out of that experience.

  4. Alright, I know I'm dredging up an older post, but I'm researching this stuff and I have one question - if I need an 11 foot tenkara rod to be 8 ft suddenly ( as in, I run into a nice run with a heavy overhead canopy 9 feet off the water), can I slide the butt sections in a bit to shorten the rod - ie, do they twist into place like a collapsing walking stick, or would this not work because the sections would be all loose if you did that?

    The only thing i'm worried about is fishing small, 12 ft wide streams here that have thick canopy in some areas. Also, can you roll cast this thing, or no? There are plenty of situations where we can't cast using a back-cast, but can use the roll cast to get the fly to the fish....

    I guess I should just order one. Tenkara offers a 60 day return if you don't like it. ;)


  5. Owl - It's not recommended to collapse your rod more than one section. They don't screw together and it would be loose, so you'd need to "choke up" on it to cast. Once a fish is on, you need to extend the section to land it.

    You can roll cast, but you really don't even need to. These rods cast themselves. A flick of the wrist gets the line out without a real backcast. Most of my casting is sidearm. I just hold the rod out to the side and flip my wrist like I'm skipping stones. You can also pull back on the line and do a bow & arrow cast if that's easier.

    Once you get the hang of it, the fact that the rod is 11 or 12 feet long really isn't an impediment whatsoever.

    Keep the questions coming. These are great.