With that, this is what is included in the Patagonia "Simple Fly Fishing" 10'6" Kit...
(They actually offer 3 different kits, each with a different length rod, I chose the 10'6" middle sized rod for example purposes)
|Image from Patagonia.com|
- 10’ 6” tenkara rod telescopes down to 20.5”; includes spare tip and second section; rod sock has built-in line holder to organize line when not in use
- Level-floating .027” tenkara line made from small diameter hard mono core with supple PVC coating
- Pre-looped 7.5’ 3x tapered leader
- Box of one dozen soft-hackle flies hand tied by the Montana Fly Company
- Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod & Reel (paperback)
All that for $279.85. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right?
But that kind of got me to thinking...what would a similar package cost from Tenkara USA?
Tenkara USA has been offering a starter kit via Orvis for a few seasons now that retails for less at $215, but that includes two different lines and is centered around the Tenkara USA Iwana model rod. While there is nothing particularly wrong with the Iwana, I was more curious to see what a package with the new Tenkara USA Sato & Rhodo rods might run since they have some added features such as the three-way zoom and the "keep your plug" system that neither the Iwana nor the TFO-produced Patagonia rods possess.
|Image from TenkaraUSA.com|
- Pick a rod...Sato or Rhodo (includes triple zoom rod and rod case) - $215.00
- Pick a line...Furled or Level Line - $19.95
- Line Holder - $9.95
- 6 Flies - $15.00 (ok, 6 less than the Patagonia set)
All that totals $259.90, about $20 less than the Patagonia kit.
But hey, wait a minute...the Patagonia kit also comes with a tapered leader and a book!
Yep, even though Tenkara USA has a very extensive "how to" section on their website that you don't have to pay anything for, I should probably add at least a spool of tippet and a how-to book to make the comparison "apples-to-apples"...in this case since Tenkara USA doesn't sell either, I'll source both from good ol' Amazon.
GRAND TOTAL = $278.65
...which is basically the same as the Patagonia kit ($279.85). Yeah, I guess you're 6 flies and a spare tip short in the Tenkara USA package, but you're probably more than offsetting that by having a rod with more features and 3 different fishable lengths.
The choice seems simple to me.
I am aware that there are other very viable options for tenkara starter kits out there such as THIS or THIS that are even less expensive than the two outlined above. Finding the most inexpensive option wasn't really the point of this post...as that exercise could go on to no end. Purchase decisions should come down to personal choice and this post is not an indictment in any shape or form of Patagonia/TFO product. That would not be fair since I have never used them. That noted, I have been more than happy with all of my Tenkara USA gear dating back to 2009.