July 21, 2015

ICAST / IFTD 2015 - Tenkara Tuesday

How could I possibly hit the IFTD side of the show and not look for tenkara stuff?  I mean, c'mon!

Here are some of the tenkara or tenkara-friendly goodies that I scrounged up in wandering up and down the aisles...organized by manufacturer...and ending with a "Best In Show." I hope you enjoy.


The Tenkara USA crew was busy at the show, with a prime location near the main casting pond. While they didn't have any new rods to introduce, they had their two newest accessories - the Tenkara Line Keeper and the Mesh Accessory Bag - out to complement their full current assortment of rods.

Tenkara USA Sato Kit

The Sato Tenkara kit which bundles all of the goodies I just mentioned and then some with an updated rod sock & tube was also featured in the IFTD New Product Showcase within the "Best New Gift Item" category. I'd accept that gift any day!
MSRP $259.00


Wetfly has been on the tenkara scene for a few years now, offering their Back Country complete tenkara kits primarily to e-commerce accounts and sporting goods retailers. While those sets include what one might call "typical" 12 or 13 foot rods, they will be be introducing a shorter addition this Fall.

Wetfly Kodomo Creek Tenkara Rod

The new Kodomo Creek tenkara rod is an 8 foot, 6:4 option for those looking to conquer smaller, tighter waters. It will come complete as part of a kit that includes a PVC "Duraleader" line, tippet, flies, rod tube & sock.

MSRP $129.99


Adam Omernick

Ha! Yep, I happened to run into Adam (Zen Fly Fishing Gear) at the New Product Showcase over in the ICAST side of the house. While Zen wasn't showing, he was there for a some appointments and to walk the show. We talked a bit about tenkara carping and other fishing randomness. He's a good guy, glad we crossed paths again and had a chance to chat for a bit.


Umpqua had a lot of great gear that could be loosely associated with tenkara. Items such as packs, tippet, accessories, you name it. However they also had a fly assortment specifically targeted at tenkara anglers both new and experienced. 

Designed with input from tenkara anglers such as Craig Mathews of Blue Ribbon Flies, the Tenkara Premium Selection contains 20 flies (16 unique patterns) that give the "simple fly fisher" plenty of options on the water.

Now not to be critical, but in my opinion any "premium selection" without an Ishgaki kebari or a Killer Bug is missing the boat...as both flies carry a special aura around them with American tenkara anglers. Their omission the set just feels incomplete.

That said, there are a bunch of unique flies, and many seemed based on proven Western patterns (like the Prince Nymph in the upper right), with reverse hackle added. Here's a closer look...

Umpqua Premium Tenkara Flies


While I plan on writing an entire post about the L.L. Bean experience probably tomorrow, the Rapid River Micro chest pack stood out to me, particularly because of the one feature that most chest packs do not have...

At first nothing might stand out to you. It's a well constructed pack with quite a bit of inner capacity. It has a fly patch at the top, built in zingers, and neoprene sleeves on the side to handle things like floatant and hemos. The zippers and pulls are quite good too. I'm a stickler for good zippers.

LL Bean Rapid River Micro Chest Pack

The shoulder straps are constructed of a lightweight foam mesh and provide a lot of support and balance the weight well. There's nothing worse than a narrow strap digging into the back of your neck like what most chest packs have. You'll also see a D-Ring for net attachment.

LL Bean Rapid River Micro Chest Pack Back Harness

Now here's the money shot, and I apologize for the bad photo...but the chest pack also features a drop down water bottle sleeve in the bottom that cinches tight via bungee pull. I'm sure it could carry a different bottled or canned beverage too, if so inclined...

LL Bean Rapid River Micro Chest Pack Bottle Holder

Part of the Spring 2016 fishing line, the Rapid River Micro Chest Pack is a real value, carrying an MSRP of $59.


I went to the booth. I asked about the new Honryu 44 NP that Dr. Ishigaki designed.
They looked at me like I was crazy. I guess I kinda am.

Shimano Booth ICAST


I saved the best for last...

If I had to name a Tenkara "Best In Show" this would be it...a Titan Rod Vault + Tenkara USA collaboration!

Titan Rod Vault Tenkara USA

You're probably familiar with Titan Rod Vault by now, the bombproof rod carriers that mount to the top of your car or truck and provide extraordinary security and convenience, allowing you to bring your fully-rigged rods with you wherever you go.

Well with the input of Daniel Galhardo (Tenkara USA), Titan has scaled down the size of their flagship TRV-PRO for tenkara anglers!

Titan Rod Vault Holds 3 Tenkara Rods

With capacity for 3 tenkara rods, fully rigged with line and rod spools, the TRV-TUSA is available in standard aluminium finish, or with a Derek DeYoung wrap (pictured) for a slight upcharge.

Titan Rod Vault Derek DeYoung Wrap

Available in September 2015 directly through both the Titan Rod Vault and Tenkara USA websites, look for one on the roof of a Subaru Outback, Mini Cooper, or Fiat 500 in a streamside parking lot soon.
MSRP $289.95

So there you go...IFTD 2015 through a tenkara lens. There might have been other tenkara-ish things, but who knows, I must have missed them... In any event, a nice haul of gear to keep the tenkara angler full of options for 2016.

This is the third of six new product overviews from last week's ICAST / IFTD event. If you'd like to see the other entries, please click HERE.


  1. Guess I'm not hip to the top-of-the-car rod vault concept. Western rods take forever to rig up, and so leaving them in a fishing-ready state would save a lot of time. But Tenkara rods just take a minute or two, even if I fat-finger that first Davy knot. And what about leaving your rods to bake on a car roof? Thought that was a no-no...

    1. Don't beat yourself up, that last product was 100% fictional. I just put it in there to see if anybody would a) catch it or b) go on a tirade about it. The item pictured is just a mini table-top display created to show off the DeYoung wrap option available on the full size vaults. It does fit tenkara rods nicely though, right? :)

    2. Although the part about it being Daniel Galhardo's idea was not a lie...it was his idea to use the rod as a prop. I think he really wants that point-of-sale sample for the roof of his tenkaramobile.