October 6, 2015

Tenkara Tuesday - October Tenkara Grab Bag

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday...

Just going to take a quick run around tenkaradom...some things that have caught my eye in recent days. Some may be new, some not, but all worth mentioning, at least in my opinion.

Kickstarter - Tenkara Rod Co.

After a ridiculously successful $90K Kickstarter campaign that launched their company 2 years ago, things have been relatively quiet on the crowdfunding front from the Tenkara Rod Co., at least until now.

With a new campaign to introduce two "Mini" tenkara rod models that was funded within two days, it's clear these guys have figured out this whole pre-sell model.  As a matter of fact, at the time of writing this, they're over $70K raised (the goal was "only" $12K) and there are still 30 days to go.

Whether or not you actually see the need for a tiny "Nissin Pocket Mini-esque" rod, that's pretty astounding. Remarkable actually, congrats to them!

Wholesale Zoom Rod

Does all of that success by the Tenkara Rod Co. create the desire to become your own tenkara rod dealer? Well, first off, good luck. Second off, you need to know where to find rods, right?

While I in no way vouch for this manufacturer, I recently started receiving a lot of emails from BTI-Sports (Yangzhou Guotai Co.) offering private label rods of all sorts, graphite, fiberglass, bamboo, you name it, including this interesting tenkara zoom model.

You want to place an order for 100 units of these bad boys? They'll run you $33 a piece, plus shipping and all of that fun international stuff. Bam...instant tenkara business....or a bunch of rods collecting dust in your basement.

Tenkara Calendar Embed

So that Tenkara Calendar website I set up a few weeks ago seems to be picking up steam. People are submitting events, there seems to be a fair amount of traffic to the main URL, and it seems to work relatively smoothly.

With that said, I've added a section to the Tenkara Calendar website that allows you to copy (& paste) the calendar widget's HTML embed code wherever you'd like to put it...making it sort of an open source calendar that can live pretty much anywhere. For example, I added it to the bottom of the "Tenkara" tab of this website.

While I don't expect everyone to run out and add it to their respective websites, I'm just letting you know you can if you so choose. I figure the more places it eventually lives, the more likely people will continue to add events to it, and the more useful it becomes to everyone...so enjoy.

Tenkara Is For...

Daily affirmation courtesy East Rosebud Fly & Tackle.

Instead of Hello Kitty, which is so 2010, they could have at least utilized pictures of unicorns, panda bears, and rainbows, because at least those rumors about tenkara are true. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth...no wonder fly shops are losing to e-commerce. Pass the PBR bro.

Latest Installment of "Genryu Fishing"

Attempting to class up this blog entry in closing, Keiichi Okushi recently posted the 23rd installment in the "Genryu Fishing of Japan" thread over at the Tenkara-Fisher Forum. (Note: I think you need to join the forum to see the pictures)

I know, I know, forums (much like blogs) are a dying, if not dead format...I get it, but if you haven't taken in any of these genryu chronicles yet, and are into fishing, camping, friends, and nature, you're really missing out.  There are actually 18 pages of posts that should you choose to start at the beginning, you'll easily spend quite a bit of time consuming.

Believe me when I tell you, you don't need to be a Japanophile to make them well worth the read!


  1. Tenkara Is For: "Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth...no wonder fly shops are losing to e-commerce. Pass the PBR bro."

    I love it when I am talking with a local fly shop owner/manager/guide and they are asking smart aware question of me about tenkara, how I fish it, where I fish it, how my classes are going for NCWRC, etc... I like this for two distinct reasons. One: the flyfisher in them is curious on some level, may it be kid-like excitement or advancement fish stalking tactics. Second: they are making mental notes (sometimes direct to paper) about the growing tenkara market and consumer interest and they are making rudimentary or calculated business analysis of what I am sharing.

    I don't like it when the local flyshop owner/ manager/ guide offers any scoff at all. It is there that I see narrow-mindedness for their loyal clientele in offering greater exposure and experience to the angler as well as the opportunity to bring in the immediate ancillary business of family participation on outings. The second side of that coin is a missed opportunity to establish a new slice of diversity in their gear offering. The tenkara "section" would need about 48" of wall space or a sidestack tucked near the fly bin. From there they could be moving inventory and grow it. They are also missing the opportunity to have "Tenkara Day" where they have hotdogs and kool-aid with to showcase that they are the only tenkara smart opportunity for XX hundred miles around.

    BTW: I'm cool enough to ROCK that pink sticker and get away with it. I'm pretty sure I'd Sharpie that flyshop name over though- just so they miss another opportunity. J. Sparks

    1. I agree, that sticker actually is pretty rad. I almost feel like all tenkaradom should buy one and rock them. Would kind of defeat the purpose, no?

      As to your fly shop point, I never understood why anyone would want to turn off ANY potential customers. Not a good business practice. But whatever, not really my problem.

  2. Tangent...
    This reminds me of the time I ate puffer fish in Yangzhou. Mmmm. So delicious. So dangerous.

  3. LOL I love it. I agree with Jason, 100%, including on the sticker.

    I had to back one of those Tenkara Rod Co. rods... my Nissin Pocket Mini is so delicate... Too delicate! I've already broken it once. And the replacements aren't cheap, just because they're small.

    So I can get behind what they're offering, especially since it comes with a warranty. I figured it was worth risking it to see the durability factor alone. Sure, I prefer Japanese-made rods and assume Tenkara Rod Co would produce in China, but as we've seen with Tenkara USA and others, this model works.

    Speaking of which, I can't wait to see what's next from TUSA... assuming its about time for a new product to be in production?

    1. I'd imagine you'll like your rod. I've fished two of their rods, they were both good products...and if durability is an issue on your Pocket Mini, it's really a no-brainer.

      Good point on TUSA...I guess only time will tell.

  4. East Rosebud sells Tenkara rods and has a solid following. The sticker is meant for his customer base that has a sense of humor, along with the 5x sticker that he sells. Look into ERFT and his shop, it is not your typical shop looking down their nose at anyone. So keep the PBR rolling and lighten up ;)

    1. Eh, it's my bad then.

      Honestly, I don't really care and nor do I get offended by stuff like this, but you (or the shop) should have seen the reaction this received on Facebook where it was borrowed from...not a favorable response. Thought it was topical to post here.

      Everyone knows if you're gonna bust on something it should be two handed spey casters anyway... Oh, and PBR, so overrated.

    2. Overrated.... it sucks, I was trying to at least find a happy medium somewhere :) Keep in mind there are always two sides to everything..... that has quickly became his top selling shop branded item, and that says something for the volume he does.

    3. By the way here is your unicorn http://goo.gl/8uS78R

    4. Ok, I give up, you win. If it's selling that well, he knows his customers. Heck, I'll probably buy one. Any publicity is good publicity, right?