Tenkara fly-fishing uses two types of lines: tapered lines and level lines. While level lines come in spools that can be cut to length, tapered lines have a fixed length, are easier to setup and cast softly and are ideal for beginners. Each line is used in addition to about 4ft of tippet, a very thin line used at the end of the line that ties to the fly and is hard to see by fish.
Tenkara flies are very similar to western-style flies and either style can be used with tenkara rods and lines. Flies imitate natural bugs and insects that fish naturally feed upon. Dry flies float upon the water and work best in standing or slow moving bodies of water, while nymphs (wet flies) are very versatile and can be used to drift or sink just beneath the surface of moving water, mimicking the type of insects fish feed on.
The rods anglers use to fish tenkara vary by thickness and length as well as flexibility depending on body of water that is being fished. Here at Maine Tenkara Guide we fish exclusively with TenkaraUSA rods. Just about any rod offered by TenkaraUSA is suitable for beginners and each has a length ranging from 10-13ft. All rods are telescopic, meaning that they fold in/out quickly for easy storage and are ideal for hiking and accessing small bodies of water where foliage and plant growth is often times thick. We recommend visiting TenkaraUSA's website to see their full line-up of rods and watching THIS VIDEO to see what rod will fit your fishing needs.