Tenkara (ish) Fishing Rod Build (DIY Tenkara Fishing Rod)




Introduction: Tenkara (ish) Fishing Rod Build (DIY Tenkara Fishing Rod)

About: I enjoy fishing, kayaking, woodworking and making a wide variety of things.

This Instructable is a cumulative effort of sorts. I have done some other Instructables that will be linked to for making the individual parts of this Tenkara (ish) fishing rod build. I will link to my Instructable for making a wine cork fishing rod grip and my instructable for making a Tenkara fishing rod line keeper. I used those techniques to make a DIY Tenkara style fishing rod out of an inexpensive fiberglass telescopic fishing rod. I was inspired to do this build by an Instructable made by Fish Nerd called Ten Dollar Tenkara which can be seen here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Ten-Dollar-Tenkara... I just added my own take on the Ten Dollar Tenkara Instructable and came up with a nice looking, small and functional Tenkara rod.

I own some 12' long Tenkara rods, but my wife and kids wanted smaller ones. I purchased the rods from Amazon. The prices vary quite a bit on the rods, but at the time I purchased them they were $7.98 each. I am not providing a link because they change all the time. The ones I used were 9 section 2.5m telescopic rods and came from china through the seller Uxcell. It took over a month to get them in but they were a good price and good rods.

These rods are just a little over 8' long when fully extended. The fit/finish on them isn't very high quality. They aren't as sensitive as my Tenkara rod. They are inexpensive, fiberglass is a pretty durable material for fishing rods and they are available in several different sizes.

I have embedded my YouTube version of this build if you would like to watch it. If you like this sort of thing, check out My YouTube Channel or subscribe Here.

On to the build...

Step 1: Removing False Advertising :-)

These rods say "Made in Japan". I ordered these rods direct from China. I'm no detective, but I am going to draw the conclusion that companies in China aren't into ordering fishing rods from Japanese manufacturers for redistribution all over the globe at less than $10 each delivered to your door. The text is actually done on top of the finish on these rods and was easily removed with a little acetone on a paper towel.

Step 2: Making the Wine Cork Grip

I am going to just link you to my Instructable that goes over this process in full detail. There are other ways to go about it but this is just how I did mine.

Wine Cork Fishing Rod Grip Made On A Metalworking Lathe

Once you have the grip on you can add a line keeper in the next step...

Step 3: Adding a Line Keeper

After I completed the cork grip, I added a line keeper. You can see the whole line keeper making process in my Instructable: Tenkara Fishing Rod Line Keeper/Line Management Solution

The only thing left to do is make the rod plug/butt cap keeper loop to loop connector...

Step 4: Rod Plug/Butt Cap Keeper Loop to Loop Connector

To make the keeper I simply enlarged a pre-existing hole in the butt cap and added a hole in the center of the rod plug. The holes were drilled large enough to accommodate some small diameter paracord loops. Once you get the loops installed, you can attach the rod plug loop to the butt cap loop by using a simple loop to loop connection. This was done in a similar manner to another one of my instructables: DIY: Tenkara Fishing Rod Plug - Cap Holder

Step 5: Your Rod Is Completed!

These make nice, compact little Tenkara rods. As you can see in the last picture of this step, these 8' DIY Tenkara (ish) rods are really compact in comparison to my 12' Tenkara rod.

I made 3 of the rods in total. My wife and daughter wanted cork grips but my son wanted a paracord grip. It turned out pretty nice as well and can be seen in some of the pictures of this step. If anyone wants to know how I did the paracord grip/wrap, just leave me a comment below and I should be able to walk you through it.

Step 6: Go Fishing!!!

Here is a picture of my daughter with the first fish she caught on her Tenkara (ish) rod. While these are not of the same quality as a real Tenkara rod they are still very effective and a whole lot of fun to fish with!

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable and if you have any questions or comments, please let me know.

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    8 Discussions


    1 year ago

    can I use traditional fly line? either floating or sinking.


    1 year ago on Step 5

    please describe the steps and materials to make the para cord handles (they look easier and just as nice as the cork handles.) By the way I just ordered two rods a 2.5 meter one for $4.59 and a 12.5 footer for $13.29, free shipping.

    The Fishing Hobby
    The Fishing Hobby

    Reply 1 year ago

    Here is the way I did the Paracord grips, hope it helps!
    Good luck with your rods, they are a lot of fun!
    You may want to check out my YouTube channel for more Tenkara related videos. Here is a link to my Tenkara playlist with all the videos I have done about the subject: Tenkara: Fishing - Customizing - Tips: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLX7a8aD_4rEno-zApN_RAC_V_gvaIAxjf


    Question 2 years ago

    After reading your article, I ordered those rods too, ( now they're blue in color an no "made in Japan" anywhere)

    I've got a general question, what's a good distance between the linekeepers?

    I was thinking about making my own tenkara-lines, because I don't get those in my region, do you have any tips and tricks for choosing a line for a newbie?

    The Fishing Hobby
    The Fishing Hobby

    Answer 2 years ago

    The keepers are around 6" apart on these rods. The further apart they are, the less wraps of the line you will have to do. I do a lot of warm water Tenkara fishing and use a floating line setup like the one I show how to make here: https://youtu.be/0RsMKbE-T-I
    Hope that helps!


    3 years ago

    I'd like the paracord description!

    The Fishing Hobby
    The Fishing Hobby

    Reply 3 years ago

    I ended up doing an instructable for that too: https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Fishing-Rod-Paracord-Grip/