|Fall, 2021, the simple two parts of my tenkara kit.|
My current version of my minimalist tenkara kit has quite a history behind it. I've been working on a minimalist kit, ever since I've found out about tenkara ten plus year ago. I am not going to go too much into depth about what you need: you obviously don't need a lot of anything if you know what you want. I want a fishing kit that I can carry, every day and it not be invasive to my daily life. I also want a kit that is very effective in what it was designed for, modern Japanese fly fishing, tenkara.
I have written about my kit in the past, the development of it and I can say this, I designed and used one for a solid year before taking it on a two week trip to Japan. I was travelling all over Tokyo then travelling within the country. I didn't want a kit that was separate from my luggage, I wanted one that could go inside of my two backpacks that I was carrying. I used that kit on a pretty intense genryu fishing trip. My hosts, many tenkara experts had an understanding of the Pocket Mini but probably had no need for one as they were in their everyday element and didn't need to carry compact equipment from half way across the globe. I had designed lines that balanced the cast and upon handing them the rod, I received all kinds of compliments on the compactness and usability. After a while, it just was not mentioned, the kit embodies tenkara minimalism and they work so well.
Nissin designs the rods that I choose, the Pocket Mini V3 and the Tenkara Mini (I choose the 3.6m.) If I am targeting a stream known to be tight, I will grab the Pocket Mini V3 2.7m and stuff it inside of the Tenkara Mini case. The Pocket Mini V3 is an exceptional rod that I have bought, used and sold thinking that I didn't need it any longer and sorely missed it for my minimalist kit and ended up buying it again.
I could actually make the kit substantially smaller by choosing a 2.7m Pocket Mini but, I often use the kit as a sort of calling card to introduce tenkara, the Pocket Mini looks like a toy (which it is) but it really doesn't have the look of a serious fishing rod (which it is) if I am showing someone new to tenkara equipment 30 stories up or at a nice restaurant or somewhere no one would have their fishing kit along.
I've been able to introduce tenkara effectively to people by pulling out the rod and extending it and handing it to someone at the office where normally, I would have to pull out my phone and try to describe it. There is nothing like pulling out my fishing equipment out of my bag and showing them the different elements. The Tenkara Mini is impressive as I pull it out, so small and petite. I can pull the 20 sections out for effect or pull it taught in a couple of big pulls. It is a rod of incredible engineering and the people that I hand it to are nothing less than impressed.
It's a great calling card for sure.
In the years that I have carried my kit on my travels, I have had several opportunities arise where I would normally not have had my equipment. Trips to lakes, under bridges on streams and in city streams too. It is a great excitement to realize that YES! I can fish when normally, I would have to just look at the water and turn it off...
|My minimalist kit laid out, it goes into my Every Day Carry bag.|
- Nissin Tenkara Mini 3.6m
- Rod Grippers
- 4" Derf Needle Driver
- Mini Bear Bell on a quick link
- Micro Dropper Bottle of floatant
- Kazuo Kurahashi made Kebari Box and Spool
- Snow Peak line cutter
- Zimmerbuilt custom made Micro Pack and Rod Bag
|My EDC kit, I carry it everywhere, all the time.|
|Contents of my EDC kit. I carry this everywhere.|
- North Face Field Bag
- Mountain Laurel Design Small Packing Cube
- Alcohol Wipes
- Triple Antibiotic
- Kenwood THF6 Tri-Band Radio Cheat Cards
- Mont-Bell Trekking Umbrella
- Matador Pocket Blanket Mini
- Sea to Summit Ultra Sil Backpack
- Sea to Summit Sling Bag
- Tasco Monocular
- Small Zippered Pouch of Crystals
- Bic Lighter
- Sea to Summit Micro Stuff Sack
- Bic Mini
- Petzl Micro Headlight
- Mini Survival Candle
- Sewing Kit
- Leatherman Tool
- At-A-Glance Monthly Planner
|Depending on the mission, I will add in these elements.|
|The Tenkara Mini is an enjoyable rod for the sweetest mountain streams.|
Tom Davis from Teton Tenkara on the Nissin Tenkara Mini: Casting this rod is fun. It is very lightweight in the hand and has excellent balance. The action is stiffer than most Nissin 7:3 rods that I have felt. Even though the RFI is in the low 6:4 range, the rod feels stiffer than what it measures at. I suspect that might be due to the large number of joints and it's aggressive taper. Still, it's a great casting rod. I used a #3 level fluorocarbon line under breezy conditions, and I had no trouble controlling the line and getting the fly to its intended target.