Tenkara USA Tenkara Line and Fly Keeper Review

Tenkara USA Tenkara Line and Fly Keeper
     A few years back I got interested in a great fish catching technique called Tenkara.  It was started in small streams in the mountains of Japan.  The whole concept is simple, mostly because it was a style of fishing developed for sustenance instead of sport.  Tenkara uses a fixed length line and is cast in a loop similar to western fly fishing.  Many of the advantages I see in Tenkara are in its simplicity.  The rod is telescoping, the line is a set length (no management), and the flies are basic.  In all reality it's a great way to catch a fish on a fly.  There was however a few things that I didn't like about the system.  The first was the need to constantly remove the line to transport the rod.  This usually left the line coiled up and tangled.  It was a huge mess every time I loaded up to switch spots.  The second issue I had was that I still needed to carry a small assortment of flies which meant I needed to bring a fly box with me.  These issues weren't addressed by anybody I knew that practiced Tenkara.  We all just kind of dealt with it in our own way.  Then Tenkara USA released the Tenkara Line and Fly Keeper.  It promised to solve the line tangle issue and it had an integrated fly box so I quickly went online and ordered one for myself.
     When it arrived I opened the packaging and was impressed with the build quality. It was apparent that a lot of thought went into designing this product.  I was really excited to get it out on the water and try it out.  Before we talk about how well it performed though, we should probably take a look at the specs.

The Tenkara Line and Fly Keeper features:

  • Robust Plastic Design
  • Capable of Holding 2 lines and Tippet
  • Tangle Free Line Catching System
  • Integrated Fly Box
    So here's my thoughts after a season of use.  I can honestly say that it holds up well.  I'm notorious for being extremely hard on things and so far I haven't broke it.  The line catching system works well and is shockingly simple.  It works great whether you're carrying 1 line or 2 and not having to remove the tippet and fly makes tearing down and switching locations a breeze.  Even the fly box is well thought out and does a great job of keeping nymphs and small dry fly patterns secure.  It's a wonderful little product and it fits in your pocket!  I was really impressed with it's ease of use.  As a bonus it's price was very wallet friendly.
Obviously a popper won't fit in the fly keeper.
     Still this wouldn't be much of a review unless I shared a few of the things I didn't like about using this product.  The first issue I had was with it's size.  It's a compact little device and that means it gets swallowed up in my backpack.  I don't just Tenkara fish and as a by product I'm usually carrying my conventional or fly fishing gear in a bag and the Tenkara Line and Fly Keeper gets lost.  Not a huge deal, but annoying when trying to get everything organized for a guided trip.  The other thing is that the fly holder is definitely biased towards trout patterns.  Again not a huge deal, but I rarely use my Badger Tenkara rods to chase anything smaller than a largemouth bass.  Even my standard foam poppers and chenille panfish flies don't fit in the holder.  So I still have to carry a small fly box which defeats the whole point of using this product as a grab and go answer to keep all my Tenkara gear together and in one place.
     All in all I really wanted to like the Tenkara USA Tenkara Line and Fly Keeper, but for me and my style of fishing it just isn't a good fit.  If you're primary a trout angler that relies on just a few fly patterns this is going to be a great addition to your Tenkara arsenal.  I would highly recommend it to any trout angler that needs to carry multiple lines in a small convenient package.  If however your Tenkara fishing involves the use of bigger warm water patterns you'll be disappointed with the fly keepers performance.  To learn more about the Tenkara USA Tenkara Line and Fly Keeper follow the link to a video here.  If you're interested in picking one up for yourself follow the link here.
     Tight Lines.


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