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WHAT IS TENKARA

Tenkara is the modern name for ancient styles of fly fishing used by anglers in Japanese mountain streams. It is an extremely elegant art, and uses the techniques of fly casting and precise presentation. No reel is needed, and the line is simply tied to the tip of the rod in exactly the same way used by the fly fishers. Because of its ancient origins, there is a strong feeling of tradition – even though modern tenkara tackle is made with space-age materials. When practiced with skill, it is also incredibly effective – and always great fun.

The first time you try tenkara – you realize that it takes about 10 minutes to learn the basics. The next thing you realize is that it would take a lifetime to become an expert – so there is always something new and interesting to learn. Because it focuses on fishing skill rather than the equipment, it is possible to cut down on the amount of gear you carry. So if you are looking to cut down your fishing gear – you’ve found the perfect method. 

Although tenkara is skill-oriented, you still need some very specific qualities in your tenkara rod. The Tanuki rods have been crafted with care so you can cast the light tenkara lines with accuracy as well as provide control and full sensation when fighting and landing the beautiful fish. Tanuki offers a range of rods that deliver a wonderful tenkara experience whether you use tactics like nymphing, dry fly or Czech nymph methods. You have found the perfect set of rods in Tenkara Tanuki.

TANUKI ROD CRAFTED WITH CARE

Tanuki rods are crafted with utmost care. They are crafted in a factory in China. My choice of factory was based on two factors. The factory believed in skill and craftsmanship vs. machine operators. It also got an excellent track record on top quality hand crafted carp rods. Factory’s engineers are also  happy assisting me in various technical aspects.

The engineers and managers of this factory were trained by two Japanese rod making masters about ten years ago: one is responsible for machine setup, operations and training workers, and the other one, who is a retired engineer and rod designer from Shimano, is responsible of general design and quality control. He trains engineers to design rods, check the production quality control process and make decisions on the materials. Both are professionals in their own fields and are extremely detail orientated to obsession like many typical Japanese masters.

STORY OF LUONG TAM

I love building rods. I created my first bamboo rod when I was about nine years old. It was a one-piece fixed line rod, about 1 meter long. When the dot com bubble bursted around 2002 – I was working in the computer industry – I tried to build bamboo rods for almost a year and hang out with bamboo rod makers. I learned a lot about rod making at the time. I love the idea and feeling of bamboo rods and the lightness of carbon fiber. That was the beginning.

Initially, I just wanted to build tenkara rods for myself and some friends in 2014. Then I was getting deep into it without knowing. I ended up quitting my job so I can concentrate on the design. I was constantly thinking how to engineer the rods and how to put materials together. Designing tenkara rods became obsession that was intriguing and inspiring at the same time.

One of the most challenging aspects of creating Tanuki rods is that it is a marriage between tradition and innovation. It has the traditional Japanese rod feel with some aspects of Western style fishing. It also was a combination of modern technology and materials into an age-old fishing method. I created mission statement “Best of Both Worlds”.

On the engineering side, it was challenging to keep the traditional soft and smooth casting of Japanese rod, at the same time retain the stiffness of the Western style which helps control accurate casting. Modern technology and material helped me achieve the desired result. On the aesthetic side, I wanted my rods to reflect traditional Japanese culture in modern time. I am inspired by Japanese simplicity in design which, I think, is focused and elegant.

My friends loved Tanuki and encouraged me to develop and manufacture the rods for everyone who love to have an opportunity to fish with a beautiful rod.

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