Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Big Fix

Please excuse the lack of political correctness. I just couldn't
help myself. 
Last August, while performing "please don't try this at home" stunts with my Tenkara rods in the wilds of Saskatchewan, a couple of us managed to break both of the Japanese fly rods we brought with us to Lake Athabasca.

I knew that Tenkara USA, the manufacturer of the rods would likely replace or repair the simple implements, so I never felt a huge sense of urgency to load the rods into a box and send them off to the company for a warranty repair. I'd get to it eventually.

Then, last week, I hit the Henry's Fork on an icy Idaho afternoon, and after fighting iced guides and a frozen reel for a few hours, that sense of urgency became more, um, urgent.

I missed my Tenkara rod, which, while maybe a bit diminutive for the Henry's Fork, is the perfect tool for the double-nymph rig I had bouncing along the bottom of the river. And there are no guides to freeze. No reel to seize up at the least opportune moment. Just, as they say, a rod and a line. Simple.

So I got on the Tenkara USA website not too long after getting home and thawing out, and downloaded the warranty form, which, if you read between the lines, probably disqualified me for the repair of one of the rods--while I wasn't "trying to catch a shark (although, how cool would that be?)," I was chasing a pike, and the rod did break while fighting a pike in the classic "bit off more than we could chew" fashion.

So I did a quick search on the site for the cost of the repairs, and stumbled across the site's spare parts page. It's possible--and I never really considered this, even though I knew exactly how the rod was assembled--to simply fix the rods yourself. And, given that you're not paying the $25 surcharge the company levels against you for warranty claims, and you're only paying for shipping one way, its actually cheaper to buy the parts online (a whopping $7) and have them shipped to you than it is to send your rod in for repairs that might just take a few minutes. I pulled the trigger, and for $14, plus the cost of shipping the parts to me, I had both rods fixed and fishable within three days. Total.

Although I knew how to fix the rods (it was pretty self explanatory, honestly), I did find the video (see above) that shows you exactly how to go about performing the the fix on your own, should you break it on, say, a mako. Or a pike.

The simplicity of the fishing is matched only by the simplicity of the rod itself. Now I have two functional Tenkara rods, and all spring to chase trout and whitefish on the Henry's Fork. And if I break one, I'm only out a few bucks and a few days. One more reason to give Tenkara a try.


  1. I'm going to get an extra tip to take on trips. It seems like cheap insurance.

  2. I'm really going to have to try Tenkara. It looks very interesting.

  3. Dwight... get the three-section tip... just in case. Pam, you'll love it. If you like small water, it's 'da bomb!

  4. I only broke one tenkara rod by keeping it rigged in my backpack while bush-whacking. fixing and replacing parts is easy as pie, simple as fishing tenkara itself.

  5. It seems to me that it would have been quicker and easier to just walk out into the backyard and cut off another tree branch...

  6. This might be the perfect winter fishing tool (on most streams). I might have just converted...maybe.

  7. Dude... I'm sold. It' perfect for nymphing... I'm guessing the Poudre would be ideal for Tenkara.