A High Country Fly Fish Experience: Tenkara Sierra Rod

Brook Trout

Slamming Trout With The Tenkara Rod Co. Sierra Rod

Review by: Joe Bustos

Hands down, my favorite type of fly fishing consist of backpacking miles into the backcountry to a secluded high alpine lake. Nothing beats having a lake to yourself and slamming Brook trout all day on a dry fly. If you are a weight conscious hiker that loves fly fishing then this is the rod for you.

Tenkara Sierra Fly Fish Rod

Tenkara Rod Co.

So what exactly is Tenkara? Tenkara is an older style of Japanese fishing which consists of a long fly rod and simple line attached to a small wet fly. This type of fishing does not use a reel and typically the line length around 10-12 Ft. This style of fly fishing is attractive due to the minimalist approach it provides adventure seekers who want to travel with a small footprint. Tenkara is also a great method for introducing new anglers to fly fishing due to the ease of line management. What I value most about Tenkara is it’s truly simple setup approach and its reliability for small streams and deep creeks.

Tenkara Sierra Fly Rod

The Experience

The minute I opened up the package containing our new Tenkara Sierra Rod and saw the slim tube I instantly new that this was going to be perfect for all my backcountry excursions. The rod weighs in at a mere 2.8 ounces without its case and screws down to 20 inches—when fully extended the rod is 10ft long.

The Sierra rod was built with the Sierra Nevada range in mind. There are many high alpine lakes and small streams in the Sierra backcountry so having a rod design that provides a soft flex is important for fishing with a dry fly that doesn’t disrupt the waters surface. Tenkara Rod Co. claims the rod to have a 5:5 action which makes it easier to locate when casting.

Sierra Nevada Fly fishing

On a whim, my brother and I decided to pack the wagon and take the dogs out for a quick backpacking trip to the Eastern Sierra. Our objective was to camp at Long Lake for a few nights and explore the many surrounding lakes for a chance at Brook trout. My fly fishing gear consisted of the Sierra rod, line, tippet, forceps and a small box of flies that I knew would work perfect for our location.  This set up was so simple and so easy to pack that I never felt restricted on our hike into the region.

We hiked out to Long Lake and spent the next three days exploring the area fishing small streams and mountain creeks that provided for one of the most incredible backdrops. It’s safe to say that both my brother and I, as well as the Sierra rod were on our element.

Brook trout

Brook trout

Like a kid, I couldn’t contain my excitement overtime we approached a new stream. The rod was easy to cast and I was able to set it up quickly and break it down just as fast— this comes in handy when trying to hike to as many lakes as possible in a short period. On this specific trip, it was my brother’s first time fly fishing, and I had no issues teaching him how to cast with the Sierra rod due to the simplicity of the set up. I also didn’t have to worry about line management with him which can often be a daunting task for new fisherman.


Final Words

The Sierra rod worked flawlessly for catching your standard Brook trust at 9-12 inches long and is highly recommended for fishing small streams that may have restricted access from overhanging brush. Although it felt right at home when smaller fish were on the line, it can easily handle a larger catch due to its flex.

Overall, if you are looking for a rod that is extremely light weight and easy to pack then the Sierra is the smart choice. I have been very happy with this setup and will continue to fish with it wit on my future backpacking trips. If you are a seasoned fly fisherman I highly recommend changing it up and trying something different. Tenkara is becoming more and more popular for a reason: It simply works!

The Sierra Rod Specs

Tenkara Rod co

Length collapsed: 20 inches

Length extended: 10 feet

Flex: 5:5

Weight: 2.8 ounces

Telescopic construction

Tenkara Rod Co. Lines are hand-crafted with single strand construction, a 3mm nickel alloy tippet ring. Non-tapered, yet turn flies far better than any mono lines on the market.


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