A Kids Tenkara Rod should be light enough for a kid to handle, have a grip that a small hand can grasp easily, and have an action that will teach proper casting form. If it's easy on the wallet that's even better.
I think I have found the ideal Kids Tenkara Rod!
A Kids Tenkara Kit has been one of the top sellers on TenkaraBum.com for years now. At first it had a Shimotsuke Kiyotaki 24 as the rod. When I found the Nissin Fine Mode Kosansui 270 I made the switch. The Nissin had a better bend profile, and being a foot longer was also a benefit.
The new rod I have found is also a Shimotsuke rod. It's made in China and it's a cheap Chinese rod - but it's actually not a bad cheap Chinese rod!
I wouldn't recommend it in place of the Suntech GM Keiryu Special 27 as a small stream rod for a serious tenkara angler, but for a kids tenkara rod it's just about perfect. It is light weight at just 1.8 ounces (without the tip plug). The grip (cork, by the way) is narrow enough to fit a kid's hand. The price is low enough to fit dad's (or granddad's) budget.
The action is described as 7:3, which is probably as accurate as those ratings ever are. The action is much more pleasing than the Fine Mode Kosansui, which is why I am making the switch.
Shimotsuke recommends either level or tapered lines for the rod. I would recommend a size 4 level fluorocarbon line. The rod will cast a size 3.5 line just fine but a kid will be able to cast a size 4 line more easily.
Speaking of lines, the Kids Tenkara Kit is no longer a kit. I'm unbundling it, so you no longer have to buy things you might not need (like tippet or flies).
The kids tenkara rod and the tenkara line are now sold separately. If your daughter wants a pink tenkara line, now she can get one. If your son wants a blue tenkara line, though, he's out of luck. Sorry.
The other items that had been packaged in the kit are still available (and all on this page to make it easy). The same 5X Maxima tippet is still available, at just $4.25 for a spool. A selection of three different flies was in the Kid's Kit - and was available only in the Kid's Kit. It's still available (and only on this page). The selection is whatever is in stock that day, but all will be barbless (or will have the barbs bent down) as a safety precaution.
The Kids Kits came with Fuji EZ Keepers. For the Kids Tenkara Rod I would suggest the round Tenkara Line Holders instead. The EZ Keepers are convenient when moving from one spot to the next, but are not a good solution for holding the line between trips (they'll cause kinks in the line).
By putting all the bits together you can still assemble a complete kit. If you only need the Kids Tenkara Rod, it is available by itself.
Weight (without tip plug)
The manufacturer has not provided a recommendation.
The Kids Tenkara Rod grip is a two hump "camel" grip, just like that found on most adult's rods. The grip is cork. Both ends of the grip are a cork/rubber composite, which is much more durable.
The blank is painted with a matte finish - dark charcoal gray with light olive accents at the section ends. Your kid may not be stealthy, but the rod is. If the fish get scared, at least it won't be from rod flash.
The lillian is glued directly to the rod tip. It is thin enough to pass through the second section.
tip plug is fluted so that the line can be keep on the rod when the rod
is collapsed. I would highly recommend inserting the tip plug as soon
as the rod is collapsed. Then and only then wrap the line around the
line holder. Doing it that way will produce line twist but it will
prevent unsteady hands from breaking the rod tip. The line twist will
come out when it is unwound from the holder. Similarly, unwrap the line from the holder before removing the tip plug.
The grip screw cap is knurled, has a slot so you can use a coin to tighten or loosen it, and has an air hole.
The rod does not come with a rod sock.
All in all, it's not a bad rod for 75 bucks!Kids Tenkara Rod - $75
Shipping for the rod, either alone or with all the other items on the page, is $10 to US addresses. Shipping for one or more of the smaller items, without the rod, is $4 to US addresses (the shipping section below assumes purchase of the rod).
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