Tenkara fly rods are extremely compact and thus great for hiking. But this one is the lightest, smallest fly fishing system we’ve seen.
Made by well-regarded Tenkara Rod Co., the Mini Sawtooth is a nine-foot rod when extended. But when packed up it is less than 10 inches long.
It weighs 1.1 ounces and stays well under 2 ounces including line and leader.
At 10 inches compressed, it is small enough to fit in a jacket pocket.
If you are unfamiliar with tenkara fishing, the style of rod does not use a reel. Instead, line is tied directly to the tip of the rod.
Anglers flick a fly into pools and flowing water and fight fish by raising the tip of the rod to pull fish to shore, much like fishing with an old-school cane pole.
The rods telescope to go from compact to long in seconds.
They work well for small streams and modest-size fish where long casts and a drag are not needed for fighting. They tend to be compact and thus good for hiking to remote fishing spots.
Tenkara Rod Co. is raising funds for this and the slightly larger Mini Teton (12-foot extended, 10-inch collapsed, 1.9 ounces). You can find both models on the same Kickstarter page, where they sell for $150 and $165 respectively.
They ship with everything you need to start fishing, including rod, rod sock, tube, line, flies, tippet, and a line-keeper system.
We’ve not used this model, but we have fished with other tenkara systems and enjoyed them on small streams. If you’re looking for a light and compact fishing experience, this one’s worth investigating.