If you’ve been tenkara fishing you’ll know about how good it is to take very little, it leaves more room for being happy 🙂 how about dedicated tenkara luggage?
What to take?
I use to put everything in my pockets and carry my rod in a rod sock but the last couple of years, probably down to laziness more than necessity, I’ve taken it upon myself to take two rods. One with a level line that I favour for dry flies and one with a furled tapered leader for nymphs/tenkara patterns and the like. I know I can simply take another line and it only takes a couple of minutes to swap… but I also can’t let go of that “just in case it breaks” mentality. Which is a bit silly as I’ve yet to break a rod tip or a tenkara rod. That said, it makes me feel happier and after all that is what I’m aiming for…
I bought a canvas zip up bag that works a treat but I ended up buying a military style bumbag type thing to carry everything else. They are not dedicated tenkara luggage but this was so all the kit I needed. It meant everything was at hand for those times when I only had a couple of hours and wanted to leave instantly!
I’ve used this way for a number of years and it works very well. One day however late in the season while I was teaching tenkara we took a break and I put my rod bag down and the person I was teaching stood on my rods. Luckily nothing was broken but it did get me thinking… I needed dedicated tenkara luggage!
Rod tubes or the bamboo ones I make are the best protection for your rod but I don’t take rod tubes with me for a number of reasons, I like to move about – a lot – so keeping hold of a rod tube and fishing is not a good combination, leaving it somewhere means you have to go back to where you left it, not always convenient. I’ve put straps on the tubes but they’ve never sat right for me so this has meant I never go fishing with tube… until now.
Dedicated tenkara luggage
I searched and searched for dedicated tenkara luggage but no one was making it. Not what I wanted anyway and I soon realised that I would have to design it and get it made. I spent far too much time designing, spending the next day ripping up the design and starting again just to keep going back to the very first design. What does it need to do? carry rods in their tubes, be comfortable to wear and have a couple of pockets for the other stuff. Job done… Now where can I get it made?
Getting them made
This is where a good friend of mine comes in. Tsegi lives in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia and knows stuff! Plus they make excellent canvas and the leather is bomb proof. We exchanged tons of messages and designs and came up with something beautifully functional and simple. Real dedicated tenkara luggage.
Tsegi knows his stuff… He knew that this had to be quality and made to last. When I first held them in my hands I knew that this was a product that would outlast my childrens great great grandchildren. Quality canvas, quality zips, quality buckles and 5mm quality leather all put together with as much detail as to never come apart, this is quality Mongolian workmanship!
The first thing I did was to fill them with tenkara stuff and go for a walk. Once with the canvas tenkara backpack then the leather tenkara backpack. The canvas one feels light and very comfortable. The pockets are big enough to carry everything I normally take plus room for a phone and other bits. It sits so well across the shoulder I know it will be very comfortable for a full day’s fishing.
The leather one is something else. It feels like an old school satchel, Stiff and built to outlive god’s dog. This thing is a tank! The zips do feel a little stiff due to getting them around the corners of the leather but with use this won’t be a problem, again these are quality zips that’ll last for years. It’s strange because I want to own a secondhand one of these, I’m just too impatient to wear it in myself I guess! If I wanted a top quality tenkara backpack that’ll last a few lifetimes then this is it.