When Gomez dropped off a Tenkara Rod Company’s Mini Teton for me to try, I admit I giggled. I couldn’t believe how small the whole setup was. I know from reading previous reviews that they are fish catching machines but nothing I had fished with was as diminutive and simple as this.
I grew up fishing any which way I could, but settled on fly fishing as my main jam mostly due to simplicity. It doesn’t require a ton of gear and there is an intimacy with nature that you can’t get from most other forms of fishing. Tenkara is a style of fishing that boils that experience down to be even more simple. It is the highbrow descendent of the cane pole that many
of us started on.
Standard fly fishing involves a rod, a reel and a bunch of line wrapped around the reel. Tenkara fishing does away with the reel entirely and a shorter section of line gets connected directly to the tip of the rod, just like that old cane pole. That‘s where the similarity to the cane pole ends, though, as there is nothing simple about the rod itself. It is made up of multiple collapsible sections of carbon fiber that allows the rod to go from just past 11 feet extended length down to just under 10 inches packed length. In its rod tube the total package is 13.5 inches long. Ridiculous. Not even the revered Ronco Pocket Fisherman packs as small.
To get to the water as a kid, I’d plop my old two-piece rod into its 5 foot long rod tube and strap the whole thing to the top tube of whatever Schwinn I hadn’t broken yet and off I’d go, looking to all the world like the cycling equivalent to the Vespa 150 TAP.
With the Mini Teton, you can put everything you need in your back pocket. Tucked into a frame bag, you’d never know it was there until it was time to go pull some fish out of the water. It takes little more than a minute to go from collapsed in the tube to ready for action.
Early spring fishing is three things; cold, windy or both. I found that my accuracy depended a lot on the wind due to the lightweight nature of the line. Another issue was that the furled line supplied with the kit would tend to sink quicker when it was iced up. This made presentation a little tricky with dry flies or subsurface presentations. When conditions were perfect,
I found that presentation is supremely delicate despite my standard ham fisted approach. The line, leader and fly would land on the water with the merest of whispers and the line would perform a very slow sink that paired perfectly with the hairs ear nymphs that spent the most time on the end of the tippet. Be aware that I used this kit as supplied with the only change being using my own flies. I could have set things up to better match the difficult conditions had I played with different lines.
The wheelhouse for the Mini Teton appears to be those small to medium streams that burble away next to a lot of great mountain bike trails. The Mini Teton really lends itself well to the bike packing crowd or the cycling fisherperson as it packs down so light and tiny while being a legit fish catcher. It’s a setup you can take anywhere whether it’s just a few hours trip or a few weeks on the trail.
For more information visit – https://www.tenkararodco.com/