Fixed-Line Fly Fishing Rods Tenkara

TOPO Designs x Tenkara Rod Co. Fly Fishing Kit Review

What have we got here?

TOPO Designs x Tenkara Rod Co. Fly Fishing Kit Review - Tenkara Angler - Matt Sment

The Topo Designs x Tenkara Rod Co. Fly Fishing Kit is intended to offer “everything you need to fish” in one place. This partnership resulted in a stylish kit that includes the gear you need to fish and rugged bags to carry it in.

In their own words:
Simple functionality was the guiding principle used when creating the Topo Designs x Tenkara Rod Co product collaboration. We harnessed our mutual love for getting people outdoors and developed a kit that gives both the new and established Tenkara fisherman everything he/she needs in a small, lightweight package.

  • Package Includes: Rod, rod sock, rod tube, TOPO Designs fishing bag, TOPO Designs line wallet, line, line holder, flies, and tippet.

The Rod

TOPO Designs x Tenkara Rod Co. Fly Fishing Kit Review - Tenkara Angler - Matt Sment - Fishing

Tenkara Rod Co.’s website describes the rod as “…based on our popular Sierra rod model.  Fishing is supposed to be fun and this rod was developed as our small to medium sized Tenkara rod. Great for fishing streams, creeks, smaller rivers, ponds and lakes. And even though its not our biggest Tenkara rod it can still handle the occasional bigger fish.”

Extended Length10.5 feet
Nested Length20 inches
Cork Grip Length11.5 inches
Weight (without tip plug)2.8 ounces
MaterialCarbon fiber & Cork

On the water, the TOPO-themed Sierra fishes with a fast, general purpose action. It casts best with higher mass line choices like furled or lightweight floating PVC. The rod is well balanced and feels light in the hand, and it’s medium width cork grip is shaped to the familiar “hourglass” profile which should be appropriate for most youth and adult anglers. The rod’s action will fish well with common fly choices used by most tenkara anglers. It can manipulate kebari, drift dry flies, and swing small streamers with equal effect. Whether pursuing trout or warm water species like bass or panfish, this “do-it-all” flex profile will offer the angler broad choices in how they fish.

I really appreciated the graphics on the blank, this is a sharp looking rod! Light green and khaki in a muted satin finish make for a subtle “camo” effect. Sky blue bands on the section ends really pop, but still preserve the “natural” aesthetic that makes this rod look like its ready for adventure!

Driftless Brown Trout Approved!

The Bags and Kit

The kit comes with most of what you need to explore tenkara – add nippers, forceps, maybe a net: You are ready to fish! The rod is protected by a soft neoprene cover and a rugged travel tube. The hi-vis furled line is an effective pairing with the rod’s action, and it’s got a tippet ring to simplify rigging. Pop open that cool little tin for a fly, rig up with your 5x tippet spool, store your rig on the wooden line spool when you are done. Easy, straightforward, and practical.

I am impressed with both the TOPO Designs fishing bag and line wallet. These “Made in the USA” bags are well manufactured! Durable Cordura fabric in black/US Army “OCP” camo give them a rugged, adventurous look. The beauty isn’t just skin deep though, they feature reliable YKK zippers, quality stitching, and well thought out design choices. Both include a blue cord loop for zinger attachment.

The smaller line wallet will hold the entire rigging kit, and could be worn on a belt, put in a larger pocket, or attached to another bag. The larger bag offers several options – it could be used as a shoulder bag, chest pouch, belt pouch, or attached to another bag (such as your backpack). Its two front pockets are each large enough to hold a typical small/flat fly box. The inside has generous space, and an internal zippered organizer. It could host your wallet/keys/phone, a water bottle and some snacks, a compact rain jacket – or maybe even a compact collapsible net!


The Topo Designs x Tenkara Rod Co. Fly Fishing Kit is a great choice for anyone looking for a “one and done” starter kit, or as a gift for an angler looking to get started without much fuss. The rigging kit and general purpose rod will serve well on any water you’ll reasonably fish. The bags are excellent way to keep organized on the water, on the trail, or to stash under a carseat for lunchtime fishing. Backed by Tenkara Rod Co.’s limited warranty, this kit should get anyone on the water and fishing tenkara confidently!

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