Taking care of a tenkara rod is not difficult and extending your tenkara rod is even easier. Making sure that you do not break your tenkara rod when extending it can sometimes be an issue. Follow these simple steps and you will avoid breaking your tenkara rod when extending it. If you choose not to follow these steps you might find yourself in the tenkara house of pain!
Tenkara Rod Plug Removal and Loss Prevention
You need to start by removing the plug from the top of the tenkara rod. Make sure to put the rod plug in a safe place because they are not cheap to replace. I like to keep my rod plug either in the handle of the rod especially in my Tenkara USA Sato or Rhodo. Note, not every rod has a plug receptacle built into it. In those cases, I will use the front pocket of my fishing shirt.
Extending your tenkara rod
With the plug removed, keep the rod pointing up to keep the loose sections of the rod from falling out of the handle section of the tenkara rod. This position protects the rod from breakage due to weird angles and especially, poorly placed feet.
Tuck the handle of the tenkara rod under one arm and pin the rod against your side. Point the rod at a shallow angle towards the ground so that the sections slide out partially. Place the fingers of your rod hand at the top opening and pinch the first section that comes out.
Because I am right handed, I will tuck the rod under my left arm to pin the rod to my body. With the rod against the left side of my body my left hand will be the controlling hand. If you are a lefty, simply reverse the rod position on your body.
The section with the lilian attached is the thinnest and most fragile section of the tenkara rod during setup. Exercise extreme caution to avoid any breakage this early in the process of extending your tenkara rod.
With your free hand, gently pull the section straight out until you feel a joint under the fingers of the hand holding the tenkara rod. Extract the next section of rod by an inch or less and pinch the joint where the first section exits the second section. With the off rod hand gently but firmly tug straight out on the first section until you feel a slight resistance indicating that the rod sections are seated correctly.
Continue this process and before you know it, you will have extended your tenkara rod to it’s maximum length.
One important factor in properly extending your tenkara rod is that you need to start with the smallest sections first. Finish with the sections closest to the handle of the rod adding one less opportunity for a broken rod.
Do Not Ever attempt extending your tenkara rod swinging it like a whip. Extending your tenkara rod this way will very likely break it. If I see you do this I will take the rod from you beating you to a pulp with what is left of your incorrectly extended tenkara rod.
Now that you know how you should be properly extending your tenkara rod head on over to learn the proper process of Collapsing Your Tenkara Rod!
Check out this video from Daniel Galhardo of Tenkara USA on how to extend and collapse a “zoom” rod like the Sato or Rhodo.