Collapsing your tenkara rod is just as easy as extending it. In my personal experience, collapsing your tenkara rod is fraught with many dangers. I see the most tenkara rod breakages occur when a rod is being collapsed. Your friendly Tenkara Grasshopper is here to cover the proper way of properly collapsing your tenkara rod. I will also cover some of the common problems I have encountered while collapsing a tenkara rod.
Properly Collapsing Your Tenkara Rod
Start by tucking the handle of your tenkara rod under your arm and pinning the rod to your side. With your rod side hand pinch the rod just below the first joint closest to the handle. With your non-rod hand, push the next section straight back into the handle of the rod. Gently shake out the collapsed section again grasping the rod at the next joint. You will continue doing this until you are done collapsing your tenkara rod.
When you get to the thinner sections of the tenkara rod like the lilian, you need to exercise extreme caution. This stage in collapsing your tenkara rod is when I see the highest ratio of broken tenkara rods. You need to make absolutely sure that you are keeping these smaller sections in an absolutely straight line to avoid any undue torque on these fragile rod sections.
Issues and Complications When Collapsing Your Tenkara Rod
I find it quite common for a tenkara rod to become overly tight at the rod section joints. The most common reason for this is over-zealous tenkara anglers when they are extending their tenkara rods. In rare occasions I have seen over tightening of the rod joints because of a very strong pull from larger fish. With overly tight rod section joints it is almost impossible to collapse a tenkara rod.
To loosen a stuck joint, using your rod side hand, hold the stuck sections at the joint. Using your non-rod hand, softly yet firmly bounce the upper section against the lower section. Be absolutely sure while doing this that you keep the sections in a straight line. With a few decent taps of the joint, the joint should break free to continue collapsing your tenkara rod.
I define reverse collapsing as starting to collapse the tenkara rod at the lilian and working back to the handle. If you reverse collapse your tenkara rod at some point the sections will not nest properly. To avoid this issue altogether, start at the handle as I discussed above.
Properly collapsing your tenkara rod will save you time and money. A broken tenkara rod requires replacement parts that don’t just materialize out of thin air on the river. Broken rods also tend to shorten up an awesome day of fishing in a beautiful place.
If you missed the Extending Your Tenkara Rod post head on over and check it out.
I have included a video on how to extend and collapse your tenkara rod hosted by Daniel Galhardo of Tenkara USA. Watch this video and get dialed in on the correct way to do this.