Friday, July 19, 2013

A Tenkara Tackle Box For Those Thin Blue Lines

My new compact tenkara survival kit.

I am always trying to make useful compact kits for various tasks.  I have especially enjoyed the challenge of creating the smallest, yet fully functional, kit for tenkara fishing.  My first attempt at a tenkara "survival kit" has worked well for me but I like to keep experimenting.  My goal is to have the smallest tenkara kit that contains everything needed for a few hours to a day on the water.  I had purchased a couple of Tanago Tackle Boxes from Chris Stewart, the Tenkara Bum, a while back and decided to use them as the starting point for a new kit.

An opened box containing everything needed
There is one large compartment that I decided to use for my tenkara lines and tippet and five smaller compartments for flies and other items.

A foam tenkara line/tippet holder made to fit in the large compartment
A high vis tenkara line on top and 5x tippet wound into the bottom holder
This holder is as small as I can make it to fit but large enough to avoid introducing too much coiling and memory into the line.  In addition, a few slits added to the foam is all that is required to hold the tippet or line. This large compartment can also hold a mini tweezer to help remove hooks if necessary from a trouts jaw.

The other side of the kit easily holds a number of flies and a line nipper
I have found that I rarely use more than dozen flies during any outing on the water, including ones lost to fish and vegetation.  Therefore this box holds more than enough flies.  The nipper is pretty self explanatory and the this one from stream works is very compact and works well.

Compact nippers
Some Royal Sakasa Kebari and Killer Bugs are essential flies for any trip to the stream or pond
Overall this kit is not much larger than Altoids tin and has all that is needed to enjoy tenkara fishing for a day on the water (including line, tippet, flies, nipper and tweezer).  I have made this kit specifically for exploring those "thin blue lines" out in the woods but find that  it would be equally useful as small kit to keep in the car or in a backpack for those moments when the urge to cast a fly or two in the hopes of bringing  fish to hand needs to be met.


  1. That's great. Sometimes we carry to much stuff.

    I'm all for simple and ease.
    I have a flat pill container that I carry my go to flies in.

    1. Thanks Brk Trt. Im always looking to simplify. More complexity only detracts from the stream side experience.

    2. That's pretty awesome right there. Small, efficient, compact, light - I think everyone carries too much stuff most days. Think you nailed it on this.

    3. Thanks Owl.....wether its tenkara or some other type of fishing Im always looking to reduce the complexity and increase the time enjoying just fishing.