Category Archives: Reviews

Gear reviews

ZimmerBuilt Strap Pack Review

strap-pack-1A month ago I went looking for a day pack for longer fishing days and bought a ZimmerBuilt DeadDrift Pack and Micro Pack for the strap.   I was immediately impressed with the quality and thought out design of the pack and ordered a Tenkara Strap Pack a few days later, deciding it would replace my lanyard system for short fishing excursions when I didn’t need to carry water, a jacket and a lunch.   This past week I got to use it a lot when we were on our family vacation and my fishing time was usually a quick jaunt to the lake in the backyard or to a small creek close by to fish anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or so.   All I needed was my basic gear and the pack worked perfectly.

Continue reading

ZimmerBuilt DeadDrift & Micro Pack Review


On the SVT heading to the S. Fork

For years my small stream setup consisted of a chest pack then few years ago I swapped out the chest pack for a lanyard system which worked pretty well.  I could carry a small fly box, a scissor/plier, tippet and floatant easily and it seemed most of what I needed.  This year I found myself going out for longer days and doing some hiking to access points so I wanted to be able to carry water, a snack or lunch and maybe a rain jacket along with me.  Carrying multiple rods was also desirable since I sometimes will fish a small tributary and a larger river or a creek and a lake in the same day.  I also knew my mileage to stream would only increase as my leg heals so I decided to start looking for a fishing pack to carry my tenkara gear for a full day in the mountains.

I looked at most of the options out there and came down to two to choose from – either the DeadDrift Pack or the Tenkara Sling Lite from ZimmerBuilt.   They had similar carrying capacity, cost and features so it came down to one strap or two.  I opted for the two strap DeadDrift Pack just to keep weight evenly distributed on my shoulders.   I also purchased a Tenkara Micro Pack to attach to the shoulder strap so I could carry a fly box and tippet there.

Continue reading

Iwana Rod Family Review

The Iwana rods from TenkaraUSA are named after the Iwana, or White Spotted Char, found in Japan.   These small char are probably the perfect target for the Iwana series of tenkara rods which are made for small to medium streams with smaller average sized fish.

Iwana Rod Handles - 12', 11' and 9'3" from top to bottom
Iwana Rod Handles – 12′, 11′ and 9’3″ from top to bottom

TenkaraUSA sells two versions of the Iwana rod – an 11′ and 12′ model and also a conversion handle that will turn either rod into a 9’3″ rod.  The rods share most of the segments and just use different handle sections and a reduced number of sections as they are made shorter.   This is a nice feature, especially if you own several Iwana rods and break a section on one.  I recently broke the tip on my 11′ rod and when I was heading to very small water just turned the 12′ rod into an 11′ rod and went fishing.

Continue reading