I don’t like hiking, unless I’m on my way to fish. On most outings, I’m likely to ditch my friends to search for trout while they head off on some loop trail or—I’ll never understand—make a push for a summit. But lugging around a four-piece rod, a hefty reel, and boxes of flies in the hope that I might find a worthy pool is a pain. That’s why I’ve fallen for the brilliant telescoping rods from Idaho’s Tenkara Rod Co.
Packaged with a simple walnut line spool instead of a reel, a single-strand line with tippet ring, three hand-tied flies, and a carbon-fiber case with a velvet sleeve, it gives you exactly what you need to catch fish and nothing more.
My favorite, the 4.4-ounce Owyhee, grows from a backpack-friendly 21.5 inches into a 13-foot wand that’s perfect for conjuring lunkers from mountain streams. It’s all the excuse I need to listen for a plunge pool around every bend.