Tenkara vs. The Whip

Tenkara rods get compared with roach poles/whips/crappie rods and every other telescopic rod out there. I just happen to have a 3m 3 section whip in the garage that I used to use as a flag pole.

3m Whip

So lets put them side by side. Obvious differences:

  • It's more than twice as long as my Tenkara rod collapsed.
  • There is no cork grip.
  • It's at least twice as heavy.

Esoteric Tackle Tenkara rod and a whip

I'm sure there are more modern and better poles out there but this really is one of the ultra cheap ones that you hear people say.. "I picked one up in the pound shop and it's just as good."

Opening out the rods it becomes immediately obvious that the tip on the whip is not going to be as sensitive as the Tenkara rod. Lillian on the Tenkara rod, industrial ring on the whip.

Tenkara vs Whip tip comparison

You'll have to get a long way down the Tenkara rod before the diameter matches the tip of the whip. Let's stick a weight on the end and see how they react. I've a 20g fishing weight in a box of sea tackle. That should be more than enough.

First up the Tenkara rod.

20g on Tenkara Rod

I had to get the step ladders out the Tenkara rod was bending so much, but look how smoothly it does. The smooth curve and reactive tip make it a superb tool for casting a light line and protecting fine tippets.

Now the whip secured in exactly the same place with the same weight.

20g on the Whip

Not quite as dramatic. I had to use the 20g to get any curve worth a picture. The whip is so much stiffer than the Tenkara rod. It's not a delicate casting tool by any stretch of the imagination.

How do they cast? The Tenkara rod, beautifully. The whip, well yes it did cast the line but it was an effort. The extra weight of the whip, the ergonomically incorrect grip and the lack of any help from the rod make it very unsatisfying. I'd not take the whip for a days Tenkara fishing.

Bottom line, get the Tenkara rod for Tenkara fishing. Anything else will give you a very bad impression of what the rods and style are capable of.


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