In tenkara, only rod, line and fly are used. Tenkara lines are specifically designed for use with tenkara. A tenkara line must have enough weight to be cast, but should also be light enough to avoid sagging under the rod tip and being dragged by currents when that is not desired. Visibility is also an important characteristic of tenkara lines and an important difference between tenkara level lines and fishing lines used for general purpose fishing.
Two types of lines are used in tenkara. One is what we call the traditional tenkara line (also known as a tenkara tapered line), which is very quick to setup and super easy to cast. Its length is fixed and relatively short. The other type of line used in tenkara is the tenkara level line, which has a level diameter and thus can be cut to whatever length is desired. Tenkara level lines make it possible to fish at longer distances while still keeping the line off the water. Anywhere between 8ft and 30ft of tenkara level line may be used (our favorite length is probably about 16ft for more open streams, 12ft for smaller streams). The main advantage of tenkara level liens is their versatility as the line length can be easily changed by cutting and connecting line, and they can also be kept off the water at a longer distance.
The tenkara line holder is one of the only accessories we have come to view as a near-necessity. They make putting the line away a very quick task and greatly speed up the time it takes to setup and put away the equipment. At the end of the main line, either traditional or level tenkara lines, one uses about 4ft of tippet (a thin fishing line) which is necessary to connect the fly to the line.