Some very exciting news and a huge milestone for the introduction of tenkara outside of Japan: Orvis, the 156-year old fly-fishing company starts carrying our equipment today! That’s an incredible nod of approval to the method and irrefutable evidence that tenkara is here to stay. Needless to say I’m thrilled.
Orvis approached us earlier this year, and while initially a bit reluctant I was delighted that every single person there – from their retail stores as well as the corporate office – just got tenkara. They not only understood the potential for introducing new people to fly-fishing through tenkara, but they were excited about the technique and how it worked on streams. They were also interested in promoting the method, which totally sold me on working with them. I recently visited with Tom Rosenbauer (yes, that’s the answer to this question) and we recorded a podcast together that should be up sometime soon (likely this week).
The press release below just went out:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Orvis to Sell Tenkara USA Products
San Francisco, California
Today, San Francisco based company Tenkara USA announced that Orvis, industry leader in fly-fishing equipment, will start carrying Tenkara USA’s rods, line and flies and helping promote the Japanese method of fly-fishing called tenkara.
Tenkara is a very simple method of fly-fishing, which uses only a rod, line and fly (no reel). The line is tied directly to the end of the rod, and while the casting technique is similar to Western fly-fishing it is also easier to learn.
Tenkara USA was founded in 2009 by Daniel Galhardo and is the first company to introduce and promote the method and equipment for tenkara outside of Japan. Since its introduction, tenkara has developed a passionate following and growing popularity in the US, Canada and throughout Europe.
Galhardo thinks this partnership with the 156-year old Orvis company represents a huge milestone for the sport. “Tenkara has generated a lot of heated debate within the fly-fishing community over the last couple of years. Having a well-established fly-fishing company like Orvis embrace the method and promote it to its customers is an irrefutable validation of tenkara”, said Galhardo.
Orvis contacted Tenkara USA in early 2012 expressing interest in their products. Galhardo says, “The trust a large company like Orvis is putting on Tenkara USA based on the quality they saw in our equipment speaks to our worldwide leadership on tenkara”.
Tom Rosenbauer, Director of Marketing at Orvis, sees a potential for tenkara to remove many of the typical barriers to entry new fly anglers experience. “Tenkara can be a great way for people to get introduced to fly-fishing. Eliminating the reel and line handling removes a lot of the complexities of the sport, and the ability to get a drag-free float on pocket water makes it easy for novices to grasp this concept. Plus, it’s inexpensive and the tackle is simple and not intimidating”, said Rosenbauer.
Rosenbauer added that tenkara is not only a refreshing forte into fly-fishing for westerners, but also a good way to introduce children to the sport. “Tenkara is something fun and new (actually hardly new, but new to Americans) to try for fishing smaller trout streams and panfish ponds. It’s simple and brings you back to the essence of fly-fishing. I know I will be teaching my 7-year-old how to fly fish with a Tenkara rod on a local bluegill pond.”
Tenkara USA’s current product lineup includes six rod models, and a couple of different lines, and four fly patterns specifically designed for tenkara. Orvis will initially be offering one of Tenkara USA’s most popular rods, the 12-foot long Iwana model, along with the tenkara lines and flies designed specifically for tenkara. The tenkara gear is now available on Orvis’ website.
About Tenkara USA
Tenkara USA is a fully independent, US-based company. Founded in 2009 by Daniel W. Galhardo, Tenkara USA is the first company in the US fully dedicated to bringing the Japanese method of fly-fishing, tenkara, to those in pursuit of a simpler and more effective way to fly-fish. For more information, visit www.tenkarausa.com.
In 1856, Charles Orvis founded the Orvis Company in Manchester, Vermont, offering the finest fly-fishing equipment, and priding himself on customer satisfaction and service. Today, along with their world famous fly-fishing gear, Orvis offers distinctive clothing, home furnishings, gifts, and dog products. They are the longest-running mail order business in the United States. For more information, visit Orvis.com.
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