Tenkara fishing can be seen as a streamlined counterpart to western fly-fishing. The equipment is designed to direct focus to the actual fishing and catching of the fish, not to cause a major preoccupation with the equipment. Only a rod, Tenkara line and fly are necessary for Tenkara fishing (no reel is used).
The appeal of Tenkara is its elegant simplicity with the advantages of using the long Tenkara rod when fishing in lakes, rivers and streams; primarily the lightness of the line and delicate presentation of the fly it gives. A long rod allows for precise placement of the dry fly on the water and allows for holding the fly in place on or outside of the current, and precise rod control for manipulation of the wet fly.