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HELLbender Tenkara Rod "BIG FISH Tenkara ROD"

Original price $134.99 - Original price $171.99
Original price $149.99
$134.99 - $171.99
Current price $149.99

13ft – 11ft (390cm – 340cm) 7:3 action zoom rod (our premium big fish rod)
This rod has great balance for a big fish rod and a strong action for controlling fish, it also still works great for little fish. If you are just getting into Tenkara, you might consider this rod if you are concerned about handling larger fish but also want to use the same rod on small streams with smaller fish.

Made with a higher grade of Carbon Fiber than most rods near its price range.

HELLbender Rod Specs:

  • Zoom Rod lengths: 13ft-11.3ft (390cm-340cm)
  • 7:3 action
  • Rod weight: about 3.3 oz
  • High quality carbon fiber IM12
  • Collapsed rod length: 23.8 inches
  • Handle length: 12.25 inches
  • 8 segments
  • CCS/RFI: 29.5 pennies/ 5.4 RFI, 32 pennies/ 8.2 RFI
  • Rotational Moment: 7.8 (at the long length)
  • Tippet Rating 3x (although many experienced anglers use up to 2x tippet)
  • Matte Black finish
  • Hard Storage Tube: 26 inches

The HELLbender is a great Tenkara rod for those chasing bigger fish when you don’t want to cast a very heavy rod or a super long rod. The 13ft length gives you good leverage and the 7:3 action backbone to control the fish. We made this rod with a higher grade of carbon fiber to keep the weight down but still keep the rod strong. I would recommend this rod for Tenkara anglers who fish waters with decent size bass or trout in the 16in – 22in or even bigger if you have the skills for it. This rod is rated for tippet size up to 3x, I generally use 4x tippet most of the time with it. If you are chasing bigger fishing on Tenkara you might read this article on fighting big fishing on Tenkara.

The HELLbender is a Zoom Rod that fishes at both 13 feet or 11 feet. This allows you to use this rod on smaller or tighter streams as well as the big water areas. This is a also great rod for casting weighted flies & nymphs. It is also a great rod for getting started with Tenkara if you want a rod that can handle bigger fish but still great for the small fish as well.

The HELLbender has a cult following in the Warm Water Tenkara regions and is an excellent Tenkara rod for taking on large and small mouth bass.

Some suggested lines for the HELLbender rod for best performance are our Moonlit Tachi Line, Bushi, Shogun, or the Oudachi nymphing line. If you decide to go with Level Line, the size 4 Level Line works best on the HELLbender Tenkara rod.

The matte black color keeps the rod from reflecting the sun and possibly alerting the fish of your presence. Despite being matte black, this rod is very appealing to the eyes and has a quality finish.

Customer Reviews

Mike Agneta of Troutrageous!: “This has become my big fish rod of choice. It’s a zoom rod, but I pretty much fish it at it’s fully extended length at all times. It tosses streamers like beadhead woolly buggers and Clouser minnows extremely efficiently. When I know there’s a chance to hook a nice sized bass, I bring this rod.”
You can read his blog at

Nick C.: “Loving my hell bender!! I broke my previous rod on a 24 incher before I got the hell bender but this one can turn these bad boys in the strong current – a few pics of my escapades – that’s a 24″ net. Fly fishers on the bank doubted I could land these fish from the bank with a fixed line until they saw it for themselves.”

Amazon Customer Sherrods92: “I was looking for a tenkara rod that I could use in warmwater for bluegill and the occasional bass. I typically used a three and five weight standard fly rod when chasing these. The Hellbender has picked up and taken over this role now. The advantage it has in a kayak is that I can cast it one handed leaving the other hand free for paddling the kayak. I’m using the Bushi line it came with and it can cast a size 10 popping bug with a size 12 nymph tied behind it on a dropper rig no problem. I suspect it could cast heavier flies than that but I haven’t stretched it that far yet. Great rod and tube, loads of simple fun the way fishing was when I was a kid.”

Customer Reviews

Based on 23 reviews
Terry Thoreson
Fantastic rod

Yep,this is a big fish rod that can do it all,plus still loads of fun catching the small ones also.And I should add that dragon tails customer service is second to none!

Hella good rod

The dragon tail tenkara rod is one of the best rods they have made! It's great for small, medium and big fish. I have caught over a hundred trout on the rod I recommend this to any beginner or expert who wants a good tenkara rod

My favorite rod

I usually fish in the Swedish valleys (mid country). I fish with a #6 western rod but the Hellbender is my new favorite. I only fish tenkara now since I like to hike around and stealth fish.

My friends who fish with western rods and spinning rods were always a bit skeptical when I pulled out my tenkara rod. My favorite fish is wild grayling and on my last trip I managed to pull the biggest ones with a Sakasa Kebari fly, 3.5 level line and the HELLbender rod.
My friends just stod there, jaw dropping moment for them when I showed my results... and Yes, I was giggling during the whole trip.

It's a great feeling to commit to something and try different methods, developing your own style of fishing. All in a respectful manner to both fish and nature. That is what tenkara is for me anyways and I love it.

The different lengths almost make the rod feels like two different rods and that's also great for me. Usually I fish it on 11.3 feet and fast action movement and it's so much fun. Full length is only used when I need some extra reach. Highly recommend this rod if you wanna stay a bit minimalist and don't want to own a stack of rods. It's a "jack of all trades" type of rod.

The picture is from an old Nokia so not the best image quality.

Stay safe everyone!

David Pedersen
So far, so good.

Bought this to start targeting bigger fish and throwing bigger flies. I’ve so far only caught a lot of really small bass and up to 16” trout. I really like the rod, casts furled and level lines well. So far I’ve only used it with 5x tippet and size 12-18 flies, unweighted kebari and bead head nymphs. It casts the little stuff just fine but I prefer different rods, such as the Ragnarok(great rod by the way) for smaller fish. It is stiff and I look forward to catching bigger fish with it, targeting bigger bass and carp now that the weather has warmed up. I am going to try a furled line with 4x or 3x and a size 4 fly to see what I can get. As you can see from the photo my first bass(fish) on this rod wasn’t really what I was after….but it’s still fun.

Randall Kroeck
Big and little fish beware!

Beautifully designed. Using this on a lake filled with panfish, small mouth and a few stripers.