Rod Donation Program: Completed and Successful


On April 12th of this year Zen Tenkara decided to do something special with the thought of Memorial Day approaching. Zen has always respected those who serve in the military by giving veterans a discount. But this year we wanted to do something different. We wanted to support Project Healing Waters and the work they do.

If you aren’t familiar with this organization, it is a non-profit “dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings”.  The program provides fly fishing education including casting, fly tying and even rod building classes. They also organize fly fishing trips and outings to participants of all skill levels. There is no cost to the participants and all of their supplies, equipment and gear is provided by Project Healing Waters. It is an incredible program run by incredible volunteers.

Some participants have mobility issues or physical restrictions. Project Healing Waters figures it all out and gets them on the water. Recently, there has been a greater interest in the use of tenkara rods with many of these anglers. Not only is fly fishing tenkara style a less complicated method, but it also teaches rudimentary, foundational fly fishing skills and increases the learning curve. There is less frustration leaning how to fish using a tenkara rod and the angler typically experiences a quicker success rate – making the overall experience even more positive and rewarding.

Since no reel is used to tenkara fish and only one hand is necessary, many participants in the program with physical limitations, disabilities or injuries, can use an ultralight tenkara rod easier than a traditional fly rod and reel. So, what’s this got to do with Zen?

On April 12, 2022 we decided to create a never-before offer: “Send us your old rod, your Amazon rod, your no-name rod and receive a WHOPPING 60% OFF a New Zen Tenkara rod. This is a never-before offer and possibly, a never-again. Good on all models. Add some Zen to your life and get into the good stuff. The Rod Donation Program ran through May 16th. The response was phenomenal!

We collected 30 tenkara rods, 15 traditional rod/reels, for a total of 45 donated rods! Plus, 6 fly boxes and a net. It was incredible. We also were contacted through email, Messager and social media posts with special notes of “thanks you” for making this offer. We were so touched by the handwritten personal messages of gratitude included with many of the donated rods we received.  The Rod Donation Program turned into something quite emotional and special for us here at Zen.

On June 13th arrangements were made to visit the Colorado Springs Project Healing Waters location and finally delivered all the fly fishing gear we had collected.  I met with Liz and Mark and got a quick tour, as well as a crash course, on all they offered. Project Healing Waters is a wonderful program and Zen was thrilled to help support it.

If you took advantage of the recent Zen Rod Donation Program, thank YOU. Your donation and purchase of a new rod made it possible for someone else to fish. Your contribution will make a difference to Project Healing Waters program and to someone’s life – because we all know that fishing has the capacity to do that.

I and the Zen Tenkara staff again, thank you.

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