My first fly fishing rod was a tenkara rod and a low quality tenkara rod at that...I spent $65 on it and then bought a $30 pair of neoprenes off of Craigslist, a spool of tippet, and a couple flies from the fly shop. Overall it cost me less than $150 to get outfitted to fish for trout in CO. I would go fish small streams in RMNP and catch fish after fish while the fly fisher downstream of me whose rod and reel cost more than my car sat there catching nothing wondering whether he should be jealous of me or hate me for fishing tenkara...or both, maybe. Point being, it is my humble opinion that you absolutely do not need more than YOU think YOU need. Some guys have posted about how a $1000 rod is necessary to get the job done...I say thats malarky! The upgrades are nice (Ive since upgraded my tenkara rod) and do provide better performance and are often times more comfortable but you dont need them to catch fish. What you really do need to catch fish is to be focused on catching fish and less focused on whether the Patagonia logo on your waders is properly centered in your selfie shot.