When I was 7-10 years old, my mother used to buy rods that were made of bamboo sections. When fitted together, they were fairly long. The kit included a line that attached to a wire loop at the tip top, and there were hooks and a couple of bobbers. I think the whole kit cost around $1.99. When I see Tenkara, I'm reminded of those bamboo rod kits, but also reminded of my parents not knowing which end of a fishing rod to hold. At least they were bamboo.
Friends don't let friends fish with telescoping poles.
*The last sentence was a joke, and not intended to harm anyone's feeling toward primitive methods of catching fish.