I haven't been back to the forum for sometimes and the first thing popped into my eyes are Tenkara? Very cool!
From the pserspective of a Japanese angler growing up with both tenkara and western fly fishing, I'm quite sure the entry bar for Tenkara is not as high as buying any given hand rod flexible enough to manage the casting.
However, if you are doing level-line tenkara fit for more versatile style including drift fishing, then you will surely make your investment's worth by buying professionally built tenkara rod to the specification. Long story short, I can't do it without proper Tenkara rod.
If not, then I can tell you that I made my first hand rod catch of trout with artificial fly tied at the end of 6 feet leader at the end of my telescopic chub rod. I only caught 1 cherry salmon while my dad caught more than 5 using proper tenkara rod.