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Tenkara: Fly Fishing From Heaven

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April 29, 2009

Tenkara: Fly Fishing From Heaven

By Tim Romano

As a small stream junkie I was just a bit excited when I received a press release this morning on an form of traditional Japanese fly fishing I have never heard of called, Tenkara. When translated literally means - from heaven.

Here's the scoop... There are no reels involved, just a rod, furled line, and a fly. The rods are surprisingly long - anywhere from 11 to 13 feet, but telescope down to just 20 inches and weigh just 3 oz on average. You can get into the sport for just $130 dollars for an entry level rod and the prices don't seem to get much higher. It's like a cross between spey casting and fiberglass one weights. Very strange, but so intriguing at the same time. Watch the video below for an idea of how it's done - pardon the length and the fact that it's in Japanese.

What do you think, new form of small creek fishing that's here to stay or just another fad that's here today and gone tomorrow? Considering it's been around in Japan since the 8th or 9th centuries BC it might be worth giving a whirl. Check out the website (Tenkarausa.com) for more info on how it works as it was a bit much to explain in one blog post.  TR

Comments (33)

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from Ramcatt wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Well... that video cleared everything up.
Tenkara is japanese for "let fish flop on rock"

Honestly, I heard about this the end of last summer and thought it sounded interesting. But, i feel my 7'9 is sometimes too long for small streams. I can't imagine a 11-13 ft rod. I find the marketing hype of a "super compact" 13ft to be BS.

But and unconditional lifetime warranty??? A lightweight whippy rod in tight quarters? sounds like more returns than TFO

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from timromano wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Ramcatt,

Yeah, it seems counter intuitive to have the rod so long. Most of my small creek fishing is done with a 6 foot fiberglass rod. I think there's a lot of sling shooting, and dappling with it instead of really casting. Not sure... I'd like to try it though and see how it really works.

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from Joe_Cermele wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Okay, it's very possible that I'm a moron...almost more of a guarantee, but what I don't get is how you'd take in line to make a short cast without a reel? Do you just move around so you're always at a distance where you reach the fish with that length of line? What happens if a trout is rising five feet in front of you?

Or am I totally missing something here?

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from timromano wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

take five steps back.

Honestly I don't really know. I think it makes you read water more and perhaps just stripping in enough line does the trick.

Telescope it back down? Dunno...

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from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I'm not sure, because I only speak a little Japanese... but I think in the video he's saying:

"False casts with a nymph rig can only lead to problems, let the current do the dirty work, you want your line to extend downstream... load the rod there, then lift, stop, aim and flip the cast..."

Wait a minute, no fair...

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I like it!

I've been fishing long rods on small streams for years and love it. Easy to mend the line and place a fly in tight spots without spooking fish. You have a lot of options with a long rod that short rods just don't give you. Long rods also reduce false cast and let you stand further from the hole.

I don't reccommend grabbing your line as shown in the illustration but the fellow in the video does a very good job of presenting his fly.

I don't see myself taking my fly reels off my rod anytime soon but I really like the idea.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I think this fits well into one of the two theories on small stream fishing I have encountered in my fishing buddies. Theory one being use a short rod so you can actually cast in tight quarters. This being the one I use because well I can't justify more than one 3wt at the moment and the one I own is a 7 footer. Theory two being forget casting and just dapple or flip into the water ahead of you. Two of my buddies use this technique but not to the extent of owning a specialty 13footer.
From the video I gather that this technique could be accomplished with a collapsible crappie pole.

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from Tenkara USA wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Hi, I'm the owner of Tenkara USA. I am very pleased to see this post and discussion here. As it's a new style of fishing to the US, and I am an avid tenkara fisherman, I thought you wouldn't mind if I join in the discussion to answer some of the questions. I hope you don't mind, and I promise to remain 100% objective.

Q. "how you'd take in line to make a short cast without a reel? Do you just move around so you're always at a distance where you reach the fish with that length of line? What happens if a trout is rising five feet in front of you?"
A. There is indeed a lot of dapping and sling-shooting. To make a short cast one should just stop the rod at a high angle (e.g. 1 o'clock) to get the line to the desired distance. If a trout is rising 5' in front of you, you can just dap, or do a mini cast stopping high. There are a lot of different casting techniques to get the fly where you want it, the way you want it (e.g. snap casting, underhand, etc), which I find to be a nice thing about tenkara. Moving around is also one way to reach fish in other areas, it really puts a premium on your stalking abilities. Overall, there is a lot of versatility in using a long rod, as you can control the fly very well at different distances.

About the video, I must apologize for the treatment of the fish. We don't support letting the fish flop on the rocks the way they do, even if they will be eaten later.

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

What rod and line would you recomend for small brook trout in a small mountain streams?

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from Koldkut wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

When I was in my early teen years I fished some old run down golf course ponds with a similar technique with inferior equipment and loved it. Now that I'm venturing into rod building, the cheapest spey blank worked right could be used to spey or for this if you don't ming eyelets hanging off a rod. Clip a section of old fly line and I think you'd have the same thing that you'd have to give some po-dunk redneck name. That's my take on it.

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from Tenkara USA wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Buckhunter, all tenkara rods are very well suited for small brook trout in small mountain streams, that is the sweet spot for tenkara fishing. It depends whether you have a personal preference for a very slow rod (more delicate casting, really feeling every vibration of a very small fish, etc), or a slightly faster rod (more precise casting, more sensitivity to bites, etc).

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I just ordered the Yamame 12 ft 6:4. I like the idea of no gloss finish and the fast action. Can't wait to get it. Can you suggest a website where I can learn more about techniques (in english please).

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from Ramcatt wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

i guess it all depends on what you consider "small"...

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from Tenkara USA wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Buckhunter, good information techniques in English is somewhat limited at the moment. I'm working on translating and preparing more information. I'd encourage you to join our forum to discuss techniques. It's a simple style of fishing, but there are lots of techniques (casting, and presentation) that can really enrich the experience.

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from Tenkara USA wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Good point Ramcatt, I'd say tenkara is particularly good for targeting fish smaller than 15 inches. And is a lot of fun for those streams where 10 inches is a decent size, you can feel everything.
Btw, I read your point about unconditional warranty, because we can replace only the broken parts of a tenkara rod, and they tend to break less often since all pieces are protected when transporting, it's easy for us to do that, plus they are very strong carbon rods.

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I can see using this rod out of belly boats or on small ponds. It'll be nice not to have your line tangled in the weeds.

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from Ramcatt wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I meant small in terms of water size...

My small water is no wider than 10-15ft and brushed up. The video looked like a system that had a huge range... washed gravel with a channel. i would think this tech would excell in small meadow streams where the water is small, but with the room to handle the length.

I would think swinging soft hackles and emergers would be a good function... as the fixed line lenght is the same theory as a 2hander swing. but there is no way to get a good swing hook set.

I would questions ALL hook sets. there is no direct pressure on the hook. While a rod lift may do it, i would think the soft tips are better suited to protecting tippet rather than setting on fish.

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I can't imagine using nymphs with this rod system. Most small streams I fish are dry fly streams. Too many snags with nymphs. I try it out anyway. See how it works.

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from CM_Stewart wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

buckhunter,

These rods are great for nymphs. I've been fishing with a tenkara rod for about a year now. The long rod and short line makes it easy to control the drift of your nymph around rocks and down current seams. It's a bit like Czech nymphing, where you don't have any fly line beyond the rod tip anyway. And as for hooking fish, you always have a tight line, so if your hooks are sharp all it takes is a lift of the rod tip. I fish with a shorter line than the illustration above, though, so that I can net a fish directly without having to grab the line (learned that one the hard way - it was a nice fish).

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from CM_Stewart wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

vtvbluegrass and Koldkut,

Just because the equipment is simple doesn't mean any old rod will do. I know, I've tried. Before I was able to get a real tenkara rod, I tried four different crappie rods, two were telescopic and two were two-piece 12 footers. It was like trying to fly fish with a spinning rod. You can do that, too, but why would you want to? Three out of the four rods were hopeless. One was reasonable, but believe me, a rod actually designed for the technique is much better.

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from Koldkut wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

CM_Stewart,

For me it's not about the tenkara experience, it's about the fish. I'll fish with a fly and bubble if it's producing better than a flyrod, and I'll fish with a spinner of kasty if it's producing better than a fly. I find though, that a fly produces for me very well, the subtle presentation that you get from a flyrod can't always be matched with spinning gear. But that's comparing apples to oranges in my book. The difference between a fly rod strung and a straight rod with a fixed length of fly line at the tip is comparing apples to apples even if one is a red delicious and the other is a gala. I think it depends more on how in tune with your gear you are. I'm not slamming tenkara by any means, but if you put me and my flyrod next to a guy with his tenkara rod, the numbers won't be far off mark.

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from fflutterffly wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Reminiscence of methods I've read about when there was no reel. The cast is certainly one like the 'Bow and Arrow'. I really don't think this is applicable to any small streams where the over-brush is abundant, but if you are fishing an open small stream, say in a meadow, this might be applied with great success.

Recently,my sister traveled to japan for three weeks. During that time she spoke to several fly fishers who where very interested in the fact that Catch and Release is practiced and became very animated to find information.

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from jerry k wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

glorified cane pole

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from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Looks like something interesting to get into. Also, looks like it provides as a alternative to fly fishing, actually more like a hybrid. Looks like it would take some time to master however. A lot of guessword seems to be going on, that is until you put enough hours in to get all the motions down... I don't mean to be cynical but I do not think that this will blow up in America until they "Americanize" it... starting off with a English Instructional video.

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from Sagittarius62 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I'm with some of the other posters. The small streams I frequent are 10-20 foot wide tunnels. The only way to use one of these rods in these conditions would be dapping. These streams are skinny, and any shadow over a pool ends the game. I would love to hear how this technique handles situations like these.

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from Sportsman Matt wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

The technique is similar to the one written in the Compleat Angler and The Fly Fisher's Craft. A form of Czech fishing in modern days, using a loop rod (Not to be confused with LOOP Rods) and fixed line. I'm experimenting with one I built from the first 3 sections of a 4 piece telescopic Shakespeare Wonder Pole. i made mine with a cork grip and rubber doorknob ends, so it doubles as a walking stick. I've got pics on my blog:

www.sportsmanmattoutdoors.blogspot.com

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Well, I just got my Tenkara Rod through the mail today. Much to my surprise it came with a high quality tube and rod sock.

The first thing I noticed when pulling the rod out of the sock was how light it was. Very light for a 12 ft rod and much lighter than my 9 ft $500+ rods I have at home. When extended the handle balances the outfit perfectly. I purchased the Yamame model. I imagined it to be whippy and flimsey and out of control at the tip but much to my surprise the rod is very controlled with little vibration or quake after each cast. I am equally impressed with how fine the tip is on this rod and the quality of cork handle is above average. The Yamame model has a flat finish which is how I like them. The blank material itself will remind you of a spun fiberglas rod. The Yamame model is fast action and they were not lying about that. I feel this rod will give me the perfect action for dry flies.

For you guys that frequent this site you know I'm not afraid to call a gimmick a gimmick. Just ask Merwin what I said about his battery operated lure or what I said about the mirror sided deer blind. Boy, you guys can find some winners.

For all things considered with the Tenkara rod. Price @$160 w/line. Quality of product, A++. Fast service from Tenkara USA. A++ Packability if rod. A++. (it's a small rod when in the case). Prior to being field tested I must say I haven't been this excited about something for a long time. I'll reserve my final comments for the field test but so far, WOW! Thank you Tenkara USA!

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from CM_Stewart wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

jerry k,
Not so much glorified cane pole as modernized cane pole. Don't know about you, but I have fond memories of cane pole fishing. Life was simpler then. I still have my cane pole, and kind of like Sportsman Matt, before I even heard of tenkara I got interested in loop rods and started down this road by trying to recreate a loop rod with my cane pole. It works. I caught trout on flies with a cane pole and a long furled leader tied to the tip. But the cane pole's heavy, and it's stiff. A 10" fish barely puts a bend in it and it really doesn't cast very well at all. Take that same simplicity, but instead of cane use graphite. Like night and day. It weighs a few ounces, it casts accurately, and a 10" fish puts up a heck of a fight. A tenkara rod has everything that's good about cane pole fishing, but it's just a lot more fun.

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from Joseph Bishop wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

Sound interesting especially since Buckhunter said there is no vibration in the tip I would be up for giving it a shot, but I don't have the cash to be branching out currently so it'll have to wait a while.

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

Fished my Tenkara today for the first time. I took it to the local pond just to try it out. I found it to be very simple and refreshing. Towards the end of the night after catching dozens of gills and bass I found myself walking the bank with my left hand in my pocket and flipping the rod with my right. I worked on my landing technique. I netted all the fish even though it was not necessary but I was trying to practice for landing brook trout in the mountains. I use a net because I hate to bang the fish in the rocks.

My largest fish was a 14 in bass which the rod handled with ease. The last fish of the day was a rouge grass carp that took my fly. My guess he was close to 8-9 lbs. He had me running up and down the bank for a while yelling Oh sh!t! Oh sh!t! until he broke off. I have no doubt that Merwins 60 degree rule saved my rod. I was fishing a heavy 3x and was surprised it broke before the rod. I am very impressed with the integrity of the rod.

Hopefully I'll be headed to the mountains this weekend for some serious mountain stream fishing and use the rod the way it was intended.

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from tennessee red wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I have been combining backpacking in the southwest with fly fishing for several years and have been looking for ways to solve the problem of close quarter small streams (10-12 ft. max) with lots of brush and overhead. I am fascinated with the discussion about Tenkara rods. But the questions that you raised above about small streams I feel still wasn't adequately addressed. Has anybody tried these long rods in such close quarters as I mentioned? Is there such a thing as a Tenkara rod shorter than the 11-12 foot ones?

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from CM_Stewart wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Much as I love my tenkara rods, every rod is a compromise and no rod is the right tool for all situations. If the streams you fish are only 10' wide, lined with brush and have lots of overhead branches, a tenkara rod is not the right tool. You can choke up on the rod to cast, but you still need to fully raise it to land a fish. There are no shorter tenkara rods that I know of. Before I could get a real tenkara rod I used a 10' panfish pole and even tried a 9' flyrod without the reel. The 9' rod just didn't give enough casting distance, and with the panfish pole, you'd be giving up so much in quality to lose just 1' in length that it really doesn't make sense, and would still be too long in any case.

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from Nycflyangler wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Back in the day, I used to fish on a 2-3 foot wide brook that ran through my friend's family farm. I used the tip of my 8' 7wt fly rod set into a wooden dowel handle with the reel taped on with electrician's tape. It worked well for the 3-7" brook trout that resided in there.

I think you can put together an albeit shorter rod, with a multi-piece 8-9' blank, handle and single tip top for under $100 to try this type of fishing. I don't think would be too hard to rig up a handle that can fit on the diameters of the various sections.

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from CM_Stewart wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

Much as I love my tenkara rods, every rod is a compromise and no rod is the right tool for all situations. If the streams you fish are only 10' wide, lined with brush and have lots of overhead branches, a tenkara rod is not the right tool. You can choke up on the rod to cast, but you still need to fully raise it to land a fish. There are no shorter tenkara rods that I know of. Before I could get a real tenkara rod I used a 10' panfish pole and even tried a 9' flyrod without the reel. The 9' rod just didn't give enough casting distance, and with the panfish pole, you'd be giving up so much in quality to lose just 1' in length that it really doesn't make sense, and would still be too long in any case.

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from Ramcatt wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Well... that video cleared everything up.
Tenkara is japanese for "let fish flop on rock"

Honestly, I heard about this the end of last summer and thought it sounded interesting. But, i feel my 7'9 is sometimes too long for small streams. I can't imagine a 11-13 ft rod. I find the marketing hype of a "super compact" 13ft to be BS.

But and unconditional lifetime warranty??? A lightweight whippy rod in tight quarters? sounds like more returns than TFO

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from timromano wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Ramcatt,

Yeah, it seems counter intuitive to have the rod so long. Most of my small creek fishing is done with a 6 foot fiberglass rod. I think there's a lot of sling shooting, and dappling with it instead of really casting. Not sure... I'd like to try it though and see how it really works.

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from Joe_Cermele wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Okay, it's very possible that I'm a moron...almost more of a guarantee, but what I don't get is how you'd take in line to make a short cast without a reel? Do you just move around so you're always at a distance where you reach the fish with that length of line? What happens if a trout is rising five feet in front of you?

Or am I totally missing something here?

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from timromano wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

take five steps back.

Honestly I don't really know. I think it makes you read water more and perhaps just stripping in enough line does the trick.

Telescope it back down? Dunno...

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from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I'm not sure, because I only speak a little Japanese... but I think in the video he's saying:

"False casts with a nymph rig can only lead to problems, let the current do the dirty work, you want your line to extend downstream... load the rod there, then lift, stop, aim and flip the cast..."

Wait a minute, no fair...

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I like it!

I've been fishing long rods on small streams for years and love it. Easy to mend the line and place a fly in tight spots without spooking fish. You have a lot of options with a long rod that short rods just don't give you. Long rods also reduce false cast and let you stand further from the hole.

I don't reccommend grabbing your line as shown in the illustration but the fellow in the video does a very good job of presenting his fly.

I don't see myself taking my fly reels off my rod anytime soon but I really like the idea.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I think this fits well into one of the two theories on small stream fishing I have encountered in my fishing buddies. Theory one being use a short rod so you can actually cast in tight quarters. This being the one I use because well I can't justify more than one 3wt at the moment and the one I own is a 7 footer. Theory two being forget casting and just dapple or flip into the water ahead of you. Two of my buddies use this technique but not to the extent of owning a specialty 13footer.
From the video I gather that this technique could be accomplished with a collapsible crappie pole.

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from Tenkara USA wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Hi, I'm the owner of Tenkara USA. I am very pleased to see this post and discussion here. As it's a new style of fishing to the US, and I am an avid tenkara fisherman, I thought you wouldn't mind if I join in the discussion to answer some of the questions. I hope you don't mind, and I promise to remain 100% objective.

Q. "how you'd take in line to make a short cast without a reel? Do you just move around so you're always at a distance where you reach the fish with that length of line? What happens if a trout is rising five feet in front of you?"
A. There is indeed a lot of dapping and sling-shooting. To make a short cast one should just stop the rod at a high angle (e.g. 1 o'clock) to get the line to the desired distance. If a trout is rising 5' in front of you, you can just dap, or do a mini cast stopping high. There are a lot of different casting techniques to get the fly where you want it, the way you want it (e.g. snap casting, underhand, etc), which I find to be a nice thing about tenkara. Moving around is also one way to reach fish in other areas, it really puts a premium on your stalking abilities. Overall, there is a lot of versatility in using a long rod, as you can control the fly very well at different distances.

About the video, I must apologize for the treatment of the fish. We don't support letting the fish flop on the rocks the way they do, even if they will be eaten later.

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

What rod and line would you recomend for small brook trout in a small mountain streams?

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from Koldkut wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

When I was in my early teen years I fished some old run down golf course ponds with a similar technique with inferior equipment and loved it. Now that I'm venturing into rod building, the cheapest spey blank worked right could be used to spey or for this if you don't ming eyelets hanging off a rod. Clip a section of old fly line and I think you'd have the same thing that you'd have to give some po-dunk redneck name. That's my take on it.

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from Tenkara USA wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Buckhunter, all tenkara rods are very well suited for small brook trout in small mountain streams, that is the sweet spot for tenkara fishing. It depends whether you have a personal preference for a very slow rod (more delicate casting, really feeling every vibration of a very small fish, etc), or a slightly faster rod (more precise casting, more sensitivity to bites, etc).

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I just ordered the Yamame 12 ft 6:4. I like the idea of no gloss finish and the fast action. Can't wait to get it. Can you suggest a website where I can learn more about techniques (in english please).

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from Ramcatt wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

i guess it all depends on what you consider "small"...

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from Tenkara USA wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Buckhunter, good information techniques in English is somewhat limited at the moment. I'm working on translating and preparing more information. I'd encourage you to join our forum to discuss techniques. It's a simple style of fishing, but there are lots of techniques (casting, and presentation) that can really enrich the experience.

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from Tenkara USA wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Good point Ramcatt, I'd say tenkara is particularly good for targeting fish smaller than 15 inches. And is a lot of fun for those streams where 10 inches is a decent size, you can feel everything.
Btw, I read your point about unconditional warranty, because we can replace only the broken parts of a tenkara rod, and they tend to break less often since all pieces are protected when transporting, it's easy for us to do that, plus they are very strong carbon rods.

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I can see using this rod out of belly boats or on small ponds. It'll be nice not to have your line tangled in the weeds.

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from Ramcatt wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I meant small in terms of water size...

My small water is no wider than 10-15ft and brushed up. The video looked like a system that had a huge range... washed gravel with a channel. i would think this tech would excell in small meadow streams where the water is small, but with the room to handle the length.

I would think swinging soft hackles and emergers would be a good function... as the fixed line lenght is the same theory as a 2hander swing. but there is no way to get a good swing hook set.

I would questions ALL hook sets. there is no direct pressure on the hook. While a rod lift may do it, i would think the soft tips are better suited to protecting tippet rather than setting on fish.

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I can't imagine using nymphs with this rod system. Most small streams I fish are dry fly streams. Too many snags with nymphs. I try it out anyway. See how it works.

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from CM_Stewart wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

buckhunter,

These rods are great for nymphs. I've been fishing with a tenkara rod for about a year now. The long rod and short line makes it easy to control the drift of your nymph around rocks and down current seams. It's a bit like Czech nymphing, where you don't have any fly line beyond the rod tip anyway. And as for hooking fish, you always have a tight line, so if your hooks are sharp all it takes is a lift of the rod tip. I fish with a shorter line than the illustration above, though, so that I can net a fish directly without having to grab the line (learned that one the hard way - it was a nice fish).

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from CM_Stewart wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

vtvbluegrass and Koldkut,

Just because the equipment is simple doesn't mean any old rod will do. I know, I've tried. Before I was able to get a real tenkara rod, I tried four different crappie rods, two were telescopic and two were two-piece 12 footers. It was like trying to fly fish with a spinning rod. You can do that, too, but why would you want to? Three out of the four rods were hopeless. One was reasonable, but believe me, a rod actually designed for the technique is much better.

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from Koldkut wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

CM_Stewart,

For me it's not about the tenkara experience, it's about the fish. I'll fish with a fly and bubble if it's producing better than a flyrod, and I'll fish with a spinner of kasty if it's producing better than a fly. I find though, that a fly produces for me very well, the subtle presentation that you get from a flyrod can't always be matched with spinning gear. But that's comparing apples to oranges in my book. The difference between a fly rod strung and a straight rod with a fixed length of fly line at the tip is comparing apples to apples even if one is a red delicious and the other is a gala. I think it depends more on how in tune with your gear you are. I'm not slamming tenkara by any means, but if you put me and my flyrod next to a guy with his tenkara rod, the numbers won't be far off mark.

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from fflutterffly wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Reminiscence of methods I've read about when there was no reel. The cast is certainly one like the 'Bow and Arrow'. I really don't think this is applicable to any small streams where the over-brush is abundant, but if you are fishing an open small stream, say in a meadow, this might be applied with great success.

Recently,my sister traveled to japan for three weeks. During that time she spoke to several fly fishers who where very interested in the fact that Catch and Release is practiced and became very animated to find information.

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from jerry k wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

glorified cane pole

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from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Looks like something interesting to get into. Also, looks like it provides as a alternative to fly fishing, actually more like a hybrid. Looks like it would take some time to master however. A lot of guessword seems to be going on, that is until you put enough hours in to get all the motions down... I don't mean to be cynical but I do not think that this will blow up in America until they "Americanize" it... starting off with a English Instructional video.

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from Sagittarius62 wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

I'm with some of the other posters. The small streams I frequent are 10-20 foot wide tunnels. The only way to use one of these rods in these conditions would be dapping. These streams are skinny, and any shadow over a pool ends the game. I would love to hear how this technique handles situations like these.

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from Sportsman Matt wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

The technique is similar to the one written in the Compleat Angler and The Fly Fisher's Craft. A form of Czech fishing in modern days, using a loop rod (Not to be confused with LOOP Rods) and fixed line. I'm experimenting with one I built from the first 3 sections of a 4 piece telescopic Shakespeare Wonder Pole. i made mine with a cork grip and rubber doorknob ends, so it doubles as a walking stick. I've got pics on my blog:

www.sportsmanmattoutdoors.blogspot.com

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

Well, I just got my Tenkara Rod through the mail today. Much to my surprise it came with a high quality tube and rod sock.

The first thing I noticed when pulling the rod out of the sock was how light it was. Very light for a 12 ft rod and much lighter than my 9 ft $500+ rods I have at home. When extended the handle balances the outfit perfectly. I purchased the Yamame model. I imagined it to be whippy and flimsey and out of control at the tip but much to my surprise the rod is very controlled with little vibration or quake after each cast. I am equally impressed with how fine the tip is on this rod and the quality of cork handle is above average. The Yamame model has a flat finish which is how I like them. The blank material itself will remind you of a spun fiberglas rod. The Yamame model is fast action and they were not lying about that. I feel this rod will give me the perfect action for dry flies.

For you guys that frequent this site you know I'm not afraid to call a gimmick a gimmick. Just ask Merwin what I said about his battery operated lure or what I said about the mirror sided deer blind. Boy, you guys can find some winners.

For all things considered with the Tenkara rod. Price @$160 w/line. Quality of product, A++. Fast service from Tenkara USA. A++ Packability if rod. A++. (it's a small rod when in the case). Prior to being field tested I must say I haven't been this excited about something for a long time. I'll reserve my final comments for the field test but so far, WOW! Thank you Tenkara USA!

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from CM_Stewart wrote 4 years 50 weeks ago

jerry k,
Not so much glorified cane pole as modernized cane pole. Don't know about you, but I have fond memories of cane pole fishing. Life was simpler then. I still have my cane pole, and kind of like Sportsman Matt, before I even heard of tenkara I got interested in loop rods and started down this road by trying to recreate a loop rod with my cane pole. It works. I caught trout on flies with a cane pole and a long furled leader tied to the tip. But the cane pole's heavy, and it's stiff. A 10" fish barely puts a bend in it and it really doesn't cast very well at all. Take that same simplicity, but instead of cane use graphite. Like night and day. It weighs a few ounces, it casts accurately, and a 10" fish puts up a heck of a fight. A tenkara rod has everything that's good about cane pole fishing, but it's just a lot more fun.

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from Joseph Bishop wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

Sound interesting especially since Buckhunter said there is no vibration in the tip I would be up for giving it a shot, but I don't have the cash to be branching out currently so it'll have to wait a while.

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

Fished my Tenkara today for the first time. I took it to the local pond just to try it out. I found it to be very simple and refreshing. Towards the end of the night after catching dozens of gills and bass I found myself walking the bank with my left hand in my pocket and flipping the rod with my right. I worked on my landing technique. I netted all the fish even though it was not necessary but I was trying to practice for landing brook trout in the mountains. I use a net because I hate to bang the fish in the rocks.

My largest fish was a 14 in bass which the rod handled with ease. The last fish of the day was a rouge grass carp that took my fly. My guess he was close to 8-9 lbs. He had me running up and down the bank for a while yelling Oh sh!t! Oh sh!t! until he broke off. I have no doubt that Merwins 60 degree rule saved my rod. I was fishing a heavy 3x and was surprised it broke before the rod. I am very impressed with the integrity of the rod.

Hopefully I'll be headed to the mountains this weekend for some serious mountain stream fishing and use the rod the way it was intended.

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from tennessee red wrote 4 years 47 weeks ago

I have been combining backpacking in the southwest with fly fishing for several years and have been looking for ways to solve the problem of close quarter small streams (10-12 ft. max) with lots of brush and overhead. I am fascinated with the discussion about Tenkara rods. But the questions that you raised above about small streams I feel still wasn't adequately addressed. Has anybody tried these long rods in such close quarters as I mentioned? Is there such a thing as a Tenkara rod shorter than the 11-12 foot ones?

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from Nycflyangler wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Back in the day, I used to fish on a 2-3 foot wide brook that ran through my friend's family farm. I used the tip of my 8' 7wt fly rod set into a wooden dowel handle with the reel taped on with electrician's tape. It worked well for the 3-7" brook trout that resided in there.

I think you can put together an albeit shorter rod, with a multi-piece 8-9' blank, handle and single tip top for under $100 to try this type of fishing. I don't think would be too hard to rig up a handle that can fit on the diameters of the various sections.

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