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CM_Stewart
11-01-2009, 02:45 PM
Tenkara rods were made for small streams.

It is often said that you don't need backing on small streams. I'd take that a step further and say you don't even need a reel. When you think about it, a reel has four functions. It holds excess line, it provides a drag to help tire a fish that runs (and prevent reel overspin), it helps to balance out the weight of the rod, and for some, it is a bit of eye candy or rod jewelry. To me, fishing small streams is all about stealth rather than firing off 30 or 40 foot casts. The fish tend to be smaller, and even nice fish seem to fight in the pool where they're hooked rather than run. Excess line, then, is just excess. The long, supple rod will tire a fish very quickly, and tenkara rods are so light that you don't really need the weight of a reel to balance them. Eye candy is an unassailable point, however. There's no eye candy in tenkara (although I do know a guy who's working on that).

Some say the word "tenkara" means "from heaven" but it is not written in Japanese the way "from heaven" would be written and the true origins of the word are not known. With a long rod, held high, and a short, light line, your fly does come "from above" and you can keep all or nearly all your line off the water - or in small streams, off the rocks between you and that little plunge pool that surely holds a brookie or two. It allows you to fish pockets or eddies while keeping your line away from tricky intervening currents that would grab your line and snatch away your fly if you were using a shorter rod and heavier line. The rods are light and responsive enough that you can cast an almost unbelievably light line, for the most delicate of presentations. And don't kid yourself that tenkara fishing is just dapping, you cast your line. And while you can't cast waaaaay over there, you can cast plenty far enough to catch a lot of fish.

In some parts of the country, small streams seem to run through rhododendron tunnels. Sorry guys, no tenkara for you. For most small streams, however, tenkara is a viable option. Where I usually fish, most of the guys I see fish with 7 or 7 1/2 foot rods. I regularly use 12 and 13 foot rods, and judging from the number of other anglers' flies I see in the trees, they seem to catch as many trees as I do. I suspect I catch more fish, though. I firmly believe that the improved presentation more than offsets the reduced casting distance. And if you have to hike in, the compact size and light weight are a real plus.

If you have enough overhead room to raise the rod to bring in a fish, tenkara is ideal for small streams.

Urban Ali
11-02-2009, 12:58 PM
I saw a video of this it looks pretty nice - maybe a good way to get kids into fishing with flies :)

CM_Stewart
11-03-2009, 05:31 AM
It would be a great way to introduce kids to fly fishing. I'd start them with the shortest rod, which is the one you'd probably want for small streams anyway. Casting a tenkara rod is pretty intuitive, and since it's a bit different than casting a regular fly rod, a complete novice may even "get it" quicker than someone who's been fly fishing for years. Not just kids, either. I had an email exchange just the other day with a guy who'd just taken up fly fishing and had gone to one of the full-day fly fishing classes. He came away a bit overwhelmed. There was too much to learn all at once. He was very happy when he learned about tenkara. It's just so much simpler.

rayfound
11-04-2009, 06:28 PM
In some parts of the country, small streams seem to run through rhododendron tunnels. Sorry guys, no tenkara for you.


Lumping in Willows, Stinging nettle, Raspberry thickets and you're getting close to the obstacles faced by the small stream fisherman here in southern california. I love the concept of tenkara, but where I live, there's just no way an 11+ foot rod will work.

As it is, the tactics are the same - Light line (3wt for now, 00wt soon) to make presentations delicate and keep line out of the pool tailouts. Stealth and line control is the name of the game on our small creeks... take your casting and hatch-matching somewhere else.

But again, I love the concept.... I use the longest rod I can in a given situation... on the streams I fish, 7 1/2-8 feet. The longer the rod, the less line on the water. Its a key element of small stream fishing... Tenkara or not.

rsetina
11-13-2009, 12:11 AM
Hi Ray,

You'd be surprised how some tight streams will avail themselves to Tenkara. You can find room if you look for it because it doesn't take much room to get a cast.

rayfound
11-13-2009, 08:10 AM
Rick, I'm willing to accept the fact that I'm being a little judgmental, especially having never used a Tenkara before. Maybe we can find some stream time again soon, and you can make a believer of me.

WF on New-Years again?

adam
11-13-2009, 08:43 AM
At one time, I owned and operated 5 different one weight fly rods. I then built a couple of zero-weights from a blank. Then I moved on to making my own bamboo rods from a culm and fishing bamboo almost exclusively until I was introduced to Tenkara rods from www.Tenkarausa.com (http://www.Tenkarausa.com) Personally, I fish as long a rod as possible, the length being a tool. Some of my favorite streams, a Sage LL 356 is a long rod but you can use a Tenkara rod on them, the Ebisu is 12' and mine works well in tight quarters casting with a bow and arrow technique.

I look at Tenkara discipline this way.

When ever I can use a Tenkara rod, I will. I enjoy challenging myself to sneak up on trout with a fixed line length however, I will not limit myself to a Tenkara rod. I enjoy fly fishing as well. Fly rods are versatile. You can cast them in a tunnel really far.

The Tenkarausa.com guys are really Tenkara happy, they want you to do it all the time, they made a forum for you to sell your fly fishing gear to get a discount on Tenkarausa.com rods. I wouldn't have taken that tack because I wouldn't want to attract people who just wanted to do one thing and one thing only.

I use a Tenkara rod for it's attributes and I leave it alone when a fly rod works, that's what I do.

Anytime I can fish very simply, I will.

JB in SC
11-13-2009, 09:06 AM
I use a Tenkara rod for it's attributes and I leave it alone when a fly rod works, that's what I do.

Anytime I can fish very simply, I will.

My sentiments exactly. Well stated.

rsetina
11-13-2009, 11:45 PM
Rick, I'm willing to accept the fact that I'm being a little judgmental, especially having never used a Tenkara before. Maybe we can find some stream time again soon, and you can make a believer of me.

WF on New-Years again?

New Years sounds good to me. Is the WF open now after the fire? I was thinking of taking a ride up there to see but haven't done it yet.

LMarshall
11-29-2009, 11:28 PM
The Tenkarausa.com guys are really Tenkara happy, they want you to do it all the time, they made a forum for you to sell your fly fishing gear to get a discount on Tenkarausa.com rods. I wouldn't have taken that tack because I wouldn't want to attract people who just wanted to do one thing and one thing only.

I use a Tenkara rod for it's attributes and I leave it alone when a fly rod works, that's what I do.

Anytime I can fish very simply, I will.

Adam, I think some of that vibe comes from the fact that tenkara is so new to most people doing it in the US. You gotta admit it's at least a little bit exciting.

I'll make a confession here; since getting my tenkara rod in August I haven't touched my fly rods. That's not because I've given up on them. I guess I've just gotten really caught up in exploring something new that lets you do the same old things in a fascinating and different way. Like anything it comes with some advantages and some disadvantages. But it's particularly well suited for certain stream environments. I've learned a lot fishing tenkara, and it's definitely changed the way I fish. I still plan on using my fly rods for big rivers and still water, but on almost any small to medium sized stream in New England with lots of riffles, short pools, and some pocket water, I'd rather have my tenkara gear.

adam
11-30-2009, 12:24 AM
The Tenkarausa.com guys are really Tenkara happy, they want you to do it all the time, they made a forum for you to sell your fly fishing gear to get a discount on Tenkarausa.com rods. I wouldn't have taken that tack because I wouldn't want to attract people who just wanted to do one thing and one thing only.

I use a Tenkara rod for it's attributes and I leave it alone when a fly rod works, that's what I do.

Anytime I can fish very simply, I will.

Adam, I think some of that vibe comes from the fact that tenkara is so new to most people doing it in the US. You gotta admit it's at least a little bit exciting.

I'll make a confession here; since getting my tenkara rod in August I haven't touched my fly rods. That's not because I've given up on them. I guess I've just gotten really caught up in exploring something new that lets you do the same old things in a fascinating and different way. Like anything it comes with some advantages and some disadvantages. But it's particularly well suited for certain stream environments. I've learned a lot fishing tenkara, and it's definitely changed the way I fish. I still plan on using my fly rods for big rivers and still water, but on almost any small to medium sized stream in New England with lots of riffles, short pools, and some pocket water, I'd rather have my tenkara gear.

I totally understand, I use the "immersion technique" myself. I engage in an activity completely in order to understand it. As I grow older, I am more cautious and am getting better about remembering not to lose my head about what I enjoy.

Not that I am an old fart, at almost fifty, I guess I am but I'm not beyond being young and getting stoked on a relatively new experience, I'm just not going to forget where I came from and where I'm headed to.

Tenkara has not changed one bit, the way I fish, it's just another type of ultra-light fly rod of which I have based my small stream fly fishing in. I have fished wet flys in a greased line technique that is very productive. Rarely do I find that I need to fish the way that a tenkara rod excels in, wet fly fishing.

I love my Ebisu fly rod, it reminds me of when I fished a cane pole as a child.

That's why I enjoy it so much.


Adam: You don't know me; but, you helped me when i followed your small streams as I was trying to figure out fly fishing. It is ironic, that when I just learned of Tenkara, I thought first of you. You made fly fishing very simple; i.e., the few things hung around your string of old fly line, a few flies like the Adams in a simple box. Thanks for your outlook. It helped me.

springwell
01-17-2010, 11:39 AM
This method would be ideal for the small streams I fish, and for when trekking. I adopt a similar method with my ten foot rods. Shame we don't have a supplier in the U.K. Looks like I'll have to import from USA.

Any suggestions as to where to look?

Thanks

Bill :)

Mostyn
01-18-2010, 06:43 AM
Tenkara Tenkara! Very interesting; But I love using a short rod with reel attached; and maybe a little casting when necessary! I'm afraid Tenkara, or Dapping as the Irish do it - is not for me!! But each to their own method I suppose! Interesting thread though!

Regards

Mostyn

CM_Stewart
01-18-2010, 07:46 AM
springwell,

As far as I know, you have four choices:

You can order directly from Tenkara USA at http://www.tenkarausa.com/index.php?cPath=22

or from either of their two retailers: http://www.backpackflyfishing.com/store ... -rods.html (http://www.backpackflyfishing.com/store/index.php/pack-rods.html) or http://www.bearsden.com/page314.html

or you could sign up for a "stock alert" to get on a waiting list at http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin ... vlEGoPiC_Q (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/backpacking_light_hane_tenkara_fly_fishing_rod.htm l?m=00462mrgkQOusymi2vlEGoPiC_Q) for the Hane rods which are specifically designed for backpackers. They sold out so quickly last time they were offered that I think perhaps only "members" who had gotten advance notice got on the list early enough.

As with all rods, each rod model is a compromise, so where you plan to fish and what you plan to catch are important in deciding which rod to get.

A couple of your countrymen have already made the plunge: http://www.tenkarausa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=69 and http://www.tenkarausa.com/forum/viewtop ... f=11&t=261 (http://www.tenkarausa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=261). I strongly suspect Simon Hayes is the only angler in the world to have caught an atlantic salmon on a tenkara rod! :shock:


Mostyn,

I'm no expert in dapping, but my understanding of how the Irish do it is really nothing like tenkara. Tenkara is all casting - it is just casting a very light line so you get very delicate presentation, and the long rod allows you to keep your line off the water above tricky intervening currents. A breeze is not needed, in fact makes it much harder to cast the delicate line with the extreme accuracy that you can achieve on a still day. And in fishing small streams, for which tenkara was developed and refined over hundreds of years in Japan, I would guess most anglers don't actually need a reel for anything other than holding all that excess line. ;)

springwell
01-18-2010, 08:58 AM
Many thanks CM for taking the time to dig the information out, its most appreciated. I certainly fancy giving it a go :)

We can only get "whips" and telescopic poles for coarse fishing over here, which don't really have the correct action it seems.

Mostyn, check out the websites, its not quite dapping !

As you know Mostyn I use a ten footer for most of my fishing, two reasons, less line on the water = more control. Delicate presenation is much easier with a long rod. Andrew and me regularly use leaders 15'-0 -18'-0" long, the flyline nevers gets beyond the tip ring.

Bill :)

Mostyn
01-18-2010, 01:52 PM
Hi CM,

just had a look at Tenkara USA via the links you posted, Thanks! I like the idea of simplified fishing, especially if hiking to a mountain stream; and all you need for a days fishing being stored within the handle of a Tenkara rod! But many of the streams we fish are overgrown, it would be extremely difficult to lift the rod up-right or flex the rod for even a short cast! Would like to see a short video clip of someone using the Tenkara rod method of fishing, especially fishing on some small overgrown streams. I must admit to finding the concept of Tenkara fascinating; but not sure it's for me!

__________________________________________________ ____________________________

Bill,

I'll see how you get along with it! Do you think you could fish the Taff Fechan or the Honddu stream system with a Tenkara Rod? I like the idea of simplified fishing though!

Regards

Mostyn

adam
01-18-2010, 02:07 PM
Any suggestions as to where to look?

There are plenty of options, problem is, you will have to look at Japanese sites and be able to commerce with the Yen.

I've been working with a gentlemen here who has been helping me look for a way to introduce other Tenkara rods to the American market. Although I do think it is excellent that Daniel has helped introduce Tenkara to the USA, I feel we are worthy of other choices. I have never liked monopolies in anything and besides, if Tenkarausa.com is the best rod for the best price, then their rods will sell and all is good.

Stay tuned, I'll be looking for other avenues and I will be reviewing rods myself and also promoting other rods to be reviewed right here.

LMarshall
01-25-2010, 07:57 PM
Any suggestions as to where to look?

There are plenty of options, problem is, you will have to look at Japanese sites and be able to commerce with the Yen.

I've been working with a gentlemen here who has been helping me look for a way to introduce other Tenkara rods to the American market. Although I do think it is excellent that Daniel has helped introduce Tenkara to the USA, I feel we are worthy of other choices. I have never liked monopolies in anything and besides, if Tenkarausa.com is the best rod for the best price, then their rods will sell and all is good.

Stay tuned, I'll be looking for other avenues and I will be reviewing rods myself and also promoting other rods to be reviewed right here.

Cool, I'll be interested to see what you find.