Thinking about Tenkara...

Banksie

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Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
223
Location
Salisbury
I’ve been thinking about this style of fishing for a little while now, for the Britford Avon very near to where I live - approx 6 minutes walk. Sorry, had to say it. 😎
I love the ‘ultralight’ idea of carrying everything on the spur of the moment (or as long as it takes to knock up a flask of tea) in one smallish bag (a Shakespeare rucksack with built-in stool). Flask, food, a lightweight raincoat, and a small folding landing net.

There’s a reed bank along a deepish stretch (which I’d like to try first) where I could stay partially hidden, but be able to easily reach over and watch the fly. I like the idea of a longer rod for this, around 12/13 feet, with a lightweight foldable landing net.
Looking at Maxcatch for a Tenkara pole, but which folding landing net to look at? It would also have to serve for coarse fishing the same river. No, I’m not getting me coat. 😎
So, any of you old rockers done this at all? If so, what did you think about it? But, most of all, what would you improve upon? There’s gotta be a few thousand years of fly fishing experience on this forum. A regular gold-mine you are. Also, do you think ‘Tenkara’ should have its own section in this forum? Apologies if that been asked before - and apologies for this lengthy post. Cheers. Stay cool today. 😎
 

springwell

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Joined
Jul 24, 2019
Messages
105
Location
West Wales
Hi,

I've fished Tenkara on and off for at least ten years now.

I use a traditional rigid Tenkara net.

However Daiwa make the One touch folding net, pricey and difficult to get hold of at £65.00, but you can get them on fleabay for half that price from Japan.
Shimano used to make them too, but they are now discontinued.

When I started off I had to purchase most of my gear from the USA, usually Tenkarausa and Tenkarabum, both good companies. But tackle is a lot easier to get hold of now.

When you decide what rod you are going to buy make sure you can get spare tips, you will snap them no matter how careful you are! ( I use a Tenkara Iwana rod)

I remember when I was buying from Tenkarausa they would limit the amount of tips you could buy in a year.

It's an ideal method for small to medium rivers which has pocket water, small rocks etc.

Just ask or pm if you want more info.

Good luck!
 

speytime

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Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
5,935
Location
West Lothian Scotland
Hi,

I've fished Tenkara on and off for at least ten years now.

I use a traditional rigid Tenkara net.

However Daiwa make the One touch folding net, pricey and difficult to get hold of at £65.00, but you can get them on fleabay for half that price from Japan.
Shimano used to make them too, but they are now discontinued.

When I started off I had to purchase most of my gear from the USA, usually Tenkarausa and Tenkarabum, both good companies. But tackle is a lot easier to get hold of now.

When you decide what rod you are going to buy make sure you can get spare tips, you will snap them no matter how careful you are! ( I use a Tenkara Iwana rod)

I remember when I was buying from Tenkarausa they would limit the amount of tips you could buy in a year.

It's an ideal method for small to medium rivers which has pocket water, small rocks etc.

Just ask or pm if you want more info.

Good luck!
What is it that makes top sections prone to breaking?

Cheers Al
 

springwell

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Joined
Jul 24, 2019
Messages
105
Location
West Wales
Me being really clumsy in a rush to get to the water and stabbing the ground, or not collapsing the rod when walking through bushes etc.

Really stupid I know, but I soon learnt my lesson, because the advantage of Tenkara is that the rod collapses down to less than 20".

Never had a tip break when playing fish, landed wild brownies up to 2lb or so from a small overgrown river I fish.
Landing the fish is a bit of an art too as you can't wind the line in.

Once lost a decent size sewin which broke the tippet, but the rod tip was ok.
 

Damo

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Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
572
Location
Vienna, Austria
Hi,
I´ve been tenkara fishing for two or three years. Started thinking about it during a long winter, watched loads of online videos and got my stuff organised for the new season. If you´re used to regular fly fishing you should pick it up quickly. It´s very effective and good fun, but doesn´t work everywhere.

The Maxcatch rods are fine, especially the 10 and 11 foot models. They are a bit stiff and a touch heavy, so I imagine the longer rods are a bit more difficult to handle. Tenkara isn´t for everyone, so it´s probably worth starting with something cheap but serviceable. They also do a mini rod, which is 12ft long but collapses to a very small length - it´s so small you can put it in the back of your fishing vest while you are using a different rod. I´ve got one, again it´s a bit heavy and stiff but absolutely fine. It also comes with a spare top 2 in case you break it.

John Norris do a Guideline folding net that is pretty good and it´s in their perma-sale.

Definitely have a look at some online stuff to help you get started. Tenkara USA and Discover Tenkara both have great videos on their web sites. The Tenkara USA stuff is aimed more at getting you started (setting up, casting, knots etc), the Discover Tenkara stuff is a lot more to do with technique etc.

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

Damian F
 
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Banksie

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
223
Location
Salisbury
Hi,

I've fished Tenkara on and off for at least ten years now.

I use a traditional rigid Tenkara net.

However Daiwa make the One touch folding net, pricey and difficult to get hold of at £65.00, but you can get them on fleabay for half that price from Japan.
Shimano used to make them too, but they are now discontinued.

When I started off I had to purchase most of my gear from the USA, usually Tenkarausa and Tenkarabum, both good companies. But tackle is a lot easier to get hold of now.

When you decide what rod you are going to buy make sure you can get spare tips, you will snap them no matter how careful you are! ( I use a Tenkara Iwana rod)

I remember when I was buying from Tenkarausa they would limit the amount of tips you could buy in a year.

It's an ideal method for small to medium rivers which has pocket water, small rocks etc.

Just ask or pm if you want more info.

Good luck!
Hi,

I've fished Tenkara on and off for at least ten years now.

I use a traditional rigid Tenkara net.

However Daiwa make the One touch folding net, pricey and difficult to get hold of at £65.00, but you can get them on fleabay for half that price from Japan.
Shimano used to make them too, but they are now discontinued.

When I started off I had to purchase most of my gear from the USA, usually Tenkarausa and Tenkarabum, both good companies. But tackle is a lot easier to get hold of now.

When you decide what rod you are going to buy make sure you can get spare tips, you will snap them no matter how careful you are! ( I use a Tenkara Iwana rod)

I remember when I was buying from Tenkarausa they would limit the amount of tips you could buy in a year.

It's an ideal method for small to medium rivers which has pocket water, small rocks etc.

Just ask or pm if you want more info.

Good luck!
Thanks Springwell. Very much appreciated.

Interesting about the rod tips. I had been a little worried reading different reviews, thinking it was playing larger fish on a ‘get what you pay for’ rod. Def follow advice about collapsing the rod when moving through bushes, etc... and getting a spare tip or two. Cheers!

There’s a part of the ‘Old Avon’ that branches from the main carrier over a weir and into a fast and shallow stream. It’s a highish bank (about 4 feet) with trees opposite about 6/7 metres away, but lots of holes to cover along the way. Maybe a shorter rod is needed at the expense of reach. Any ideas on rod action? There’ll be about 50/50 side casting along that stretch of water, with the rod itself quite low.
Thanks again. Keeping cool today. 😎
.
 

Banksie

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
223
Location
Salisbury
Ppl
Hi,
I´ve been tenkara fishing for two or three years. Started thinking about it during a long winter, watched loads of online videos and got my stuff organised for the new season. If you´re used to regular fly fishing you should pick it up quickly. It´s very effective and good fun, but doesn´t work everywhere.

The Maxcatch rods are fine, especially the 10 and 11 foot models. They are a bit stiff and a touch heavy, so I imagine the longer rods are a bit more difficult to handle. Tenkara isn´t for everyone, so it´s probably worth starting with something cheap but serviceable. They also do a mini rod, which is 12ft long but collapses to a very small length - it´s so small you can put it in the back of your fishing vest while you are using a different rod. I´ve got one, again it´s a bit heavy and stiff but absolutely fine. It also comes with a spare top 2 in case you break it.

John Norris do a Guideline folding net that is pretty good and it´s in their perma-sale.

Definitely have a look at some online stuff to help you get started. Tenkara USA and Discover Tenkara both have great videos on their web sites. the Tenkara USA stuff is aimed more at getting you started (setting up, casting, knots etc), the Discover Tenkara stuff is a lot more to do with technique etc.

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

Damian F
Thanks Damian. Will check out the John Norris site for landing nets. Also both the video sites. Appreciated.
Looks like a shorter rod is in order.
Will choose one of the Maxcatch rods, maybe a combo.

Will definitely get back here with all progress/problems etc. Appreciated.

Staying cool today. 😎
 

Banksie

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Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
223
Location
Salisbury
Did the deed. Ordered a rod, an accessory kit (line, flies, etc) and a landing net that looks very similar to the type I’ve been looking for. Whole lot, including voucher code (stock20) free postage (express was over £20) totalled at £59.17p. Ok then.
Not sure how long it will take, (some say weeks) but it’s done.
Went for the mini. 12 foot is all they had, but it’s sub 4 ozs, packs tiny, and it was cheap! Plus, I liked the white colour.
Gonna read up and watch the vids I’ve been recommended, till it arrives. Will be back soon with questions no doubt. Seems tapered leaders and tippets are being used, but I’d like to try the ‘original’ Japanese set up first then go from there. Okidoki. Better walk the dog now. It’s late and he’s getting twitchy. 😎




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springwell

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Joined
Jul 24, 2019
Messages
105
Location
West Wales
Regarding rod lengths and action for the places I fish my 12'-0" Iwana, action 6:4 suits me well.

For line I tend to use 15lb fluorocarbon , sometimes hi viz sea line, but mostly just ordinary fluoro or mono with a 2lb tippet.

Here's a pictorial description of rod actions from Tenkarausa website ( definitely worth a look)

Tenkara-Rod-Actions.jpg
 
Last edited:

Banksie

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Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
223
Location
Salisbury
Thanks Springwell... I think the one I ordered is around 7:3 action, though I did read a review somewhere that it maybe a tad softer... which suits me fine as I prefer a slower rod.

Been reading about Tenkara and the similarities to Euro-nymphing. It’s something I’d also like to try with a Tenkara rod, never having done either before.

Question : why the swivel on the end of a Tenkara rod when it’s a free line? Is line twist a problem at all? Cheers. 😎
 

suzzy buzzer

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Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
326
The one thing you need to remember with tenkara, and it’s obvious, but your line is fixed, and so is your optimum casting distance.
You’ll get maybe a couple of feet further or shorter by changing your stance, but anything over this you’ll need to relocate; anything else will be a compromise in the presentation. This is why the method works so well in open, broken, and fast water.
My opinion is that if you are employing a tenkara setup in any other water than this, you may as well use regular methods.
 

Banksie

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Mar 23, 2020
Messages
223
Location
Salisbury
Thinking about it... if that part of it has all been discussed before, there’d be no point in dusting off old arguments to repeat them. For me, this is all brand new.

My early feelings towards Tenkara (and now Czech-nymphing) is that it is, in essence, a ‘poor mans sport’ that involved thinking around problems with what you had to hand. I love that! 😎
 

Banksie

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Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
223
Location
Salisbury
Been reading a lot today. Mainly articles I’ve been directed to, and it is truly fascinating stuff. I even bought a Kindle book about the fly patterns used in Tenkara and Euro-nymphing... apparently called ‘kebari’ in Japan... something I didn’t know a few hours ago. 😎
They have their ‘traditionalists’, and the division that goes with it... which actually gave me a chuckle. So far, so good.
 

suzzy buzzer

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Feb 11, 2020
Messages
326
Salisbury- I’m not sure what there is down that way river wise, is it not all a bit flat, slow, and chalky?

You’d be worth joining a forum or some FB groups that are more geared towards tenkara. The majority of the members in general FF Fora, despite having never done it, still seem to regard tenkara as dapping with a coarse whip.
 

Banksie

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Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
223
Location
Salisbury
Salisbury- I’m not sure what there is down that way river wise, is it not all a bit flat, slow, and chalky?

You’d be worth joining a forum or some FB groups that are more geared towards tenkara. The majority of the members in general FF Fora, despite having never done it, still seem to regard tenkara as dapping with a coarse whip.
Part of the Old Avon near me is pretty fast running, shallow and weedy. It’s barely 30 feet across with overhanging trees along a good part of it. Supposed to hold specimen fish, but it’s rarely fished. Two fly-fishers I’ve see in over 20 years... and there’s the best part of a mile of it! Not quite a mountain stream, though more than enough for me to explore.

There seems to be a better following on the American part of this forum, but it’s the Western version and mostly about rods and set up with very little about actual technique and mindset. I get a strong impression the Japanese really want to share their knowledge, (perhaps to save the sport?) but are having a hard time doing so, except for the old Eastern Bloc ‘euro-nymphing’. Born of the same circumstances, I expect. Fascinating stuff! 😎

Have you tried it yourself? I get the impression you might have. Cheers.
 

springwell

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Joined
Jul 24, 2019
Messages
105
Location
West Wales
No swivels are used in Tenkara.

All you should have is the "Lillian" a small length of braid etc, usually red coming from the rod tip with a knot at the end. You then lasoo the line onto this using a loop.
 
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