Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tenkara Gains Notice in Angling Trade

Tenkara ... not just a passing fad.

While I'm only a recent tenkara convert, I'm happy to know that I'm on the cusp of the "next big thing." My friend Kirk Deeter, in the latest Angling Trade e-newsletter, noted that tenkara fly fishing would be among the trendiest pastimes in the coming year or so.

Tenkara fishing, especially on small water, as Deeter notes, might, indeed, be all the rage in the coming year, and I'd join him in recommending all serious fly fishing retailers to consider stocking the rods, lines and flies.

But I'd go one step further. I don't think tenkara is going to be just a passing fad. In my limited experience with the ancient Japanese craft, I've come to realize that it's not just a method used to catch trout, particularly in small water, but a very effective method that, in many instance, is more useful than traditional fly tackle.

The reason? In tight quarters, the tenkara braided line or level line can be lifted off the water, leaving on the fly in the surface film, which almost completely eliminates the small-stream angler's arch enemy–drag.

Now, the tenkara rod won't lay out 40 feet of line, and its sheer length can make some situations tough to navigate. But, on the whole, I've found precious few situations on small water where a tenkara rod wouldn't be just as effective–or more effective–than traditional gear.

The "next big thing?" Sure. A passing fancy? Not on my favorite trout stream.


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  2. Guess I've been doing Tenkara without the gear or realization. Using a braided leader on my 3 wt. to fish small streams, there’s no need to let any fly line out the tip, so I use much of the same technique. Hmmmm…keep doing what I’m doing or buy another rod specifically for it?

  3. You're good either way... the advantage with the tenkara is its length...

  4. Tenkara has been around for hundreds of years more than have short rods, snake guides and fly reels. With small stream anglers going back to long rods without reels, just which indeed is the passing fancy?

  5. Thanks for this post. I just received one of these as a gift, and I was completely lacking in information on them. I've used fly rods forever, but this will be new to me. I was pondering use it on some very small waters.

  6. In terms of line, any special considerations?