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Tenkara....seriously?!

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Sighter View Post
    . It's like buying $6 pre-peeled oranges from Whole Foods... convenient? I guess. Worth it? I personally don't think so...

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    Tell me thatís not actually a thing?!?!


    The only thing that has ever seriously appealed to me about Tenkara is the ability to hike with your entire rig in such a small package. Iíve been tempted on more than one occasion to purchase a cheap set up for this reason alone.
    I have zero experience with it so I donít have a strong opinion either way.
    Fly tying instagram @erikclymore

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    • #17
      In John Geirachs book All Fisherman Are Liars he dedicates a whole chapter on the subject. One of America's best Fly fisherman gives his take on it.
      Catch the energy
      Release the potential

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      • #18
        Four things:

        1. Pre-packaged/skinned/peeled/chopped fruits and vegetables are definitely a thing at Whole Foods and when you consider the constituency of a Whole Foods, a significant amount of the people under that curve honestly think paying a 200% markup for pre-pre'd anythings is worth it.

        I periodically go into Whole Foods for their fish (ironically... ) and the last time I was there I watched a woman demand that her fish be steamed immediately, on premises, for an amount of time that would have starched a shipping container of dress shirts. I hope she enjoyed her shoe leather.

        (every now and then you see "north georgia mountain trout" or some such thing in the whole foods fish counter and this makes me laugh - one day I will take a random buyer of trout into the woods with a rod, knife, and matches, and ruin trout for them forever)

        B. I have never tenkara'd but I have a fond place in my heart for cane poles. My grandfather built a cabin on a lake and I used to spend summers with him there when I was a kid. He came home one day with some garden store bamboo leftovers and together we built rods from the designs in the American Boys Handy Book, including one with a tin can reel (he grew up during the depression and was highly skilled with his hands - the credit belongs to him). The kids whose parents paid thousands to rent a place at the bigger lake down the road used to laugh, but my cane pole rods destroyed warm ponds and the small lake to the point where I felt like Ozymandias: Look upon my cane poles, ye sunfish, and despair.

        iii. Years later I inherited a beautiful bamboo fly rod from my great uncle. We don't know when he bought it, but we suspect it was in the 40s/50s... we also aren't sure what kind of cane it's made of. Tonkin cane is typically what the high end bamboo rods are made of, but access to that stuff has been restricted on and off for stretches of years due to government overthrow and instability in the part of the world from whence it comes ... it resides currently in the cabin my grandfather built, although since no one there uses it, maybe I'll bring it on down here this summer and can bring it to someone who understands these things and can tell me a bit about it. Its a nice rod, although the action takes some getting used to. I suspect that someone who is really skilled at fly fishing (I am really only marginally skilled and could use a lot of time with our friends at Unicoi Outfitters) would, after time and practice, come to prefer the cane rod for certain situations. All else aside, it's a new thing to master.

        fourth: manufacturing rods out of cane and in particular fly rods is a pursuit that can become as sophisticated as you want to try ... the second summer at the cabin, my grandfather wrote the editors asking for rod plans from one of his woodworking magazines (remember these days?) and after receiving some diagrams back, we cut several slices out of cane, ground them down straight, glued them in pieces together, and made a reasonably sophisticated rod (without a reel so technically it was tenkara-esque?) and while its no comparison to the professionally produced bamboo fly rod, it looked and felt like a real pole.

        One of the things I like most about fishing and general outdoors time is the constant patience and proficiency of building small things yourself from humble materials.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Brotherbear View Post
          In John Geirachs book All Fisherman Are Liars he dedicates a whole chapter on the subject. One of America's best Fly fisherman gives his take on it.
          I'm sure he's a wonderful person, but as a writer, John Gierach is an insufferable hippie, and the Boomer Buddhist crap he promotes is, in my view, the very worst of fly fishing. I wish all these fake mystics would move on to other endeavors and stop kludging up the sport with their white boy Zen poses. Tenkara fits quite neatly into the bumper-sticker-slogan philosophical universe John Gierach inhabits, not to mention the self-referrential, financially backscratching professional universe he lives in.
          Last edited by Dylar; 02-26-18, 01:40 PM.

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          • #20
            My $.02: $100 is an expensive blue line rig. There's nothing wrong with that. My current combo is a Superfine with a Battenkill reel, which I love...but I also don't really do any hardcore blue lining anymore.

            It's different strokes for different folks. If you are catching them legally, the rest is personal preference. I don't particularly see the appeal of Tenkara, especially for blue lines, but I used to get weird looks for fishing a 5' cane rod. As Durniak once told me, "If we're lucky, we'll all end up just like we started; in diapers catching bream on a zebco 33".

            I think Kyle's post was a serious attempt to understand the appeal of a different type of angling. Some of the posts since then are downright hostile towards anybody that does things differently. If we're going to play that game, I think you are all crazy for using rods somebody else made to catch trout that were born in a glorified lab...
            The first thing scripture tells us about man is that we're made in the image of God. The second thing it says is that man should have dominion over the fishes of the sea.

            The right flies at the right time: Monthly Fly

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            • #21
              Originally posted by fishinbub View Post
              It's different strokes for different folks.
              /thread

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              • #22
                Someone got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.


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                • #23
                  Lots of great info here guys! My post stemmed from an initial interest of Tenkara primarily for the purposes of backpacking and it's significant packability! I thought if I was ever blessed enough to thru hike the AT, I might just have to pre-purchase a bunch of out of state fishing licenses, and suffer the added weight because passing over all those blue lines without at least wetting a line a few times in each state would just tear my heart right out. Yesterday evening, I was doing some experimental brook trout fishing with a 4.5' spinning rod and jigs. The creek was so small, it was only 2' wide in some places, and it was so tight I literally almost could not find a place to cast. All I could do was spot a pool from downstream, approach it from the side on my hands and knees, let out about 5' of line, and slowly lower the jig down over the edge of the bank and dabble. It was tight, slow, tough fishing. One of the hardest streams I fish, and I have never caught more than 2 there because it is just so completely overgrown.I caught two specks yesterday, and missed several including a big one. I thought "boy, if only I had an 8' rod, I could have had the reach to dabble in many, many more pools. My mind returned to experimental methods, thinking about Tenkara, and then the thought of a cane poles came to mind. It seemed perfect for the application (dabbling), although of course they are pretty darned heavy. Then I thought "why don't people use cane rods for Tenkara? They are truly the definition of simple, minimalist methods. Why isn't fishing for trout with a cane pole a "thing". It could be a really viable thing.

                  As for John Gierach....I may often be a worm dunking trout frying hillbilly, but I dang love his books. Sure he can be a fly hippie or snob, but usually, we are all snobs about something or another. I really identify greatly with much of his thoughts about fishing, and his humor appeals to me. I greatly enjoy his writings.

                  I understand the benefits of Tenkara that many of you have mentioned. Portability, simplicity, and sure enough killer dead drifts while nymphing. Just curious why cane rods have never really taken off. I've never tried it, so I can't formulate any opinion whether it is great, or a bust, but you can bet your money that I'll be trying it soon enough! Do y'all think using a furled leader might be helpful in that application?

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Dylar View Post
                    In my experience, Tenkara mostly appeals to hipsters and to n00bs who are seduced by the promise of never having to learn how to actually cast a fly rod. Basically, it's a loser's lunch of marketing hype and shortcuts for people who lack the skill to fly fish.
                    In all fairness though, most of us who primarily fish tight blue lines with traditional Western setups never really have to cast either. It's a rare day when even the most experienced blue liner gets in a good back cast and drag free drift. Much of my time is spent water loading my dry just as a Tenkara user would. Much of my casting is also bow casting, dabbling, side arming, flicking, it flipping. Seldom do I get the opportunity to truly "cast" my fly rod. I imagine that it would be much the same for a Tenkara user. So, I think the casting argument really isn't much of a valid one to be fair. Maybe on larger waters, but not so much on tiny creeks.

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                    • #25
                      Everybody either seems to forget, not know, or simply not care to learn anything about tenkara before bad-mouthing it.
                      I fish tenkara and traditional rod/reel ("western") fly methods.
                      I enjoy both.
                      I don't talk smack about gear chuckers, streamer junkies, etc etc. Different strokes like said above.

                      It is just fishing.

                      Most of what Americans think is tenkara is *not* tenkara. Just because it's a fixed line rod does not mean it's tenkara.
                      Not all tenkara rods are 12+ feet. I have one that is 7ft and change. There are ones that are shorter. THESE are the rods that we talk about taking to a blue line. That 7ft of mine cost me $40, shipped, from Japan. It is a great rod for little native fish. Cost about as much as an Eagle Claw and beater reel.

                      There are "tenkara" rods that are 30' long... Call it high sticking, call it whatever you want, but there is NO way you can get as perfect of a drift with a 9ft rod and a "heavy" line across the water vs a 30ft carbon rod and a nearly weightless line gently draping to where the fly meets the water.
                      Resident Tenkara Nerd

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by iso1600 View Post
                        Everybody either seems to forget, not know, or simply not care to learn anything about tenkara before bad-mouthing it.
                        I fish tenkara and traditional rod/reel ("western") fly methods.
                        I enjoy both.
                        I don't talk smack about gear chuckers, streamer junkies, etc etc. Different strokes like said above.

                        It is just fishing.

                        Most of what Americans think is tenkara is *not* tenkara. Just because it's a fixed line rod does not mean it's tenkara.
                        Not all tenkara rods are 12+ feet. I have one that is 7ft and change. There are ones that are shorter. THESE are the rods that we talk about taking to a blue line. That 7ft of mine cost me $40, shipped, from Japan. It is a great rod for little native fish. Cost about as much as an Eagle Claw and beater reel.

                        There are "tenkara" rods that are 30' long... Call it high sticking, call it whatever you want, but there is NO way you can get as perfect of a drift with a 9ft rod and a "heavy" line across the water vs a 30ft carbon rod and a nearly weightless line gently draping to where the fly meets the water.


                        30 foot, dang that sounds awesome!
                        The seven foot might be good for blueline, but again I struggle with tight quarters that might open up.
                        I wish there was a short telescopic rod that had a slightly adjustable level line system...
                        When I was a kid we had a cane pole that you could adjust how much line you let out, not sure if those still exist.
                        I'd Def be interested in playing with a thirty foot rod on the hooch!


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                        • #27
                          When everyone is front ending you on the Hooch I'm sure they'd get the message if you were fishing that 30 ft pole haha


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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Sighter View Post
                            When everyone is front ending you on the Hooch I'm sure they'd get the message if you were fishing that 30 ft pole haha


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                            Haha. Heck yeah. I would just drift from over their head!
                            "Oh, is this bothering you?!" BAHAHAHAHA

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Dylar View Post
                              I'm sure he's a wonderful person, but as a writer, John Gierach is an insufferable hippie, and the Boomer Buddhist crap he promotes is, in my view, the very worst of fly fishing. I wish all these fake mystics would move on to other endeavors and stop kludging up the sport with their white boy Zen poses. Tenkara fits quite neatly into the bumper-sticker-slogan philosophical universe John Gierach inhabits, not to mention the self-referrential, financially backscratching professional universe he lives in.
                              So you have never read his take on Tenkara.
                              Ignorance is bliss
                              Catch the energy
                              Release the potential

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Brotherbear View Post
                                So you have never read his take on Tenkara.
                                Ignorance is bliss
                                I see your wit but do not find it relevant. From what Dylar has said, one passage from a book will not have any effect on how this man feels about tenkara lol

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