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Tenkara....seriously?!

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  • #91
    Originally posted by Buck Henry View Post
    LOL, that still makes you a very young whipper snapper to us old farts!
    Speaking of old farts, Happy Birthday Ol Fart!
    BE DIFFERENT AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE! <

    Exodus 29:18
    Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the LORD. God loves BBQ!

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    • #92
      Originally posted by Buck Henry View Post
      LOL, that still makes you a very young whipper snapper to us old farts!
      As one of the original "young guys", I can agree that he is a whipper snapper, and y'all are old farts.
      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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      • #93
        I'm gonna chime in here on tenkara (i don't actually know the names of the smaller various rod types (REFER TO ISO1600 here, he's a true expert in this are and I've given him my fair share of teasing about tenkara, apologies dude!) and will refer to everything here as either tenkara or telescoping or stick, i actually prefer stick).

        So as much as I've been B***hing at anyone that mentions tenkara and calling it a cane pole and going on and on about how there's no way you could ever fish one of these "sticks" on a true No GA small stream... I decided to test my hypothesis that I had been advocating for all this time. Turns out like any good scientific hypothesis, this one was false.

        Past weekend I took a trip up to a small stream (that's my other post) and decided I would flip-flop between my standard small stream rig of champions, the 6'6" eagle claw featherlight (aka the bear killer, wading staff, walking stick, shovel, etc). I love this thing and my experiment was not meant to disrespect the golden (some say yellow, but c'mon it's a claw, it's golden) staff of the gods, but instead I set out to show that these tenkara rods just couldn't cut it in our overgrown bushwhacky streams. So, I did what any good scientist does and put them head to head for a Pepsi challenge. Actually I didn't put them head to head on every run, but rather swapped out for most every other run. There were a few spectacular runs where I felt I could fish both rods effectively with the time to switch between the two rigs giving the fish time to calm down and get that bite going again.

        Well after a good day of fishing (20+ fish, half on each rod, and the trophy on the tenkara) and a long bit of hiking in a small stream watershed (some spots I can step over, actually many) I actually found myself wanting to fish the tenkara stick more than the claw. My drifts were better and when I saw how that thing handled that big old bow I caught, the tippet protection, I was blown away. Admittedly, the whole time I was thinking to myself, it's going to break off any minute, the the next thing I know I am snapping pics of the fish - I had landed it. The claw couldn't have handled that fish on 6x, I don't think. The convenience of the collapsible rod for hiking was great. I actually just slid it into one of my vest pockets. Truth be told, the most challenging thing was setting it up streamside, in the rhodo/bush. I tangled twice doing that and almost just left it behind, but gathered myself and calmed the rage. Once I got everything working, I became very tree aware, and made a few subtle bow and arrow casts. In areas that were open I made larger more traditional casts. I still have concern about fishing them, actually just with setting the hook, in places where the bush really overhangs a plunge pool or a run, but I'm a work in process here.

        I don't have all the fancy gear for traditional Flyfishing (read as I look like the homeless person in the waders) and don't for tenkara either. I have one rod that was given to me free that's twelve feet or so - I agreed to do a review on amazon to get the rod for free. It's served me well catching small bass and bream out of the hood pond and it's also helped me teach Spencer about casting and drift. But 12 foot was WAY too long for this stream... I think. So I picked up a smaller one, I think it's 8'4" or something strange like that because they use the metric system. It costs $8, shipped. It looks and feels like an absolute piece of s**t that you wouldn't let your worst (fishing) enemy use, but once extended it did the job. Cast, fairly accurately. I think there might be a skill or art to getting your casts where you want them; it also presented the flies in a way I really liked. I was fishing a dry dropper rig that included a small stimi up top. about a foot Ī under that was an emerger(ish) midge-y thing; then when it got deep I would tie on another dropper (dirty pole dancer fly) under that, about another foot or so. Sometimes I just lengthened the dropper length of the first fly. I was able to drift through most runs with no line on the water making eats and sets very detectable and simple, efficient and quick! One of the issues I encountered was a long rod with a lot of line. With the line about the length of the rod we are talking about 16+ feet of stuff. However, I watched a few of the youtube vids on how to attach a 'level line' to the lilian and I realized that you can actually shorten the line length if you are clever; you cannot make it just a few feet under the rod tip, but you can just about half it, which makes fishing tighter areas even easier.

        I've become more intrigued by these rods and what they have to offer. It seems like the sort of thing I would just toss in my pack on a hiking trip in case I found some water. I know they make a few in the 100s of dollar range, but for these (mostly) tiny wild fish in GA I'm not convinced that's an investment that's necessary. Could you use a homemade bamboo cane stick, I think so, but the convenience of the collapsibility isn't there. I think over the next few months as I extend this experiment to more and varied stream watersheds I will have a better idea of whether I like this and/or what waters might be particularly conducive to this technique. I will say however, that if you have a young one that's starting flyfishing, they really have helped spencer catch fish and almost any fish puts a bend in the tip and let's you really feel the tug. If nothing else, it's a learning tool.

        More to come... maybe.

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        • #94
          I have been at it lately with a real cane pole, but the fishing had been difficult. I have caught several rainbows with the cane pole, but am yet to catch a brook trout with one. I've had several bites from specks, but none that got the hook. I'm trying to have a good enough day that I can report here. Managing a 10' cane pole on the speck streams has proven to be difficult for me, but I'm going to keep at it. The hardest part for me has been getting close enough to the fish, and not spooking them. I have found though that my cane pole (it's actually bamboo) really does bow cast quite nicely.
          Ad I become more proficient with it and am able to start picking up more fish on it, I'll hopefully be able to make a good post about it soon.
          Thanks for the input man!!

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          • #95
            Tenkara....seriously?!

            Originally posted by splatek16 View Post
            So as much as I've been B***hing at anyone that mentions tenkara and calling it a cane pole and going on and on about how there's no way you could ever fish one of these "sticks" on a true No GA small stream... I decided to test my hypothesis that I had been advocating for all this time. Turns out like any good scientific hypothesis, this one was false.


            Great write up splatek. Empirical research at its finest.



            Iíve been holding off on giving my 2 cents on tenkara(blanket term) but here it goes: I exclusively fish tenkara. I began my fly fishing adventures 2 years ago using a tenkara rod. I wanted to teach myself to fish for relatively cheap, and tenkara seemed like a straightforward way into the world of fly fishing. I will eventually teach myself how to fish with a standard western rig, but for now I am quite content with how I fish. Therefore, I have a one sided view on the matter(the other end of the spectrum of some of the fly fishing purists that have voiced their opinion in this thread.) It does take a certain amount of skill and finesse to fish tenkara. It took me a while to learn to properly cast, how to fish nymphs, and I'm currently learning how to effectively fish streamers. Its simplicity is mostly in its ability to pack down to a small size, and its ease of setup and ability to get on the water. Sure, some people extend this idea of simplicity to the "one fly" concept, but that is impractical in my mind, especially on the hooch.
            To address the OPís main question- itís superior to a cane pole because itís lighter, collapsible, can protect light tippet, and based on its design be far more sensitive, making a small fish feel like a monster.



            I fish a variety of waters, ranging from the hooch, to local ponds, to mountain streams that you can step over. I have two rods, one longer(13') for fishing the hooch and open streams, and another for tight mountain streams(9'). I have learned to effectively fish these waters with the tools I have chosen. On the hooch, I can get perfect drifts while fishing across/over wide currents with little to no line on the water. I don't doubt that using a western rig would be adventurous in a couple of situations, but I can still have a blast catching fish on the hooch with tenkara. In the mountains, I can quickly spool up my line, collapse my rod, and climb through brush. As splatek mentioned earlier, being mindful of your surroundings will help you be aware of how to cast, set a hook and land fish on smaller streams. But honestly, isn't that what fishing bluelines is all about... Being aware of yourself and your surroundings in order to sneak up on some spooky wild trout?



            With tenkara, you generally want the longest rod possible for the task at hand. And you can get good at fishing a long rod on tighter streams. Itís no rhodo choked mountain stream, but I have learned to fish my 13í at dukes creek with relative ease. My first few times there I couldnít stay out of the brush. In my opinion, the biggest disadvantage of fishing tenkara is finding yourself on a section of water with too small of a rod. Youíll find yourself infinitely frustrated when your rod is too short for the job at hand. You can always fish a longer line to make up the distance, but once you get past a certain ratio of rod size to line length, it becomes very difficult to cast and land fish. For example, I can fish a line around 1.5-x as long as my rod. Any longer and the timing of the cast becomes real difficult, and you you have to hand line in the fish, typically resulting in more lost fish. My solution is to bring both my rods on small stream adventures. I have a variety of fixed length furled lines and adjustable length level lines so I always have the right setup for the fish/water at hand.



            At the end of the day, different strokes for different folks. Don't want to fish tenkara? Fine. Just don't bash it because you feel superior that you can mend a line. That badge of honor, club mentality is a huge turn off to people wanting to learn to fly fish. When I just started out, I went to a GA fly fishing shop to ask for advice on flys and local fishing spots. I was told that I cant fish tenkara on GA waters and I should "just buy a 5 weight". I'm glad I didn't listen to him or people like Dylar that make fly fishing seem inaccessible to people wanting to learn. With that being said, I'm thankful for all the people on this forum/on the water who have helped me learn and navigate the world of fly fishing.
            Last edited by jfgros01; 03-26-18, 10:44 PM.

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