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Nerd Alert: Tenkara Leaders

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  • Nerd Alert: Tenkara Leaders

    So after all the fun I made...I finally splurged and got a 9ft rod for small streams. Most of the stuff I've read on here leader wise has been to either use a furled or level mono. Has anyone tried a Euro style leader? Saw a guy using one of those Appalchian leaders and it did have a "sigher" section is the reason I'm asking. Not a huge furled fan so I will be going with a Euro approach.
    We are the music-makers,
    And we are the dreamers of dreams,
    Wandering by lone sea-breakers
    And sitting by desolate streams;
    World losers and world forsakers,
    On whom the pale moon gleams.

  • #2
    Did you actually buy a tenkara rod


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    • #3
      Originally posted by GoutUnlimited View Post
      So after all the fun I made...I finally splurged and got a 9ft rod for small streams. Most of the stuff I've read on here leader wise has been to either use a furled or level mono. Has anyone tried a Euro style leader? Saw a guy using one of those Appalchian leaders and it did have a "sigher" section is the reason I'm asking. Not a huge furled fan so I will be going with a Euro approach.


      I tried some tight lining with a tenkara before I got my nymphing stick from Big T. Tie on some 20lb maxima chameleon with your preferred sighter and youíll be good to go...until you hook a bigun where you actually need the drag. 😫🤬


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      • #4
        Originally posted by splatek16 View Post
        Did you actually buy a tenkara rod


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        I already lost the little lid!



        Originally posted by freestone1 View Post
        I tried some tight lining with a tenkara before I got my nymphing stick from Big T. Tie on some 20lb maxima chameleon with your preferred sighter and youíll be good to go...until you hook a bigun where you actually need the drag. 😫🤬


        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
        Good to know. I might scale down to 10# cuz I hardly ever have the 20# outta the guides on my nymphing rod. Now I just gotta read up on some chankonabe stuff.
        We are the music-makers,
        And we are the dreamers of dreams,
        Wandering by lone sea-breakers
        And sitting by desolate streams;
        World losers and world forsakers,
        On whom the pale moon gleams.

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        • #5
          Are talking about the leader or the line, there is a difference. On a Tenkara rod you have a line that is a level line or a tapered line. The tapered line can either be furled or a composite of level lines. Furled lines can be made from Uni Thread, silk or mono. With Tenkara most level lines are floro lines as they have a less than neutral density.

          I prefer a furled line, and about three or four feet of leader, they seem to give me better control. Sighters are not necessary as you only have the leader or tippet in the water if you are using nymphs or soft hackles.

          Some furled lines have floatant built in, I use Zen Outfitter's lines. Other furled lines such as Appalachian and others need to be dressed so they will float. I use "Otter Butter". There are others, that will work but not as well.

          If you want to learn about Tenkara you should make plans to attend the Fly Fishing show and take in some of the Tenkara lectures.

          As a side note I would not recommend taking a section of plastic fly line either floating or sinking as it will to heavy for the Tenkara rod.
          "I like beer, do you like beer, I like beer a lot."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by freestone1 View Post
            I tried some tight lining with a tenkara before I got my nymphing stick from Big T. Tie on some 20lb maxima chameleon with your preferred sighter and youíll be good to go...until you hook a bigun where you actually need the drag. 😫🤬


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            If you fish a Tenkara rod properly you don't have to have a drag. I have caught and landed trout over 20ins with my Tenkara on more than one occasion.
            "I like beer, do you like beer, I like beer a lot."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by narcodog View Post
              If you fish a Tenkara rod properly you don't have to have a drag. I have caught and landed trout over 20ins with my Tenkara on more than one occasion.


              Iíve landed several in the 15-18 range on the tenkara with 6x tippet. And Iím sure you can land 20+ inch fish some of the time if the conditions are right. Iíll just never forget hooking a 20+ slob in a deep hole on a small creek in NC and never having chance...from hook set to line snap was about 1.5 seconds when that bruiser realized it was hooked and took off like it was shot from a cannon.


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              • #8
                For a short and cheap rod like that, I would just stick a rod-lenth section of 15 or 20# sunset amnesia. Use a stopper knot at the fly end, and tie ~2' of tippet on above that with a simple knot like the Davy.

                On a longer rod, the line matters a lot more, since there's more of it, and the rod has more flex to work the line properly.

                As narco said, when fishing tenkara rod with proper technique, the rod is the drag. Most of them are not designed for big fish or strong current though.

                I've actually landed some of my biggest fish on a really soft, but really long (4.5m, ~14.5') rod. The length acts as a lever, and gives it more capability to flex and play the fish. It's a LOT harder to design a short (like your 270) rod with nice flex that won't snap on a decent fish.
                Resident Tenkara Nerd

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by freestone1 View Post
                  Iíve landed several in the 15-18 range on the tenkara with 6x tippet. And Iím sure you can land 20+ inch fish some of the time if the conditions are right. Iíll just never forget hooking a 20+ slob in a deep hole on a small creek in NC and never having chance...from hook set to line snap was about 1.5 seconds when that bruiser realized it was hooked and took off like it was shot from a cannon.


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                  And your point is? We all have lost fish of any size on a western rod just as quickly.
                  "I like beer, do you like beer, I like beer a lot."

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                  • #10
                    What sorts small streams you thinking... Because in my opinion tenkara won't be useful past the hike in on small bush whacking streams unless you use about 2-4 feet of line, level fluro,including tippet, basically just tippet. Setting the hook playing the fish requires height, and /or creativity.
                    Now if you're gsmnp-ing it, that's a great stick for those streams (Saying that having never fished a darn one)

                    Again just my opinion.
                    I really like my cheap tenkara stick, playing small bass, bream, and even hoochie browns and bows has been a blast, but I couldn't even imagine using that thing on a stream covered in rhodo, or chasing specks in most of the streams where I chase wilds and natives.

                    I'm a huge eagle claw 6'6" featherweight fan for that.
                    Adds line control, you could cast if that happens to be necessary. I run a modified dry drop euro rig (with) sighter off that and can cast 30-40 feet out the guides when necessary to approach those pesky wild browns. I've also locked in the reel drag and fished it like a stick. And, my seven year old Spencer found a dried piece of bamboo, we tied a four foot section of mono, one foot section of fluro to the end of that and a bright yellow dry fly and he caught a 10" wild bow on a great little stream hiding in plain sight.




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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by narcodog View Post
                      And your point is? We all have lost fish of any size on a western rod just as quickly.

                      It wasnít meant as a slight...donít get your mawashi in a twist. I only mentioned it as a moment that was burned into my memory from my limited experience dabbling with tenkara.


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                      • #12
                        splatek, lol, i think you have become one of the biggest tenkara naysayers on here.

                        Something we need to remember, is tenkara is used as a blanket term by us outside of japan, but in reality tenkara is a VERY narrow niche of fishing with telescoping rods and no reel, in mountain streams of moderate gradient for trout and char.

                        The rod above is not a tenkara rod. At best it's a short keiryu or long tanago. 99% of the cheap "tenkara" rods avail in the US through amazon and ebay are very very very stiff, with almost no bend at all when you hook into an average wild trout here in the south.

                        If you were to get on a small stream with the right rod, i promise you will see the light. It's so much more than you've experienced so far with yours. I'm not saying go out and drop $200 on a fancy Nissin or Suntech, but maybe a little of the "don't knock it till you try it" mentality is in order?

                        With rod and reel, yes you can have a great time with a cheap setup, but since the rod is almost the whole setup with tenkara, the rod matters.
                        Resident Tenkara Nerd

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by iso1600 View Post
                          splatek, lol, i think you have become one of the biggest tenkara naysayers on here.

                          Something we need to remember, is tenkara is used as a blanket term by us outside of japan, but in reality tenkara is a VERY narrow niche of fishing with telescoping rods and no reel, in mountain streams of moderate gradient for trout and char.

                          The rod above is not a tenkara rod. At best it's a short keiryu or long tanago. 99% of the cheap "tenkara" rods avail in the US through amazon and ebay are very very very stiff, with almost no bend at all when you hook into an average wild trout here in the south.

                          If you were to get on a small stream with the right rod, i promise you will see the light. It's so much more than you've experienced so far with yours. I'm not saying go out and drop $200 on a fancy Nissin or Suntech, but maybe a little of the "don't knock it till you try it" mentality is in order?

                          With rod and reel, yes you can have a great time with a cheap setup, but since the rod is almost the whole setup with tenkara, the rod matters.


                          Aww man I wasn't trying top be nay saying I like tenkara, but in my experience on small streams I fish, rhodo overhang... No bueno.
                          I'm sure I could find the right rig for the right situation, .... I guess really I'm just in love with the
                          Do it all
                          Eagle claw!
                          Shoot, I could (may have) whip tyre claw in the vicinity of a bear and the bear would fear that thing. The stiffness of the claw also doubles as an amazing wading staff. It'll hold up an ultralight tent, can be used for jousting when the conditions present themselves, I mean really does it all.
                          😉
                          Seriously though, I've used my tenkara rod with great success in the hooch and a few other streams, they weren't small streams.

                          ISO, I was just poking fun.
                          Gout is an excellent angler and could slay fish by tying 100# test mono to his pinky and fishing an empty hook.




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                          • #14
                            I was afraid before making this post everyone would go off on tangents. Just so were clear I just got this to mess around with I'm not doing the traditional Tenkara stuff just yet.

                            Originally posted by iso1600 View Post
                            For a short and cheap rod like that, I would just stick a rod-lenth section of 15 or 20# sunset amnesia. Use a stopper knot at the fly end, and tie ~2' of tippet on above that with a simple knot like the Davy.

                            On a longer rod, the line matters a lot more, since there's more of it, and the rod has more flex to work the line properly.

                            As narco said, when fishing tenkara rod with proper technique, the rod is the drag. Most of them are not designed for big fish or strong current though.

                            I've actually landed some of my biggest fish on a really soft, but really long (4.5m, ~14.5') rod. The length acts as a lever, and gives it more capability to flex and play the fish. It's a LOT harder to design a short (like your 270) rod with nice flex that won't snap on a decent fish.
                            Definetly going to do a long level line one, a tapered one like on my Euro Rod ...i think i can get better drifts and turnover. Hell I'll even make a furled one for dries.

                            Originally posted by narcodog View Post
                            Are talking about the leader or the line, there is a difference. On a Tenkara rod you have a line that is a level line or a tapered line. The tapered line can either be furled or a composite of level lines. Furled lines can be made from Uni Thread, silk or mono. With Tenkara most level lines are floro lines as they have a less than neutral density.

                            I prefer a furled line, and about three or four feet of leader, they seem to give me better control. Sighters are not necessary as you only have the leader or tippet in the water if you are using nymphs or soft hackles.

                            Some furled lines have floatant built in, I use Zen Outfitter's lines. Other furled lines such as Appalachian and others need to be dressed so they will float. I use "Otter Butter". There are others, that will work but not as well.

                            If you want to learn about Tenkara you should make plans to attend the Fly Fishing show and take in some of the Tenkara lectures.

                            As a side note I would not recommend taking a section of plastic fly line either floating or sinking as it will to heavy for the Tenkara rod.
                            Not messing around with flyline, the sighter will purely be so I can see the line...my eyesight is bad...although getting better. Didn't see a Tenkara lecture on the schedule but will definitely check it out.




                            Originally posted by iso1600 View Post
                            splatek, lol, i think you have become one of the biggest tenkara naysayers on here.

                            Something we need to remember, is tenkara is used as a blanket term by us outside of japan, but in reality tenkara is a VERY narrow niche of fishing with telescoping rods and no reel, in mountain streams of moderate gradient for trout and char.

                            The rod above is not a tenkara rod. At best it's a short keiryu or long tanago. 99% of the cheap "tenkara" rods avail in the US through amazon and ebay are very very very stiff, with almost no bend at all when you hook into an average wild trout here in the south.

                            If you were to get on a small stream with the right rod, i promise you will see the light. It's so much more than you've experienced so far with yours. I'm not saying go out and drop $200 on a fancy Nissin or Suntech, but maybe a little of the "don't knock it till you try it" mentality is in order?

                            With rod and reel, yes you can have a great time with a cheap setup, but since the rod is almost the whole setup with tenkara, the rod matters.
                            Watched a little thing on youtube about telescopics, but it seemed like the translator was horrible and missing key details.

                            From what I gathered....tenkara, keiryu, tanago where size divisions? Tanago where the really small ones I thought under 5ft?
                            We are the music-makers,
                            And we are the dreamers of dreams,
                            Wandering by lone sea-breakers
                            And sitting by desolate streams;
                            World losers and world forsakers,
                            On whom the pale moon gleams.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yes, tanago rods are usually 3-5', for TINY fish.... not just baby trout, but fish that only grow up to be a few inches at most.

                              Keiryu translates directly to mountain stream, but keiryu rods are designed to be used with a level mainline (typically something very close to 4X mono), then smaller terminal section (5x to 10x.... yes 10x), with split shot and sighters, and live bait picked from the streambed. Most trout streams in the US outlaw live bait, ESPECIALLY picked from the stream, so it's essentially pointless to try and fish "true" keiryu in a lot of places here.

                              Seiryu is probably my favorite type of rod, and more closely mirrors a lot of the water i fish here in alabama. Seiryu translates essentially to a calm stream, generally flat gradient with a weak flow. Small fish, most often chubs. They have some epic chubs in japan, with awesome colors. These rods are usually SUUUUUPER light for their length, and most of them require small tippet to protect from breaking on bigger fish or snags, like 7x. I've found the Daiwa Seiryu-X is a killer value, as it's not an expensive rod ($70 from japan) and can handle up to 5X. I use it for warm and cold water. I've pulled in loads of 12" redeye bass, some spots up to around 16" in strong current, a bunch of stocker bows, and more little fish of various species than i could count.

                              (true) tenkara rods are usually somewhere between 2.7 and 4.5m, most of them are 3-4m though. A lot of the longer (4m+) rods are considered "Honryu", or mainstream. The Hooch is a perfect example of a Honryu flow. Big water to cover, with some big fish too. Longer rod gives MUCH more control of fish in current.
                              Keiryu rods can be anywhere from 2.4 to like 8-9m. Most are gonna be 3 to 5m.
                              Seiryu are similar range to tenkara.
                              Resident Tenkara Nerd

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