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Old 02-25-18, 09:31 PM   #1
Killer Kyle
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Default Tenkara....seriously?!

Just curious. Why is a Japanese style of minimalist fly fishing becoming so popular here in the U.S.? Most Tenkara fishermen claim to be minimalists, but use expensive graphite telescoping rods. My thinking is that cane poles have been used in America for centuries, and they are as minimalist as it gets. Why spend so much money on a fancy graphite telescoping rod that is minimalist, supposedly, when you can use a tried and true cane pole for the same purpose and in the same way. Where is the benefit? I am curious about cane poles recently, and see it as a far superior option to fancy Tenkara rods. Do you guys and gals have any thoughts on the issue?

Last edited by Killer Kyle; 02-25-18 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 02-25-18, 10:04 PM   #2
splatek16
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Spence and me like our homemade bamboo cane pole more then the tenkara one we got for free.
Just my two cents


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Old 02-25-18, 10:06 PM   #3
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I have a super cheap one from amazon that I use on occasion on blue lines. I think the appeal is hyped up as well, but in some niches it makes sense over a cane pole. The fact that it telescopes (usually has a line holder as well) makes it super handy and quick to get fishing when backpacking, in blue lines, or as a backup to your backup rod in the backseat. Also it can be machined for a super thin and flexible long rod out to like 13ft or longer, which may get heavy if it were a cane pole... but I'd rather a Euro nymph rod, reel, and line for those purposes. In terms of action, price, etc I agree. It's like buying $6 pre-peeled oranges from Whole Foods... convenient? I guess. Worth it? I personally don't think so...

Also iso1600 is the resident tenkara expert on this forum so I'm sure he can provide a more thorough Point of View.


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Old 02-26-18, 09:20 AM   #4
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My son likes tenkara because it fits in his backpack. Also in the trunk. And adjusts to differenct lengths while fishing. And not expensive for a fly rod, although obviously more than a cane pole.
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Old 02-26-18, 09:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinkbait View Post
My son likes tenkara because it fits in his backpack. Also in the trunk. And adjusts to differenct lengths while fishing. And not expensive for a fly rod, although obviously more than a cane pole.
I might also add, that I keep mine in the truck, tucked up under the sun visors. It's super easy, as Sighter says, convenient, to pop out and toss a fly into some water. However, I think they are terrible for bluelines. Most of the time the length is just too long for setting the hook in the N Ga mountains. Maybe in the smokies, a good hike in, etc. But I don't think there is any hike I can make for which my trusty Eagle Claw is a disadvantage. *Sighter is going to love this! In fact, the eagle claw is so stiff that it serves as a walking stick (I am old for goodness sake) and I can also use it to keep bears at bay on those really wild bluelines! I haven't come across any 'squatches yes (besides Big T and Gordon), but I am pretty sure a native, untamed squatch would run in fear of the bright yellow whipping stick.

To add to that, someone (dredger) once told me that small wild fish like YELLOW - I don't think it's a coincidence that the eagle claw is bright yellow and THE BEST blueline rod ever made... I don't believe in coincidences!

In all seriousness, Spencer did learn a bit about drift and high sticking on the tenkara at the 'hood pond... and I think if I were to teach another young angler about flyfishing, I might start them on something like a shorter (ISO knows all the various names of these telescopic rods) tenkara rod to teach them about loading the rod and drift, etc.
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Old 02-26-18, 09:41 AM   #6
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This is a bit like asking why Toyotas are so popular. Versatility and lasting quality in getting the job done. Personally, I like my little green maxcatch rod almost as much as splatek likes his yellow abomination.
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Old 02-26-18, 10:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killer Kyle View Post
Why spend so much money on a fancy graphite telescoping rod that is minimalist, supposedly, when you can use a tried and true cane pole for the same purpose and in the same way. Where is the benefit?
U mad bro?

So I go drop $100 on a badass Japanese tenkara rod, $15 on a spool of level line that will last me over a year of fishing, $6 on tippet, and whatever on flies/etc....
The quality of that gear, vs what I could get on conventional fly fishing gear for that same investment, is worlds apart.
I guess you gotta try it to understand? There is not a single rod sold by an American company that compares to a quality Nissin, Suntech, Daiwa, or Shimano (Japanese) rod.
Buying direct from Japan lowers prices a lot.
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Old 02-26-18, 10:47 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 02-26-18, 11:00 AM   #9
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Wow. That was rough.

I think tenkara is pretty awesome. It won't make me put down my western rods, but it is fun and unique. I think the same could be said for flyfishing as a whole. There is something to be said for the simplicity of a fixed length of line and a long rod. I love it for backpacking or impromptu fishing while hiking.

I would try to further explain, but seems like most guys opinions are pretty set.
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Old 02-26-18, 11:04 AM   #10
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There's nothing that can be done with a tenkara rod that can't be done better with a traditional fly rod. Thi is why the industry sells tenkara by promoting "simplicity," "authenticity" and other weasealy marketing BS; there's no way to compare on the merits.
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