Saturday, December 08, 2012


Tenkara day today maybe…if I end up convincing myself that I need to go out and stand in a river today…the high is shooting for the low 20’s. Guess I should go test this whole theory of mine that it will beat the hell of breaking ice off guides and dunking reels when it’s really cold.
I haven’t done a whole lot of fishing with the Tenkara stuff, but enough to know that it works and it’s fun. Probably not going to land that 28” Brown on a Gonga, but who knows…it could happen. It’s simplified fly fishing and that’s exactly what I’m looking for this morning.
I have guided a few folks over the years that wanted to use their Tenkara rods. My initial perception was one of amused skepticism, but after watching my 5 year old “get it done” from start to finish with Tenkara this summer, its hard to argues with the merits of simplicity at times.
It’s not going to be the end all and be all for most folks (but there are many that have sold their soul to the telescopic graphite gods) but I think it’s another great option to have when heading out for the day on the water. They call it simplified fly fishing, which does not necessarily mean easy.
With no reel to manage the line, fishing distance is determined by the length of the leader, angle of the rod while fishing, and the anglers ability to move closer or further from the target water. In many ways, it requires a lot more thinking and problem solving compared to traditional western fly fishing.
As of now, there are 5 rod models to choose from and they are all reasonably priced, guaranteed against defect, and easily repaired if they break (simply replace the broken rod section -$10). Add some running line, a leader, a fly and you’re good to go…which is what I need to be doing this morning.
Tenkara USA is letting us sell the IWANA 11’ models right now for only $100! The IWANA is one of the best selling rods in the series and is really ideal for small to medium sized rivers in than hands of a skilled angler. For someone new to fly fishing or with limited skills, this rod will be a great choice for them wherever they go fish. I’ve got one set aside for my 5yr old this Christmas as he had a blast using mine this summer. For my 5 yr old, Tenkara fishing makes it possible for him to do his own thing while catching trout on flies without me working on him about line management and his casting skills…he likes to catch fish more so than fish at this stage and Tenkara lets him do that on his own….crazy!


Chris Stewart said...

Toby, there are a lot more than five models to choose from! A little Google searching will open up a whole world of possibilities.

Toby Swank said...

I'm referring to models offered by Tenkara USA. There are gobs of manufacturers of this style of rod, but they are primarily distributed in Japan. As far as what's available in the US, Temple Fork and Tenkara USA are the two primary players right now, with a smattering of smaller, private label companies here and there. Tenkara USA rods are more consistent with what most folks would consider traditional Tenkara fishing.