View Full Version : Tenkara rigging

Randy Ratliff
11-30-2011, 12:24 PM

11-30-2011, 03:34 PM
Two questions:

Why do you need a furled leader when using a dry fly?

Why would you use a fluorocarbon tipper (heavier) rather than mono with a dry fly?

Randy Ratliff
11-30-2011, 05:34 PM

11-30-2011, 07:34 PM
I have been fishing Tenkara for nearly three years and I must say you have the most complicated line set up of any I have heard of. It really boggles my mind.

It might be your terminology. The line coming from the rod is called the line, then you have a tippet.

The line should have a designation of 2.5 to 5 which is fluorocarbon. Now that is the Japanese number designation for the line which does not refer to the poundage of the line.

The furled line is used for drys as it floats whereas fluoro sinks and has a tendency to pull drys under.

Lines are usually about a foot shorter than the rod then the tippet is added in different lengths. I use a loop to loop connection for the ease of changing the tippet. The tippet on TenkaraUSA rods should be no heavier than 5X.

One other thing some and I have done this is to add to the line you add 8 ins of OX then 8 ins of 1X; 8 ins of 2X then your tippet in what ever length you want.

Randy Ratliff
11-30-2011, 09:24 PM

11-30-2011, 09:59 PM
I think I was not clear on my post. I was not
criticizing your method. Just that it was complicated.

The second part was more for the others asking questions.
If I offended you I

12-01-2011, 12:30 PM
what kinds of streams are you fishing? I have a tenkara rod and its' fun for catching bluegill and stuff in a pond, but fishing in tight quarters (like in the park) it's really more frustrating than anything else. Maybe it's just me...


12-01-2011, 01:01 PM
Not to be contrite, but if it has water and trout you can fish it with a Tenkara. I have two rods one is 11 ft and the other is 13 1/2 ft. I find that I can fish all of the streams in the Park, not that I have, with the 11 ft.

The 13 1/2 foot rod works well on the Little River for me.

It's just practice, side arm casts, bow and arrow and just plain dapping. You have to be stealthy on the smaller streams and ease into the pocket you want to fish. In my opinion you can fish more water in the Park with a Tenkara then you can with a western rod, which I have done for many years.

Creation Bear fishes with the long rod throughout the Park with great success, or so he says.:p

12-01-2011, 02:50 PM
Maybe it's line length that's my problem then. How long of a line are you using when fishing Tenkara in tight quarters? There are lots of places where I can't lift a 12' rod up without getting into overhanging branches, and since you can't reel up some slack there's really no way to fish some small streams (unless you stand way back on the bank. The length of the rod means you have to stay a fixed distance away from your target. Plus if you hook one and cant lift the rod up then bringing the fish to hand can be tough.)

I can fish a western fly rod in a "tenkara" way by just not adusting the line length. Plus, with a reel you can adjust the line length by reeling some in or letting some out AND you can do longer casts. I can't see how a Tenkara rod could possibly allow you to fish more water than a western rod, since you have those limitations.

That's not saying you can't fish with it, I think that going Tenkara means embracing some limitations that you don't have with a traditional western rod, and for me those limitations make it harder to fish small streams.


12-01-2011, 03:26 PM
I fish either a Fluorocarbon line and a furled line that is about a foot or so shorter than my rod. To that I add my tippet with a loop to loop connection of about three feet. If the stream is a little larger I'll go with a longer tippet. I'll fish this set up with both wets and dry's.

Now sometimes you need to just get in the water and attack it that way. Most streams will have less overhang if you are in the in the stream. I don't advocate it if there are others fishing but if I am alone no one will be offended.

If you can get up with Jon, creationbear, he lives in K'ville, I know he would be glad to help you out.

12-01-2011, 04:39 PM
That's not saying you can't fish with it, I think that going Tenkara means embracing some limitations that you don't have with a traditional western rod, and for me those limitations make it harder to fish small streams.


I think that's certainly true; though the flip-side is that while there might be fish I might not be able to reach with a Tenkara rod on any given outing, there will also be trout I wouldn't be able to catch any other way, since a Tenkara rod provides such an advantage with drag-free presentation. That said, a 13-foot rod does make you plan ahead a bit--both in terms of what "slot" you need for the initial cast and, hopefully, where you'll put the rod once you do hook-up. Fortunately, there are usually more "slots" available than it looks like at first--most of the streams I've fished in the GSMNP have enough flash-floods that they're only intermittently "tight."

12-15-2011, 08:52 PM
Ordered my Tenkara this week, looking forward to a new challenge. Randy were do you use Tenkara the most ,tailwater of freestone streams. Are you using Tenkara flys or just adapting you usual flys. I also purchased a floro level to go with rod.plan on using so Tenkara flys and usual stuff for DH waters and freestone streams . More later Bill

Randy Ratliff
12-15-2011, 10:05 PM