A Bigger Net

by Alan Luecke
(Kansas City, MO)

Twenty-six inches

Twenty-six inches

Twenty-six inches Big as my head

I finally landed a carp today. 26" from nose to the v of the tail. It took 20 minutes with the Kiyose 43MF and a home tied crayfish fly (no it wasn't blue, damn) on 5x tippet. I was at a small city lake with a mowed bank that let me move freely with the fish. The stamina of a big carp is amazing. It was almost at my feet six or eight times only to turn and make a deep run nearly as strong as its first.

The rod spent the entire time bent nearly double but never felt out of control. Even though it can't stop the fish it seems to make it want to keep turning. I've heard of 100 yard runs against a reel. This fish made a hundred thirty yard loops twelve feet from shore.

I did come prepared with the biggest, ugliest, most un-tamo net I could find in the back of the basement and it was barely enough. Big carp need big nets and assume you will be down in the mud with them. I was sitting at the water line in up to my knees in order to get the fish, net and line in the same place at the same time. A partner with a very long handled net seems like a really good idea.

Landing a fish like this on 5 lb. tippet is crazy stuff. It shouldn't be possible, and it frequently isn't. The secret is the rod. Trust the rod, use the rod and do not touch the line. Lay down with the rod out behind you, whatever it takes, but do not touch the line. With your body weight as an anchor the fish will break off in a second.

These fish will test every inch of your rig. I had an even bigger fish on for about 10 minutes earlier in the day. The rod performed fine, but I had not replaced the tippet from my last outing and I think it broke where an overhand knot may have formed after a tangle.

New tippet, new knots, big net, be ready.

Comments for A Bigger Net

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Sep 02, 2013
Awesome fishing discipline
by: Randy Knapp

Congratulations on some awesome fishing. To land any big fish on 5x tippet takes great concentration and discipline. I have caught a lot of carp on bait and flies with spinning rods, fly rods, and tenkara type telescopic rods, but none with finer than 2x tippets and usually bigger than 0x. Good going!

Sep 02, 2013
Wow!
by: Jimi Fly

AWESOME! Super cool. I get comments all the time from people saying you'll never catch a very big fish on that rod. Here's the proof. HAZAAA!

Sep 02, 2013
Fish Fatigue
by: Clyde Olson(GA)

My problem with long battles especially in warm weather is the wear and tear on the fish and I suspect 'successful resusitations' end up with a dead fish in 24 hours---no proof, just a suspicion. Last week on Trophy trout water in NC landed several fish in the 15-17" range on the Shimotsuke 3.6(25p/RFI 6.9) tenkara rod, with one fish taking me a clocked 6 minutes before he left my hand. Will be getting a beefier rod soon to allow me to shorten(read: horse 'em in!) the fight. Tenkara is more like hand-to-hand combat and is such fun, but I worry about the fish. Suspect big carp may be more resilient than the trout. As to a net, I use a big Frabill net or beach the fish when necessary.

Sep 02, 2013
Successful resuscitation
by: Alan Luecke

Carp have become a very hot ticket among certain elements of the local fly fishers. The word on the street is that they are in fact very tough. Many of these urban lakes are fished regularly and visited frequently. One simply does not see dead carp. They don't get dead they just get bigger.
In this case the fisherman was much more in need of successful resuscitation than the carp.
As far as the tippet goes, I was being careful with the rod, hence 5x. Found out this is one tough rod. I'm thinking 4x next time just for a little margin. Regardless, there is no horsing a fish this size. It's calling the shots, you can only wait it out.
It's been quite a weekend. Started with the micros and ended with the biggest fish I've ever caught. Just remember tenkara is for trout.

Sep 02, 2013
Same story
by: Mark Denovich

I caught my first carp on my Kiyose 43MF yesterday. It was a just a little bigger than yours, and way, way bigger than my net. I got his head in, his tail in, but not enough to keep him in while trying to hoist him out with one hand.

I was being cheap and using some 4lb Seagar Invisix fluorocarbon line as tippet. It is a close approximation of 5x tippet. I had nowhere to move, and had to be careful not to fall in myself, but I was never not in control of the fish. I caught him in a a slow moving stream, that featured a deep hole and some boulders for shelter. Try as he might, he simply could not get away and had to watch as the other carp, now thoroughly spooked as they rushed by him to those deep boulders.

It was almost anti-climatic how well the Kiyose handled him. I only played him for a minute or two, steering him around in circles before he relaxed and gave me my first chance to net him.

Fly was a size 4, Black Bonker Zonker. I had cast it into shallow water near another feeding carp which I spooked when he heard the splash, but his buddy didn't notice, so I let the fly sit on the bottom until he moved closer before giving it a tug. He inhaled it and it was game on.

The small lake right next to the stream has even bigger carp (there are several exceeding 48") but they see lots of fishing preasure and as a result are simply too damn smart. I watched one repeatedly hit someone's bait with his nose, eventually knocking free of the hook before eating it.

Sep 02, 2013
Carp City
by: Farmer

Great job guys! I love these carp stories.

Sep 02, 2013
Round in circles
by: Alan Luecke

Does anyone have a theory as to why these fish behave this way on these rods? The local fly club guys are full of stories about carp shooting off across the flats like torpedoes. That strategy would almost certainly defeat these rods, but they don't do it. Every fish of any size I've caught on a tenkara style rod has simply done circles and figure eights until it runs out of gas.

Sep 02, 2013
Gradually increasing resistance
by: TenkaraBum

I think it is the gradually increasing resistance. If a carp is pulling against a fly reel's drag, the resistance doesn't increase. With a fixed line rod, as the rod bends it gets harder and harder for the fish to pull more. I think the fish turns to the side because its gets to be easier than continuing to go straight.

Also, when the tension on the line increases gradually rather than as a sharp tug, even 5x tippet is awfully hard to break. I've done a lot of spin fishing with 4 lb test line, and if I got snagged in a bush or small tree branch that had some give to it, it was really surprisingly hard to break the line.

Sep 02, 2013
Round in circles
by: John @ Tenkara Guides

As one of the instigators in the tenkara carp or Tencarpa!™ movement as we call it, I have a theory about the mythical carp runs that strip reels to the backing in 3.2 seconds and the tenkara rod circles. Western fly rods and reels rely on the braking power of the reel drag system to tire the fish out. The rods are short and don't really have the flexibility or the ability to put a lot of leverage power to work on the fish.

When the carp feel the much lighter resistance of the reel drag and the lower leverage power exerted on them by the rod, they just keep moving forward in an attempt to escape. The other theory I have is that the anglers set the drag way too loose in order to feel the thrill of the line being stripped from the spool. If you let the fish run 100 ft, you prolong the fight when you are reeling in line 10 inches per revolution of the spool.

Long rods like a keiryu rod or beefy tenkara rod generate large amounts of leverage in an upward or lateral direction causing the fish to turn and try to get away from the pull of the rod. Fighting these big powerful fish with a much shorter line keeps the fight close to the angler so it is much faster to get control of the fish and keep it in close.

A short rod and long line puts the test to the gear. A long rod and short line puts the test to the angler.

I do a lot of saltwater fly fishing for bonefish and I have a new ideal rod/reel combination in mind for that based on my tenkara carp experience. What I want does not yet exist. I want a 12.5 ft 8wt rod mated to a large arbor 9-10wt reel. I want the power and leverage of the long rod and the braking power of Boeing 747 wheel brakes in the reel. I want to be able to set the hook, slam on the brakes and let the rod fight the fish. It will be a much faster and even more visceral fight. I get bored reeling in a bunch of line all the time because I let the fish strip the reel.

Sep 03, 2013
InvizX
by: Clyde Olson(GA)

I use InvizX "5x" for all but Tenkara because it mics out nearer to 4X than the stated 5X on the box. Granted, only one spool tested so scientifically a shaky result. Also, Mark's comment on the Daiwa Kyose 43MF and its handling of large carp catches my attention as it was a rod mentioned to me by Chris as a solution to catching larger trout along with my resusitation concerns.

Sep 03, 2013
AWESOME!!!
by: Anonymous

Very NICE job!!! I've been trying to land more carp these past couple of weekends, but for some reason they have not been feeding... I'm jonesing to fight a big fish again....

Sep 03, 2013
Invisix
by: Mark Denovich

Funny, I had pulled out my digital mic a few weeks back and measured the various tippets/lines I had on hand. The 4lb Invisix measured out the same as my 4x fluorocarbon. But for my uses that's may actually beideal. I'm forever losing flies in trees. I'd rather not have to fight any harder than I already do to break free. But a bit more abrasion resistance would be welcome. (I hate stopping to tie on new tippet, it's just enough of a distraction that I drop out of the "zone". The zone is why I fish.) 4x vs 5x visibility: The waters I am currently fishing are not very clear.

Kiyose for big trout rod: I gave up my Suikei (a near perfect all-rounder) to get the Kiyose. I have a Kiyotake 27 and the Nissin 450 SP, for delicate matters. But for a lot of fishing I do, I want a fast sinking fly. The Kiyose is much happier slinging heavy BH Buggers than the Suikei was. Yet it still casts unweighted kebaris quite capably. I plan to do some Czech nymphing next spring. I have high hopes.


Sep 04, 2013
To Mark
by: Clyde Olson(GA)

Don't mean to hijack this thread, but one last comment on InvizX. For 20 bucks you get 200 YARDS of Seagur brand flourocarbon! I first came aware of the product on the Trout Legend site which is comprised of the big-time competitive trout anglers((I'm not) around the country: I heard few comments on questionable quality and lots on the value afforded from guys who go through a lot of tippet. And the stuff is tough. I don't use it for Tenkara because it's advertised on the package as "0.007" and by definition that's 4X---and I don't believe it's "4 lb." as package advertised; so I don't use it for Tenkara----but sure do for everything else. And Mark thanks for the info on the 43MF, probably my next and second rod.

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