First try with a light line.
by Alan Luecke
(Kansas City, MO)
After reading all the talk about light lines and 10x tippet I decided to put together a light line rig. I was planning on a micro day and decided to take it as far as I could with what I had in my pack.
What I came up with was a foot of 3.5 level line to attach to the lillian followed by six feet of 5X fluorocarbon tippet. I then made a 3-4 inch sighter out of red Amnesia with stopper knots at each end. The final piece was two feet of 7X tippet. All connections were stopper knots in the big stuff and davy knot loops on the tippet.
I looked in my fly box and discovered my newly tied batch of size 26 killer buggers was still on my bench at home. I used the smallest fly in the box which was a 20-22 unweighted soft hackle and one no. 10 micro shot.
I tied everything onto my Soyokaze 27, not the longest or softest but very light and handy. It worked great. Regular casts, side arm, everything was fine. I then replaced the small fly and weight with an unweighted size 16 killer bug and also had good luck. A light breeze was not a problem although it was obvious this rig would not take much wind.
I was catching sunfish and chubs and pulling the fly through the water. Drifts were not on the table perfect or otherwise.
Everything was great until a sunfish hit hard and then broke off just as I attempted to set the hook. The rod loaded and then quickly unloaded sending the fly straight up past the rod tip and then back down. The entire rig instantly turned into a mangled ball of half hitches around the rod. With a level line this means a minute or two of unwinding and at worst cutting off the fly so the tippet can be pulled through. With seven feet of tippet there is no unwinding. The entire rig was a do over.
I came away with three thoughts. These light responsive rods will cast almost any line you care to tie on. Amensia is a good sighter solution, less wind resistance and easy tippet attachment. And finally, over time an all tippet rig will cause a lot of grief.
I'll do this again when I manage to get the Kurenai, the 26's and some little fish all together, but life is too short to spend fishing this much tippet without a good reason.
Walk softly and carry a long stick. - Teddy Roosevelt (almost)
Tenkara has no strict rules. Enjoy tenkara in your own way.
- Eiji Yamakawa
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin