Tenkara Fishing Blog

The Tenkara Fishing Blog is a mini journal about tenkara. It will let you know whenever any new pages on TenkaraBum are uploaded or if there are significant changes in existing pages. It will also help keep you up to date with what's new in tenkara fishing in the US.

Feb 18, 2017

Two Winners: ZimmerBuilt Tenkara Sling Lite and Guide Sling Packs

What do you look for in a lightweight day pack for tenkara or keiryu fishing? Quality? Good price? Durability? I think most of us want functional dependability.

Continue reading "Two Winners: ZimmerBuilt Tenkara Sling Lite and Guide Sling Packs"

Feb 17, 2017

kyotaki 21

Thanks to Chris, I received my Kyotaki 21 in time to use on the weekend I'd wanted to finally wet a line in 2017! But the snowstorm decided otherwise!

Continue reading "kyotaki 21"

Feb 15, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Utah Killer Bug Yarn - Whole Ball The most popular color - for one of the simplest, most productive flies. Back in stock.

Feb 15, 2017

An Interesting Hackle

I recently picked up a couple ring-neck pheasant neck-rings as a substitute for exotic feathers on salmon flies. It turns out that the feathers are also

Continue reading "An Interesting Hackle"

Feb 15, 2017

Father and Son First Tenkara Nymphing

We got our first taste of tenkara fishing with a TenBum 36 last summer on the frying pan in CO. Perfect drag free drifts tripled our catch rate on dry

Continue reading "Father and Son First Tenkara Nymphing"

Feb 14, 2017

Micro Fishing Fun

It was too nice of a day to not go fishing. I grabbed my Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 44 and 3 containers of Mummy Worms and headed down to Marsing

Continue reading "Micro Fishing Fun"

Feb 12, 2017

Give Yourself Time

I haven’t told anyone this. In fact, the only other person who knows the story is my wife, Robin. Several years ago I tried tenkara fishing for the first

Continue reading "Give Yourself Time"

Feb 12, 2017

Roaring River State Park: Suntech 27, micro eggs and more

Chris has another hit on his hands with the Suntech 27. This morning I fished it at Roaring River State Park for the last weekend of the winter catch and

Continue reading "Roaring River State Park: Suntech 27, micro eggs and more"

Feb 07, 2017

Its a Shooting Head!

I bought a spool of Sunline #1 line last week. Roughly following Chris' instructions under the title Tenjo Line, I finally got what I was looking for.

Continue reading "Its a Shooting Head!"

Feb 05, 2017

Tenjo Line

Sunline Tenjo LineThe Tenjo Line is the uppermost section of a keiryu or ayu fishing line. It can serve several purposes, but I generally use one for visiblility and to reduce tangles. Thus, I choose a hi-vis line that is a bit thicker than the rest of the keiryu line.

The main benefit of the hi-vis is that it is easy to see and it effectively points to your markers, making them easier to spot at the very beginning of your drift. The main benefit of having a slightly thicker line is that it reduces the chances of tangles at the rod tip.

Continue reading "Tenjo Line"

Feb 03, 2017

Old White Eye and the Spincast Kid

This evening I received a story from a long-time customer, one I just had to pass along.

He was fishing in a popular state park and was doing pretty well, catching little stocker 'bows. Well, you know how it is: in a public place, if you start catching fish, other fishermen start edging toward you. So this kid (maybe 12-13 years old) gets up next to him and starts beating the water to death with a $5 dollar spincast reel.

About this time he's thinking, "I wish that kid'd go away and let me fish in peace. He's not going to catch anything!"

Then guess what happens? The kid hooks - AND LANDS - a monster 7.5 lb largemouth bass that's blind in one eye! Check out the white eye in the photo my customer took.

Old White Eye and the Spincast Kid

The moral of the story? Don't make fun of other fishermen - ever - no matter what equipment they have!


The kid released the bass to fight another day. Blind in one eye or not, it was a healthy fish.

And it did fight another day. Old White Eye got caught again a few days later, this time by a 40-something year old man, who also had a photo taken of him holding Old White Eye.

My customer saw the second photo and talked to the ranger. Same fish.

The moral of the story? If you release Old White Eye you get a photo and a really uplifting story - that continues. If you kill Old White Eye, the story ends.

Feb 02, 2017

Gamakatsu Amago + Mummy Worms

The last time I went to Wilson Springs, I used a beadhead with a 3x 12 hook. I had two trout swallow the whole works. They were good eating. However,

Continue reading "Gamakatsu Amago + Mummy Worms"

Jan 31, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Daiwa Keiryu-X 39 Very compact, fairly stiff rod that is well suited for heavy nymphs or bulky, wind resistant flies. Back in stock.

Jan 30, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Utah Killer Bug Yarn / Black Killer Bugger Yarn The two most popular colors. Back in stock.

Jan 30, 2017

How to cut your lillian

I have been enjoying Keiryu fishing with thinner and thinner lines. However, I learned the hard way that you need to tie a loop attachment so you can

Continue reading "How to cut your lillian"

Jan 28, 2017

Please Don't Loan Out Your Rod

I confess that I made a horrible mistake a few weeks ago. The whole episode started innocently enough, when I decided to loan my Suntech Field Master 39

Continue reading "Please Don't Loan Out Your Rod"

Jan 25, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Kyogi 21BX The 21 shaku (20'8") Kyogi BX (black). The most capable rod short of a salmon rod. Back in stock.

Jan 25, 2017

A day of Firsts (Lesson in depth)

Today was my first-day with my new Airstage 340. Today was my first-day using Mummy Worms. Today was also my first-day ultra light (pseudo) worm fishing.

Continue reading "A day of Firsts (Lesson in depth)"

Jan 24, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Large Rod Case, Long Rod Case Inexpensive, light weight rod cases. The Large will hold 4 standard tenkara rods. The Long will hold rods with collapsed lengths of 32-40 inches. Back in stock.

Jan 22, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Nissin Royal Stage 360 7:3 Excellent all-around tenkara rod. Back in stock.

Nissin Pocket Mini 270 Very light, very compact rod - the ultimate backpacking rod. Back in stock.

Micro Fishing Kit Hooks, line and sinker for the smallest of fish. Big fun in small package. Back in stock.

Mummy Worms - natural color Surprise hit of the year. People I had thought were fly-fishing-only are buying these! Give 'em a try. They catch fish. Back in stock.

Jan 22, 2017

A Twofer

I've been going back to the local winter fishing hole a couple times last week. The fishing there has been really good and really fun. I caught my personal

Continue reading "A Twofer "

Jan 19, 2017

Following Thin, Blue Lines

The intersection of two worlds, the aquatic and terrestrial, is an interesting place. There’s something about visiting the world of fish and frogs that

Continue reading "Following Thin, Blue Lines"

Jan 18, 2017

Daiwa Hinata Chutsugi

The Daiwa Hinata Chutsugi rods are short zoom rods that are just ideal for very small streams. They come in three lengths. The shortest one can be fished at 6'8" or 7'11". The medium one can be fished at 7'11" or 9'2". The longest one can be fished at 9'2" or 10'6".

The rods are intended for a number of small fish species, but also for smaller crucian carp. The soft tip will still dance with a small fish, but the firm midsection and stiff butt will allow you to land surprisingly large fish - the longer two rods will certainly handle larger fish than the shortest, but I would expect that even it could handle fish greater than 12" without a problem.

Daiwa Hinata Chutsugi

Continue reading "Daiwa Hinata Chutsugi"

Jan 17, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Tippet Rings For the end of your level line, for droppers and for making keiryu lines. Back in stock.

Jan 13, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Long Rod Case Light weight, inexpensive case. Adjusts from 32 to 40 inches. Back in stock.

Fuji KTC-20 Rod Caps Caps to fit a number of keiryu rods. Back in stock.

Jan 12, 2017

As the Worm Turns: Fish-Off between Mummy Worms and Live Butterworms

For several years, my wife and I have used live Butterworms as bait in our keiryu fishing with good results. Butterworms (usually spelled as one word)

Continue reading "As the Worm Turns: Fish-Off between Mummy Worms and Live Butterworms"

Jan 11, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Mummy Worms New colors! Chartreuse, green, and purple. Pink, brown and orange back in stock.

Jan 11, 2017

Kyogi Fishing!

It is nice to see the Kyogi back in stock. I bought a Kyogi 21 last year for steelhead fishing. I got to go on one trip in November and I did hook and

Continue reading "Kyogi Fishing!"

Jan 09, 2017

This Just In...

Daiwa Seiryu X 45 Very nice, inexpensive seiryu rod that will also work well for tenkara fishing. Back in stock.

Jan 06, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Keiryu Starter Kit Complete kit, with Nissin 540ZX keiryu rod, keiryu rigs and line holders. Back in stock.

Utah Killer Bug One Fly Kit All the materials you need to tie 25 Utah Killer bugs, with illustrated instruction sheet. Back in stock.

Black Killer Bugger One Fly Kit All the materials you need to tie 25 Black Killer Buggers, with illustrated instruction sheet. Back in stock.

Ishigaki One Fly Kit All the materials you need to tie 25 Ishigaki flies, with illustrated instruction sheet. Back in stock.

Jan 06, 2017

Embrace the Cold

Hyalite Canyon is of my favorite places. I've spent the last ten or so winters climbing ice there, but it wasn't until last year that I tried fishing the

Continue reading "Embrace the Cold"

Jan 05, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Black Killer Bugger Yarn and Utah Killer Bug Yarn The two most popular colors. Back in stock.

Jan 05, 2017

Mummy Worms

I first learned of Mummy Worms from the taxidermist who makes Jackalope heads for Cabela's. Now I know that mummification and taxidermy aren't the same, at least not quite, but somehow it seems fitting.

Mummy Worms are preserved wax worms, and although they won't last for 5000 years, like real mummies, they will last for 6 months without refrigeration. If you can't finish a container of Mummy Worms (about 40 worms) in 6 months you don't go fishing enough! With refrigeration, they'll last up to two years.

They come in a range of colors and they do catch fish!

trout caught with Mummy Worm

Continue reading "Mummy Worms"

Jan 02, 2017

Gamakatsu GM-1898 Line Winder Review

Here's a different sort of line winder that I haven't seen before. I picked these up on a recent trip to Japan. The store attendant told me these were

Continue reading "Gamakatsu GM-1898 Line Winder Review"

Jan 01, 2017

1st Trout on New Daiwa Sagiri 45MC

I received this rod a few weeks ago and went out to a local tailrace which is stocked in the winter months with trout. Excellent rod for it's length,

Continue reading "1st Trout on New Daiwa Sagiri 45MC"

Dec 31, 2016


It was our last relatively warm day for a while so I headed out to a thawed-out part of the river. Thanks to the encouragement from people here, I finally

Continue reading "Success"

Dec 29, 2016

Fly tying and thinking and reminiscing !!

I tied my first Takayama Sakasa Kebari today. I tied 5 from the one fly kit I ordered from Chris, and then I ventured a bit on my own with the fly in

Continue reading "Fly tying and thinking and reminiscing !!"

Dec 27, 2016

Tenkara Day Trippin'

What to do with a day off? Housework? Meh. Tenkara? YES. Most local lakes still had lots of ice from the recent cold snap, so I decided to make a quick

Continue reading "Tenkara Day Trippin' "

Dec 27, 2016

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

TenkaraBum 40 You asked for it, you got it! Longer version of the TenkaraBum 36 - built on a different blank to keep the same feel even though the rod is longer. New item.

Nissin Oni Line - Orange 3.5 Popular color in popular size. Back in stock.

Dec 22, 2016

In Search of (Liquid) Water

Happy winter everyone! This is definitely my favorite time of year despite the fishing difficulties. I attempted a little fishing the other day before

Continue reading "In Search of (Liquid) Water"

Dec 21, 2016

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Utah Killer Bug Yarn This is the yarn for the rightfully famous Utah Killer Bug. Back in stock

Dec 20, 2016

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

TenkaraBum 33 A bit shorter than the TenkaraBum 36 and a bit firmer overall. Intended for smaller streams that hold fish too large for a Kurenai HM33R. May prove to be a better nymphing rod than the 36. New item.

Dec 17, 2016

Why I Love to Fish in the Winter

It is 14 degrees as I type. I was going to take my son to Wilson Creek Springs today and fish even though it was 3 degrees when I woke up, but he is sick.

Continue reading "Why I Love to Fish in the Winter"

Dec 16, 2016

Trip Report - 12-11-16

I'm falling behind on trip reports, mostly because recent trips have not given me much to write about.

Although I do fish in the winter, I'm getting to the point where standing in a cold river on a cold day isn't that much fun - especially when the fishing is slow. And for me, winter fishing is almost always slow. Often, two or three fish is a good day.

The weather in the northeast has been relatively mild up until this past week. Today the high in New York City was in the mid 30s. I wanted to get out because I have a couple new rods I hadn't caught anything with, and I always like to have a fishy photo with a new rod.

Daiwa Seiryu X

Continue reading "Trip Report - 12-11-16"

Dec 16, 2016

JDM Spinning or Baitcasting gear - interested?

In addition to making premium tenkara rods, Tenryu makes some beautiful spinning and baitcasting trout rods with cork grips and hardwood accents. They also make spinning and baitcasting rods for bass (foam grips).

Tenryu 4 Piece Spin

I suspect I would be much more likely to stock the trout rods, which are all 2 or 4 piece rods, and fit in my current shipping boxes, rather than the bass rods, which are all 1 piece rods and would need long reinforced shipping tubes that I don't have room to store.

These are not rods you will find at Bass Pro Shops or Cabela's. Prices would be comparable to G Loomis rods ($300-450).

Daiwa and Shimano make reels that are are not sold in the US. I can probably get any of them.

At this point, I am just trying to judge the amount of interest, I am not taking orders.

If you think you might be interested in some premium JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) gear, please take a look at TenkaraBum's sister website: Finesse-Fishing.com. The website isn't close to being finished yet, but please bookmark the site and visit often to see what's new.

Dec 15, 2016

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Daiwa Seiryu X 35 Very nice, surprisingly inexpensive seiryu rod that feels like a tenkara rod (but lighter and with a more sensitive grip). Back in stock.

Suntech Fine Power NP66 Premium keiryu rod (for either keiryu or honryu tenkara fishing) that can protect 9X tippets but can also handle trout over 20". Amazing rod. Back in stock.

Dec 14, 2016

One Fly Kit Utah Killer Bug **Honest Review**

My experience here at Tenkara Bum has been stellar with pretty much every single thing I have purchased. So here is a short review on the One Fly Utah

Continue reading "One Fly Kit Utah Killer Bug **Honest Review**"

Dec 12, 2016

Suntech TenkaraBum 40 Pre-orders

The Suntech TenkaraBum 40, which I had thought would not be released until spring, will be delivered the week of December 18. The timing will be tight but I should be able to ship pre-ordered rods the same day I receive them. That should be make delivery on or before Christmas eve possible if I receive them on or before Wednesday the 21st. International shipments will not arrive by Christmas.

The TenkaraBum 40 is not just the TenkaraBum 36 with one more section. It is built on a different blank, optimized to give performance very similar to the TenkaraBum 36 while minimizing any tendency for tip heaviness. The 40 has a slightly longer collapsed length, allowing Suntech to make a longer rod with the same number of sections. That improves the bend profile and also keeps down the weight. It measures just a half penny stiffer than the TenkaraBum 36.

Suntech TenkaraBum 40 and rainbow

Continue reading "Suntech TenkaraBum 40 Pre-orders"

Dec 11, 2016

Daiwa Seiryu X Rods

The new Daiwa Seiryu X rods are surprisingly nice and surprisingly inexpensive rods for trout and panfish. I once told a friend, only half joking, that Daiwa has discontinued better rods than most companies have ever made. The Soyokaze is a prime example. Regular readers know how well-loved the Soyokaze is. You probably couldn't buy a used one - and if you could you'd pay substantially more than they ever sold for new. Another example is the Rinfu, a rod that most people have never even heard of.

One good thing, though, is that after discontinuing a great rod, Daiwa tends to replace it with another great rod. It seems to me that the Seiryu X is a replacement for the Rinfu.

These rods - and especially at these prices - are likely to shake up the US tenkara market a bit. Light weight, mid flex "tenkara" action, 5X tippet capability and low prices. Daiwa has a winner in this one!

Daiwa Seiryu X

Continue reading "Daiwa Seiryu X Rods"

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