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.

Oct 25, 2016

3x5 Photo Tank

The 3x5 Photo Tank will hold larger fish than the Micro Photo Tank, and will also hold several micros at once, allowing easier comparisons to aid identification.

The 3x5 Photo Tank is almost 3.5" deep and almost 5.5" long (inside measurements). It is about 3" front to back. Small sunfish, which do not fit in the Micro Photo Tank, and which are notoriously difficult to identify, fit in the 3x5 Photo Tank easily.

3x5 Photo Tank

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Oct 24, 2016

Nissin fine mode 270

I guess it doesn't matter how you come to Tenkara as long as you come to it. I got interested in Tenkara from youtube videos I found while learning to

Continue reading "Nissin fine mode 270"

Oct 21, 2016

Fujino White Soft Tenkara Line

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Tenkara Jam in Cherokee NC and fish the local streams. While in the area, I wanted to fish small

Continue reading "Fujino White Soft Tenkara Line "

Oct 19, 2016

A New Stream

I feel that I've been neglecting my tenkara rods a bit as of late. I recently finished a build on my first Western-style rod, a beautiful little 4wt, and

Continue reading "A New Stream"

Oct 16, 2016

Fixed line white bass

A little after work fun with the white bass at the local Ohio river dam. The bass were hitting top water in a fast current. I used a Suntech fieldmaster

Continue reading "Fixed line white bass"

Oct 11, 2016

Keiryu Trip

This weekend was my first attempt at keiryu fishing. At first, I was throwing the nymphs off every few casts because I was trying to cast the keiryu rig

Continue reading "Keiryu Trip"

Oct 10, 2016

Appalachian Tenkara Jam - Replacement Parts

Before every show or Jam, I request that if there is something in particular that you would like to see or purchase at the event, please tell me ahead of time. At every show, someone comes up to the booth and asks me if I have a certain replacement part.

Please, if you will want a replacement part, let me know now. There are hundreds and hundreds of parts and I can't bring them all. If you want a part, ask in advance and I will bring it.

Oct 07, 2016

Appalachian Tenkara Jam

This year's Appalachian Tenkara Jam will be this coming weekend, October 15-16, in Cherokee, NC. I will be driving down and back, and will be away for an entire week (two days down, a day to fish a bit and set up the booth, two days of jammin' and two days back.

I will try to get all orders shipped on Saturday the 8th and Tuesday the 11th (Monday is a postal holiday). Any order that doesn't get shipped on the 11th will get shipped after I return.

Orders will be processed in the sequence in which they are received, so it will not pay to wait until I get back to place an order - you'll have a week's worth of orders in line before yours.

I will have very little time to answer emails. If you place an order, and if you get a PayPal receipt, then rest assured, I got your order. No need to send an email asking if I got your order.

If you are going to the Jam and would like to see a particular rod or anything else from the TenkaraBum shop, let me know by Tuesday the 11th. I can't bring everything but if you ask for it you'll probably get it. If you wait until the 12th to ask, you'll have waited too long because I'll already be on the road.

Oct 07, 2016

This Just In...

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

Nissin 2-Way 540ZX Medium Nice starter rod for keiryu fishing or big water tenkara fishing. Back in stock.

Killer Bug and Black Killer Bugger Two deadly flies. Back in stock.

Oct 06, 2016

This Just In...

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

Suntech Kurenai HM30R and HM33R Almost unbelievably light rods for smaller streams and smaller fish (anything you can catch with 7X tippet). Guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Back in stock.

Suntech FMX Keiryu extra stiff 63 The polar opposite of the HM30R. Big beefy 20'7" rod. It's a trout rod but it feels like a carp rod. New Item.

Oct 05, 2016

Trip Report - 10-2-16

The trip was intended to be a tenkara trip. Following discussions with Adam K last week about his trip to Japan, I had intended to spend the day concentrating on tenkara as practiced in Japan (although without the camaraderie, foraging, drinking and blue tarps which seem to be more central to tenkara as practiced in Japan than anyone realized). The goal was to entice the fish to strike with careful water reading, accurate casting and subtle manipulation.

Well, after having fished a generally productive section of the stream and having gotten not so much as a tap, I rigged up the Syunki with a light keiryu rig (7X main line, 9X tippet, yarn markers, a #6 split shot, a Varivas 2300 #28 hook and a red wiggler).

Keiryu Rainbow

I fished the exact same 20 yards of the stream that I had just thoroughly worked. I missed a fish on my first drift and caught the rainbow above on the second. That first rainbow was quickly followed by a second, and a little while later by a third - all in a short stretch of water I had already thoroughly fished.

Continue reading "Trip Report - 10-2-16"

Oct 05, 2016

Another Shoreline

I know a lot of places to fish in the metro area, but it's always exciting to find a good one. I didn't think Hillsdale Reservoir was a good one. Hillsdale

Continue reading "Another Shoreline"

Oct 04, 2016

This Just In...

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

Kids Tenkara Kit A tenkara kit just for kids, with a kid sized rod, line, tippet, Fuji EZ Keepers, three flies and a fly box. Everything a kid needs (other than parental supervision). Back in stock.

Small Stream Starter Kit - better Nothing fancy but a very functional rod that works very nicely in small brushy streams. Rod, line and EZ Keepers. Back in stock.

Nissin Fine Mode Kosansui 270 Ideal rod for small streams or small anglers. Back in stock.

Daiwa Expert Tenkara Rods No, the rod won't make you and expert, but if you are an expert you will definitely recognize and appreciate the build quality and bend profile. If you aren't an expert but want to be, this rod won't hold you back. Back in stock.

Fujino Tenkara Tippet - 6.5X Japanese line size .5, equivalent to 6.5X, is the maximum recommended for the Suntech Kurenai, Nissin Pocket Mini and Nissin Air Stage Hakubai. Back in stock.

C&F Design 2 in 1 Retractor Secure system for holding two streamside tools. Out of the way but always at hand. Back in stock.

Oct 01, 2016

This Just In...

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

TrailLite Titanium Tenkara Net The "Ti Net" is a very light, very modern, very strong adaptation of the traditional tenkara net. Back in stock.

ZimmerBuilt Tenkara Guide Sling Designed by the Tenkara Guides in Salt Lake City, this sling holds multiple rods and has space for your gear, lunch, water, rain jacket and the other little essentials that you know you need on the river. Back in stock.

Black Killer Bugger Yarn This yarn, not quite black, makes the Black Killer Bugger, which you probably want in your box if you're not a one-fly angler (or even if you are). Back in stock.

Sep 30, 2016

Trip Report 9-25-16

Adam - 8
Chris - 1

I am not a competitive person by nature. I do not feel any need whatsoever to catch more fish than the next guy. I don't mind a bit if the next guy catches more fish than I do - as long as it's only a few more, that is. Last Sunday it was not just a few more.

I was not a happy camper, but not because Adam was catching more fish. It was because the fish were there and they were hitting - or rather Adam was able to get them to hit and I couldn't. So it wasn't that he was "beating" me, it was that there was obviously a method that worked but I couldn't figure it out.

On that particular day on that particular stream, Adam was catching fish by manipulating his fly and I hadn't gotten even a single hit with dead drifts. After lunch, I started manipulating a sakasa kebari, casting into little plunges, waiting a few beats for the fly to sink and then starting to gently pulse the fly.

Trout and TenkaraBum 36

Continue reading "Trip Report 9-25-16"

Sep 30, 2016

Big Fish VA - Daiwa Kiyose 43M

Have been fishing and catching trout in the 10 to 15in and was itching to catch bigger fish to see what the rod could handle and make one last trip before

Continue reading "Big Fish VA - Daiwa Kiyose 43M"

Sep 27, 2016

Tenkara Angler Fall 2016

The Fall 2016 issue of Tenkara Angler is out!

Tenkara Angler Fall 2016

Tenkara Angler Fall 2016 contents

Full of articles, artwork and insights. It's free!
You can access it here: Tenkara Angler.

Please read my article on tenkara fishing for micros "A Niche Within a Niche Within Niche."

Sep 26, 2016

Trip Report: Sand Creek, Co.

If you’re a fan of small streams with big fish and also hiking, I highly recommend the tenkara friendly Sand creek on the western slopes of the Sangre

Continue reading "Trip Report: Sand Creek, Co."

Sep 26, 2016

The Advantages of a Long Rod and Ball Float

The video below was shot by Glenn L, a customer from Ohio who recently took a trip to Colorado. He was fishing with a Nissin 540ZX medium. His brother, who was using a fly rod and reel, was unable to keep his fly in a large eddy on the far side of heavy current. The extra length of the 540ZX kept the line off the surface and out of the current - and kept the fly in the "honey hole."

The video also shows an advantage of a ball float. A sakasa kebari acts like a parachute under water, resisting the pull caused by line sag and allowing you to keep line off the water. Glenn's size 20 zebra midge has no resistance. What helped Glenn keep his line off the surface and his fly in the eddy? His floating indicator, which also resists the pull of the line.

The video pretty clearly shows the advantages you could get with a 540ZX rod and Nakazima Ball Float.

Update: Apparently not everyone can view the video. If it won't play for you, cut and paste this URL into your browser


Sep 26, 2016

Chasing cutthroats in the Valle Vidal

Finally was able to go to this area of New Mexico and fish for Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout in this high elevation meadow. I focused my efforts on Comanche

Continue reading "Chasing cutthroats in the Valle Vidal "

Sep 24, 2016

This Just In...

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

Utah Killer Bug Yarn This is the yarn for Utah Killer Bugs. They're very easy to tie and effective. Back in stock.

Black Killer Bugger Yarn If there is a fly more effective than a Utah Killer Bug, it's probably the Black Killer Bugger. Back in stock.

"One Fly" Tying Kit™ Killer Bugger All the materials you need to tie Killer Buggers. Choose the Black Killer Bugger Kit or White Killer Bugger Kit. Back in stock.

"One Fly" Tying Kit™ Ishigaki All the materials you need to tie a soft hackled version of Dr. Ishigaki's famous fly. Back in stock.

Sep 23, 2016

Fishing For Buffalo

Now that carp rods are being listed on TenkaraBum I thought perhaps the following book might be of some interest to carp anglers and life-listers (definitely

Continue reading "Fishing For Buffalo"

Sep 22, 2016


Show Cancelled

I am sorry to inform you that the TenkaraBum Catskill Tenkara Weekend scheduled for June 3-4, 2017 has been cancelled. Upon serious reflection, I decided that the tenkara community did not need another Tenkara Jam type event. We already have the Jam in the east, the Midwest Tenkara Fest in the midwest and the Oni School in the west.

It might be nice to have a more informal "fish in" some weekend, with people getting together to fish, camp, drink beer and tell lies, but it will not an "event" with speakers, presentations, publicity, tickets, etc.

I had told you to save the date. The date is now free.

Sep 20, 2016

Trip Report 9-17-16

The Limits of Zero Fishing

Saturday was not intended to be a keiyru trip or a microfishing trip, but it turned out to be a little of both. In recent weeks I've had a couple very productive trips. The first yielded the discovery that a soft tenkara or seiryu rod and a light tenkara line was well suited for fishing the "upstream worm" (Ultralight Worm Fishing). The second was a trip devoted to zero fishing, that subniche within keiryu that uses small hooks, light lines and soft rods for the ultimate in ultralight fishing (Trip Report 9-10-16). For the second trip, I used a Suntech Suikei ZPRO, which has been discontinued. I did mention in the report, though, that Suntech has four rods in their current offerings that are rated for tippets down to 10X or lighter.

My intention for Saturday's trip was to try all four of those 10X rated rods with Varivas 10X tippet but to try the zero fishing techniques with flies rather than bait.

Suntech Fine Power NP66 with Brookie

Continue reading "Trip Report 9-17-16"

Sep 20, 2016

Nissin SP 390

I took out the long pole to catch a few bluegill from the family pond. My first outing, over the Fourth of July weekend was great, fishing bead head nymphs

Continue reading "Nissin SP 390"

Sep 19, 2016

This Just In...

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

Kiwi's flies Black Killer Bugger, Killer Bug, Royal Sakasa kebari. Back in stock.

Suntech Fine Power NP66 Very nice, smooth casting, progressive flex keiryu rod. Casts a size 2.5 tenkara line like it was made for it. New item.

Suntech Genryu Sawanobori 54 Stiff rod for lantern fishing or Czech nymphing. New Item.

Suntech Kaname Special 60 One of the nicest keiryu rods I've seen. Very sensitive and absolutely beautiful. A bit firmer than the Fine Power. Casts a size 3 tenkara line well. Back in stock.

Suntech Grayce II NP52 Another beautiful keiryu rod from Suntech. A bit firmer than the Kaname Special and capable of handling very nice fish on 5X tippets. Casts a size 3.5 tenkara line. Back in stock.

Suntech FMX Keiryu stiff 62 Suntech quality at a more affordable price. Very capable rod. Casts a size 3.5 tenkara line. Back in stock.

Medium Rod Cases Light weight adjustable rod cases. Back in stock.

Nakazima Ball Floats More easily adjustable than Thingamabobbers. Two sizes. Back in stock.

Sep 14, 2016

This Just In...

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

Black Killer Bugger Yarn This is the yarn for the Black Killer Bugger, which caught 54 species a couple summers ago in the Black Killer Bugger Challenge. Back in stock.

Sep 13, 2016

August Lahontans

After recently reading about a newly restored Sierra Nevada stream on the Calif. DFG website, I made plans to be there Aug 1st, 2016, the season opener

Continue reading "August Lahontans"

Sep 12, 2016

Streamside Repair

On my second outing with my Tenkarabum 36 I managed to snap off the tip through an act of clumsiness. It was getting late and we were a few miles from

Continue reading "Streamside Repair"

Sep 11, 2016

Trip Report 9-10-16

This report will be filed under micro fishing trip reports and keiryu trip reports.

One of the nice things about renting a car rather than taking the commuter train to go fishing is that I can easily go to more than one spot. The plan for the day was to start on one suburban stream where I had caught micros before, and then go to a different suburban stream that has a good population of wild trout for some "zero" fishing.

Micro Fishing Trip Report

What prompted the micro fishing portion of the trip (beyond the fact that I just hadn't done it in a while) was a post on the Tenkara Micro Fishing Facebook page asking about a tanago bait shown on a YouTube video.

 Egg and flour paste bait

Keiryu Fishing Trip Report

In my rod reviews and trip reports, I have frequently mentioned zero fishing but I haven't frequently done it. Zero fishing is a niche within keiryu (mountain stream bait fishing) that is the ultimate in ultralight. In an attempt to add as close to nothing (zero) to the natural bait as possible, zero anglers use small, light wire hooks, the minimum amount of added weight to get the bait down to the strike zone, and fishing lines that are as thin as or even thinner than the Varivas 10X tippet. They use a rod that is soft enough to protect 10X tippet and to bend easily when the fish hits so that it will feel no tension on the line.

Small Brown Kept Wet

Continue reading "Trip Report 9-10-16"

Sep 08, 2016

This Just In...

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

Suntech Genryuko 39 Excellent Czech nymphing / backpacking rod that collapses to just 15 3/8". Back in stock.

Sep 07, 2016

This Just In...

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

Anthony Naples' flies Black Ghost Streamer, Brown Hackle Peacock, Yarn Bodied Amano, Frenchie Nymph, CDC & Elk, Zebra Midge. Back in stock.

Sep 05, 2016

Suntech FMX Keiryu Extra Stiff

The Suntech FMX Keiryu extra stiff rods really are extra stiff. The 4.5 meter rod measures a whopping 67 pennies. It's a trout rod, but 67 pennies is carp rod territory! Unfortunately, I have not yet hooked a fish that would even come close to testing the rod's limits. A smaller fish will put a bend in the rod, just not a very big bend. When you hook a fish in the mid teens, you'll get a nice bend and a nice fight, but you know the rod can handle so much more.

Of the three Suntech FMX Keiryu rods, the ZPRO, the stiff and the extra stiff, this is the one that surprised me. Although it is a seriously stiff rod, I found that it would cast a size 4 fluorocarbon line surprisingly well (better than the Suntech Genryu Sawanobori 45). The overall rod is surprisingly stiff but the upper third of the rod is just soft enough (and has just enough inertia) that it actually casts pretty well.

Suntech FMX Keiryu Extra Stiff

Continue reading "Suntech FMX Keiryu Extra Stiff"

Aug 31, 2016

This Just In...

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

Kiwi's flies Killer Bugs, Killer Buggers, Kebari, Stewart Black Spiders and Mickey Finn Bucktails. Supplies are limited! Back in stock.

Aug 27, 2016

Bobber N' Bait

A couple of weeks ago I took the Daiwa 43M (love it - my most versatile rod) down to a local warm water stream and experimented with a 1/2 Thingamabobber

Continue reading "Bobber N' Bait"

Aug 27, 2016

This Just In...

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

Nissin Pro Square 360 6:4 and 7:3 rods Competitively priced Japanese made starter rods. Light and sensitive. Back in stock.

Medium and Small Rod Cases Light weight, inexpensive adjustable rod cases. Back in stock.

Daiwa 4m floating tenkara line If you want a floating line this is the one you want. Back in stock.

Fuji KTC-12 and KTC-20 rod caps More secure and harder to lose than tip plugs. Back in stock.

Yamatoyo fluorescent chartreuse fluorocarbon level line, size 3.5 The most popular size. Back in stock.

Sunline Tenjo line Bright yellow size 1 nylon line for the tenjo portion of a keiryu line. Back in stock.

Aug 27, 2016

Nakazima Ball Floats

The Better Bobber!

Nakazima Ball Floats are better bobbers!

Let's call a spade a spade. Fly fishing indicators are bobbers. Nothing wrong with that. They indicate strikes and they also suspend a weighted nymph or other fly at a specific depth - both very valuable functions. Thousands and thousands of fly fishermen use them.

For that matter I know tenkara anglers who use them. I fish with one frequently (and he outfishes me frequently). Coach often fishes a tungsten bead head nymph, and he uses a 3/4" Thingamabobber for a strike indicator and also to hold the nymph just above the bottom. I can attest to its effectiveness! I do think his Thingamabobber is larger than necessary, but I have to admit that it does work (and in some situations it works much better than just watching a hi-vis line).

Trout with Nakazima Ball Float

Continue reading "Nakazima Ball Floats"

Aug 26, 2016

Suntech FMX Keiryu Stiff

The Suntech FMX Keiryu stiff is one of three rods recently released by Suntech, a small Japanese company known for excellent quality Ayu and Keiryu rods. The other two are the FMX Keiryu ZPRO, which is a very soft, full flex rod, and the FMX Keiryu extra stiff, which truly is extra stiff and is the stiffest keiryu rod I have ever measured.

The rods come in four lengths: 45, 54, 62 and 72. I have the 45 and the 54 in stock. (I had one 62, but before I finished this page a guy on the West Coast who wanted a long rod for surf fishing bought it.) They are beefy rods that are capable of landing very nice fish.

The FMX Keiryu stiff 45 is a 32 penny rod, a penny more than the TUSA Amago and a penny less than the Daiwa Enshou LT44SF (which is the nicest big fish tenkara rod I know of). Based on the penny rating, the FMX Keiryu stiff should be more capable than the Daiwa Kiyose 43M.

It is a bit longer than many other 4.5m rods at just an inch shy of 15 feet. Some anglers are going to be quite comfortable fishing it one handed but some will prefer to use both. I can tell you that if you hook a big enough fish, you will use both hands anyway!

Suntech FMX Keiryu Stiff

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Aug 25, 2016

Women of Tenkara

Tenkara fishing is new in America, which means that the appeal of tenkara to U.S. women anglers is also new. My wife, Robin, and I have been trying it

Continue reading "Women of Tenkara"

Aug 23, 2016

Trip Report - 8-14-16

Sorry to be so far behind on trip reports. My last one was from July 3rd. I have been fishing a bit, but you know the old expression "nothing to write home about." I did actually write up a couple trips in my Ultralight Worm Fishing essay but listed it under Keiryu Fishing rather than Trip Reports.

Sunday of last week was a day on the Farmington with Adam K. My goal for the day was two fish. Perhaps it would be more accurate to write "at least two fish" but I had two specific fish In mind. I wanted to catch a trout of about 15-16" for a page on a new rod I recently imported from Japan. The rods are in stock but the page isn't written.

fmx keiryu extra stiff rainbow

The other fish I wanted was an Atlantic Salmon parr, caught on a streamer, to enter in the current TenkaraBum Streamer Challenge.

Continue reading "Trip Report - 8-14-16"

Aug 22, 2016

This Just In...

Fishing Backpack Rugged pack for when you need to carry more than will fit in a ZimmerBuilt Guide Sling. Back in stock.

Aug 22, 2016

The High Life

I can't say I've had great luck fishing in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. I've fished there perhaps 8 or 10 times, often in the cold season when

Continue reading "The High Life"

Aug 20, 2016

This Just In...

Small Stream Keiryu Starter Kit A more complete kit than the Keiryu Starter Kit and with zoom rods to better fit smaller streams. Back in stock.

Keiryu Starter Kit for Kids What you need to get a kid started in either keiryu or tenkara fishing. A true dual used kit. Back in stock.

Aug 19, 2016

This Just In...

Ebira, Ebira Plus, Ebira Guide Light weight convenient "quiver" to hold a rod (or two, or four) plus your line, tippet and a small fly box. Back in stock.

Aug 19, 2016

This Just In...

Ebira, Ebira Plus, Ebira Guide Light weight convenient "quiver" to hold a rod (or two, or four) plus your line, tippet and a small fly box. Back in stock.

Aug 18, 2016

Fixed Line Crankbaits?

Going through my old fishing stuff the other day, I found my old box of Mepp's spinners, along with a couple of micro crankbaits from when big fish/small

Continue reading "Fixed Line Crankbaits?"

Aug 16, 2016

Shenandoah Brookies

Have been using Nissin Pro Spec 320 for fishing stocked streams in Virginia during the spring and summer. Learned Tenkara by following Chris on TenkaraBum.com

Continue reading "Shenandoah Brookies"

Aug 16, 2016

This Just In...

Squirmito material Wriggly rubbery worms. Use them for Overhand Worms (much easier than tying them onto the hook with thread)! Back in stock.

Partridge feathers More convenient package and smaller outlay than buying a full partridge skin. Back in stock.

Copper wire Just the right size wire for Killer Bugs and Black Killer Buggers. Back in stock.

Dinsmores Four Pack Lead Free split shot in BB, #1, #4, and #6. Back in stock.

Unibobbers They work great for micro fishing floats. Back in stock.

Aug 13, 2016

I'm a Believer!

I met Chris Stewart and Misako Ishimura at the Sow Bug Festival in April and decided to get her book and a TenBum 36. Both gathered dust on a shelf until

Continue reading "I'm a Believer!"

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

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