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 12, 2017

This Just In...

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

Nakazima Ball Floats The better bobbers. Easier to adjust than Thingamabobbers. Three sizes. Back in stock.

Daiwa Presso Vega Spoons Small (7/8") spoons that work well for trout and panfish. On the Finesse-Fishing.com site. Back in stock.

Daiwa Presso Step Dart - Mix Pellet New color for the very productive Step Dart. On the Finesse-Fishing.com site. New item.

Yo-Zuri Pins Minnow and L Minnow with single barbless hooks I've been waiting for these! On the Finesse-Fishing.com site. New item.

Oct 11, 2017

Growth of a Tenkara Angler

I’m coming up on my fourth anniversary of tenkara angling. Many folks have more experience with this type of fishing than I do, and others are just getting

Continue reading "Growth of a Tenkara Angler"

Oct 07, 2017

What rod is your "Go to" Rod?

After purchasing several rods, I never thought I would have a go to rod. I have resisted this notion, but now realize I do have a go to rod. I guess

Continue reading "What rod is your "Go to" Rod?"

Oct 07, 2017

TenkaraBum Traveler

I am very happy to announce the TenkaraBum Traveler!

When most people think of a travel rod, they think of a rod that packs down to a very short length - something that is extremely easy to pack and fits about anywhere. Rods that pack down to very short lengths are either very stiff (Daiwa Keiryu-X), very delicate (Nissin Pocket Mini) or very expensive (Tenryu TF39TA).

I don't think that's what you really want in a travel rod. My idea of a travel rod is one that is easy enough to pack - for example, fitting into a carry-on bag - but that is so versatile you could use it anywhere. You can pack one rod instead of three.

TenkaraBum Traveler 39

Continue reading "TenkaraBum Traveler"

Oct 06, 2017

Sanyo Valcan Level Line

Sanyo Valcan Level Line
Sanyo Valcan level line is a lo-vis fluorocarbon that is considerably stealthier than brightly colored, fluorescent, hi-vis fluorocarbon tenkara lines. For a long time, I believed that hi-vis fluorocarbon tenkara lines did not alert the fish.

Recently, though, Rob Worthing has convinced me that just keeping the line off the water might not be sufficient - at least if you are fishing for highly pressured fish in relatively clear water - particularly on a bright sunny day.

For a while now, I have offered clear fluorocarbon tippet material in diameters equivalent to Japanese tenkara line sizes as a stealthy alternative to bright, fluorescent tenkara line.

There is another option, however, that may be even stealthier.

Continue reading "Sanyo Valcan Level Line"

Oct 05, 2017

This Just In...

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

Killer Bugs, Killer Buggers, Royal Sakasa Kebari, Ajari Dark Kebari and Keeper Kebari Proven flies - kebari and otherwise. Back in stock.

Oct 04, 2017

This Just In...

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

Nissin Air Stage Hakubai 240 Similar to Kurenai HM30R but mid flex and shorter. For small fish in small streams. Back in stock.

Small, Medium and Large rod cases Light weight, inexpensive, semi-rigid rod cases. Back in stock.

Daiwa Crusader 2.5g Green Parr Spoons Single hook spoon that is a good weight for either ultralight spinning or ultralight baitcasting rods. On the Finesse-Fishing site. Back in stock.

Oct 02, 2017

Headwaters Paradise

I had the opportunity to go on a nine day bow elk hunt in Eastern Idaho. I just got back. We were into elk everyday, but couldn't close the deal. That

Continue reading "Headwaters Paradise"

Sep 30, 2017

Finally, #koiquest2017 success!

As you know, I've been after the koi in my local city park lake for some time. Well, I finally caught one. I was fishing up close to the shore using

Continue reading "Finally, #koiquest2017 success!"

Sep 28, 2017

What is this Madness!

I'm in love with Tenkara and am enjoying it soooo much. I think the reason I like it because I started feeling that fishing had become a sport of absolutely

Continue reading "What is this Madness!"

Sep 24, 2017

Tenkara Jam!

The Appalachian Tenkara Jam is coming soon!

I will be there with rods, lines, etc. but if there is something you would like to see there please tell me now!

Asking me at the booth if I brought _____ may be too late.

Sep 23, 2017

Pro Spec 2-way 360 7:3 for micros?

Hi, I was just wondering if i could try micro fishing with a 7:3 Pro spec 360. Im not up for buying a new rod for micros, so I am interested in knowing

Continue reading "Pro Spec 2-way 360 7:3 for micros?"

Sep 22, 2017

What's In Your Daypack?

What do you carry in your daypack for a morning’s worth of fishing? We’re not talking about a backpacking expedition in the remote mountains here. I’m

Continue reading "What's In Your Daypack?"

Sep 22, 2017

This Just In...

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

Nissin Zerosum Tenkara 7:3 400 Excellent all around tenkara rod for larger waters and larger fish. Back in stock.

Sunline size 4.5 Level Line A heavier level fluorocarbon tenkara line for stiffer rods. Back in stock.

Fuji KTC-12 Rod Caps Caps fit a multitude of tenkara rods. Very secure and harder to lose. Back in stock.

Sunline Troutist Darkness 3# line Extremely stealthy smoke gray line for ultralights. On the Finesse-Fishing site. Back in stock.

Varivas Bait Finesse Nylon 2.5# line Ultra, ultra light nylon line formulated for baitcasters! On the Finesse-Fishing site. New item.

Sep 20, 2017

This Just In...

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

Suntech FMX Keiryu ZPRO 53 Delightfully soft "zero"-style keiryu rod designed for 6X - 10X. Back in stock. P.S. Just deadly with Killer Bugs!

Kyogi 18 yellow Very capable 5.4m carp (or other big fish) rod for those who love yellow. Back in stock.

Owner Pro Markers Packages of pre-cut keiryu yarn markers in 5 colors. Back in stock.

Daiwa Wise Stream 45UL-3 spinning rod Not as short or as nice as the Tenryu RZ39LL, but not as expensive either. A small stream spinning rod that breaks down to a shorter length than the Tenryu (or most tenkara rods). On the Finesse-Fishing site. New item.

Daiwa Adam and Vega spoons Darker colors and lighter weights than the Crusader spoons. On the Finesse-Fishing site. New items.

Sep 18, 2017

Nissin Kiyogi 21 and Flying Dragon Carp Rods, good for catfish too!

There is a city park a few blocks from my house with a sizable lake. I've been fishing it all summer for bluegill and bass, but I've discovered the lake

Continue reading "Nissin Kiyogi 21 and Flying Dragon Carp Rods, good for catfish too!"

Sep 15, 2017

This Just In...

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

Medium Rod Case Light, inexpensive rod case that fits most tenkara rods. Back in stock.

Kiyotaki 18 For micro fishing or tenkara in the tiniest of streams Back in stock.

Pocket Mini 270 The ultimate rod for ultralight backpackers. One ounce and under 10" collapsed. Back in stock.

Daiwa Crusader Spoons The 4g and several of the 2.5g spoons for you ultralight spinning and baitcasting fans. On the Finesse-Fishing site. Back in stock.

Sep 15, 2017

Oni School

Attending the Oni School is the best way I know to improve your tenkara skills. The school is put on each year by John Vetterli, Erik Ostrander and Rob Worthing, the three partners who formed Tenkara Guides, LLC, the first tenkara-only guide service outside of Japan. The Oni School features Masami Sakakibara (Tenkara no Oni), who is renowned for his casting ability. His tenkara style (Oni Tenkara) is much more than just casting, though, and the Oni School teaches all aspects of Oni Tenkara.

Tenkara no Oni fishing near side of stream

At this year's Oni School, the instruction was outstanding, the food was good and the camaraderie was not to be missed.

Continue reading "Oni School"

Sep 15, 2017

One Year Ago Today!

It was one year ago today that I fished Tenkara for the first time. I hadn't heard of TenkraBum yet, but had read about Tenkara in Fly Fishing Idaho's

Continue reading "One Year Ago Today!"

Aug 31, 2017

This Just In...

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

Ishigaki fly - black/brown The simple black bodied, brown hackled fly that Dr. Ishigaki uses to catch fish anywhere. Back in stock.

Ebira Plus and Ebira Guide Rod quivers that hold multiple rods and a bit of gear (lines, flies, tippet, clamps & nippers - basically all you need) Back in stock.

"One Fly" Tying Kit™ - Pink Chenille Worm The Pink Chenille worm is a very simple, easy to tie fly that is surprisingly effective. Back in stock.

TrailLite Tenkara Creel If you are camping or on a multi-day hike and catch fish for dinner, you'll need a creel to hold them. This one weighs little and packs small. Back in stock.

Aug 29, 2017

Re: Confessions of a Red Wiggler Fisherman

WOW! Les Albjerg, that is one of the finest pieces of expository writing I've ever seen. Period. And I've been reading fly fishing books, and many others

Continue reading "Re: Confessions of a Red Wiggler Fisherman"

Aug 29, 2017

Confessions of a Red Wiggler Fisherman

By Les Albjerg

Why Red Wigglers? It is simple, they catch fish! I have used them for fishing for Panfish, Trout, and both Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass.

Early in my fixed line journey I decided that I was going to learn how to fish with Red Wigglers. I have been fishing them for almost a year now. I enjoyed fishing with worms when I was a youngster, and my Dad often turned to Night Crawlers for fishing for Walleyes in Minnesota when nothing else worked. I am not an exclusive worm fisherman. I do still enjoy catching fish on flies. In my experience so far, I am catching more fish with the Wigglers than my fishing buddies do with flies. On a typical day, I outfish them at least two to one, and most often about four to one.

Brookie with Keiryu Sawanobori

Continue reading "Confessions of a Red Wiggler Fisherman"

Aug 26, 2017

Favorite Four

I’m not a “one-fly guy,” but I am a “small-handful-of-flies guy.” Since the TenkaraBum website allows the uploading of four images, I thought I’d share

Continue reading "Favorite Four"

Aug 22, 2017

This Just In...

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

Nissin Zerosum Tenkara 360 6:4 Very nice full flex tenkara rod. Back in stock.

Nissin PALS SP Pro 3.3 Tapered, fluorocarbon multifiliment line. Casts like a bullet. Back in stock.

Gamakatsu Ultimate tanago hooks The hook to use when every other hook is just too big. Back in stock.

TenkaraBum Rod Socks Suntech thin stretchy knit rod sock with TenkaraBum Logo. White logo on black sock. Back in stock.

Daiwa Wise Stream 50TUL telescopic spinning rod It's not just tenkara rods that are telescopic. 5' UL spinning rod fits in your daypack. On the Finesse-Fishing site. Back in stock.

Aug 19, 2017

20' telescopic rod!? Made in Korea.

Hey people!? Has anyone ever heard anything about rods that telescope out to twenty feet, are made in Korea, are quite heavy and almost an army green color?

Continue reading "20' telescopic rod!? Made in Korea."

Aug 18, 2017

This Just In...

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

Nissin Kyogi 18BX The best 5.4m carp rod I know of. Back in stock.

Suntech Kurenai Long 61 Wonderful rod, very light for it's length (and 4X tippet rating). Back in stock.

Nissin Air Stage Fujiryu 360 6:4 Very nice (and nicely balanced) rod with a wooden grip. A bit stiffer than most tenkara rods. Back in stock.

Shimano Cardiff NX B50UL ultralight baitcaster If you missed out on the Tenryu UL baitcasters, these are the next best. On the Finesse-Fishing site. New item.

Mummy Worms - Natural, Chartreuse and Pink Preserved wax worms for keiryu fishing. Back in stock.

Aug 18, 2017

Haste Makes Waste or Something Like That

Today is the day my wife and I were supposed to come home from a five day trip up north trout fishing, hiking and doing the tourist thing. Instead, Judy

Continue reading "Haste Makes Waste or Something Like That"

Aug 14, 2017

Amazing day with my son and live hoppers

Last week I took my kids to the small reservoir close to our home to enjoy the cool water and the afternoon and evening. I brought my Daiwa keiryu rod

Continue reading "Amazing day with my son and live hoppers"

Aug 12, 2017

A Little Light Fishing

August 6,'17 - a very pleasant day on a small river with the Nissin Air Stage Hakubai 390. It was a bit breezy so the line du jour was #3 level tenkara.

Continue reading "A Little Light Fishing"

Aug 11, 2017

The Dragonfly Test

I’d like to suggest a new “on-the-water” test to measure the sensitivity of a tenkara rod, based on a recent fishing expedition. Some weeks back, I was

Continue reading "The Dragonfly Test"

Aug 10, 2017

Tying Tenkara Flies Vol.1 DVD

The Tying Tenkara Flies Vol.1 DVD was produced in the summer of 2012, sold well for three years, and then went out of production. The producer, who unfortunately owns the copyright, has disappeared (alien abduction, perhaps). There was never a Vol.2.

From time to time I get requests for it but I have not had them in stock since July of 2015 - until today. I recently found a small supply, which I will offer at the original price of $25 until they are gone. I do not anticipate ever being able to find more.

Tying Tenkara Flies Vol.1

Continue reading "Tying Tenkara Flies Vol.1 DVD"

Aug 03, 2017

4 Ponds - 4 Days - 45 Minutes - 96 Red Wigglers

I was bummed on Monday because I really wanted to go up in the Mountains and fish the whole day. Since besides my regular job, I have an internet business,

Continue reading "4 Ponds - 4 Days - 45 Minutes - 96 Red Wigglers"

Aug 02, 2017


I was fishing the Provo river with my buddy Jeff and our favorite guide from Wasatch Guide Service (Jeremy and co). We had a fairly productive half day

Continue reading "Jaws"

Jul 31, 2017

Suntech FMX Keiryu Stiff 45 review #3

Boat fishing is one major reason I bought this rod and I finally got to fish on a lake today in my buddy's 17' boat with him, his brother and my cousin.

Continue reading "Suntech FMX Keiryu Stiff 45 review #3"

Jul 29, 2017

Gone Fishin'

I will be away August 1 - August 7. Any orders that have not shipped by close of business Monday, July 31 will be shipped beginning on Tuesday, August 8. Orders will be processed in the sequence in which they were received. If you have an upcoming trip (birthday, etc.) for which you NEED to jump the line, let me know and I will try to accommodate.

Please be absolutely certain that the delivery address on your order is correct. I will have a ton of emails to go through, and email address corrections might not get linked up with the order.

Order confirmations will not be sent. Your PayPal receipt is your confirmation.

International orders that do not have the necessary international postage (Shipping section at the bottom of every page) will not get shipped.

I will be attending the International Fly Fishing Fair put on by Fly Fishers International in Livingston, MT, and will give a presentation on tenkara along with Misako Ishimura (FFI casting instructor and co-author of Tenkara Radically Simple, Ultralight Fly Fishing) on Thursday, Aug. 3. If you will be nearby, stop in.

Fly Fishing Fair

If I'm very lucky, I may even find some time to wet a line.

Jul 27, 2017

This Just In...

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

TenkaraBum Tactical Nymphing Sighter 008 Licensed to kill (but please release most of the fish you'll catch with this ultra stealthy sighter). New item.

Daiwa One Touch folding net - large For anglers who want a compact, convenient net that can handle larger fish. New Item

Jul 25, 2017

Urban Tenkara Fishing

Lately I’ve been giving “urban tenkara fishing” some thought and was wondering about others’ experiences. While I don’t suppose there’s a universally-accepted

Continue reading "Urban Tenkara Fishing"

Jul 25, 2017


Having been busy teaching a friend to fly fish, today I finally got a chance to test the FMX Stiff 45 with fluorocarbon clear line as threatened in my

Continue reading "SUNTECH FMX KEIRYU STIFF 45 REVIEW #2"

Jul 24, 2017

Local weir

I never enjoyed fishing the local weir. It is the end of a large saltwater system and a barrier for where the fresh water starts. There is a couple of

Continue reading "Local weir"

Jul 22, 2017

Trip Report - 7-16-17

The goal was simple enough. I wanted to get one good photo of a fairly small brookie with a particular spinning rod that should be just ideal for small fish (maybe even micros). How hard could it be?

Well, perhaps I should have gone to a stream where I had actually caught brookies before rather than relying on reports - even if the reports did come from brookie-meisters.

Brookie stream with Jeep

Perhaps the second mistake was picking a stream I could drive to - even in a Jeep (although one could argue that a Jeep Renegade is really just a Fiat in Jeep's clothing). One of the guys who told me about fishing there later said essentially you don't fish THERE, you fish a section of the stream you have to hike to.

Continue reading "Trip Report - 7-16-17"

Jul 20, 2017

Expert Guide to Tenkara

Discover Tenkara has a new section on their website entitled Expert Guide to Tenkara. It explains in detail a couple of problems tenkara anglers face in trying to get the drag-free drifts everyone talks about. The first, having your line bounce back at you after it has fully turned over, is a problem I have had mostly with furled lines that were heavier than necessary (there are some light weight furled lines out there, but most are still heavy). The second problem is almost inescapable (gravity and basic physics) but can be minimized.

I have long said "fish with the lightest line you can get away with" and that will go a long way toward minimizing those problems, but there are other tricks that can be employed. Read the first installment here: Expert Guide to Tenkara.

Jul 20, 2017

Turning to the "Deepside"!!

There has been a lot of chatter about Czech nymphing with fixed line rigs in the reading I have done in the last two months. I actually have two rods

Continue reading "Turning to the "Deepside"!!"

Jul 15, 2017

Tenryu Rayz RZ39LL

The Tenryu Rayz RZ39LL is going to be the most fun spinning rod you've ever used. It's a headwaters / little blue line rod that will let you fish where no one else can!

I've known for a long time that a lot of tenkara anglers fish headwaters, and I know now that a lot of tenkara anglers fish with ultralight spinning rods. I am betting, though, that almost no one knows they can fish the headwaters with a spinning rod, or that a spinning rod specifically designed for headwaters streams even exists.

Tenryu Rayz RZ39LL

Careful, though. I've now had two people tell me it's the dark side.

Continue reading "Tenryu Rayz RZ39LL"

Jul 14, 2017

This Just In...

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

Suntech Genryuko 36R and 39R Compact rods that make great nymphing rods for backpackers. Same general niche as Daiwa Keiryu-X but with Suntech quality! Back in stock.

Nissin 620ZX stiff Big beefy rod for larger fish. I would choose a carp rod for carp, but for anything less, this rod should handle it fine. Back in stock.

Nissin PALS SP Pro 4.0m Multi-strand tapered fluorocarbon line. Casts like a furled line, but with the density advantage of fluorocarbon. Back in stock.

Jul 12, 2017

Nissin Sasuke fun!

Been getting some use out of the Sasuke! Plenty of bluegill, and now some saltwater fun in Puget Sound! Staghorn sculpin, shiner perch and even a few

Continue reading "Nissin Sasuke fun!"

Jul 12, 2017

Tenkara in Focus USB Drives

The one complaint that Paul and John have gotten about their premium downloads is the actual download process. The material is first rate and well worth the cost. For some people, though, the trouble in downloading it has tipped the balance.

Paul and John to the rescue! They now offer their full Season 1 premium download material - video and accompanying .pdf files - on USB drives (also called thumb drives or flash drives).

With the content on the drive, you don't have to mess with a download (and if you have a slow or spotty internet connection) the USB drive may be the only way to get these lessons.

The USB drives, with the content already loaded, are mailed from the UK, and until July 31, shipping is free.

TiF Masami Sakakibara USB Bundle

Continue reading "Tenkara in Focus USB Drives"

Jul 10, 2017

Herb's "Black Thread-and-Hen"

I’d like to pass along a great fly pattern for panfish from Herb S. up in Southwest Michigan. I’ve made a couple of little tweaks for my Texas warm water

Continue reading "Herb's "Black Thread-and-Hen""

Jul 09, 2017

Tenryu Furaibo TF39

While working the bank of a small pond for bluegill with a slow sinking dragon fly, the line had a hard stop. At first I thought I was on a rock or stick

Continue reading "Tenryu Furaibo TF39"

Jul 08, 2017

Observing a first time Tenkara Fisherman

I talked to my son last night and he said, Dad when can we go fishing again with those Kebari flies? This is the first time ever that my son has wanted

Continue reading "Observing a first time Tenkara Fisherman"

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


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.