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.

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.

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"

Jul 07, 2017

First time out: Shimotsuke Kiyotaki 18

Having been interested in dipping my toe into the Tenkara / fixed line fly fishing waters, I was pleasantly surprised when a Shimotsuke Kiyotaki 18 arrived

Continue reading "First time out: Shimotsuke Kiyotaki 18"

Jul 07, 2017


The first test of my new Suntech FMX Keiryu Stiff 45 was with an 11’ #3.5 tenkara level fluoro line. I had intended to make up a 12’ line but used the


Jul 06, 2017

Recent Micros

I've mounted several expeditions around Missouri and Kansas in recent weeks. The goals were trout and bass. The real trophies turned out to be some very

Continue reading "Recent Micros"

Jul 04, 2017

Discover Tenkara Karasu

The Discover Tenkara Karasu 360 and 400 were designed by Paul Gaskell and John Pearson to be the best tenkara rods you can own. Unlike most of the rods offered by Western companies, the Karasu rods will be made in Japan.

Paul and John became tired of what they called the “watered-down” tenkara available to westerners. The methods and equipment did not deliver the same exhilaration that they found in the best of Japanese tenkara. They also became tired of the reject rate for the Chinese-manufactured rods that they had carried before.

Their primary motivation for developing their own rods was clearly expressed on the Discover Tenkara website: You deserve a completely different and better opportunity: where technique comes first AND you have the finest equipment that 100% supports your skill (rather than an adequate imitation of that experience).

Discover Tenkara Karasu

Continue reading "Discover Tenkara Karasu"

Jul 04, 2017

Brookies in Bear Valley

Today was a special day of fishing my favorite rod, the Suntech Keiryu Sawanobori 63. I caught my first Idaho Brook trout with it today. My son, John

Continue reading "Brookies in Bear Valley"

Jul 04, 2017

Handle Experiments

This experiment came about for a few reasons, including a broken rod section I wanted to play with (this reminds me that I need to order replacements).

Continue reading "Handle Experiments"

Jul 03, 2017

A Great Micro-Fishing Rod . . . Really!

Do you enjoy exploring tight, brushy streams in search of micro fish? If so, there’s a rod you need to try: the Nissin Air Stage Hakubai 240. I’ve fished

Continue reading "A Great Micro-Fishing Rod . . . Really!"

Jul 03, 2017

This Just In...

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

ZimmerBuilt Strap Pack Compact pack that can be attached to the shoulder strap of a Guide Sling or Sling Lite, or worn on the upper arm (held by elastic band) or around the neck with the included cord. Extremely versatile. Back in stock.

Utah Killer Bug and Takayama Sakasa Kebari All flies work some of the time. No flies work all the time. These flies work better than many. Back in stock.

Jul 02, 2017

Tenkara withdrawals

Down here in Australia at present a closed trout season and closed bass season has the casting arm twitching for some action. The local waterways are still

Continue reading "Tenkara withdrawals "

Jul 01, 2017

Free Tenkara Lessons

I introduced my friend Jon to Tenkara this week. He is excited. He hadn't been fishing in 20 years, and he caught a nice sunfish on his fourth cast.

Continue reading "Free Tenkara Lessons"

Jul 01, 2017

This Just In...

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

Nissin Pocket Mini Very light, very compact rods that are ideal for the ultralight backpacker. 270, 360 and 390 back in stock.

Flying Dragon 530 Carp rod that collapses to a convenient 22" length. Back in stock.

Nissin PALS SP Pro 4 meter line Tapered twisted fluorocarbon line that casts like a bullet. Back in stock.

Jun 29, 2017

This Just In...

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

Keeper Kebari The best smallmouth bass fly I've found. Also effective for largemouth bass, trout and sunfish. New Item.

Killer Bug, Royal Sakasa Kebari, Ajari's Dark Kebari Three of Kiwi's standard patterns. Back in stock.

Jun 27, 2017

This Just In...

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

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

Daiwa Floating Tenkara Line 4m Floating line that is light enough to appeal to level line fans. Back in stock.

"One Fly" Tying Kit™ Ishigaki Soft hackle version of Dr. Ishigaki's signature fly. Back in stock.

"One Fly" Tying Kit™ Minimal Dace Simplest possible black nose dace immitation. Effective for many species. Back in stock.

Tippet Rings For attaching tippet to line, droppers to tippet or constructing keiryu lines. Back in stock.

Jun 25, 2017

Gorge Lake

Summer is here, the rivers are flooding with water and fishermen, and the mountains are finally thawing. With that in mind, I took a hike up into the Pioneer

Continue reading "Gorge Lake"

Jun 24, 2017

Many Mini Fish in Texas

To begin I want to thank John Evans for pointing out how easy it is for an out of State person to fish their State Parks. I just got back from a business

Continue reading "Many Mini Fish in Texas"

Jun 21, 2017

Summer Hours

Nothing like going on vacation with a bunch of retired guys to make one start thinking about retirement. No, I'm not about to retire, but I am old enough. I'm also old enough to realize that life (at least what's left of it) is too short to work six days a week.

Starting tomorrow, TenkaraBum will be on Summer Hours, working a five-day week. Most weeks, one of the off days will be a weekday. I suspect that sometimes both off days will be weekdays. I also suspect that Summer Hours will be extended to Winter Hours as well.

Jun 20, 2017

Trip Report Maine 2017

Although much of my fishing on this year's Maine smallmouth trip was testing spinning rods for my Finesse-Fishing.com site, I did get in some fixed line action. I found it very interesting to compare fixed line and conventional fishing.

For the last few years I have done very, very well fishing with tenkara and keiryu rods on my Maine fishing trips. This year, though, I had a sneaking suspicion that my baitcaster or spinning rods would be more productive. After all, that has to be why a Japanese tenkara angler replied, when asked about bass fishing with a tenkara rod, "why would you want to?"

Suntech TenkaraBum 40

Continue reading "Trip Report Maine 2017"

Jun 18, 2017

Daiwa 53M

I had been fishing for a while with 43M and wanted to start fishing with the larger version 53M. It was hard at first to get used of the extra length and

Continue reading "Daiwa 53M"

Jun 16, 2017

This Just In...

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

TenkaraBum Tactical Nymphing Sighter .010" Slightly thinner diameter for even more stealth. New item.

Nissin Sasuke Micro fishing rods that can handle small sunfish and trout. 4 foot and 5 foot lengths. Back in stock.

Suntech Kurenai HM54R Two handed version of the light, sensitive Kurenai. Back in stock.

Owner New Half Moon and Smallest snelled tanago hooks Much more convenient than snelling the tiny hooks yourself. Back in stock.

Nikko Sashi The small plastic maggots I had called Nikko Maggies. Excellent for micros or small sunnies when you don't have live bait. Back in stock.

Jun 16, 2017

A Few Thoughts on Rod Handles

One subject tenkara and keiryu anglers enjoy discussing is the shape and construction of rod handles. In looking over my rod rack, I see that four types

Continue reading "A Few Thoughts on Rod Handles"

Jun 14, 2017

This Just In...

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

Gamakatsu Amago hooks Eyeless and barbless. They have an unusual shape, but that shape helps to keep fish hooked even though the hook is barbless. Back in stock.

Jun 14, 2017

Black Hills Brookies

One of my favorite fish is the brook trout, and yet here I am stuck smack dab in the one part of the country where brookies are practically nonexistent.

Continue reading "Black Hills Brookies"

Jun 02, 2017

This Just In...

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

0X tippet Equivalent to size 3 tenkara line. Very stealthy when combined with the Tactical Nymphing Sighter. Back in stock.

Tenkara Radically Simple Ultralight Fly Fishing The first English language book on tenkara and still one of the best. Back in stock.

Jun 01, 2017

High River Keiryu

I received my Fine Mode 450 Tuesday. Evening thunderstorms delayed fishing until Wednesday. Being the wettest spring on record, the river has been the

Continue reading "High River Keiryu"

May 31, 2017

This Just In...

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

Kids Tenkara Kit Just what you need to start your kid(s) tenkara fishing. Kid-sized rod, line, tippet, flies and fly box - all included. Back in stock.

ZimmerBuilt Sling Lite Slightly smaller and lighter than the Guide Sling. Still holds lunch, a light jacket and your gear. Back in stock.

ZimmerBuilt Water Bottle Pocket Attaches to the sling strap and holds a water bottle. Don't get dehydrated! New item.

Ebira and Ebira Plus Very light weight rod quivers to hold one or two rods, plus a pocket for your gear. Back in stock.

Tenkara Creel If you are on the trail and catch fish for dinner, you will need something to carry them in. The Tenkara Creel was designed just for that. Back in stock.

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.