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.

Dec 12, 2017

This Just In...

Suntech Keiryu Sawanobori 53 and 63 Truly excellent keiryu rods, which will also cast a light tenkara line as if they were meant to. Back in stock.

Dec 11, 2017

This Just In...

ZimmerBuilt Strap Pack and Micro Pack Small and very small packs that hold just the essentials - line spool, tippet spool, minimalist fly box. What more do you need? Back in stock.

Dec 11, 2017

Daiwa Fly Spoons

These spoons worked really well. I went to a tailwater today that is only stocked with trout during the winter months. The water cannot sustain a year

Continue reading "Daiwa Fly Spoons"

Dec 10, 2017

Daiwa Keiryu Damo V

The Daiwa Keiryu Damo V is a very nice, rigid net that is well suited for tenkara or keiryu fishing. For quite some time I have carried folding nets but I have to say I have come to prefer a rigid net.

The Japanese word for the net used by tenkara, keiryu and ayu anglers is "tamo." When it follows some words, like keiryu for instance, it is pronounced and written as "damo."

The Daiwa Keiryu Damo V comes in two sizes, 25cm and 30cm - essentially 10" and 12" hoop diameters. The handle length is 10" for both nets. I have successfully netted 18" trout in nets with hoops a bit smaller than 10" but I would suggest the larger one if you regularly catch fish over about 16 inches. For fish under 16" the smaller net is perfectly adequate and is more convenient to carry.

The net mesh is woven rather than knotted, so it is a lot less likely to scrape off scales than the earliest tenkara nets that were available in the US.

Daiwa Keiryu Damo V

Continue reading "Daiwa Keiryu Damo V"

Dec 09, 2017

This Just In...

Suntech Kurenai HM30R and HM39R Probably the nicest rods for little wild trout in little wild streams that you will ever find. Back in stock.

Dec 07, 2017

Old Dogs can learn New Tricks!

Winter time for many is a time to tie flies, clean and organize gear, and dream. In my world it is a great time to fish as well. Winter is also a great

Continue reading "Old Dogs can learn New Tricks!"

Dec 05, 2017

This Just In...

Fly Rod Spoons Tiny 1/70th ounce spoons that you can cast easily with a fly rod or tenkara rod. More effective than streamers! Back in stock.

Nissin Sasuke Very nice micro fishing rod rated for 6X tippet so it can handle a slightly larger fish. Back in stock.

Daiwa Figure 8 Tool Surprisingly handy tool for either knot tying or holding a small fly as you tie it on. Back in stock.

Dec 04, 2017

UltraLite Tenkara Pouch

Here are photos of my stream bag and carried outfit. Purchased as 2 canteens w/covers- new from Sportsmans Guide.

Continue reading "UltraLite Tenkara Pouch"

Dec 01, 2017

Daiwa Iprimi 56XXUL-S

The Daiwa Iprimi 56XXUL-S is an extra, extra ultralight spinning rod that is rated for lures as light as .4g. It is the best micro fishing spinning rod I have found (and most micro fishermen use spinning rods, not fixed line rods). Even if you are not specifically fishing for micros, it is a fun rod for catching just about any small to medium sized fish.

Daiwa Iprimi 56XXUL-S

Truly, this is a finesse rod. If you can keep that in mind and if you can be happy catching modest fish with tiny lures, you can have an awful lot of fun with it.

Continue reading "Daiwa Iprimi 56XXUL-S"

Nov 30, 2017

Sometimes a change is gonna come

After loosing a bunch of flies last year to bushes and overhanging branches, even using my shortest rod, a Kiyotaki 21, I thought I’d try something new.

Continue reading "Sometimes a change is gonna come"

Nov 29, 2017


Yes, I am an enthusiastic customer of TenkaraBum. Maybe I blog too much here. Several of my co-workers who I have handed out cards to have spent time

Continue reading "I AM NOT A SHILL! "

Nov 26, 2017

How Many Species This Year?

One of my friends at work is Travis. He loves catching different species. I challenged him to a contest last year on Thanksgiving weekend to a Species

Continue reading "How Many Species This Year?"

Nov 24, 2017

Paint Your Jig Heads etc.

I have been painting my jig heads with a ceramic like paint called Pebeo Porcelaine 150. It is water soluble, no smell and durable. I use a tooth pick

Continue reading "Paint Your Jig Heads etc."

Nov 24, 2017

Carp Rod for Steelhead

I wanted to try something different. When I visit family in Ohio during the cold months, there are only a few options for productive fishing. Muskie, Steelhead,

Continue reading "Carp Rod for Steelhead"

Nov 23, 2017

Black Friday Sale

The TenkaraBum Black Friday Sale will begin at 11 AM Eastern Standard Time on Friday, November 24. That may sound unresonably late for someone in NY, but it is 8 AM for anglers on the West Coast.

For some of the things that will be on sale, only one item is available. Everyone across the country deserves an equal chance.

Nov 22, 2017

Black Friday Sale

There will be a Black Friday sale at TenkaraBum. I haven't yet finalized what will be on sale, but there will be rods, lines, fly tying tools, hooks and maybe some other items.

However, I can now offer the full Tenkara in Focus Season 1 download for half off! The normal $178 price will drop to $89 click this link and enter this discount code: bf50

The sale price will be good through Friday night.

Nov 21, 2017

"Tying" Up Some Spoons

It never occurred to me that I wouldn't tie my own flies. I like to make things and I'm cheap. I immediately realized that a Killer Bugger lost to a snag

Continue reading ""Tying" Up Some Spoons"

Nov 21, 2017

Cheap at Twice the Price!

Chris just posted the Keiryu Starter Kit. I wish I had this opportunity when I began Keiryu fishing. It is a great offer! Even better if you own a

Continue reading "Cheap at Twice the Price!"

Nov 21, 2017

This Just In...

Daiwa Keiryu-X 42 and 45 Relatively stiff keiryu rods for Czech nymphing or lantern fishing. Back in stock.

Nov 20, 2017

This Just In...

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

Keiryu Starter Kits Nissin 540ZX medium rod and Owner Keiryu Rigs. Just what you need to get started Back in stock.

Nissin 540ZX medium keiryu rod Good rod and a modest price. Designed for keiryu fishing but casts a tenkara line very nicely. Back in stock.

Nov 18, 2017

Fishing is For Fun!

Fishing is for fun! Well, at least recreational fishing is for fun. What could be simpler than that? I thought I’d write a brief post reminding us of this

Continue reading "Fishing is For Fun!"

Nov 16, 2017

Fly Rod Spoons

Fly rod spoons have been out of favor for decades but perhaps it's time to reconsider. They have (and deserve) a place in your fly box.

Before spinning gear became popular in the US, the only effective way to fish small lures was with a fly rod. The baitcasting reels of the day were not capable of casting light weight lures. Fly rod spoons, spinners and plugs were available and effective. They'd be just as effective today if they were available.

When spinning gear became popular in the 50's and 60's, demand for fly rod lures diminished to the point that they are now essentially gone. If you look hard enough you can find some 1/32 oz spoons - but 1/32 oz is a bit heavy to cast comfortably with a fly rod (let alone a tenkara rod). It works, but it jerks.

However, extremely light spoons (1/70 oz) are available in Japan - and are now available in the US! They are more effective than streamers. Both represent tiny baitfish but there is something about the flash and the wobbling action of a spoon that a streamer just can't match.

Daiwa Presso Vega Spoon

Continue reading "Fly Rod Spoons"

Nov 15, 2017

This Just In...

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

Keiryu Rigs Pre-made keiryu rig - hook, line and sinker. Back in stock.

Sunline Tenjo Line Hi-vis line to use as top portion of a keiryu rig. Back in stock.

Natural and Brown Mummy Worms Preserved wax worms. No mess, last for months with refrigeration. Back in stock.

Nov 14, 2017

Very Tiny Spoons, Who Knew

When Chris described the .4gram Vega spoons as too small to cast on most American spinning rigs I had to buy some if only as a curiosity. They're way more

Continue reading "Very Tiny Spoons, Who Knew"

Nov 11, 2017

Kyogi 15 - Spoons - and Worms

On Thursday night the Kyogi 15 was waiting in the living room when I got home from work! My collection of Kyogi rods is complete! Chris was even able

Continue reading "Kyogi 15 - Spoons - and Worms"

Nov 10, 2017

Daiwa Tenkara Starter Kit

The Daiwa Tenkara Starter Kit is for people who come to tenkara from a background in fly fishing. The kit presents a style of fishing that will not be a major leap from what they are used to. Aside from the rod being longer than their fly rod, and not having a reel and guides, fishing with this kit will feel very familiar.

The kit comes with a choice of rods, either a 3.3 meter rod (almost 11') or a 3.6 meter rod (right at 12'). It also comes with a 4m floating line, to which is attached a 3m knotless tapered nylon leader. Four flies come with the kit. Not one is a Sakasa Kebari, but one is a parachute dry fly!

The instruction booklet shows several fish species for which the kit would be appropriate. Not all are trout, and not all live in mountain streams!

About now, purists are thinking "that's not tenkara" but the kit is assembled by Daiwa, who has been making tenkara rods much, much longer than Western purists have been fishing with them. Moreover, the kit is sold in Japan and was created for Japanese anglers who want to learn tenkara.

Clearly, Daiwa does not have a narrow view of what is and what isn't tenkara.

If you are considering a move from fly fishing to tenkara, this kit makes it a very easy step.

Daiwa Tenkara Starter Kit

Continue reading "Daiwa Tenkara Starter Kit"

Nov 09, 2017

This Just In...

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

Keeper Kebari and Ajar's Dark Kebari. Two proven patterns. Back in stock.

Nov 04, 2017

This Just In...

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

Nissin Kyogi 21 (black) Extremely capable carp rod. Back in stock.

Nov 01, 2017

Cichlid Redux

According to my Random House Dictionary, “Redux” means “brought back or returned from a distance.” Some months ago I wrote an article for the TenkaraBum

Continue reading "Cichlid Redux"

Oct 31, 2017

Tenkara in a warm water enviroment

I know there are a few people here that are from Texas. Now here there are no real high gradient streams at least in my part of Texas, but there are plenty

Continue reading "Tenkara in a warm water enviroment"

Oct 31, 2017

Mummy Worms Work!!

I had purchased four different colors of the Mummy Worms (natural, pink, red and brown) about a month ago and finally had a chance to test them this past

Continue reading "Mummy Worms Work!!"

Oct 30, 2017

Kid's Tenkara Rod

I think I've found the ideal kid's tenkara rod. It is light and has a smaller grip that will fit a kid's hand. It also has a smaller price that will fit a dad's budget. (And for once, it is actually a tenkara rod rather than a short, light keiryu rod.)

Kid's Tenkara Rod

Continue reading "Kid's Tenkara Rod"

Oct 26, 2017

Intentional Fishing - Tenkara in Focus

It is confession time! I have been a sloppy fixed line fisherman in my first year. I just finished watching Episode 1 of Season 2 of Tenkara in Focus.

Continue reading "Intentional Fishing - Tenkara in Focus"

Oct 26, 2017

Daiwa Vega .4g spoons

TenkaraBum - Bastardizing Tenkara since 2010

In case you have been living in a cave for the last seven years, I will say right up front that I am not a purist. I am not a master. I like to catch fish.

When I was a teenager, my dad often took me fishing. By then I had graduated from a spinning rod to a fly rod. Back then, though, "fly rod lures" existed - very small spinners or spoons that were too light for the 1960's era spinning rods to cast.

Even then, I wasn't a purist. I remember a banner day we had using fly rod lures on the Frying Pan River. Flies weren't working. Fly rod lures saved the day.

Fast forward to the present. Not long ago, a guy asked on one of the tenkara facebook pages if anyone ever used little spinners with their tenkara rods. The reaction was swift and brutal. In another era, people would have been burned at the stake for less.

Well, I have had several comments from satisfied customers telling me about using the Daiwa Vega (and even the heavier Crusader) spoons with their keiryu rods - and catching fish.

With that in mind, I ordered some .4 gram Vega spoons, which I am pretty sure will cast just fine with any of the firmer tenkara or keiryu rods. The single BB shot, which I often fish with an Overhand Worm on either the TenkaraBum 36 or TenkaraBum 40, weighs exactly .4 gram, and the rods cast the BB shot with absolutely no trouble.

Daiwa Presso Vega rainbow 9

The fish in the photo was caught with a TenkaraBum Traveler 39 and a Vega .8g spoon. The .8g, equivalent to two BB shot, did produce a jerky cast, but an unweighted kebari did not produce any fish. I am confident the new .4g Vega spoons will also produce fish, and without the overly jerky cast.

You may want to keep them in a separate box, clearly labeled "When All Else Fails" - or maybe in a box taped shut, labeled "When all else fails, break seal."

I didn't order many, though, so if you think you might need something for When All Else Fails, don't wait too long.

Continue reading "Daiwa Vega .4g spoons"

Oct 26, 2017

Tenkara in Focus, Season 2

Paul Gaskell and John Pearson have kicked off Season 2 of Tenkara in Focus. The first episode was released yesterday. In addition to a bit of an introduction to the entire season, it contains a nice interview with Kazuyuki Yamada, a third generation professional tenkara angler.

The video also contains one misleading comment. John said that the entire first run of their Karasu rods were sold out. It seems John and Paul have sold out but I still have both the 360 and 400 Karasu rods in stock.

The rods are here.

The Tenkara in Focus Season 2 Episode 1 can be found on the Discover Tenkara website here.

Tenkara in Focus, Season 2, Episode 1

Oct 21, 2017

Blue Line Special

Here is a picture of what I call a blue line special. Chris often talks about fishing the blue lines that don't have names. This particular creek does

Continue reading " Blue Line Special"

Oct 21, 2017

Trip Report - 10-14-17

The Killer Bugger, the Overhand Worm and the essence of tenkara.

Last weekend, when I wanted a shot of a nice trout along with the new TenkaraBum Traveler 44, I chose a bead head black Killer Bugger. I was fishing a very large, very deep pool, and I knew that at least some fish would be right at the head of the pool where the depth increases pretty quickly. I wanted a fly that would drift along the bottom at the tail end of the riffle above the pool, and then follow the bottom contour as it dropped away. It worked, but...

For years I wrote that the essence of tenkara is keeping the line off the surface. I now believe that is only part of it (and maybe just a small part at that).

Takayama Sakasa Kebari

Continue reading "Trip Report - 10-14-17"

Oct 20, 2017

This Just In...

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

Partridge & Orange Sakasa Kebari The Partridge & Orange soft hackle is a classic and has been catching fish for hundreds of years. Tied sakasa style, it is just as good. Back in stock.

Oct 19, 2017

This Just In...

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

Owner Tanago Hooks - Smallest and New Half Moon If you want to catch micros, you'll need micro hooks. Back in stock.

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!"

Walk softly and carry a long stick. - Teddy Roosevelt (almost)

“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.