TenkaraBum Hi-Vis Fluorocarbon Hand-tied Line
by Tim Nitz
I've used TenkaraBum level fluorocarbon and artificial horsehair lines in the past. I've really enjoyed using the artificial horsehair lines and appreciate their craftsmanship. Recently, I purchased a light TenkaraBum fluorocarbon hand-tied line for my Ayu.
I've not fished the Ayu or line yet, so this is based strictly on lawn casting in a slight breeze (but no snow). With the Ayu I ordered a Tenkara USA furled line. I normally use the Tenkara USA 11' furled line with my Iwana, but on the Ayu, the 13' furled line seems a little stiff and heavy. It works fine, but still seems just a little heavy to me. When I replaced it with the TenkaraBum hand-tied line, I could see the difference right away. I had no problems casting it in slight breeze, it was lighter, and responded to the rod much better. It laid out flat and straight immediately and was very visible. Chris also tied a slipknot in the rod tip end making attachment to the lillian quick, even quicker than the soft loop on furled lines.
While it can, in theory, be repaired by any of us, most of us will not invest in the quantities of line required to make the repairs. However, unlike a furled line, these can be repaired and Chris has been wonderful in the past about fixing them for a fair price. I don't expect to need to repair them, but it's nice to know they can be.
While I have used furled leaders on conventional gear for years now, and the twisting of the line doesn't bother me, far outweighed by their durability, and find the same true of furled tenkara lines, these hand-tied lines do transfer power and have a limpness very similar to furled lines, without the disadvantage that results from a snag. I always carry a spare furled line rigged up and ready to go, preferring to untangle them at home rather than streamside. With the hand-tied fluorocarbon line I won't be doing this - I don't anticipate snarls and any breaks are more quickly and easily repaired with a simple knot on the stream. The spare will stay in its envelope.
I've only used it on the Ayu so far, and again, this is based purely on lawn casting, but I HIGHLY recommend the TenkaraBum hand-tied line for that rod. I like the light weight line, myself, and typically have trouble casting lighter lines, but this one just fits the rod beautifully.