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Lines, Line Holders, Tippet


Tenkara Lines


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NEW!

The Daiwa Tenkara Floating Line is a thin (.024") monofilament core PVC fly line. Daiwa even calls it their Tenkara Fly Line.

It is light enough that it casts well with even level line rods, yet it has enough mass to cast bass bugs. More info...

Line Length

When I took the White Tenkara line out for the first time I decided I really liked it. It is visible enough to see. I didn't fish it in late evening or deep shade, when you might want to switch to the bright orange Soft Tenkara. It is also likely to be a lot more stealthy. I don't think brightly colored lines scare fish, but I know some people think they do. This line, with the sky as a background, should be almost invisible to the fish.

I was actually a bit surprised at how well the Fujino White Tenkara line casts. It may be that I have become a better caster in the last few years, but it might be the line also. More info...

Fujino White tapered nylon tenkara line - $15.00

Length

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Fujino Tenkara Straight Line is a braided level tenkara line that is unlike anything on the market. The line has no stretch, no memory and minimal water absorption. It ends in a braided 30cm nylon sighter that has alternating fluorescent green and black bars at 5cm intervals (which helps you detect the strike and then measure the fish).

Dr. Ishigaki was involved in the design process. More info...

3.5m out of stock

Length

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I've waited a long time to get a Hi-Vis size 2.5 line. I think Nissin's new Oni Tenkara line will prove to have been worth the wait.

The line comes in sizes 2.5, 3, 3.5 and 4. The line also comes in an extremely bright fluorescent orange and an only slightly less vibrant pink. More info...

Orange 3.5 out of stock

Nissin Oni Tenkara Line - $18 for 20 meters
Color / Size

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The Sunline Tenkara Buttobi (pronounced boot-toe-bee) Fluorocarbon 100% Level Line is a Hi-Vis fluorescent orange tenkara line that is extremely visible. In low light conditions it almost glows. The line is packaged on 30 meter spools that are about the size of tippet spools and come with an elastic band similar to that on the Varivas tippet. Available in sizes 3, 3.5, 4 and 4.5.

Use the lightest line you can get away with. I use size 3 for seiryu rods, 5:5 tenkara rods and for most 6:4 rods and size 3.5 for almost everything else. Size 4 is good for beginners learning to cast and for breezy days. Use 4.5 only with the stiffest rods, windy days or wind resistant flies. More info...

Sunline Tenkara Buttobi Level Line - $19.50 for 30 meters

Line size

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The Yamatoyo Tenkara LEVEL line is a fluorescent chartreuse fluorocarbon line. Against some backgrounds, this line is more visible than the orange line and against some, the orange line is more visible than this line.

The biggest thing this line has going for it is that it comes on 50 meter spools rather than the 30 meter spools for Sunline or 20 meter spools for the Nissin Oni line. Compared to Sunline, it is also a bit easier to stretch the line to remove the memory. Compared to the Nissin line it is a bit harder. More info...

The Yamatoyo line comes in sizes 3, 3.5 and 4.

Yamatoyo Tenkara Level line - $19 for 50 meters

Line size

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The Nissin PALS Fuji Style Tenkara SP Pro lines are twisted tapered fluorocarbon tenkara lines made personally by tenkara master Hiromichi Fuji. The combination of fluorocarbon and the taper make them cast like a bullet and turn over beautifully. Anglers who prefer furled lines will love them. Anglers who prefer level lines will admit that they have their place.

They cast into a breeze better than a light level line, have the mass to turn over a bulky fly like a Wulff or a hopper, and match nicely with the stiffer rods. The longer lengths also work nicely for the longer keiryu rods. More info...



Nissin PALS Fuji Style Tenkara SP Pro Lines
Length

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The Nissin PALS Orange tenkara line is similar to the Nissin PALS SP Pro twisted fluorocarbon line. It is a tapered, twisted multifilament line, but instead of clear fluorocarbon it is made from very hi-vis orange nylon. It doesn't have the density of fluorocarbon, but it has all the other advantages of a tapered twisted multifilament line.

And, like the SP Pro line, this is a Fujiryu (Fuji style) Tenkara line, made by tenkara master Hiromichi Fuji. More info...

Nissin PALS Fuji Style Orange Nylon - $20.50
Length

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The Fujino Tenkara Line is a hi-vis knotless tapered nylon line. It is similar to the knotless tapered leaders used in fly fishing and very similar to the Fujino Tenkara Midi and Soft Tenkara lines and the Soft Tenkara Long Type. I think the Tenkara Line is made from a harder nylon, though.

Hard nylon would turn over more easily and would be better at transferring the energy of the cast to the light tippet and fly. The Fujino line does seem to be considerably easier to cast than any nylon level line I have tried.

The Orange is an opaque reddish orange that almost glows it is so bright. You will not have trouble seeing this line. More info...

Fujino Tenkara line, 7m - $23

Orange 7 meters

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The Tenkara Midi line is a tapered tenkara line that is essentially a long,  knotless tapered leader that is extremely hi-vis. It is nylon, which means it will not cast as easily as a fluorocarbon level line in a breeze, but it settles to the water's surface very softly and will not sink as quickly as fluorocarbon. You might prefer it for fishing small dry flies. I find it works better with softer rods. More info...

3.5, 4.0, 4.5 meters

Tenkara Midi line - $15

Length

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The Soft Tenkara line is similar to the Tenkara Midi above but has slightly thinner butt section and seems to be made from a softer nylon. As with the Tenkara Midi, it works better with softer rods. More info...

3.3, 3.6, 4.0, 5.0 meters

Soft Tenkara line - $15

Length

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At the Oni School in Salt Lake City, Tenkara no Oni cast a 10 meter line, and then had the students casting a 10 meter line! I prefer to fish with shorter lines, but the Fujino Soft Tenkara Long Type that Oni used at the school is an excellent training device. With good form, you can cast a 7, 8, or 9 meter line. With bad form, you can't. This line will help you improve your casting by letting you know when your form is correct.

And, if you do want to fish with long lines - these are the lines that Oni recommends. More info...

10 meter line out of stock

7m, 8m - $16
9m - $19

Length

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Knot2Kinky is a titanium line (nickel-titanium alloy wire) that is flexible enough to tie knots in. It is as thin as size 1.5 tenkara line, but because of its density it is quite easy to cast even on a breezy day. It sinks more quickly than fluorocarbon, and thus may make a better line for fishing deep, although you'll need a stiff rod to fish deep effectively. For most tenkara anglers, I think the primary use will be as a wind line.

It is completely invisible against any background so you will have to fish by feel or with a hi-vis "sighter" (a section of hi-vis line watched as a strike indicator) between the titanium line and your tippet. For that, I would recommend Amnesia (see below). More info...

Titanium line - $9 for 15' coil

Titanium line - $15 for 30' coil

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Keiryu Line and Markers


Technically, this is a line for ayu fishing rather than keiryu fishing, but it is the right size to use as a tenjo line for most of the keiryu rods I carry. It is an opaque bright yellow, so it is much more visible than the clear or black lines that keiryu anglers use. It is the diameter of 4X tippet, so it has little weight and minimal line sag.

The tenjo line (translates as "heaven" or "sky" line) is the upper portion of a three piece keiryu line. It is hi-vis so you can get a sense of where you line is during the cast. It is thicker than your main line to reduce tangles and so that you should never lose it to snags (the weaker tippet should always break first). Attach it to your lillian with a girth hitch. I use between 3' for the 4.5m keiryu rods up to 6' for the 6+m rods. Tying a tippet ring to the other end makes attaching the main line easier.

The middle portion of the keiyu line is the main line, for which you can use fluorocarbon tippet material anywhere from 4X to 8X, depending on the rod and how light you want to go. The markers are tied to this section of line. I tie a tippet ring to the end of the main line.

The third portion of the keiryu line is the "hook length" (British term) or actual "tippet," to which the split shot is clamped and to which your hook is attached.

Sunline Tenjo Line, size 1, 30m spool - $11

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The Daiwa "Bright" markers come as 20 meter spools. Since you only use a few inches at a time, a spool should last well over a year. This is by far the most economical solution for Japanese keiryu markers.

On the back of the spool there is a slit to catch the line. One revolution of the spool provides sufficient material to make three markers if you cut the tag ends short as they do in Japan.  On the back of the package is an illustration showing how to tie the markers onto the line.

The knotted markers can be moved up or down the line so you can vary the depth that you fish (the markers should be on the line above the water's surface). More info...

Red out of stock.

Bright Markers 20m spool - $4.50
Color

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The Owner Pro Marker package contains pre-cut markers in fluorescent pink, fluorescent yellow, white, fluorescent orange, and  fluorescent chartreuse. Each pre-cut marker is about 3" long and is just knotted around the line.

Because the markers are pre-cut they are very convenient to use. Perhaps the biggest advantage the Pro Markers have over the Bright Markers, though, is that you can very easily use markers of different colors. All the colors are quite visible, but using more than one color at a time really makes them stand out against any background. More info...

Owner Pro Markers - $4.00

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Amnesia


Sunset Amnesia is extremely high visibility nylon mono. People tie one to two feet to the end of their tenkara line as a strike indicator.  It makes an excellent strike indicator for the titanium line, which is invisible without it. No background in nature is the same hi-vis red as Amnesia, and no background is as shockingly bright as the hi-vis green Amnesia. With a little red AND a little green tied together as a strike indicator, I think you could fish at midnight (well, almost).

The softer rods will cast 11 or 12' of Amnesia as a tenkara line. If the line is much longer than that it loses all its energy to wind resistance, though. It won't do as well as fluorocarbon in a breeze, but on a still day nothing is as visible and nothing settles to the water more softly. More info...

15# Fluorescent Red 200' spool - $4.25

15# Fluorescent Green 200' spool - $4.25

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Line Holders


The Fuji EZ Keepers offer a convenient way to manage your line when you collapse your rod. Perhaps their biggest advantages are that you will not get line twist and your fully rigged and collapsed rod fits inside the Tenkara USA rod sock or Ebira rod quiver so you can be ready to fish in seconds. More info...

Fuji EZ Keepers (per pair) - $8

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People really like the Fuji EZ Keepers as a way to manage your line when you move from spot to spot, or even to keep your rod fully rigged and ready to go at a moment's notice. However, these small tenkara line holders offer some advantages, too.

First, you can easily keep a line fully rigged - with tippet and fly or flies attached even after you have taken the line off the rod. Second, if you are fishing multiple flies it is a bit easier to secure both flies safely with the round spool than with the EZ Keepers. If you have lines of different lengths (recommended) you might want more than one line holder.  More info...

Small Tenkara Line Holders (package of two) - $10

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Tippet


Varivas Super Tippet has a resin coating and a "non stress" coating that is supposed to make it more abrasion resistant and also resistant to kinking. At $14 for a 50-meter spool (twice as much tippet as the Maxima) it is a premium quality at a premium price. Their new Master Spec has a much higher breaking strength (and a slightly higher price). More info...

Diameter - Breaking Strength

Varivas 10X tippet for the truly obsessed. Use it for micro fishing or Zero Fishing, where you want the thinnest line possible. It is just 1.1 pound test, so you have to be very smooth. Just tighten the line, don't jerk!

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Varivas Master Spec is also available in fluorocarbon. Although I generally use nylon tippets, many anglers prefer fluorocarbon when fishing wet flies and nymphs. Fluorocarbon's greater density does make it sink better than nylon, and the refractive index is much closer to that of water so fluorocarbon is less visible. 30 meter spool.

Varivas Super Tippet Master Spec Fluorocarbon - $14

Diameter - breaking strength

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Varivas Master Spec Fluorocarbon tippets for carp fishing. The 5X tippet you use on your tenkara rod isn't going to cut it with carp. If you have a carp rod rated for heavier tippet, use it.

Varivas Master Spec Fluorocarbon - $14
0x - 25m spools
1X, 2X, 3X - 30m spools

Diameter - breaking strength

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Tenkara Tippet by Fujino (probably the largest producer of tippet in Japan). Sizes range from 3.6X (Japanese size 1.2), which is the maximum recommended by Nissin for most of its tenkara rods, through 6.5X (Japanese size .5) which is the maximum recommended by Suntech and Nissin for rods like the Kurenai, Air Stage and Royal Stage seiryu rods, the 450ZX soft and the Pocket Mini. 30 meter spools.

Fujino Tenkara Tippet
nylon - $11
Size

Fujino Tenkara Tippet
fluorocarbon - $13
Size

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Tippet Rings


Tippet rings are a handy way to tie tippet onto your line or to tie droppers onto you tippet if you fish with multiple flies. I especially like them for constructing keiryu lines, which consist of different diameters of very light line.

These are the tippet rings sold by Stonfo in Italy. They come on a very handy split ring so you can easily tie your line or tippet to the tippet ring before removing the tippet ring from the split ring. No more lost rings!

Tippet Rings (package of 10) - $8

Horsehair Line Kit


Making your own line is a bit like tying your own flies. If you remember the satisfaction you felt from catching your first fish on a fly you tied yourself, you'll have that again, and more, when you catch a fish on a line you've made yourself - from scratch - using techniques that have been used for hundreds if not thousands of years. The kit includes a hank of premium quality hair and step by step instructions. More info...

Horsehair Line Kit - $14

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Premium quality horsehair hanks so you can make your own lines. Each hank has enough hair for several tenkara lines or a couple pesca alla Valsesiana lines. (Just the hair, if you want the instructions, buy the kit above.)

Horsehair Hank - $7.50



Got a horse? Want to make a line from your own horsehair? The six-page guide, with step by step photos, will teach you everything you need to know to make your own horsehair lines.

Using these instructions, you can also make tapered, twisted lines from fluorocarbon or nylon mono, which will cast as well as any commercially produced furled lines at a fraction of the cost. No jig is required, only a pair of scissors! Create your own custom tapers.

Horsehair Line Making Instructions - $4.00




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

Tenkara has no strict rules. Enjoy tenkara in your own way.
- Eiji Yamakawa

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