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How to cut your lillian

by Les Albjerg
(Caldwell, Idaho)

I have been enjoying Keiryu fishing with thinner and thinner lines. However, I learned the hard way that you need to tie a loop attachment so you can use a girth hitch with a heavier line with these thin lines. I lost a line, fish, natural Mummy Worm, hook and half a lillian today. My line with a slip knot cut it. I just made up some new lines tonight and used some 50 pound Dacron so I don't ruin anymore lillians. I found a new line that is showing a lot of promise. It is Spectra Propower. It is a very thin, .19mm diameter, and is rated at 15 pounds. It is a nice bright yellow color. I have also used yellow Stren Crappie monofiliment in 2 pound test. I like the Propower better. The Stren is .15mm in diameter. So for .04mm more in diameter you get 13 more pounds of strength and a lot less stretch. I really like the level lines I have bought from TenkaraBum for fishing with flies, but I am finding these thinner lines really work well for using bait. You can really keep the Propower off the water. Has anyone else here been experimenting with different lines? How thin of a line is reasonable to use with just a slip knot?

Comments for How to cut your lillian

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Jan 30, 2017
What line cut the lillian?
by: Chris Stewart

I have never heard of a lillian being cut by the line before. What line were you using that cut it?

The problem with 15 pound braid is that you still need a weak link in the system, and if your main line wraps around a snag, either a branch in the river or a treetop after a missed strike or long distance release, you need the line to break before your rod does. I think it would be fine to use maybe 6-7' of it and then tippet the rest of the way. The hi-vis braid would allow you to see the general direction of your cast, and then yarn markers would allow you to see the strike itself.

I have used the 2 lb crappie mono, but generally use the Sunline Tenjo line, which is Japanese line size 1 (should be 4 lb). It is bright yellow so it is easy to see your line but it is not above most rods' tippet ratings. It should be stronger than 6X tippet material, which is the strongest I normally use for the last 8-10" to the hook. Even with it, I only use about 6' of it, with tippet material from there to the hook.

Sunline and Varivas both make hi-vis braid with breaking strength of 5-6 lb, which would be easy to keep off the water but would also protect the rod if you got a snag. Very expensive, though.

Jan 30, 2017
super slick
by: Les A.

It was the Spectra Propower line. It is super slick. I had to learn and use several new knots with this line. I had to use a knot in the lillian or it would slip off. I have plenty of lillian left. I really hadn't thought about the issues of snags. I have always used tippet to tie my fly on. I think I will be going back to the Stren Crappie line. I like it better in 4 pound test over the 2 pound test. I would like to try the Sunline and Varivas lines. I guess I am on a line quest now.

Jan 30, 2017
Quality line
by: Les A.

So, the only dumb question is the one you don't ask. What about Keiryu fishing with tippet as your line? I have paid $60.00 - north of $100.00 for quality fly fishing lines. More and more I am learning that Keiryu fishing is a lot more different than Tenkara fishing. Several of the places I like to fish are "artificial bait only.", so I won't be a pure Keiryu fisherman. I do often use indicators so I can see the line and strikes better. To be honest, I feel like I am just getting the training wheels off in learning this type of fishing. Thanks Chris, in my excitement over a new thin line, I completely forgot about protecting my rod.

Jan 30, 2017
Tippet for keiryu lines
by: Chris Stewart

Somewhere I have a page that I started on keiryu lines but never finished and didn't put it on the site because what I use is not at all like what the Japanese use. I may have to dig it out and finish it.

In a nutshell, yes, tippet for your entire keiryu line works reasonably well. I almost always use a 3 part line. The uppermost 6' (tenjo line) is hi-vis, either a light mono like your 4 lb crappie line or a size 2.5 tenkara line. The last 8-10" to the hook (the "hook length")is as light as I am willing to go depending on the fish and the rod, but anywhere from 9X to 6X. The middle part of the line is either 5X or 6X tippet material.

I have a tippet ring at the end of my tenjo line and also at the end of my main line, so I can change out either the main line or the hook length without shortening the other line, which would happen if you tied them together directly and had to cut the knot to retie.

The split shot is on the hook length and the markers are on the main line. The tenjo line serves two purposes: 1) it is hi vis so I have a better idea of where to look for the markers, and 2) it is thicker than the main line to reduce the chances of tangles around the rod tip.

The rig is not the same as the Japanese rigs. They do not use crappie line or thin tenkara line for the tenjo line and their connectors are much more elaborate than tippet rings.

Jan 30, 2017
Wilson Springs
by: Les A.

My fishing and hunting buddy, Frankie (my Britney) needed to get out today for a run. I don't like taking him down to the river this time of the year. We headed over to Wilson Springs. Wilson Springs is balmy 55-60 degrees year round. Across the road is one of the larger State Fish hatcheries. Wilson Springs has 3 ponds, two are well stocked with planters and one is a trophy pond. I went minimal today. I took my new Daiwa Kiyose 30, just in case I decided to fish, a new line (10 feet of "Bagley's Silver Thread 12 pound test with a swivel.) This copolymer line has an "all weather formula." It worked! I didn't have any ice and it was in the low 20's. I tied up some beadhead jigs and put them on 7x tippet. The Diawa cast this setup perfecly! I had natural Mummy Worms as my only bait. When I walked out to my favorite spot at Wilson Creek, there was a guy there. Hector asked me, "Do you want to check my license?" I said, "No I am planning on fishing." He said, "Where is your rod?" I showed him my Daiwa, and he couldn't believe it. I setup, and he was even more astounded that my rod was so long and light. I hooked my first fish in less than 5 minutes. He commented, "Wow that looks like fun!" I told him it is the funnest way of fishing I have experienced. Three Mummy Worms and four fish in 20 minutes was enough fishing for the way I was dressed. I really like the Daiwa rod. It worked great with the beadhead, and the fish were a blast to play and catch! I caught one 12 incher and three 10 inchers. Two days of fishing in a row! I would like to hear from some of the others on their thoughts on fishing lines. Thanks for your help Chris, and for shipping my new order so quickly.

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