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 19, 2019

This Just In...

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

Kiwi's Tenkara Flies Keeper Kebari, Royal Sakasa Kebari, Killer Bug, Black Killer Bugger. Back in stock

Aug 18, 2019

Way Out West Part 2-- Oni School 2019

When Vern and I heard that Masami Sakakibara (Oni) was no longer going to travel and that this year would be his last at Oni School. We called each other

Continue reading "Way Out West Part 2-- Oni School 2019"

Aug 18, 2019

Trip Report - 8-11-19

The goal for the trip was to do a little keiryu fishing. It had been a long time since I had gotten out with one of the long rods. I went to a stream that I rarely fish. It seems like every time I go there, I spend a lot more time driving around, trying to find a spot to fish than I do actually fishing. That is mostly because the stream is far enough away that I always get there long after the guys who live nearby. The places I want to fish always have fishermen in them already.

Not on Sunday. I didn't see another fisherman until well after noon. I did spend a lot of time driving, but only because the stream was extremely high and the color of chocolate milk. It took a while to get far enough upstream to find clear water.

Once I found water I wanted to fish, it didn't take long to find some fish, though.

Suntech Aoi ZPRO and little wild rainbow

Continue reading "Trip Report - 8-11-19"

Aug 16, 2019

Trip Report - 8-10-19

On Saturday I went to a suburban stream that I have fished a few times over the last ten years. I have never seen anyone else fish it. There is a bike path running along the stream for miles. I see lots of cyclists, lots of joggers and a few people just out for a walk but not one angler.

My goal for the day was to compare two versions of the Nikko Sashi, which are artificial fly larvae (fancy name for rubber maggots). The ones I have had in stock for some time are a milky white. I recently received a sample pack of pink ones which are made from a slightly different material.

Tessellated Darter

Continue reading "Trip Report - 8-10-19"

Aug 16, 2019

Way Out West Part 1--Trout and Cactus

In July Vern B. and I spent several days with Paul Vertrees in the rugged canyons above Canon City, Colorado. Paul guides for Royal Gorge Anglers and is

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Aug 15, 2019

Mountain Lake Fishing with Tenkara, Part 1

Several friends of mine and I had planned this trip for months, and I was over the moon when we finally left town. Our destination? The Beaverhead Mountains,

Continue reading "Mountain Lake Fishing with Tenkara, Part 1"

Aug 07, 2019

Fishing In Tough Conditions

A few days ago I hit my favorite warm water stream. An extremely rainy spring and early summer had raised the river to unfishable depths but it had come

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Aug 06, 2019

This Just In...

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

Nissin Pocket Mini 270 Ultimate backpacking rod. Weighs 1 ounce. Packs down under 10". Not for those who are hard on their gear. Back in stock.

Nissin Zerosum Tenkara 320 6:4 Mid to full flex tenkara rod ideal for smaller streams. Back in stock.

Nissin 540ZX Medium keiryu rod Ideal "starter rod" for keiryu fishing. Back in stock.

Medium Rod Case and Long Rod Case Light weight, inexpensive, adjustable rod cases. Back in stock

Kiwi's Tenkara Flies Keeper Kebari, Royal Sakasa Kebari, Black Killer Bugger. Back in stock

Daiwa Figure 8 Tool Very handy for tying any knot where you have to pull line through a loop (almost any knot!). Also holds the smallest fly as you attempt to thread the tippet through the eye. Back in stock.

Daiwa Floating Tenkara Line 4m If you fish poppers in ponds this is a great line. Back in stock.

Aug 01, 2019

Rod Breakage due to 'material fatigue'?

I've just got back in from a reasonable few hours fishing on one of my local urban streams — 15 wild brownies up to 12. That's the good news... the bad

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Jul 29, 2019

This Just In...

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

Daiwa Kiyose 43M-Y Light, versatile keiryu rod. Works well as a big fish tenkara rod. Back in stock.

Nissin Pocket Mini 360 Ultimate backpacking rod. Packs down to less than 10". Weighs less than 2 ounces. However, not recommended for those who are hard on their gear. Back in stock.

Jul 20, 2019

This Just In...

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

Suntech Fine Power 66NP and 56NP Absolutely wonderful keiryu rods that cast a tenkara line so well you would think they are made for it. Back in stock.

Suntech Field Master 39, 44 and 53 (only a few rods) Three position rods that most use for tenkara fishing (but are actually excellent small stream keiru rods). Back in stock.

Suntech FMX Keiryu stiff 45 Short keiryu rod or big water tenkara rod. Just one rod, back in stock.

Suntech FMX Keiryu extra stiff 45 The trout rod people use for carp and catfish. Just one rod, back in stock.

Jul 19, 2019

This Just In...

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

3x5 Photo Tank Micro fishing? Keep 'em wet and get easier ID and better photos. Back in stock.

Jul 17, 2019

Trip Report - 7-14-19

Sunday was supposed to be a micro day. Coach and I went to the stream we usually fish for micros. I had expected to catch at least 7 species. Coach expected 10. We each caught 4, and only one was a legitimate micro, the others were various sunfish and a smallmouth bass. The lone real micro was a creek chub.

The stream was high and discolored, which made sight fishing for micros absolutely impossible. Our size 20 bead head black Killer Buggers would have been invisible and were left in the fly box. I had brought a Nissin Fine Mode Nagare 330 for the micros, but when I saw how high and off color the water was, I pulled out an ultralight spinning rod and fished micro spoons instead. Coach fished poppers. After catching a few fish we left and went to a couple ponds in an industrial complex. The ponds have a good population of bluegills, pumpkinseeds and largemouth bass.

They weren't micros, but they'd at least save the day.

Nissin Fine Mode Nagare with bluegill

Continue reading "Trip Report - 7-14-19"

Jul 12, 2019

This Just In...

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

ZimmerBuilt Sling Lite, Strap Pack and Micro Pack Sling and small accessories packs designed specifically for tenkara anglers. Back in stock.

Nissin Tanago Koro High quality, sensitive 5' tanago rod. Back in stock.

Jul 09, 2019

When curiosity piques...

.... you can get crazy ideas. Putting them into action however, that’s another story. Needless to say I put my crazy idea into action. My Suntech Kurenai

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Jul 08, 2019

In defense of the long rod

For any of you debating picking up a long two-handed rod, don’t. Early last year I purchased a Kurenai Long 61, intending to use it on the local rivers

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Jul 08, 2019

This Just In...

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

Rod Cases Light weight inexpensive semi-rigid plastic cases. Back in stock.

Owner New Half Moon snelled tanago hooks The most popular micro fishing hook I sell. Back in stock.

Sunline Tenjo Line Light, hi-vis tenjo line for creating keiryu lines. Back in stock.

Nakazima 3/8" floats Small inexpensive floats for micro fishing. Back in stock.

Jul 08, 2019

At Last!

Today was the first time my long time fishing buddy, Marlin, and I have been able to wade our favorite warmwater stream this year. Rain, rain and more

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Jul 06, 2019

Blue Grass

Corny title? Yes, for sure. Sweet corn was the bait. While fishing for grass carp on a Kyogi 15, I was surprised to land 5 blue catfish on sweet corn

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Jul 06, 2019

Tenkara USA Amago

I have had my Amago for three years, and mainly used it on larger rivers, like the Deschutes here in Oregon, holding a variety of larger fish. I have found

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Jul 06, 2019

Patagonia Wader Work Station

My two favorite packs for fly fishing are both by Patagonia. Their design team has long been one of the finest in the industry due to their i the out of

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Jul 03, 2019

Grass Carp

I’m posting this here because I was using bait (sweet corn) and a Kyogi 15 rod. A few weeks ago I finally had an opportunity to target carp, grass carp.

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Jul 03, 2019

Before and After

The story goes that Frank Sawyer invented the famous Pheasant Tail Nymph back in 1958, while serving as a river keeper in Wiltshire, England. It’s one

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Jul 02, 2019

4th of July Sale

TenkaraBum 33 special sale price


NOW through Sunday, July 7.

Continue reading "4th of July Sale"

Jul 01, 2019

Micro Fishing for darters

Last year, I was having troubled seeing my tanago hook in the riffles or moving water in general. I tried bright pieces of artificial lures which were

Continue reading "Micro Fishing for darters"

Jun 24, 2019

Seiryu and salmon eggs

I've been refining the Daiwa X-35 and egg setup a little bit. I'm down to using the smallest slotted strike indicators rather than the Thill ice bobbers.

Continue reading "Seiryu and salmon eggs"

Jun 20, 2019

Solid Rod Value

If you appreciate full-flex rods, and enjoy pursuing small fish in smaller waters, the Nissin Fine Mode Nagare 330 is hard to beat. Made by a Japanese

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Jun 06, 2019

Thank God for Pinfish

Pinfish are the Florida inshore saltwater equivalent of Green Sunfish-- small, aggressive and plentiful. Anglers looking for lot's of species always let

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Jun 05, 2019

Newbie looking for advice.

Full disclaimer. When I say newbie I mean never even held a Tenkara rod, but excited and willing to learn. I live in Alaska and I'm trying to find

Continue reading "Newbie looking for advice."

May 31, 2019

New Kurenai Lines

It’s been some time since I fished my float rigs with my kurenai, mainly because it became to cumbersome to lob out. I now fish with flies primarily and

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May 30, 2019

This Just In...

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

Eurotackle Micro Finesse Original Bloodworm Very small rubber worm that is perfect for sunfish. Back in stock.

May 27, 2019

Nissin 2-Way 450ZX Medium

If anyone is concerned about the robustness of the Nissin 2-way 450zx medium where they may catch a large trout, they shouldn't. I almost caught a 15-20

Continue reading "Nissin 2-Way 450ZX Medium"

May 26, 2019

This Just In...

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

Suntech Grayce II 52NP Very nice, very pretty keiryu rod. Back in stock.

Nissin Air Stage Hakubai 240 Medium Delightfully soft 8' seiryu rod for micros or very small headwaters trout. Back in stock.

Nissin Flying Dragon 530 17' carp rod that collapses to a convenient 22". Back in stock.

Power Isome - small brown Artificial sandworms. Intended for salt water but very effective in fresh water as well. Back in stock.

Owner BS-25 Line Winders Convenient line winder for keiryu rods (will not fit tenkara rods). Back in stock.

Nikko Sashi Artificial maggots - excellent for micro fishing. Back in stock.

May 26, 2019

Trip Report - 5-23-19

I rarely hire a guide, but this past Thursday was an exception. It turned out to be an exceptional day.

I went with Danny, a friend who loves to fish, who has purchased some very nice rods from me and who has almost no time to use them. I'm busy. He's much busier than I am. He works insane hours - and he has kids, so there is almost no time to just get away for and by himself.

On the rare occasions when he can get away to go fishing he always hires a guide. Lots of people I know think that finding the out-of-the-way places to fish is half the fun. Spending time exploring makes a lot of sense if you have a lot of time to explore. If your schedule lets you fish only a few days a year, you don't want to spend your days driving around looking for a place to fish. You want to FISH. What's more, if you're like most people, you want to CATCH. He puts it simply: "When I hire a guide I catch fish."

Nissin Kyogi with Rainbow Trout

Continue reading "Trip Report - 5-23-19"

May 26, 2019

Trip Report - 5-11-19

It's not that I haven't fished since January, it's just that the outings weren't worth writing up - plus there was a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work getting ready to switch over from PayPal buttons to a Shopify store, which left very little time for writing.

A couple weeks ago I took a day to do something I had wanted to do for quite some time. Ever since I had gotten in the Owner Top Floats I had wanted to try them in a pond for some bluegills.

To say they worked would be an understatement. Not only was it a "many" day several times over, the floats proved that they are a much better choice for still water fishing than the floats that well over 99% of people here use.

Fine Mode Nagare, Owner Top Float, Bluegill

Continue reading "Trip Report - 5-11-19"

May 24, 2019

The Tenryu Furaibo TF39 Revisited

A couple of years ago I reviewed the Tenryu Furaibo TF39 (non-zooming version) and had many nice things to say about it. While it’s not perfect, it’s far

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May 22, 2019

Nissin Tenkara Mini

The Nissin Tenkara Mini is a modification of the Nissin Pocket Mini V3. The only differences I am sure of are that the Tenkara Mini has a cork grip and the Pocket Mini doesn't. The Pocket Mini has a swivel that attaches the lillian to the rod tip and the Tenkara Mini doesn't. Also, the Tenkara Mini comes in a 320 length, and the Pocket Mini doesn't. The Pocket Mini sections have a painted gold ring near the section ends. The painted ring on the Tenkara Mini sections is silver.

When I first saw the specs on the rod, one of the things that leapt out at me was the tippet recommendation. The Pocket Mini has a maximum tippet recommendation of Japanese line size .5 (equivalent to 6.5X). The Tenkara Mini has a maximum tippet recommendation of line size 1.2, which is equivalent to 3.8X. I expected the Tenkara Mini to be much more robust than the Pocket Mini.

The sections are no larger in diameter, though, and the section walls are no thicker. Section #17 of the Pocket Mini 360 fits the Tenkara Mini perfectly.

Nissin Tenkara Mini

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May 01, 2019

Another Weir Story rising water big mullet and shattered rod

This is another weir story I will try to make it the last one although some of the readers of this great blog site may find it interesting. I went down

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May 01, 2019

Best Aussie Bass

I was fishing the local weir a few weeks back catching a few smallish fish (a kind of long sardine best describes them) that I target occasionally which

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Apr 30, 2019

This Just In...

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

Nissin 450ZX Medium The same reach as most honryu tenkara rods, 4m - 4.5m zoom, at an attractive price. Back in stock.

Nissin Kyogi BX21 and BX15 The best carp rods I've found (particularly the 21). Back in stock.

Daiwa Keiryu-X 24 Relatively stiff, surprisingly capable rod for bi fish in small streams. Back in stock.

Medium and Large Rod Cases Light weight, adjustable, semi-rigid plastic rod cases. Back in stock.

Sunline size 4.5 tenkara line Hi-Vis heavy line for the stiffest rods or the windiest days (up to a point, of course). Back in stock.

Nakazima Ball Floats 3/8" Easily adjustable inexpensive floats for micro fishing. Back in stock.

Apr 20, 2019

This Just In...

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

Sunline Visible Free Line Bright white nylon line. Easy for you to see, hard for the fish to see. New item.

Apr 11, 2019

Dragonfly and Damselfly Fun

Readers of this blog may recall that I wrote an article some months back about tying a simple blue damselfly. I was motivated to try this pattern after

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Apr 04, 2019

This Just In...

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

Little Presents Fishing Gloves One-size-fits-all gloves that leave the tips of your thumb, index finger and middle finger bare so you can tie knots. Back in stock.

Little Presents Fingerless Gloves Very similar to the Fishing Gloves, but each finger extends only to your first knuckle. Better for sun protection than cold protection. New item.

Mar 29, 2019

This Just In...

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

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

Daiwa Figure 8 Tool Best combo knot tyer - hook holder you will find! Back in stock.

Owner Mainstream Tenkara Hooks Want a legitimate "tenkara" hook that has an eye? This one does. Back in stock.

Mar 28, 2019

Warm Weather Warm-Up

The temperature has been pushing 80 degrees the past few days in San Antonio, which means that the stocker rainbows are playing out and the warm-water

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Mar 19, 2019

This Just In...

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

Daiwa Kiyose 43M-Y Replaces the discontinued 43M. They just came in and I haven't had time to compare them. I suspect only modest changes, which would make them a very capable rod for the money. New Item.

Daiwa Keiryu-X 24 The shortest of the Keiryu-X rods. Capable of handling good sized fish from very small streams. Back in stock.

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

3x5 Photo Tank Holds micros so you can get better photos. Keep 'em wet. Back in stock.

Micro Fishing Kit Hook, line and sinker (and float, and markers under the float, and a spare hook). Just what you need to get started micro fishing. Back in stock.

Nylon Level Line Allows very delicate presentations and will improve your casting skill. Back in stock.

Mar 08, 2019

Little Presents Fishing Gloves

Little Presents Fishing Gloves provide warmth in the winter and sun protection in the summer. Fingertips are free for knot tying.

The gloves are spandex (58% nylon, 37% polyester and 5% polyurethane) and are one-size-fits-all. They are available in olive and black, and come with a non-skid palm.

Little Presents Fishing Glove

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Mar 06, 2019

This Just In...

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

Wader Gaiters The gaiters protect your waders from thorns (and your own flies) and provide insulation for wet wading. Back in stock.

Feb 27, 2019

This Just In...

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

Daiwa Master Tenkara L LL36 Level line rod that is awesome (if you have good form). Back in stock.

Micro Snap Swivels Although not critical when fishing a Daiwa .4g Vega spoon with a tenkara rod, they do allow the lure to wobble more freely. Back in stock.

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin

"Study to be quiet." - Izaak Walton 1653

"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." Col. Robert Venables 1662

As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.

Beware of the Dogma