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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.

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

Continue reading "Solid Rod Value"

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

Continue reading "Thank God for Pinfish"

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

Continue reading "New Kurenai Lines"

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

Continue reading "The Tenryu Furaibo TF39 Revisited"

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

Continue reading "Nissin Tenkara Mini"

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

Continue reading "Another Weir Story rising water big mullet and shattered rod"

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

Continue reading "Best Aussie Bass"

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

Continue reading "Dragonfly and Damselfly Fun"

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

Continue reading "Warm Weather Warm-Up"

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

Continue reading "Little Presents Fishing Gloves"

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.

Feb 22, 2019

Dreaming of Spring

In my last blog entry, I was challenged about catching lots of Sunfish in the colder water. I would like to share some of my techniques and methods to

Continue reading "Dreaming of Spring"

Feb 21, 2019

Another Case for the Plastic Rod Case

Chris, My medium rod case arrived today. Thanks for shipping so quickly. As you mentioned, it fits two tenkara rods at once. Another nice feature: because

Continue reading "Another Case for the Plastic Rod Case"

Feb 18, 2019

Keto Worms

I have blogged a lot about lure fishing but I still am a worm guy. Specifically Red Wigglers. Next month in my area fishing for Sunfish and Crappies

Continue reading "Keto Worms"

Feb 16, 2019

Mexican Payoff: First Surf Success

The story of this winter has been the weather and we're not done yet. On my recent trip to Isla Mujeres, Mexico I got to experience the tropical version.

Continue reading "Mexican Payoff: First Surf Success"

Feb 16, 2019

This Just In...

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

Traditional Wooden Bait Boxes New shipment received. New items.

Feb 15, 2019

This Just In...

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

YGK Hi-Vis fluorocarbon Finally! Truly hi-vis fluoro in sizes 1.5 and 2! New items.

Nissin Kyogi 15BX The best 15' carp rod I've found. Back in stock.

Owner Top Float Larger 100mm size. New item.

Nakazima 3/8" Ball Floats Micro-sized easily adjustable float. New item.

Rod Cases Medium and Large Rod Cases. Back in stock.

Feb 11, 2019

ZimmerBuilt Tenkara Sling Lite Pack

This past weekend I tried for the first time my brand new ZimmerBuilt Sling pack lite -- and I loved it. Previously I had been using a large and bulky

Continue reading "ZimmerBuilt Tenkara Sling Lite Pack"

Feb 06, 2019

Tips and Tricks for Guadalupe Bass

Guadalupe bass (Micropterus treculli) are the Texas State Fish, and they’re just made for tenkara. If you live in the Texas Hill Country, or are able to

Continue reading "Tips and Tricks for Guadalupe Bass"

Feb 02, 2019

This Just In...

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

Black Killer Bugger and Keeper Kebari Two excellent flies for bass and larger trout. Back in stock.

Jan 29, 2019

Size 30 hooks

I had gotten some Varivas 2300 #30 ultra midge hooks. They are listed as 4x fine micro barb. If there is a barb, I can't see it. The other thing I can

Continue reading "Size 30 hooks"

Jan 27, 2019


It was a beautiful day on the South Fork of the Boise River yesterday. Since the South Fork is a well known stream, I have no qualms naming the stream.

Continue reading "Heresy"

Jan 23, 2019

This Just In...

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

Suntech Field Master Suguru Long H 72 and H 54 Long collapsed-length rods that are excellent for keiryu fishing, not the best for big-water tenkara. Back in stock.

Suntech FMX Keiryu stiff 45 Suntech quality at a slightly lower price. Very capable rod. Back in stock.

Nissin Oni Line Orange 4.5 Heavy line for windy days or very stiff rods. Back in stock.

Shimotsuke Tenkara Gen 240 Inexpensive kid's tenkara rod. Back in stock.

Jan 20, 2019

Fishing Fly Rod Spoons -
Some lessons learned

If you look around this website, you will see several references to me fishing fly rod spoons. I'll begin by saying, I'm still learning! Several folks

Continue reading "Fishing Fly Rod Spoons -
Some lessons learned"

Jan 19, 2019

This Just In...

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

Varivas Heavy Fluorocarbon Tippet 2X and 3X for carp fishing or ultra-stealthy ultra-light tenkara line. Back in stock.

Flip Focal 2.5 Clip-on magnifiers for tying tiny flies to tiny tippets. Back in stock.

C&F 2-in-1 Retractor Handy alternative to cheap zingers. Holds two tools. Back in stock.

Jan 18, 2019

This Just In...

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

Daiwa Iprimi 56XXUL-S This is the best spinning rod I have ever found for micro fishing, and will be a ton of fun with little trout in the headwaters. Back in stock.

Jan 17, 2019

This Just In...

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

Flies! Ishigaki Kebari, American Takami Special, Light Olive Small Stream Special, Kebari No.6. All back in stock, except for Kebari No.6, which is a new item.

Jan 13, 2019

Trip Report - 1-6-19

Last summer's Oni School was an eye opener for me. I had always thought that Tenkara no Oni fished with light lines, and the lighter the better. The weather was quite windy during the school, though, and he mostly fished size 4.5 lines.

This past Sunday I got another eye opener. I had known for a long time that the different colors of level fluorocarbon tenkara line were all quite visible in good light, but there were times when one color was more visible than the others. It had been a long time, though, since it really hit home.

The bottom of the stream I was fishing is rocky, and the rocks are primarily a brownish orange color. The woods in the background were carpeted in brown leaves. In the fading light it got very hard to see the orange Sunline. After thoroughly searching all the pockets in my vest I found one Yamatoyo line. The chartreuse was completely different from the background colors and was easily visible.

Continue reading "Trip Report - 1-6-19"

Jan 13, 2019

This Just In...

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

3 x 5 Photo Tank Large enough for multiple micros or a small sunfish or even a very small trout. Keep 'em wet and get a better photo ID. Back in stock.

Jan 09, 2019

One Fly? A Few Flies? Many Flies?

When I first started fishing tenkara a few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of one fly. Some anglers preferred to use only a single type of fly

Continue reading "One Fly? A Few Flies? Many Flies?"

Jan 03, 2019

This Just In...

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

New Half Moon tanago hooks, snelled and loose Small hooks for small fish with small mouths. If you want to try micro fishing, these hooks have a more appropriate shape than small fly hooks. Back in stock.

Fuji PTC-10 rod cap Replacement rod cap for rods too narrow for the KTC-12 cap. Back in stock.

Sunline Tenjo Line Size 1.25 bright orange fluorocarbon. Will definitely work for a tenjo line for keiryu fishing, and might work as an ultralight tenkara line for fly fishing for micros. New item.

Dec 30, 2018

This Just In...

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

Ultralight Strike Indicator Extremely small (5 mm) extremely light (.004 oz) strike indicator. It floats, but it is not "a float." It will not support split shot or bead head nymphs. Use for unweighted wet flies or small baits on small hooks with no added weight. New item.

Dec 29, 2018

A Book Recommendation

May I offer a book recommendation for your fly-fishing library? For Christmas my wife gave me a paperback copy of Andrew Herd’s The Fly: Two Thousand Years

Continue reading "A Book Recommendation"

Dec 25, 2018

Daiwa Master Tenkara L LL36

The Daiwa Master Tenkara rods are the latest in a line of truly great rods. The first rods I imported from Japan were Daiwa Enshou tenkara rods. I thought they were wonderful. The LL rods, designed for level lines, had smooth, full-flex actions.

The Enshou rods were replaced by the Expert series. The Expert L LL ("long" level line) rods, named for their longer collapsed length, were even smoother and had even better damping.

The Master series raises the bar another notch. They are just wonderful rods. They might be the most technologically advanced tenkara rods available anywhere. You do not have to be a master to cast this rod, but if you can master the cast, this rod is phenomenal.

Daiwa Master Tenkara L LL36

Continue reading "Daiwa Master Tenkara L LL36"

Dec 24, 2018

A day with the Daiwa Seiryu X 35

Another many many day but this time with the Seiryu X 35. The rod is soft enough that the 12 inchers gave me all I could handle in the current. Tiny bobber

Continue reading "A day with the Daiwa Seiryu X 35"

Dec 22, 2018

float or no float?

I've been using my Suntech Kurenai HM63R for some still water trout lately and have been wondering what floats are best for it. I use the smallest thill

Continue reading "float or no float?"

“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