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.

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?"

Dec 21, 2018

This Just In...

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

Nissin Fine Mode Nagare 330 Seriously soft seiryu rod. Back in stock.

Daiwa Keiryu Damo V 25CM Tenkara-sized net. Fish-friendly mesh bag. Back in stock.

Owner Micro Fishing Floats Tiny floats that a micro can take under. Back in stock.

Lillian Two different widths. Lifetime supply. Back in stock.

Dec 20, 2018

Trip Report - 12-2-18

Where have all the fallfish gone? Are they called fallfish because after the fall they disappear?

I played hooky last Friday to go fishing ahead of what was forecast to be a rained-out weekend. A number of Nissin Air Stage Hakubai medium rods had been delivered earlier in the week and I wanted to get out and try to catch some fish with them, try some different lines with them and do a back-to-back comparison of the Air Stage Hakubai 340 medium and the Nagare 330.

For a venue, I chose a stream where Coach and I almost always catch fallfish - most of which are about the size of the Japanese Dace and Pale Chubs for which the rods were designed. We have also caught common shiners and blacknose dace there. It is a wild trout stream, and in addition to the fallfish, we almost always catch some trout.

Wouldn't you know that on the only day I have ever fished that stream when I specifically wanted to catch fallfish or common shiners rather than trout, I caught only trout.

Nissin Air Stage Hakubai 340

Continue reading "Trip Report - 12-2-18"

Dec 16, 2018

a many many day in the land of enchantment

I haven't fished my Nissin Fine Mode 270 much this year so I took it along on a trip last week. Three different spots with three different sizes of stockers.

Continue reading "a many many day in the land of enchantment"

Dec 16, 2018

This Just In...

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

Daiwa Vega .4g spoons Nightmare, Gold, Silver, Brown Pellet, Green Pellet. Back in stock.

Dec 12, 2018

Nissin Air Stage Hakubai

This is very nearly a complete rewrite of the Nissin Air Stage Seiryu Rods page.

The Nissin Air Stage Hakubai are wonderfully light, extremely sensitive seiryu rods, which are very well suited for tenkara fishing in smaller streams for smaller fish. Seiryu is generally translated as "clear stream" and these rods are about as nice as you'll find for fishing the crystal clear headwaters in the Catskills, the Smokies or the Sierras.

They are not limited to clear streams or to trout, though, and some of the most pleasant fishing is in nearby streams that no one else fishes because the fish that live there aren't trout and aren't large.

In recent years, fly fishing for micros has become more popular. Given the increased popularity, and given that the Air Stage Hakubai 硬中硬 rods are softer and have considerably less backbone than the Kurenai rods, I thought these rods might be a better choice for micros, while the Kurenai would be a better choice for trout.

Black nose dace caught on StewartSpider

Continue reading "Nissin Air Stage Hakubai"

Dec 12, 2018

This Just In...

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

Ebira Guide Handy way to carry up to 4 rods, with two zippered pockets for gear. Back in stock.

Nikko Sashi Artificial maggots. Proven for microfishing, will probably work just as well for sunfish and trout. Back in stock.

Dec 12, 2018

Joy of Tenkara

What are you thankful for? Each person must make his own list; but at the top of mine would be God, family, and friends. My wife has now put up with me

Continue reading "Joy of Tenkara"

Dec 11, 2018

This Just In...

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

Nissin Air Stage Hakubai seiryu rods 240 stiff, plus 190, 240, 290 and 340 medium. The 240 stiff and 190 medium are back in stock. The longer medium rods are new items, intended primarily for fly fishing for micros.

Dec 09, 2018

Caffeinated Fly!

I must give credit to Chris Stewart for this fly. It has been years ago that I used a coffee bean to make a fly. This is a much better fly than the old

Continue reading "Caffeinated Fly!"

Dec 07, 2018

Sculpin Fishing

Fixed line fishing is big in Japan. Sculpin fishing is one of the more esoteric of its many forms. I first came across sculpin fishing, or kajika tsuri, written カジカ釣り in Japanese, in a Youtube video that shows many different types of fishing in Japan. The video is very nearly 28 minutes long. Of that, 55 seconds are devoted to sculpin fishing.

When I first saw the video, I thought the sculpin fishing part was a little unusual and then quickly forgot it until a customer sent me an email asking about a kajika rod.

It turns out a kajika rod is very easy to make!

Sculpin rod components

Continue reading "Sculpin Fishing"

Dec 02, 2018

Trip Report - 12-2-18

Today's trip was a follow-up on my 10-20-18 trip report, in which I experimented with using the TenkaraBum Tactical Nymphing Sighter .013 as a tenkara line with the Daiwa Enshou LL36 and the TenkaraBum 36. For this trip, I wanted to see how light a line I could cast with a seiryu rod.

Seiryu rods are ideal for catching modest fish, and they are ideal for casting light lines. I already knew they would easily cast size 2.5 fluorocarbon line. I wanted to see how light a nylon line they would cast.

Fine Mode Nagare with bluegill

Continue reading "Trip Report - 12-2-18"

Dec 01, 2018

This Just In...

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

Nissin Royal Stage Honryu 390 Extremely smooth casting mid-flex tenkara rod. Back in stock.

Daiichi 1110 sizes 20 and 26 Hooks for micro Killer Buggers. Surprisingly effective when fly fishing for micros. Back in stock.

Gear Keeper Zinger on steroids to hold your net or wading staff. Back in stock.

Daiwa Bright Marker - Yellow Extremely visible keiryu yarn marker. Back in stock.

Nov 30, 2018

Simple Blue Damselfly

In late October I was fishing the Blanco River and happened to spot a large damselfly that smacked the water. As the damselfly struggled to regain the

Continue reading "Simple Blue Damselfly"

Nov 27, 2018

Seiryu Rods

Seiryu rods bridge the gap between micro fishing and either tenkara or keiryu. They are ultralight telescopic rods, similar to tenkara or keiryu rods, but designed for small fish in placid streams. Most Japanese anglers use them to catch dace and chubs.

Most in the US use them in place of tenkara rods while fishing for trout, as do some Japanese anglers. They are very light and very sensitive, and they cast light tenkara lines very well. It is not surprising that they have developed a bit of a cult following here in the US.

Seiryu rod, creek chub

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Nov 26, 2018

Matching the Hatch(ery)

I had to run to the grocery store for my wife. I begged an hour of fishing as it was a wonderful afternoon. I have wanted to revisit the Fly Rod Spoons

Continue reading "Matching the Hatch(ery)"

“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