Tenkara Fishing Blog

I will be away from Tuesday, Oct 15 through Monday, Oct 21. Shipments will resume on Oct 22. Orders can be placed while I am away. After I return they will be processed in the sequence they were received.

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.

Oct 17, 2019

Hiking and Fishing the Guadalupe

My wife, Robin, and I were able to take a quick trip to the upper Guadalupe River this past week, with good success. We caught a mixture of redbreast sunfish,

Continue reading "Hiking and Fishing the Guadalupe"

Oct 13, 2019

Float Fishing

Chris and I have both mentioned float fishing and many of the posts on this site suggest that people use floats with their fixed line rods. I thought it

Continue reading "Float Fishing"

Oct 13, 2019

Line Ratings - True or False

More of a query than anything else. Are we all using line that is too strong for our rods? I was reading about Honryu fishing on a Japanese website, Google

Continue reading "Line Ratings - True or False"

Oct 12, 2019

This Just In...

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

Suntech Kurenai HM54R Extremely light for its length. Excellent rod for modest trout and panfish, whether with bait or fly. Back in stock.

Nissin Air Stage Fujiryu Tenkara 360, both 5:5 and 6:4. Delightful rods designed by a master. Wooden grip is comfortable and improves the balance. Back in stock.

Nissin Zerosum Tenkara 320 6:4 and 360 7:3. Top of the line model from the Japanese company that makes more tenkara rod models than any other company. Back in stock.

YGK Ultra Sight size 1.5 The lightest, brightest fluorocarbon line you could use for tenkara. Works well with seiryu rods. Back in stock.

Nissin Oni Line, Orange size 2.5 Very popular, light level line for softer tenkara rods. Back in stock.

Oct 09, 2019

The Story So Far

If at first you don’t succeed… I thought I would post this as an antidote to all the stories of people going out with their new kit and immediately catching

Continue reading "The Story So Far"

Oct 09, 2019

Daiwa Seiryu X45

I’ve had this rod for a little over a year now although I’ve only fished it for a few short sessions with a float rig. I think it is rather more capable

Continue reading "Daiwa Seiryu X45"

Oct 07, 2019

hook finishes?

I've been fishing a lot this year with a 270 Seiryu rod and a barbless hook and salmon egg. With the smallest 1/4 strike indicator everything is lip hooked

Continue reading "hook finishes?"

Sep 21, 2019

Expect the Unexpected

I was fishing Jamaica Pond with my Nissin 450zx medium, set up keiryu style with tenjo, 5x, and then 7x. Using my recent favorite lure of a Trout Magnet

Continue reading "Expect the Unexpected"

Sep 19, 2019

This Just In...

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

ZimmerBuilt Spin/BFS Guide Sling Basically a Tenkara Guide Sling with a second row of shock cords to allow carrying two Long Rod Cases in addition to tenkara rods in the standard pockets. Now, carrying a tenkara rod and a spinning rod on the same trip is convenient. New item.

Long Rod Cases Light weight semi-rigid plastic rod cases for rods from 32-40" when collapsed. Back in stock.

Daiwa Vega .4g spoon, color "Light Pink" The only available color other than what is already in stock. New item.

Marufuji Micro Fishing Kit Line, float, markers, weight, hook. Everything but the bait. Back in stock.

Power Isome Scent infused biodegradable artificial sandworms. Formulated for saltwater, they work just fine in fresh water. Back in stock.

Nakazima 3/8" and 1/2" Ball Floats Simple floats that are easy to move up or down your line without causing kinks. Back in stock.

Sunline Visible Free white nylon level line Hi Vis for you, not for the fish. Lighter than fluorocarbon so easier to hold off he surface. Size 4 back in stock. Sizes 5 and 6 new items.

Sep 16, 2019

Bass on the Shenandoah

About five weeks ago, my wife and I took a drive out to the Shenandoah Valley, mainly to kill a Saturday, but also because I wanted to check out Mossy

Continue reading "Bass on the Shenandoah"

Sep 13, 2019

This Just In...

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

Nissin 450ZX soft Relatively soft, relatively light keiryu rod that would be ideal for smaller fish in smaller streams or for sunfish in a pond. Back in stock.

Small, Medium and Large rod cases Relatively light semi-rigid plastic rod cases. Ugly but inexpensive. Back in stock.

Varivas 5X and 6X Nylon Tippet High quality tippet in 50m spools. Back in stock.

Suntech hi-vis fluorocarbon tenjo line Hi-vis line for the top section of a keiryu line - points the way to the markers. Back in stock.

Daiwa .4g Vega Brown Pellet spoons Surprisingly effective. Back in stock.

Sep 11, 2019

Welcome To The Small Side

Do your friends give you sidelong looks and sidle away when you laugh and are happy catching small fish? Do they express pity or disdain when you hold

Continue reading "Welcome To The Small Side"

Sep 10, 2019

Trip Report - 9-7-19

This report is a follow-up of the 8-25-19 trip report. In that report I suggested that a tenkara fly's bushy hackle resists being pulled through the water, and that it is much harder to keep your line off the water's surface if you fish a Killer Bug or other fly that has no hackle.

I then suggested that to offset the difficulty of keeping your line off the water when fishing a no-hackle fly, you could shorten your hi-vis line by a foot or two and replace that last foot or two with fluorocarbon tippet material of the same diameter. The heavy tippet will still be in the water, but being a clear line rather than hi-vis, it should be much less likely to scare the fish. At that point, the idea was untested.

TenkaraBum 36, brown trout, Killer Bug

On Saturday, I tried it.

Continue reading "Trip Report - 9-7-19"

Sep 08, 2019

This Just In...

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

Field Master Suguru Long H63 Nice keiryu rod. Light for its length and rated for 4X tippet. Back in stock.

Owner Mainstream tenkara hooks Nice shape for kebari - and it has an eye! Back in stock.

Gamakatsu Ultimate tanago hooks Small hook with very short point - designed for the smallest of fish. Back in stock.

Owner 70mm Top Floats Extremely sensitive float for small baits in still waters. Back in stock.

Sep 06, 2019

.4g Vega Spoons Discontinued

They say all good things must end someday.

Daiwa has discontinued the .4g Vega spoons. I will order as much as I can of their very limited remaining stock. As of this writing, Daiwa has only a few spoons in only three colors (and not the popular ones, either). When they are gone I will not be able to get more.

Small rainbow on Vega spoon

I guess it really isn't such a surprise. As I have mentioned, the .4g spoons really don't cast very far even with an XXUL spinning rod. Nobody, and I do mean NOBODY in Japan uses them with tenkara rods.

I have found a company than makes .5g spoons. I will order a few to see if they are a reasonable replacement.

Continue reading ".4g Vega Spoons Discontinued"

Sep 05, 2019

Trip Report - 8-25-19

Sunday was a day of surprises.

To start with, the stream that had once been my favorite, before the New York City Department of Environmental Protection cut the flow from a rock-steady 31 CFS to a rock steady 11 CFS (and then to a rock steady 9 CFS), was back up to 33 CFS. Several times over the years I had seriously considered never going back. With a restored flow I just had to go back!

How good the fishing turned out to be was my second surprise. The first pool, from which I have taken six fish more than once, yielded only two. I thought "well, after years of meager flows you really can't expect it to bounce back quickly."

How wrong I was.

Brown Trout, Red Spots

One thing that was not a surprise, and which clearly supported a view I've had for some time and have written about in passing, was the extent to which fly choice affected my ability to hold line off the surface.

Continue reading "Trip Report - 8-25-19"

Aug 31, 2019

This Just In...

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

Nissin Zerosum 360 7:3 Premium mid flex tenkara rod. Back in stock.

Nissin Royal Stage 360 7:3 Mid flex tenkara rod. Not as fancy as the Zerosum but very similar. Back in stock.

Nissin Fujiryu Tenkara rods The wooden-handled tenkara rods that were the inspiration for the original TUSA Ebisu. Back in stock.

Daiwa Sagiri 45 Midflex zoom seiryu rod that could make you hang up your tenkara rods. Back in stock.

Daiwa Keiryu-X 33 Relatively stiff keiryu rod that easily fits in a daypack. Back in stock.

Nissin Flying Dragon carp rod 530 and 620 length carp rods that collapse to a convenient 22 inches. Back in stock.

Chibi Maru 56 Tenkara Line Holder Wrap your line around it and slide it over your collapsed rod to manage line when not fishing. Back in stock.

Aug 30, 2019

Power Isome and Gulp alive bait storage

Isome worms leak from the original container and Chris warns you and even sends a extra Ziploc bag for when it happens. Isome worms smell okay though.

Continue reading "Power Isome and Gulp alive bait storage"

Aug 28, 2019

Microfishing YouTube channel

I just wanted to share a excellent channel I found while browsing on YouTube. The channel is Easy Fishing and is hosted by an English gentleman that explains

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Aug 28, 2019

Mountain Lake Fishing with Tenkara, Part 2

After fishing the first two lakes of our trip and catching brookies and goldens, Will, Lukas, and I awoke early and climbed a scree field that narrowed

Continue reading "Mountain Lake Fishing with Tenkara, Part 2"

Aug 26, 2019

This Just In...

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

Nissin Zerosum 360 6:4 Premium mid to full flex tenkara rod. Back in stock.

Keiryu Rigs Hook, line and sinker (and keiryu markers) already rigged and ready to go. Back in stock.

Micro Fishing Hooks Owner Smallest snelled, Owner New Half Moon loose, Gamakatsu Smallest snelled. Back in stock.

Aug 23, 2019

BW Sports Tippet Fly Pouch

I've had and used the BW Sports Tippet Pouch for more years than I can now recall. I've looked for alternatives that might be smaller and simpler (various

Continue reading "BW Sports Tippet Fly Pouch"

Aug 20, 2019

Rod Breakage due to 'material fatigue' — Update

Thanks to everybody for their help and advice regarding the rod break incident featuring my tried and trusted Shimotsuke Kiyotake 240. I'm still waiting

Continue reading "Rod Breakage due to 'material fatigue' — Update"

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

Continue reading "Fishing In Tough Conditions"

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

Continue reading "Rod Breakage due to 'material fatigue'?"

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

Continue reading "In defense of the long rod"

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

Continue reading "At Last!"

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

Continue reading "Tenkara USA Amago"

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

Continue reading "Patagonia Wader Work Station"

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.

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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"

“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