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.

Jul 22, 2018

Maximizing Fishing Opportunities

I was bemoaning to Chris yesterday that I was on-call all weekend (I work in the medical field) and couldn't go fishing. His response was, Being on call

Continue reading "Maximizing Fishing Opportunities"

Jul 16, 2018

This Just In...

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

Small and Large Rod Cases Light weight and adjustable for length. Excellent value. Back in stock.

Owner Smallest Snelled tanago hooks Excellent hook for catching smaller micros. Back in stock.

Daiwa Figure 8 Tool Great tool for tying knots and also holding small flies. Kind of like a Ty-Rite tool but much, much better. Back in stock.

Jul 16, 2018

Red Shiner

Fishing Shoal Creek in Kansas City north. I was using my Kiyotaki with about 8 feet size 2.5 line and 3-4 feet of 8X tippet and a brass wire bodied nymph.

Continue reading "Red Shiner"

Jul 16, 2018

Those Carbon Fiber Tubes

Like many tenkara anglers, I started with a couple of “brand X” rods of modest price and eventually caught quite a few fish with them. I still have these

Continue reading "Those Carbon Fiber Tubes"

Jul 13, 2018

Bent Pin Flies

Bent pin flies will not win any prizes. They won't get you an invitation to tie at the International Fly Tying Symposium. They will catch fish, though. They're about as subversive as the Overhand Worm and are a lighthearted jab at proper fly dressers the world over (or at least the stuffier ones).

We know that tenkara flies were once tied on hooks made by small family shops whose main business was making sewing needles. You can indeed make a hook from a needle by heating it and bending it and cooling it. You can. But you can also just bend a pin and go catch fish.

I have caught fish on flies tied on bent pins for years. I have yet to have a fish get away because it straightened the pin. I'm sure a big enough fish could do it, but so far it hasn't happened.

bent pin

Continue reading "Bent Pin Flies"

Jul 09, 2018

First time with the Kiyotaki

Being newly retired, I have decided to combine walking for my health and my love for fishing. I’ve been using a cheap “tenkara rod” on my hikes, though

Continue reading "First time with the Kiyotaki"

Jul 07, 2018

Blown Away!

I really enjoyed my two days of solitude in the mountains. However, I was literally blown away. The wind just didn't let up. It was blowing 20-40 miles

Continue reading "Blown Away!"

Jul 05, 2018

Summer Sale - Part II

TenkaraBum 40 - 20% off. Just $196 now through July 27.
On July 28 the price returns to $245.

The 20% off sale on the TenkaraBum 36 was a big enough success that I just had to offer the same sale on the TenkaraBum 40.

If you have been at all curious about what Tactical Nymphing with a tenkara rod is all about, this is your chance to get one of the best Tactical Nymphing rods out there.

And even if you think the words Nymphing and Tenkara do not belong in the same sentence, you will find a lot to love in the TenkaraBum 40. It casts a light tenkara line beautifully yet still has the backbone to get good hook sets and to manage what would be the fish of a lifetime for most Japanese tenkara anglers.

Suntech TenkaraBum 40

Continue reading "Summer Sale - Part II"

Jul 04, 2018

Sale Ends Today!

The 20% off sale on the Suntech TenkaraBum 36 ends today! Tomorrow the price goes back to $230.

Suntech TenkaraBum 36

Continue reading "Sale Ends Today!"

Jul 04, 2018


Imagine that you and your family are just sitting down to a scrumptious supper. Everyone is starving, and the meal spread before you includes all your

Continue reading "Stealth"

Jul 04, 2018

Two Days In Nirvana With A New Rod

I bought a Suntech GM Keiryu Special 27 last year just before the Tenkarabum Traveler 27 was introduced, and finally got to try it out July 1 and 3.

Continue reading "Two Days In Nirvana With A New Rod"

Jun 27, 2018

This Just In...

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

Suntech Kurenai Long 61 If you are looking for a long, light, fun rod, they just don't get any better than this one. Back in stock.

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

Sunline size 3 and size 4.5 tenkara line The first fluorescent orange tenkara line. Extremely visible - particularly early and late in the day. Back in stock.

Killer Bugs Kiwi's version of Frank Sawyer's original. Still a killer after all these years. Back in stock.

Power Isome - small brown Biodegradeable, digestible "rubber" worms that smell like blueberries? And fish eat 'em? Oh, yeah!. Back in stock.

Jun 23, 2018

A Genuine Micro Fish

The other morning I just caught the smallest fish I think I’ve ever caught so far. It’s a baby chub or dace, I can’t tell. Just over the size of a penny,

Continue reading "A Genuine Micro Fish"

Jun 23, 2018

First time micro fishing

I recently had the opportunity to fish on a farm creek in upstate NY. There was very limited casting room for my ITO rod and I was almost ready to give

Continue reading "First time micro fishing"

Jun 21, 2018

Four Rods - Four Meters - Forty Fish

It was a beautiful sunny windless morning. I needed to get out fishing! Rather than take just one rod, I took all of my rods that can be fished at 4

Continue reading "Four Rods - Four Meters - Forty Fish"

Jun 20, 2018

Smallest Largemouth Bass Ever, Ever!

Well, bass season just started a few days ago and I think I already have beaten my old record. This is hands down the smallest largemouth bass I’ve ever

Continue reading "Smallest Largemouth Bass Ever, Ever!"

Jun 18, 2018

Karp Kebari

Chris - Thanks for sharing a quick report on your Maine trip. However, that chewed Keeper Kebari looks sick! I felt the need to show one that is ready

Continue reading "Karp Kebari"

Jun 17, 2018

Maine Vacation - 2018

My Maine vacation this year was not what I had expected. Most of the time, the wind blew like crazy. Most of the time when it wasn't blowing it was raining. It turned out to be a spin fishing vacation rather than a tenkara vacation.

This will be a fairly quick and dirty trip report, partially because the trip didn't turn out to be a tenkara trip but mostly because I'm still behind on my shipments, and I think that should take precedent.

I did get in a little tenkara fishing and the Keeper Kebari again proved to be an outstanding smallmouth bass fly.

Almost Time to Change FliesAlmost time to change flies.

Continue reading "Maine Vacation - 2018"

Jun 17, 2018

Longear Sunfish

I wanted to post this picture because it’s just a pretty fish! I caught him I’m Shoal Creek located in Gladstone, MO, just south of Maple Woods Community

Continue reading "Longear Sunfish"

Jun 16, 2018

Still No Carp

My quest for a carp on my carp rod continues to be unsuccessful, but I am checking in with the other larger species in the neighborhood. I spent a recent

Continue reading "Still No Carp"

Jun 14, 2018

Small creek Bass

I was fishing Line Creek in Kansas City, North. This is a small creek about 15-20 feet wide that is only about 6 inches deep with the occasional pool

Continue reading "Small creek Bass"

Jun 12, 2018

Wind & A Few Bluegills

Yesterday my fishing buddy, Marlin, his grown daughter Kelly and I went after bluegills on a big lake in his 17’ boat. We were bait fishing, they with

Continue reading "Wind & A Few Bluegills"

Jun 11, 2018

Another inexpensive (not cheap) tenkara rod.

I purchased a inexpensive carbon fiber, telescopic, Chinese carp fishing rod. I have converted a few of these rods. I can't really say I made these rods.

Continue reading "Another inexpensive (not cheap) tenkara rod."

Jun 01, 2018

Kyogi Lines and Rigging

I know Chris is going on vacation tomorrow. So this is a head up! I was the benefactor of some 5.5 level fluorocarbon Sanyo Valcan line to try out.

Continue reading "Kyogi Lines and Rigging"

May 31, 2018

American Tenkara

As I understand it, tenkara angling developed in Japan over 300 years ago as anglers pursued smaller fish in high-gradient mountain streams. It was an

Continue reading "American Tenkara"

May 30, 2018


I am outta here!

Not yet - I'm leaving June 2 and returning June 10. It is not a business trip. It's a vacation. I might not answer emails. I might not put "out of stock" notices on the website (which have to be done manually). If something won't stay in the cart, it's out of stock. I do not plan to send "I got your order" emails. Just trust that I got your order. If PayPal says you paid, I got it.

I will have a hard time getting all my open orders shipped before leaving, but if you absolutely, positively need something to be in the mail before June 11, order it NOW and let me know. I try to make allowances for upcoming fishing trips, birthdays, etc. If you say it's for a fishing trip, though, I'm gonna want to see photos!

Maine Sunset

May 30, 2018

This Just In...

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

Suntech Fine Power 56NP Very nice (and very beautiful) keiryu rod. Works well for big water tenkara. Definitely one of my favorites. Back in stock.

Nissin Oni Line Orange size 2.5 For a very light, very visible fluorocarbon line, this is the best I've found. Back in stock.

Nakazima Ball Floats Better than Thingamabobbers! Very easy to adjust for depth. for fishing weighted nymphs or for keiryu fishing. Three sizes in stock, with the smallest ones perfect for micro fishing. Back in stock.

Cultiva Micro Swivels and Tairiki Snaps Easy way to attach and change micro spoons. Back in stock.

Large Rod Case Light weight, inexpensive semi-rigid case holds up to four tenkara rods. Back in stock.

May 29, 2018

Summer Sale - 20% Off!

We've all heard the phrase "too much of a good thing." Well, this is a case of too many of a good thing.

Ordering in bulk and well in advance occasionally means running out of stock and occasionally means having too many rods on hand. I've got more TenkaraBum 36 rods than I need. What I don't have is space for them. (Running a rod company out of a Manhattan studio apartment is an exercise in shoehorning too much stuff in too little space.) No one who's never lived in New York City (or possibly Tokyo) would believe how small the apartments are and how much stuff gets crammed into them.

So, from now until July 4, the TenkaraBum 36 is 20% off, just $184, down from $230 normally. On July 5 they go back to $230.

If you've ever been curious about a Japanese rod, or whether a rod actually designed to handle weight will perform better with bead head nymphs, now is the time.

Suntech TenkaraBum 36

Continue reading "Summer Sale - 20% Off!"

May 28, 2018

American Zenmai

I've read a lot about using zenmai dubbing from the Japanese flowering fern (Osmunda japonica), but I'd never tried it. I recalled seeing similar downy

Continue reading "American Zenmai"

May 28, 2018

Kyogi on the Hillsdale Flats

Over the last week and a half I made three trips to the dam face of Hillsdale Reservoir southwest of Kansas City. I've posted about this area before and

Continue reading "Kyogi on the Hillsdale Flats"

May 27, 2018


After carefully reviewing the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), I have reluctantly concluded that I can no longer offer any goods or services to residents of the European Union or the European Economic Area.

Whereas the goals of the GDPR are laudable, I have concluded that it will be absolutely impossible for a small, one-man company in the US to be fully compliant. The penalties for noncompliance are horrendous.

May 27, 2018

Raising Worms Update

Yesterday I worked on one of my worm bins as well as The Park Avenue. The most stunning revelation was how much bigger the worms were in the Park Avenue.

Continue reading "Raising Worms Update"

May 25, 2018


Hey, Anyone ever use a rod from Tenkara Rod Co? Received a Teton as a gift, and don't know that much about the company? Seems like a fairly stout rod?

Continue reading "A GIFT"

May 25, 2018

Tenryu Rayz Integral RZI50UL-4

The Tenryu Rayz Integral RZI50UL-4 and RZI50L-4 are the ideal spinning rods for a backpacker, traveler or someone who takes more than one rod when fishing.

Tenryu Rayz Integral RZII50UL-4Recently, a devoted tenkara angler asked me to recommend a spinning rod and reel. I already knew that he's an avid backpacker. I also knew that he strongly believes that tenkara is the ideal way to fish a high-gradient mountain stream.

Whereas many American anglers also would use their tenkara rods to fish high mountain lakes or larger rivers, he feels that outside of the waters on which tenkara was developed, it really isn't the ideal way to fish. For lakes and larger rivers, he'd rather use a spinning rod.

On his hikes in the high country, he plans to fish with tenkara gear in the streams and spinning gear in the lakes. Thus, he will generally carry more than one rod. When he told me what weight lures he wanted to fish, the best rod and reel choice became obvious.

Continue reading "Tenryu Rayz Integral RZI50UL-4"

May 22, 2018

Tenryu Furaibo TF39 Becchou Fishing

I don't buy a rod not to fish it. Today, I finally got to fish the Tenryu Furaibo TF39 Becchou. It fishes as well as it looks! The first fish caught

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May 21, 2018

This Just In...

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

Suntech Grayce II 52NP Very nice (and very beautiful) keiryu rod. Also works well with weighted flies. Back in stock.

Nissin 540 ZX medium Moderately priced keiryu rod that works well for big water tenkara. Back in stock.

Nissin Kyogi 21BX The most capable carp rod I've found. Back in stock.

Medium and Small Rod Cases Light weight, adjustable and inexpensive. Back in stock.

New Half Moon snelled tanago hooks The most popular hook for microfishing in the US. Back in stock.

Daiwa Vega .4g spoons - Gold, silver and lemonade A little flash and bling for when the kebari aren't working. Better than bucktails. Easy to cast with tenkara rods. Back in stock.

May 18, 2018

Tenkara and Hydrotherapy

If you think this blog entry is written tongue-in-cheek, you’re right. As I’ve noted before, recreational fishing is for fun. If you don’t believe me,

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May 16, 2018

This Just In...

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

3x5 Photo Tank For micros, sunfish, smaller trout, etc., keep 'em wet and still get a great photo. Back in stock.

May 16, 2018

Trip report 5-15-2018

Over the last year I have been mostly fishing with a Nissin 395 Honryu. It works well on large fish and is still fun with the little guys. A couple of

Continue reading "Trip report 5-15-2018"

May 16, 2018

The Jig is UP! and Swooning for Spooning

I'm tired of catching planters. For the last 6 weeks I have been fishing the Boise River even though the flows have been faster than normal. I was inspired

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May 15, 2018

Zombie Gnome Tenkara

Just having a little fun. ;)

Continue reading "Zombie Gnome Tenkara"

May 13, 2018

This Just In...

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

Owner New Half Moon Tanago Hooks (loose) For the hard core micro fishers. Loose hooks you snell yourself. Back in stock.

May 12, 2018

This Just In...

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

Suntech Kurenai Long 61 One of the nicest, lightest long rods in existence. Definitely one of my favorites! Back in stock.

Suntech Fine Power NP66 Another one of the nicest, lightest long rods in existence - and this one collapses to a convenient 22 3/8". Also one of my favorites! Back in stock.

Nissin Kyogi 15BX Fifteen foot carp rod rated for 0X tippets. Back in stock.

Nissin Flying Dragon 620 Twenty foot carp rod rated for 3X tippets. Collapses to convenient 22" length. Back in stock.

Nissin Royal Stage Honryu 390 The 44" collapsed length gives this rod one of the smoothest casting actions you will find in any rod. If you don't have to backpack in, this is a great rod. Back in stock.

Tanago Floats Small, light and easy to adjust for depth. Back in stock.

Micro Fishing tippet connectors These make attaching the snelled tanago hooks to your line much easier. Back in stock.

May 10, 2018

A good day down at the creek

It was a fun day down on my local creek. Every year after the spring rains, and subsequent floods push trees and other trash around, the creek is always

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May 10, 2018

How not to break a beautiful Tenkara Rod!

My wife and I had stopped by the Roaring River Trout Park in southwest MO on the way to Branson for an hour of Tenkara fishing fun. I set up my wife’s

Continue reading "How not to break a beautiful Tenkara Rod!"

May 03, 2018

Midwest Tenkara Fest

I will be out Friday, May 4 through Tuesday, May 8. The Midwest Tenkara Fest, held this Saturday and Sunday in Coon Valley, WI is one of those events for which you just close everything down and go. I'm going.

If you've never fished the Driftless Area, go.

Shimano Pack Tenkara

The store will be open, and you can order anything you'd like (assuming it is in stock). Shipments will resume on Wednesday, May 9, with orders processed in the sequence they were received.

May 02, 2018

Photo Tips for Tenkara

Nearly 40 years ago, I made part of my living writing articles for outdoor magazines. Of course, this was before the computer/digital age, so we’re talking

Continue reading "Photo Tips for Tenkara"

Apr 30, 2018

How Many Pass - Overs?

Chris in his last Trip report said, I have always wondered about all the water we drive past to get to the places we fish. Next time I'll stop instead

Continue reading "How Many Pass - Overs?"

Apr 29, 2018

Trip Report - 4-28-18

You have to go exploring. If you don't, you'll end up fishing in the same places all the time. That may not be exactly boring, but it is more interesting to find new places to fish - even if they don't always yield "many" days.

A couple weeks ago, the guy I go to Maine with on my smallmouth bass fishing vacations gave me a tour of some of the nearby streams that he knows but which I had never fished. He used to be a rural mail carrier, and knows all the little streams all over the area - some of which you wouldn't even notice - but unfortunately most of which are entirely on private land.

I went to three of them on Saturday. All three are distinctly suburban streams, and you are always fishing within the sight of houses. All three have very short sections that are on public land.

Suburban stream

Continue reading "Trip Report - 4-28-18"

“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


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

Beware of the Dogma