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.

Dec 13, 2019

YouTube Resources

This post is simply a list of all the channels on YouTube I watch that depict various methods of Japanese fixed-line fishing. Typing the name of the channels

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Dec 10, 2019

This Just In...

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

Daiwa Sagiri 39 Light weight inexpensive zoom 34-39 seiryu rod. Back in stock.

Cultiva Micro Snaps and Tairiki Snaps Small, light snaps and snap swivels. Back in stock.

Dec 06, 2019

This Just In...



Rodio-craft Blinde Flanker .5g spoons Gold and silver back in stock. Also, two new colors.

Daiwa Keiryu-X 24 and 27 Short, stiff rods for big fish in small streams. Back in stock.

Dec 05, 2019

This Just In...

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

Gift Card Want to get something but not sure what to get? The Gift Card can be used towards anything on the site. Running out of time? The Gift Card is delivered at the speed of email. New item.

"Reluctant" Wakasagi Rig Multi-hook Wakasagi rig (similar to a sabiki rig) with hooks almost as small as tanago hooks. New item.

Dec 03, 2019

Nissin Tenkara Level Line Rods

The Nissin Tenkara Level Line rods were introduced last year. The full flex "level line" action is reminiscent of the Nissin Royal Stage 6:4 tenkara rods.

The Level Line rods are a little heavier, and that by itself will change the amount of inertia you feel as you wiggle the rod. The rods are similar, but clearly not the same.

The most noticeable difference, though, is not the rod weight, it is is the black EVA foam grip on the Nissin Tenkara Level Line rods. I believe EVA foam grips on tenkara rods were pioneered by Tenkara no Oni, and on premium quality rods no less. For anglers who value practicality over aesthetics they really do make a lot of sense.



Nissin Tenkara Level Line 360, Brown Trout

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Nov 29, 2019

Black Friday Sale

Black Friday Sale starts 9 AM EST

Black Friday Sale Selected Items on sale through Monday, December 2.

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Nov 24, 2019

Tenkara Today by Morgan Lyle

In Tenkara Today, Morgan Lyle weaves various threads of tenkara fishing, gear, early adopters and upstart companies to describe just how tenkara got to where it is today in the US.

Morgan Lyle is unquestionably the best person to put that all on paper. He was there from the beginning.

He has been intimately involved in tenkara from that moment on. He knows all the players, and not being a competitor, he gets all of them to talk. I was there from the beginning, too, but there's a lot in Tenkara Today that I didn't know.

Tenkara Today cover photo

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Nov 22, 2019

Fishing the 45s

The Nissin Air Stage Honryu 45 arrived earlier this week. Yesterday morning was a perfect day to get out and run it through its paces. I don't have that

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Nov 18, 2019

This Just In...

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

Nissin Tenkara Mini Two new lengths: 270 and 360. Same collapsed length (under 10") as the 320. The most compact tenkara rods to come out of Japan. 320 back in stock, 270 and 360 new items.

Nissin Zerosum 6:4 450 Honryu tenkara length in a soft, full flex rod. Back in stock.

Shimano Pack Tenkara 31-34 ZW Zoom rod with short collapsed length for backpacking. Shimano fans love it. Back in stock.

Daiichi 1100 size 26 Smallest practical hook for Killer Bugs and Killer Buggers - fly fishing for micros! Back in stock.

Nov 14, 2019

My New Keiryu Rod

I have been fly fishing and fly tying for over 35 yrs. In 2011 I read a Tenkara article written by Yvon Chouinard. This article inspired me to purchase

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Nov 14, 2019

Fishing With Kids - Gyotaku

I fish with my 9 year old niece quite often. She enjoys making Japanese Fish Prints(Gyotaku) from special fish she has caught. There are plenty of DIY

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Nov 12, 2019

This Just In...

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

Suntech Fine Power NP56 and NP66 Two of the nicest keiryu rods you will ever find. Back in stock.

Suntech FMX Keiryu stiff 45 and 54 Keiryu rods that are considerably nicer than the Nissin 450 or 540ZX. Back in stock.

Nissin Flying Dragon 530 and 620 carp rods Carp capability with a convenient collapsed length. Back in stock.

Fujino tapered nylon tenkara lines Extremely visible and with surprisingly good turnover for a nylon line. Try the 4.5m Midi with your 3.6m rod or the 5m Soft with your 4m rod. Back in stock.

Fujino Soft Tenkara Long Type 7m tapered nylon line For casting practice or honryu tenkara. Back in stock.

Owner Keiryu Rigs Two lines fully rigged, with tenjo line and markers. Split shot and extra hooks in the package. Back in stock.

Nov 12, 2019

Good barbless hooks

I just picked up more hooks to tie my favorite nymph pattern (mixed synthetic and natural dark reddish-brown dubbing with a 5/32 inch gold tungsten bead

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Nov 11, 2019

Trip Report - 11-10-19

The goal for the day was to try a longer line on a smaller stream. It wasn't a very long line or a very small stream, but I did want to try an 11' rod with a 14' line and 5' of tippet. Up until a few weeks ago, I would have fished an 11' rod with an 11' line and a tippet of just over 3'.

For most of the day, I fished with a Nissin Royal Stage Honryu 330, which at 10'10" is quite a bit shorter than most people think of when they think of honryu rods. As with the Nissin Royal Stage Honryu 380, and the Nissin Air Stage Honryu rods (390 and 450), it is quite long when collapsed - making it a much better rod for fishing streams you can drive to rather than hike to. I don't know if that is why Nissin calls it a honryu rod, but whatever they call it, I like it!

Nissin Royal Stage Honryu 330, Brown Trout

Continue reading "Trip Report - 11-10-19"

Nov 11, 2019

Change isn't always so bad.

A few weeks ago I was taking stock of my fly-rod spoon inventory and decided it was time to fill in the holes. Yes, I do lose spoons too! Low and behold,

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Nov 06, 2019

Trip Report - 11-3-19

Following my AHA! moment a few weeks ago, when I learned the value of fishing with a longer line, I wanted to try actual honryu tenkara with a longer rod and an even longer line. On Sunday I went to the Farmington River in Connecticut to give it a try. I brought a number of 4.4 and 4.5m rods, and a number of 7m lines.

The results were interesting but the day was not an unqualified success. Clearly, the main cause for the mixed results was my own inexperience, but a few things did make it a bit more difficult.

The day yielded just one fish in the net, which for me is pretty much par for the course during the winter. However, it was a perfect catch - at least in terms of what I was attempting to do for much of the day.

My goal was to fish bank eddies on the far side, which is my impression of how honryu tenkara is often done in Japan. For that fish, I managed to place the cast in a bank eddy, gave the fly about two gentle pulses and the fish hit. Perfect.

Honryu Tenkara Brown Trout

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Nov 01, 2019

This Just In...

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

Rodio-craft .5g Blinde Flanker spoons Slightly smaller and slightly heavier than the now-discontinued Daiwa .4g Vega spoons, they should fish a little bit deeper. Not too heavy for fixed line rods. New Item.

Suntech Keiryu Sawanobori 53 and 63 For a keiryu rod that is much nicer than the beginner's Nissin 540ZX, but not as fancy or expensive as the Suntech Fine Power, you would be hard pressed to find a better rod than the Suntech Keiryu Sawanobori! Back in stock.

Suntech Suikei Keiryu Special 53 Three position zoom keiryu rod (which I have almost always used for tenkara fishing). The three lengths make it an excellent choice for small stream keiryu (or bead head nymph) fishing. Back in stock.

Rod Cases Light weight, inexpensive, semi-rigid rod cases. Small, medium, large and long, all back in stock.

Daiwa Bright Markers - Yellow Extremely visible yarn markers for keiryu fishing. Highly recommended, along with the Orange Bright Markers. Back in stock.

Oct 30, 2019

Never too Proud to Learn!

I'd like to thank Chris for his story, Longer Line Tenkara. I write this blog entry as his fishing reports don't lend themselves to dialogue, like the

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Oct 25, 2019

Longer Line Tenkara

My impression, based on limited experience, was that lines longer than the rod were really only used when fishing downstream, using the current to help keep the line off the surface.

Well, this past weekend I learned how wrong I had been. I spent a couple days fishing with Adam Klagsbrun, who as much as anyone else in the US is a proponent of learning how tenkara is practiced in Japan, and also being true to the Japanese definition of what is and what isn’t tenkara (not so much in how you fish, but rather in what you call it). Unfortunately, it seems many (actually many, many) people lost sight of the learning because they got hung up on the definition.

It took only a few minutes for Adam to describe what I should do to fish a longer line, and a few minutes more to explain why my tippet should be longer as well.

Unfortunately, the weekend was windy enough that I was able to try the longer line tenkara for only a pretty brief period. During that time I was able to catch several fish, though.

Rainbow Trout

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Oct 24, 2019

Well I guess I'm no Tenkara angler

More like a bait on a Seiryu rod guy. I love my 3 Seiryu rods from Chris but not so much my 2 Tenkara rods from another source. With bait or a tiny section

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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"


“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.


Warning:

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

Beware of the Dogma