by Jeff D
Articulated streamers are the rage these days, so I thought for the Streamer Challenge, why not cook up an articulated streamer that's castable with a tenkara rod? An actual tenkara rod, not a stiff keiryu rod or a carp rod.
This was my first attempt. I can't complain about the action of the fly. It works exactly as I wanted it to, like a suspending jerkbait. It's close to neutrally buoyant, and it darts like the venerable Sluggo soft-plastic jerkbait when "pulsed."
The fly is pretty rough looking, but the fish seemed to like it. I caught several largemouth bass and two overachieving bluegills.
The front section is simply bucktail on a size 4 Gamakatsu B10S, tied Thunder Creek Minnow style with a bit more "flair" than normal. The articulation joint is 15 lb mono with 3 plastic beads. The tail section is a very thick chenille yarn used for making baby blankets on a size 6 B10S, with a bit of soft hackle around the front.
As for casting...the only true tenkara rod I own that could cast it effectively is my Nissin Air Stage Fujiryu 410 6:4, and then only with the 4.0 m Nissin PALS SP Pro tapered twisted fluorocarbon line. When wet, it's far too heavy for easy casting with most tenkara rods. The chenille tail section acts like a sponge and soaks up a lot of water. It's way too much for either my Tenkarabum 36 or my Nissin Pro Square 360 6:4.
The latest iteration substitutes bucktail for the tail section, and is down-sized and tied more sparsely with a size 8 B10S for the tail section and a size 6 B10S for the head section. I left out the beads. I may have to fine tune with a little lead wire to get the neutral buoyancy I want. I haven't had a chance to fish or photograph it yet, so stay tuned.
“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