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Take the tenkara rod or get a light spin rod?
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Jeffrey McConnell
Take the tenkara rod or get a light spin rod? on 08/02/2012 21:10:22 MDT Print View

So, I helped out on a scout trip recently to the western sierras and I took my tenkara rod out and its first backpacking trip. We were camped by some lakes and I found that I was wishing I had my spin rod to get a little distance. I felt limited by my tenkara rod, which is fine since they are really more suited to streams.

I'm backpacking Whitney this September via Cottonwood Lakes and I'll have the opportunity to fish some more lakes. There are some nice streams as well, but I'm going to have a hard time convincing my buddies to stop for some stream fishing along the way, since I'm the only one that fishes. Should I just take my spin rod for the lakes we stay at and call it good, or do I just need to be a little more stealthy with my tenkara lake fishing and not worry about the limited range?

Edited by Catalyst on 08/02/2012 21:48:06 MDT.

Richard Gless
(rgless) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Take the tenkara rod or get a light spin rod? on 08/02/2012 21:58:02 MDT Print View

As much as I love to flyfish I often find that on lakes the fish in the Sierras are often 10-30 ft beyond my casting range. You can wait and hope they come in closer or give up and go to a spinning rig casting a bobber and a fly. The spinning rig also lets you use spinners. Sometimes flies work better morning and evening and spinners are better during the day. If it's hot especially later in the season and the fish are all deep, you can get down deep with a spinner and a long count or just by adding some weight.

Edited by rgless on 08/02/2012 21:59:21 MDT.

Darren M.

Locale: West
Tenkara vs. Spin on 08/03/2012 14:23:29 MDT Print View

Well, I've taken both with me on quite a few trips and truthfully, with the Tenkara weighing so little, there isn't much of a penalty with regards to weight (4oz.). Even though I enjoy getting a spinner out to deeper water, using Tenkara has been amazing.

With Alpine Lakes, so many of the larger 'cruisers' are so close to shore, particularly later and earlier in the day. On our last trip, I actually caught just as many and of good size with my 12' Iwana than I did with my spin outfit. I used to think that Tankara was going to be used for mostly rivers/streams and the spin rod would be for the lakes but, I have changed that paradigm.

I am considering just taking the Iwana on the next trip into the lakes and I am confident I'll have no regrets. That said, I just love fishing too much to not want to take both rods on trips. I'm now having to ask myself that if my main goal is to catch as many fish as possible (never really feel this way), than spin has the most flexibility and best chance of accomplishing my goal. If, on the other hand, I want to just catch some fish and simplify the experience...I go with tenkara. By sight fishing near shore for large cruisers...I've done extremely well and had more fun doing it.


Jeffrey McConnell
Re: Tenkara vs. Spin on 08/03/2012 18:08:20 MDT Print View

Thanks for the input. Yeah, I'm considering taking both since my tenkara set up is so lot. At least for the next couple trips until I figure out which setup I like using in different situations.

Craig Price
(skeets) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne, Australia
lightweight tenkara's on 08/04/2012 00:37:25 MDT Print View

you may also wish to look at the daiwa top end tenkara rods also, from sites like eg. TenkaraBum. They are lighter than the TUSA rods if you are a gram weenie, and would very much go unnoticed - about 1.5 oz for a 13ft rod is right out there. As usual, though, at the margin gram cuts cost $$$ and these are top end rods with top end prices.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
spinning. on 08/13/2012 14:52:31 MDT Print View

This is anecdotal but I've found that I *crush* other fly fishermen with my spinning rig.

I usually pack an ultralight spinning rod and reel and 2 lb test and 2-3 spinners.

Just last week I bumped into a guy on the trail who was fly fishing a lake I was about to visit. He said he caught two fish in an hour.

I got to the lake and caught two fish in two minutes (first two casts) with my spinning rod.

I ended up catching about 14 fish in an hour and kept about 2.