Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Forums Newsletter
Should I try Tenkara, or am I just asking too much from my kit?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Gregory Allen
(Gallen1119) - M

Locale: Golden, CO
Should I try Tenkara, or am I just asking too much from my kit? on 07/19/2013 11:15:18 MDT Print View

I just got back from a couple of days in the Indian Peaks wilderness area. Started at Monarch Lake and headed up Cascade Creek to Crater Lake. It was a beautiful and awesome hike. As this was my first solo in a while (wife gave me a hall pass), and I wasn't looking for serious miles, I decided to do a little fishing. I took my western fly rod/reel setup, a Sage 9', 5 wt, 4 piece. I did well in the upper Cascade one night, but the hassle-factor took its toll. There were at least half a dozen times where I would have loved to get a fly in the water, both creeks and lakes, but the idea of getting the fishing stuff out from the pack, assembled, and then replacing when done just seemed too complicated. Especially when I might want to do it again in half a mile. I need something more simple, or I just won't take the time. I didn't want to stop hiking for half an hour to fish a hole for 10 min.

I had minimized the kit, just rod/reel, a lanyard (hemostats, nipper, fly float, and a couple of spools of tippet), and a light box with a dozen flys. This trail can be steep, narrow, and technical at times so carrying an assembled rod/reel in my hand with my pack on is generally not possible, at least in my hands. YMMV, but I would get it caught in trees or smash it against a rock while scrambling.

Will a tenkara setup simplify this. Can you just pull the rod out, tie on a fly, and be in the water? Can you collapse the rod and leave the line on, ready to go between stops? Weight savings with tenkara would be a plus, but not a huge factor, as my pack out weight on day one was right at 20#. I just want more ease of deployment. I know I will give up distance on the lakes, but the tree/shrub crowded shore lines hamper this already.

Am I just asking too much, or will a Tenkra rod simplify this?

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: simple Tenkara on 07/19/2013 11:19:27 MDT Print View

In a word, yes. You'll be more likely to fish more with Tenkara in those circumstances.

I run a pair of EZ keepers from TenkaraBum.com on my rod. I collapse the rod, wind the line and tippet, hook the fly to the keeper, plug the rod, and put it in my pack. Take down and setup time are each well under a minute.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: re: simple Tenkara on 07/19/2013 12:26:01 MDT Print View

Here is what I do with my rods -

Keepers

The keeper at the top can be made out of a paper clip and taped on, as shown, or wrapped and epoxied like a line-guide. Or you can buy a "drop shot" keeper.


If you don't want to hack the butt cap, glue on velcro "hooks" -
VelcroButt


I typically have two snug o-rings below the top keeper that I use to anchor flys. I roll the 0-ring over the hook and then wind the line. I end with a loop of line that I secure with a knotted rubber band.
Kozuka

When it comes time to fish, my fly comes off last, minimizing snags in the brush or the clothes.

This approach does put kinks in the line. You may want to stretch-and-straighten before you start fishing. Or not - the bend at the fly ends works pretty well as a strike indicator.

The rod is a Shimano Kozuka 39NT , which I re-finished in flat black. It is 16" long packed, and 13' when fishing. It is a keiryu rod, not strictly "tenkara". That fly isn't a typical "tenkara" fly either. And at the butt end you can see a dropper tag for a second fly - again not "tenkara". But, it fishes just fine.

Edited by greg23 on 07/19/2013 13:14:36 MDT.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: 40°N,-105°W-ish
Re: Should I try Tenkara, or am I just asking too much from my kit? on 07/19/2013 12:50:16 MDT Print View

Gregory,

You might be interested in this - Tenkara USA have organized 'Boulder Creek Tenkara Takeover' for August 3rd. Now that Daniel's based in Boulder he's promoting his brand at the local level quite heavily. Might be a good way to try out some of his demo equipment, and learn some techniques.

Here's the announcement from TUSA's facebook page:

"With our tenkara rods in hand let's show up and takeover Boulder Creek for a day, on Saturday, August 3rd!
This is a casual outing and tenkara anglers are encouraged to fish up and down Boulder Creek at their own pace. Show up anytime, fish as late as you can. We just want to see as many tenkara rods there as possible.
Plan:
- At 9AM I will be across the street from the the first very large large parking lot in the Canyon on the North/Right side of the road going up (by the footbridge and "The Dome", the parking area is huge and can't be missed). I will assist anyone who may have questions about rigging and then do a short clinic on the water. I also plan on having some free giveaways like shirts and hats.
- Fish all day until whenever you want
- At around 3 pm anyone interested can head over to Upslope brewery on 1898 S. Flatiron Court
Boulder, CO. we may be hooked up with some free beer!
- If you're up for it, fish some more in the evening!"

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Should I try Tenkara, or am I just asking too much from my kit? on 07/19/2013 12:55:16 MDT Print View

If I can see another fisher, the river is to crowded.
Twenty five folks thrashing the water...
..thanks, but no thanks.

But for anyone in the Front Range this is a tremendous opportunity to learn a Lot about tenkara.

Edited by greg23 on 07/19/2013 13:00:10 MDT.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: 40°N,-105°W-ish
Should I try Tenkara... on 07/19/2013 13:09:18 MDT Print View

Too many Greg(ory)s on the forum. Greg Mihalik, I figured this would be horribly overcrowded for you. I saw that Gregory Allen is based in Golden, so it'd be an easy trip for him. Good learning opportunity for a noobie like me.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Should I try Tenkara... on 07/19/2013 13:12:57 MDT Print View

I wondered where the "Gregory" came from, but failed to look "up".

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: 40°N,-105°W-ish
Re: Re: Should I try Tenkara... on 07/19/2013 13:42:08 MDT Print View

Didn't occur to me either till I saw your reply. I'll try the basics locally, then come and see how it's done in bigger water. I'll just keep my distance so you don't feel crowded :-)

Gregory Allen
(Gallen1119) - M

Locale: Golden, CO
Re: Re: Re: Should I try Tenkara... on 07/19/2013 20:34:13 MDT Print View

David, Stuart, Greg, (and Greg?),

Thanks for the advise. I had no idea TUSA was now in Boulder! That's awesome. I had about decided on a starter kit from TenkaraBum, but I might reconsider and support "local", although many do consider Boulder a different country...maybe a different world. No malice intended for those living in or near the "People's Republic".

I will likely be at the "Tenkara Takeover - Boulder Creek". Sounds like a good opportunity to demo gear before I buy. Not many similar opportunities for Tenkara gear.

Greg (the other one)

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: 40°N,-105°W-ish
TUSA in Boulder on 07/19/2013 23:33:58 MDT Print View

Greg from Golden (and no, I won't hold that against you)

TUSA haven't moved - the business is still run out of the Bay Area - but Daniel relocated out here at the end of last year. He's done a number of talks locally, including at REI and Orvis, and last weekend he ran a demo session at McGuckin Hardware, who have just started carrying the full TUSA line.

Hope to be at the creek myself on August 3rd.

Cheers, Stuart

Gregory Allen
(Gallen1119) - M

Locale: Golden, CO
Re: TUSA in Boulder on 07/20/2013 10:33:03 MDT Print View

I may head up to McGuckin today to check it out. Should I buy now or wait till after the Aug 3rd event where I can try out the rods?

For the purpose of expense analysis and accounting here at the home office, this should fall under an existing hobby since I already fly fish, correct? There has been a freeze placed on expenditures for new hobbies.