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Cool Tenkara Angling


Jerry A
I found a new avenue for stream anglers; at least it is new to me. Have you ever heard of tenkara?

Based upon the description from a website it seems very simple in its approach; a telescopic rod , line and fly. The line it seems connects to the tip. To me it sounds like a hoot! I envision close quarters jungle fishing where the quarry doesn't normally see the pressure that others in larger waters see. I was just wondering if any of our O-F Forum members have tried this technique and could relate their experiences.


Jerry A
It really looks like regular fly fishing as it is practiced

That's a new one on me. Like to see some photos of this though. -Waiting-
Here?s my research project for the day?. It is a real niche market. For the past 5 years or so a single company has tried to introduce this method to the American angler. Interestingly the tag line for this company is Only a rod, line and fly? and in their promo materials they go on to ask, ?What if we told you that all you need for fly-fishing are a rod, line and fly? No reel. And that the rods telescope down to 20 inches and fit in a pack, in one piece?? Well that?s tenkara in a nutshell. Some have a flat reel that mounts to the side that looks almost like a filler spool of line.

Wikpedia quotes this same site and adds that ?Tenkara fly fishing (Japanese: literally: "from heaven", or "from the skies") is a traditional type of fly fishing practiced in Japan. Primarily used for mountain stream trout fishing, tenkara is one of the most popular methods of angling among fresh-water mountain anglers in Japan.?

Tenkara uses only a long collapsable rod, fly line, a leader and a simple generic fishing fly. The long rod and light line are said to provide the best possible fly fishing presentation. Originally the rod was a simple bamboo or cane rod. It was cut and treated but not "manufactured" so I imply here that the angler would locate and create a suitable rod for personal use. The modern Tenkara rod is a very long and flexible rod (usually telescopic) that normally ranges in size from 11 ft to 15 ft long. Adapted for small streams it is not necessary to leave all of this rod extended but only what is needed to cast and reach your target. From the videos I've seen it looks very much like a traditional fly presentation. It differs in that being more of a pure personal or simple approach there is no reel and the angler must manually grab and wrap line around one hand while landing the usually smaller fish (small mountain stream).

My two cents of course I'm thinking cane pole and bluegill but I've never been one to attempt to impale myself on an 11 ft to 15 ft long while trying to navigate through a laurel thicket along a small mountain stream. I likes my wide open spaces.


Bronze Member
It's like cane pole fishing old school with a new twist ,that being the telescope rod right?


the last couple of years there has been a company at our local fly tying and fishing expo that has been selling equipment. there are a couple of nice videos on youtube that breaks it down for you. I agree with AZallen, it is very similar to dapping. this method would be ideal for several small streams that are close by for me. on these I very rarely even cast. it is usually just drop the fly in and get a short drift.