Tag Archives: fly fishing

Tenkara fishing: only a rod, line, and fly

“Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers”, as Herbert Hoover said.

Fishing was a mystery and a passion at the same time when I was a child. Growing up and experiencing the world of fishing from the inside fueled a lot of my interest. There are so many reasons to practice fishing as a sport, but the most important for me is the opportunity to experience some of the world’s most amazing locations available to anglers all over the world! Nature is genuinely extraordinary.

That is why I want to share with you a new fly fishing setup that I use. I don’t use a traditional fly rod, but I use what’s called a tenkara rod. It’s based on a Japanese-style fishing that originated in the narrow mountain streams of that country. It has been practiced for over 200 years now. Originally the rod was simply a bamboo/cane rod, which was cut and treated. Because of its light weight, Japanese anglers could use very long bamboo rods with a fixed-length line to reach as far as they needed.

I’m going to tell you about it as a suggestion for a way to possibly start fishing with a tenkara. It’s so easy, because the entire setup is a rod, a line, and a fly.

Tenkara rod, lines, and flies

Tenkara rod, lines, and flies

The rod weighs just 2.1 ounces, and it is telescopic. It collapses to about 20-inches, but can telescope out to various sizes. A typical rod can be as short as 10 feet 8 inches or as long as 12 feet 9 inches, which is perfect for getting into different sized fishing lakes and ponds. The end is capped until you wish to extend it, Pull the telescope until it’s completely out and then just put a little bit of tension on each section where the telescoping joints meet. You don’t want to pull to hard, because if you do you can damage the joints.

Besides the rod, you have a line that you’re going to be tying right to the tip of the rod. You can use the same length as the rod, but you can use longer lines as well. I use the 13 foot fixed line. At the end of the main line you will attach tippet, which is a very thin fishing line that goes between the main line and the fly. It is just like your standard narrow monofilament that you would tie to the fly. And of course, it’s a way to keep the fish from seeing the bright fly line and it helps deliver the fly a little more accurately.

I carry two different kinds of lines. I carry the normal line that is just round and feel great on calm days, so you can cast real easy. It is for calm conditions. There is no texture to it. And there is also a braided line, the advantage of which is that it’s a little bit heavier and it can cut through the wind.

The last, but not least, I have my fly box. Tenkara flies place less emphasis on imitation and more on the importance of their presentation. They are simpler than traditional flies. They have a reverse tackle which is facing towards the eye of the hook and a really simple design. That is one of the focuses of tenkara: it’s not so much about selecting your fly as it is having a good presentation; you can catch and release as many fish as you like as long as you are perfecting your method.

I really like using the tenkara setup. The equipment and setup is so simple. Instead of focusing on all the different flies and supplies, you focus on technique and simplicity. It is a great set up for backpacking or bicycling, and can easily be with you wherever you find yourself.

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Get Started with Fly Tying: The Basic Kit

Once a fly fishing angler has decided to undertake making his own flies, it is important that he acquire some basic tools and equipment in order to be successful at the craft.

Tools fall into two general categories: essential and optional.

Essential tools include:

• A vise to hold the hook: A good fly-tying vise is mandatory for anyone undertaking the hobby. Either pedestal based or clamp attachment; the vise should adjust easily and smoothly.

• Bobbins: A good quality ceramic bobbin is recommended; cheaper types of bobbins break the thread and lead to needless frustration. The bobbin should have a tube to guide the thread to the hook.

• Magnifying glass: as many of the components of flies are tiny or hair thin, a good quality magnifying glass (a free- standing glass on its own pedestal for hands free use is recommended)

• Hackle pliers: specialized pliers that hold feathers and other fly-tying materials together while being bound to the hook, usually spring loaded with a rubber disk to hold the feathers).

• Hackle gauges: specialized ruler used to insure that the size of the hackle feather fibers is appropriate for the hook.

• Hair stackers: cylindrical shaped device used to get the feathers and fibers aligned properly for tails and wings and other components of a fly.

• Lights: a well-lit workspace is essential to avoid eye-strain, fly tying is a delicate and precise process..

• Scissors: used for cutting threads, fibers and other materials. Small scissors are best for cutting fine threads and fibers, a heavier duty pair is also needed to cut wire.

Optional tools include:

• Bodkins: in terms of fly tying, this a needle affixed to a wooden dowel 9which functions as a handle0 used for depositing cement or lacquer on flies.

• Bobbin threaders: for spooling tying thread onto the ceramic bobbin

• Whip finishers: knot tying can be accomplished with fingers, but this specialized tool makes securely tying the knots on the flies a snap.

• Wing burners: cutters used to shape wings and wing cases and cut them to proper size.

• Dubbing twisters: implements used to wrap fibrous materials around thread to approximate the body of the insect being mimicked by the fly.

• Tweezers: useful for picking up beads, glass weights and other tiny components used in fly tying.

The old saying says that you need the proper tools to do a job properly, and this is particularly true in fly tying. The toolkit described above is recommended by the experts as the best for the beginning fly tier. Click the link for fly tying and fly fishing videos.

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Should You Purchase A Fly Rod Combo Or Build Your Own

As a beginner to the sport of fly fishing you can take one of two routes when it comes to choosing your gear. You can either balance a fly fishing rod and fly fishing reel that are purchased separately, or you can purchase one of the many fly rod combos that come already balanced from the factory. For beginners, fly rod combos may be a better choice for you to help ensure you have the easiest time learning how to cast, but a separately purchased rod and reel will give you something that you can grow into rather than having to upgrade once you have perfected your cast.

Fly Fishing Rods – If you are looking for a new fly fishing rod you will first want to think about the type of locations where you will be spending the most time fishing. If it is going to be in large lakes and open rivers, you will want a longer rod that helps you cast further and more accurately.

Fly Fishing Reels – Before you try to save money on a new fly reel you are going to want to make sure that you avoid buying one that is built from plastic parts. Instead you will want to make sure that it is constructed with metal parts and that it is sealed if you are going to be using it in the saltwater.

Fly Rod Combos – Fly rod combos usually take care of the aspects of balancing the reel to the rod, and the type of line that you need. However, you still want to follow the rules of purchasing a metal reel, and matching the length of the rod to the type of waters that you are going to be fishing in. You also want to make sure that the combo comes with a weight forward or double tapered fly line to help ease your way into casting accurately.

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