I don't think it is that at all. Let me share some of the thought process that was behind me trying one - and then buying another when I found out one of my suppliers carried a titanium line (which I must confess I still haven't used and probably won't carry).
Originally Posted by Danny
To me, the essence of tenkara is keeping the line off the water's surface. (There are techniques where you do want your line in the water, but leave them aside for now). The limiting factor in casting a light line is wind resistance. The best way to overcome wind resistance is by using a denser line (more weight for a given cross section). Level tenkara lines are generally fluorocarbon because it is denser than nylon, and thus casts better, particularly into even a hint of a breeze. Titanium lines are denser than fluorocarbon, so they should cast even better than fluorocarbon. They should be less affected by wind and you should be able to cast a thinner line.
I say should because I don't know. The titanium line I tried was impossible to see. I couldn't tell if it cast better or not.
I would not say that offering them for sale is attempting to market an unnecessary product. They have properties that should make them better - particularly in the one are where tenkara is weakest - fishing in the wind. If you have better eyesight than I do, or can more easily see a relatively short brightly colored strike indicator, they might work very nicely for you. If you can overcome the visibility issue that has prevented me from using them, you might have a line you like so well you'd never think of using fluorocarbon or nylon again. As Jason, says, the owner of Tenkara.com has used them himself for years and years. I don't think he would use them himself if they held no advantage.
I do not think they will damage the rod as long as the tag ends of the knots or loops are covered in some way. (The very end of the wire could scratch the finish.) If you hooked a very large fish and grabbed the line with your bare hand before the fish was quite ready to come in, you could potentially cut your fingers I suppose, but I think the risk of that happening is not that great.
I may have to give the titanium line another try, but line visibility is a huge issue for me so I really don't think I will like it.
It is easy to say a product is unnecessary if it does not appeal to you and to accuse merchants offering new or different things of "selling out" just to make a buck. I've been accused of that by a few people in the tenkara community. The emails from satisfied customers thanking me for offering those exact products, which they say perfectly fit their own specific purposes, allow me to ignore the sniping by people who don't understand that other people could want something different than they do. I know your comment was not directed at me, since I don't sell titanium lines, but I want to stand up for the guys who do.
On the other hand, all the blue materials that I now shamelessly have for sale to go with the Blue Fly Challenge, now that stuff IS unnecessary, but it's kind of fun.
Last edited by CM_Stewart; 04-21-2013 at 12:43 AM.
Reason: Blatant plug for Blue Materials