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Thread: Flat water...weeds and tenkara

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Western Missouri
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    Default Flat water...weeds and tenkara

    The majority of the writing about tenkara concerns moving water, that is what it was developed for..in Japan. Over here we have much more flat water, warm or cold. The concept of "line off the water" lends itself to flat water and open pockets in weeds. I can see the use of float tube, kick boat or canoe getting into weedy areas most can't get to or so many may not want to, but if you do - what to use. At the outset it's known you'll hang up...lose some fish but even a 50/50 catch to lose ratio becomes interesting if you hook up with 25-50 fish.

    I'm too new to this to know for sure but what rods, lines and tippets would you arm yourself with going into the fish haven?

    Or, thinking on it a bit more, is it just a foolish notion to think tenkara is useful in a weedy situation?

    Dennis
    Last edited by Tanago53; 04-25-2013 at 06:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    Dennis, I do not believe it is foolish to use T-tackle under weedy conditions at all. But you may have to think outside of the traditional Tenkara box a little to reap the most rewards from fishing these kinds of waters. A float tube will often allow you to get near enough to the weed edges and interior pockets to fish open pockets of water in weedy areas to catch fish with your line held up and off of the water. For this kind of fishing I believe the stiffer tip and added backbone of a Keiryu rod would be best choice because you will need to be able to lift and skid your fish over the tops of the weeds to keep the fish from tangling your line in all the plants, and of course these rods can safely handle heavier breaking strength tippets as well for horsing your fish out of the brush or stopping them from getting into the brush in the first place. See TenkaraBum's Seiryu, Tenkara, Keiryu Rod Continuum Parts, I and II for more rod choice information. http://www.tenkarabum.com/seiryu-ten...continuum.html and http://www.tenkarabum.com/seiryu-ten...m-part-ii.html

    Another useful item would be a floating Tenkara line. Fluorocarbon and Kevlar furled lines sink, which will get your line caught in the brush a lot of the time if you can't hold your line up and off of the water, which will be the case often under windy conditions. A floating T-line will stay on top of the water and the weeds a lot better and cast better in the wind than the more commonly used Tenkara lines. Where you have grassy sedges growing out of the water, waving your rod and line back and forth sideways will part the grass enough to allow you to pick up and cast your floating line with out snagging most of the time if you use reasonable caution. These are tough conditions to fish under with any kind of tackle but the long length and extended reach fixed line rods provide may make the best tools to use under the conditions you have described. Here is a source for a ready made and fishable Floating Tenkara fly line: http://fishrigs.com/products-page/te...-hi-viz-lines/ and http://www.tenkaratalk.com/2012/12/f...-line-by-rigs/

    There are also several other pieces I have put up on this board providing more information on Floating Tenkara Lines and their uses: http://www.flyanglersonline.com/bb/showthread.php?47676-Rigs-Floating-Tenkara- Fly-Line-Does-A-Great-Job-On-A-4-Day-Backpack-Fishing-Trip and http://www.flyanglersonline.com/bb/s...oating-T-Lines
    Last edited by Golden; 04-25-2013 at 09:26 PM.

  3. #3

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    You could also use an indicator and kind of jig it as well. I have done something similar with conventional tackle. The biggest problem I see is keeping the fly either stationary or moving very little. You need it to simply sink down vertically. If you lift the rod tip the fly moves forward and will ultimately cause you problems working in pockets. Interesting question. HOSS

  4. #4
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    Generally speaking (especially where there is a lot of shallow under water weed growth), fishing a very shallow running fly, or a foam surface pattern, or a popping bug will keep your line out of the weeds pretty well. At least until a fish eats your fly and heads for the under water weed growth. Hoss correctly pointed out that the fly moving forward too much can be a problem here, and there is a need to have little forward movement at times so the fly can more or less sink straight down in the water. A floating T-line does a much better job of presenting flies in those ways than the sinking Tenkara fly lines do.

    But I find indicators troublesome to cast with much accuracy on Tenkara fly rods (much more so than they are with Western fly tackle), and not very enjoyable to fish with as there is too much hinging taking place between the bobber and two or more flies, usually at least one or more of which will be weighted. You just can't get the fluid casting action that Tenkara rods and light lines are designed to give you with an indicator set up. And fishing with an indicator turns your line into an inverted L shape, with the line running from the rod tip to the indicator (either in the air or on the water, your choice), with the fly or flies hanging more or less straight down in the water from the floating indicator. So to set the hook into a fish that has taken your fly, you have to strike hard enough so the slack line that is a natural part of the indicator system will make the line run in a more or less straight between your rod tip and your fly, if the fish does not hook itself all by itself. There is now a special class of fly rods that are specifically designed for indicator fishing. The main difference betweei Indicator Fly Rods and your run of the mill, everyday fly rod is that the Indicator Fly Rods have significantly stiffer tip sections to handle the added wind resistance of indicators, multiple weighted fly rigs, and added split shot weight that may be needed to get the flies deep enough in the water to catch the fish, that is just the opposite direction in which Tenkara fly fishing is headed - which is in the direction of a single unweighted fly pattern, with no indicator other than the Tenkara line itself. The line to fly angle involved in fishing with out an indicator is so much closer to being a tight line that it often allows you to feel the fish's strike when it takes the fly. And whether you can feel the take or not, or see it or not, when it comes time to set the hook, you will get a much more instantaneous hook set by fishing with out an indicator than you can get by fishing with them.

    Another thing that bothers me about fishing with indicators is having a fish eat your indicator with you having no chance at all of hooking that fish. You can fish a high ridding dry fly as an indicator and have a good chance of hooking fish that rise to your indicator. I have a friend who is an indicator fisherman almost exclusively. He likes using the smallest balloons he can buy, which he gets in multiple colors in bags of 100. One day he told me of getting very frustrated because the fish kept popping his orange balloon indicators. He just kept on replacing the little orange balloons with out making any other change in his tackle. Another friend who was out on the river that day ( who enjoys swinging his flies and will not fish with indicators at all) saw what was going on with Dave, put an unweighted orange nymph on as his top fly and had a great day, catching many fish. Dave stuck with his indicator technique and he did catch a few fish, but nothing like what Wes was catching. What this little story motivated me to do was develop an orange down wing dry fly pattern (The ODW) and it has been a great fish catcher for me, as well. Having said all of this, I know there are a lot of anglers out there who enjoy fishing with indicators so much that they will fish in no other way, even when the water is constantly being ringed by rising trout or bluegill all around them. To fish multiple flies deep in the water when fish are rising at the surface right in front of you makes no sense at all to me. But its your fishing, and you should do it in any way you please. Not the way I think it should be done. So to each their own, and if you enjoy fishing with indicators that's all that should matter to you but a Tenkara rod is definitely not the best tool for that job. The right Keiryu fixed line rod can and will do a much better job of Tenkara style indicator fishing. You can go merrily on down your own fishing road an ignore everything I have just said. It will not hurt my feelings at all if you choose to take that path. But if you always fish in the same way, you will deny yourself the possibility of learning new, and possibly much better, things that might allow you to catch a lot more fish. To me, the fact that you are reading a Tenkara Board suggests that you are open to experimenting and trying out new and different things. And I think that's a big part of what fishing is really all about.
    Last edited by Golden; 04-26-2013 at 07:16 PM.

  5. #5
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    Western Missouri
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    This is great, thanks Golden, a fountain of knowledge as always. I think my Kiyose 43MF may be up to the task. I will have to address my line issues though.

    Considering what HOSS said about an indicator (I do use them), but I may just wrap some of my tippet around an empty thread spool to get a tight coil set, then when ready to use not straighten completely...have a loose coil or two, this should allow a sinking fly to go straight down and then act as a strike indicator also. But top water in a little weed pocket, got to be killer...on the fish or my heart!!! ~Dennis

  6. #6
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    Dennis you might want to take a look at this: http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/searc...em1=TP-32-2758

    I made a Slinky Indicator myself out of some Amnesia. You tie Perfect Loops in both ends of a length of brightly colored Nylon mono about two or so feet long. You wind it tightly on about a 3/8ths diameter bolt (I secured the nylon material in place with rubber bands), drop the whole thing in a pot of boiling water and boil it for 5 minuets, then pop it into the freezer for over night. The next day, unwind the material. It will resemble a slinkey spring. Treat it with floatant and place it in a small ziplock plastic bag for future use. To fish, loop it in, inbetween your T-line and the tippet. It is a lot easier to cast on T-rods than most other strike indicators are, and more sensitive too as well. It will not keep its coilspring memory for ever but it is easy enough to rerun the process used to make these light weight, easy casting indicators.
    Last edited by Golden; 04-27-2013 at 06:23 AM.

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