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Thread: A Tenkara Shortcoming

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Default A Tenkara Shortcoming

    I went float tubing on a large artificial lake yesterday with a couple of friends. They fished Western style, with John using an Intermediate sinking line and Ron using a 3 inches per/second sinking line. I started out with a TUSA 10.5 foot Kevlar line and a small Bead Head Orange Wooly Bugger, which produced no action at all for me while they were getting hits and infrequent fish on similar orange colored fly patterns.

    Shortly, the wind came up. And I put on a floating T-line and an ant pattern and proceeded to the windward side of the lake, which was devoid of anglers when I started. But which became filled with anglers from the adjacent campground by the time I got there. I managed to catch and release one nice rainbow trout there, and get a few more hits I didn't succeed on along the face of the dam where my two friends were doing much better than I was.

    I had never fished a level FC line for trout before in a lake. And although I had gone back to fishing a weighted subsurface fly pattern again, it just wasn't getting deep enough on a floating line to get into the strike zone. So I put on a 13.5 foot long TUSA (green) size 4.5 line, to which I added the tippet with the Orange Bead Head W.B. on it, and then added another 3 feet of tippet as a trailer with an Orange Sheeps Creek fly pattern on the end of it, and I started getting hits but still failed in landing any fish. The hits all felt like little fish, with no solid takes.

    Ron ended up filling his 5 fish limit, while John was able to keep 3. This is a put and take fishery and they wanted some fish to eat. John lost a lot of fish and he probably hooked more fish than Ron did. And Ron also lost a lot of the fish he was hooking, while I had almost no action in comparison. The wind blown terrestrial fall I was counting on for success failed to materialize and I went nearly fish-less. What I needed was a deeper running faster sinking T-line to float tube troll flies in this lake in order to catch fish. So I am going to eventually get a Titanium line and see if it will improve my chances in these kinds of fishing situations. I just hope that the Titanium line is Knot-2-Kinky....Golden.

  2. #2
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    The Knot2Kinky line http://www.tenkarabum.com/titanium-line.html does live up to it's name if you are at all careful about it. I have not had any problems with kinking. The only problem I have had is that the line really wants to be straight. It does not like being coiled on of the small tenkara line holders. If you use one or anything similar, you may need a rubber band to keep the line on the holder. Given it's greater density than fluorocarbon, the titanium line should help you get your flies deeper. Understand that with deeper flies you'll need a rod with a stiffer tip to get good hooksets.
    Tenkara Bum

  3. #3
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    Chris, the Knot2Kinky comment was meant to be tong in cheek attempt at injecting some humor. I am coiling my lines around my 4 fingers and putting them in a RIO Leader Wallet Insert for storage, so the line coil will be a lot bigger in diameter than it would be on a line spool/line holder. Hopefully the Diawa 43 MF has a stiff enough tip as that is the rod I will use for this. Since this involves trolling the line is tight to the rod and takes are felt, and the rod's backbone comes into play pretty quickly if not immediately. I am thinking of using heat-shrink tubing (which I already have) to cover the knots, but I will have to wait and see how that works out. I believe you sell the Knot2Kinky line in a 30 foot length, I was thinking of making up a 10 foot line for more normal applications and using the other 20 feet as a trolling line. How easily will it coil into a shallow stripping basket of about 24 X 18 inches? Thank you....Golden.

  4. #4
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    Have not used a stripping basket so I don't know. I suspect it might not want to stay in the basket.
    Tenkara Bum

  5. #5
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    Sep 2012
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    I'm not sure I see what the "tenkara shortcoming" is here.

  6. #6

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    Hi,
    I am currently doing a lot of Tenkara/fixed-line fishing from a float tube out of necessity - much of our water in western WA consists of small lakes or specific areas of larger lakes. Not an abundance of resident trout streams here, mostly anadromous fish in big rivers. Certainly standard lake FF techniques can be adapted to fixed-line gear. For example, stationary subsurface angling in stillwater can be accomplished using a small indicator and long, light leader (20 plus ft.). A chironomid presentation originating in the NW 35 years ago. Just make sure the indicator is very light (yarn rather than corkie) and attached far enough from the lillian - casting can be a bit awkward and scary especially with delicate (0.65 mm or less) tips. Trolling or mooching a fly might be a shortcoming but I have an idea. Since casting is not required, why not add a 10' fast sinking leader to your T line, then two feet of tippet and a weighted fly. One of the more stout rods like a Daiwa Kiyose (0.7 mm tip) that Chris sells would be a great benefit as strikes to faster moving flies can be quite powerful. I have pretty much hung-up or sold the bulk of my western ff gear in favor of fixed-line rods. After 40 years in the game, Tenkara has been a refreshing experience since receiving my first real T rod in 2009. It may not be traditional Tenkara, however the application of learned western rigging just expands opportunities to use the Kieryu, Seiryu and T gear I now prefer. So I'm gonna try the sinking leader/mooching set-up. Let me know if it or something similar works for you.
    Last edited by Danny; 06-23-2013 at 07:39 PM.

  7. #7
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    The short coming was the inability of Tenkara tackle to get the fly deep enough to be in the fish's strike zone while float tube trolling in a lake, which admittedly is something that Tenkara tackle was never designed to be capable of doing. But I enjoy my fixed line fly fishing so much that I am pushing the limits with Tenkara style fishing tackle and trying to take it outside of its intended purposes. I knew at the outset that I would have been better off in this situation with more conventional Western fly fishing style tackle and sinking lines, but I wanted to see if I could keep up with my friends with a fixed line rod set up. In fishing smaller warm water ponds for bluegill, bass and crappie, I have been able to consistently do better than they have been able to do using their Western fly tackle. So much so that John bought a T-rod and Ron is contemplating doing the same thing so they can keep up with me on the ponds.

    Danny's suggestion is a great idea. I have some sinking leaders already in several different inch/per second ratings in the line wallet in my Western tackle lumbar pack, I just never thought about using them on a fixed line rod for float tube trolling. Adding a level FC line extension should allow the sinking leader to get a lot deeper as the leaders I have are relatively short for putting them on a fixed line rod to use all by themselves. I do not do this kind of fishing very often as it is not my preferred angling method but, the next time I do this kind of fishing again I will try some sinking leaders and see how it goes. I am sure that it will work a lot better than what I have been doing so far. Thank you, Danny, for the great suggestion.

  8. #8
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    In looking through that line wallet, I noticed that I have a number of mini-sinking-tips made out of the level running lines for weight forward taper sinking fly lines, each 10 feet long, with loops already installed and in their own small zip-lock bags, color coded by the line's sinking density coloration. The original purpose for these lines was to add them to a floating line to get different sink rate sinking tip fly lines, but they should work just fine in extending the sinking abilities of a level FC. Tenkara line as well.

  9. #9

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    Sounds good. I have some of the Rio mini sink-tips and Airflo tungston based sinking leaders with density/rate ranging from 2 ips to 6 ips. I will give them a try too.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    If you use a titanium line, you may not need to add a sink tip. You won't get any hinge-ing and it casts well. They aren't rated in ips because they are sold for bite leaders rather than sinking line, but they do sink.
    Tenkara Bum

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