Paul Gaskell at Discover Tenkra recently made a blog post about the different Tenkara techniques he witnessed in Japan. Contrasting the different techniques used between the two types of streams, the different approaches used by Dr. Ishigaki or Sakakibara Masami to main stream fishing, and addressing the misconceptions or limited view we have had about other aspects of Tenkara as practiced in Japan. It's worth reading.

When I think of Main Stream, Honryu (本流) tenkara fishing I picture something similar to what is in this 4:39 minute video. Posted June 7, 2014. Tone? (likely an odd translation of the name) River Main Stream Tenkara. Fishing a wider river using a 3.9m to 4.5m rod is my own experience with main stream fishing, fishing rivers that were not much different from the section of the Tone River he is fishing in this video.

I might note that the fisherman is identified as Kobayashi-san. (小林さん). And the rod he is fishing with is a Daiwa Rinfu (凛風SR),4.5m rod with the grip wrapped with tennis tape. The Rinfu is classified by Daiwa as a Keiryu rod, under the sub group of a Hae (ハエ竿). Or a universal or versatile rod. Hae fish (ハエ魚) are generally just called Fly fish. Indeed ハエ will translate into English as Fly. Google ハエ and you get pictures of house flies. Google ハエ魚 ( Hae Fish) and you get pictures of the species of fish it refers to. The Hae fish are grouped under what are called Haya ( ハヤ). Any number of small fish species. Here they would probably be something like Chubs or Shiners. Dace also fall under this group. I see a lot of different models of Hae/Haya rods ハエ竿 converted into Tenkara rods on Japanese Tenkara websites.

I have recently became aware that currently the Daiwa Rinfu rods are quite popular as Tenkara rods. I don't know what a better translation of the Rinfu (凛風) name would be. The second part of the name (風) is Kaze or Wind. John Vetterli mentions seeing more Rinfu rods than any other Keriryu rod being used for Tenkara during his recent visit to Japan. Paul Gaskell mentions meeting a young guy named Saigo-san, aka Ajari-kun, who is regarded as a very skillful Tenkara fisherman. He also uses a Rinfu rod with a foam grip added. Look at Ajari's blog and more often than not he list his "tenkara tool of the day" as the Rinfu HC 4.5 rod. Reading the interview of Go Ishi posted last July on Tenkara Talk and the Rinfu 45 rod is one of 3 rods he uses. The other two being an Oni rod and a Nissin Zero Sum rod.

A lower cost and slightly heavier similar rod is the 4.5m Daiwa Sagiri. 早霧MC(さぎり. Interestingly 早霧 is phonetically Haya kiri. Seeming to refer to Haya fish. But the second part of the name (kiri) will translate as Fog or Mist. As will the giri part of Sagiri. Kind of difficult to figure out an accurate English translation. However, these models of rods are a mote point here as neither rod is sold here and I was told, by a guy in Japan, that the Rinfu rods are sold out until next spring. Not that I was looking to buy one. I was ordering something else and just asked his opinion about them.

Anyway, I found a couple of other videos of Honryu, Main Stream Tenkara fishing that show quite a different concept of Tenkara from what I have seen before. Both videos are of a guy named Kazunori Kobayashi , ( 小林和則氏 ). I think he is a different Kobayashi from the first video. K. Kobayashi is a field tester for Gamakatsu. He fishes with a Gamakatsu Multi-flex Tenkara rod, 4.5 - 5m rod. Using tapered lines from 7m to 12m in length + 1 -> 2m tippet. His videos are different from other tenkara videos I have seen. He isn't dressed in normal outdoor wear, plus wearing waders and a fishing vest. He is dressed more like fishermen in competition fishing. So a little different perspective on Tenkara.

This first video was posted Dec 24, 2103. It is a 3:47 trailer for a Tenkara DVD of his. I am not sure of an accurate translation of the title. Something like Top Scale Main Stream Tenkara:

This second video of him was posted July 9, 2014. It is much longer at 12:24. The title is :
A "Honryu" Tenkara Specialist- Kobayashi Kazunori of Tonegawa 利根川 小林和則氏の本流テンカラ.

The water in this part of this same River ( all 3 videos were filmed on the same river) is much to fast for my taste to wade. I prefer to not be drowned while fishing. And about my limit for line length is 5m ( 16.4 ft)

What do you think? Is this outside your expected concept of Main Stream Tenkara fishing?