Monday, 15 February 2010

Concluding the Tenkara test

With the Tenkara experience over, was it for me?
For nymphing alone, a resounding yes. Certainly on the Alyn where most of my nymphing is with size 16 and 18 nymphs and as disclosed earlier handling the larger Czech types was done with ease.

What about dry fly?
Arguably light dry fly is what the Tenkara was designed for and I have no doubt it will perform, especially on Alyn type rivers and streams. The secret here I believe will be in the leader that is used. Incontrovertibly, furled leaders are the key. However a single all round length/weight of furled leader may not be achievable. The ten and half feet seem to be the generic size for the length of Tenkara available. These, I’d imagine, will handle most situations and the lighter the leader the easier it is to hold off the water without affecting drift. On windy days however, either a heavier or shorter leader may be required. I’d probably opt for a shorter leader with the same gauge as the standard ones; it’s just that each step down section could be shorter.

Wet fly?
What is exiting me is the prospect of wet fly with the Tenkara. The extra length I feel will give superb presentation. I can think of a few far bank glides where upstream or downstream spider fishing may be lethal. The notion of keeping the leader off the water and harmonising with a slight breeze...
the wind can be a presentation ally also.
Excuse the pun but another string to the bow of the Tenkara is in bow and arrow casting. The action of these rods produces such an accurate cast. Just grab the end of the furled leader, take aim, fire then watch leader tippet and fly un-furl into action.

I was in the market for a longer rod and was contemplating a ten foot Streamflex for nymphing in the main; however the Tenkara experience has changed my mind. I have therefore taken the plunge and ordered an Iwana. For the fishing time I get these days it covers a lot of bases and will fit in the suitcase for when I sit with my feet dangling over a Corfiot jetty trying to tempt some mullet in June.
I am grateful to be given the chance to ‘try before I buy’ and with two very friendly and amenable local Tenkara anglers in Simon and Sonia I’m positive the Tenkara experience will be shared and evolve into a good one. The added bonus is in Simon’s furled leader making capabilities. I’m sure he can readily adapt his leader board if he buys into a concept for a custom furle.


  1. check out we can custom make any length of tekara furled leader you like. tapered or single diameter.

  2. Really pleased to have found this blog - I'm a lightweight backpacker looking to carry a Tenkara rod as a supplement to my overall outdoors experience. I've ordered an Iwana 12' and I have a trip to Finland at the end of April where I hope to give it a proper test!

    Looking forward to your results.