Cortland Braided Mono Running Line for Tenkara

Cortland Braided Mono Running Line for Tenkara

Cortland Braided Mono Running Line for Tenkara

While there are plenty of tenkara lines I really like, when the opportunity presents itself, I will always jump at the chance to try out something new.   I’ve cast everything from dental floss to dacron in search of the perfect line, and have always found myself coming back to fluorocarbon tenkara lines because of their durability, versatility, and ability to cut through the wind.  So when Tenkara Talk reader Mike W. sent me some of the new Cortland braided mono running line to try, you can bet I was pretty skeptical.  That was, until I actually cast it…

This line was developed for conventional fly rods to be used behind a shooting head.  It was not intended for tenkara.  But that didn’t mean it wouldn’t work.  Tenkara anglers are a crafty bunch and are good for spotting outside-the-box opportunities. So, I thought I’d give it a fair shake.

Closeup of the Cortland Braided Running Line

Closeup of the Cortland Braided Running Line–Nice weave!

Still, the physics didn’t seem to add up.  How could a bulkier braided line without a taper cast as well as a sleek, single strand of denser fluorocarbon?  It would seem like the line transfer would succumb to air resistance after just a few feet and wouldn’t generate enough line speed to turn over well.


But after just a few practice casts in the backyard, I knew Mike was on to something.  The line turned over way better than I expected–pretty much as furled tenkara line does–with good control and delicacy.  And even in the wind.  Even with a soft action rod like the Ito, I was able to lay the line out no problem.  It kind of goes against my general instincts, but the braided Cortland running line is really easy to cast with a tenkara rod.  It loads the rod well without being too whippy or wimpy.


OK, so the most important thing is out of the way (castability).  But why choose this line over the plethora of currently available fluorocarbon level lines that cast just fine?  In a word: visibility.  Fluorocarbon tenkara lines are thin and even the brightest ones can be difficult to track in certain lighting conditions.  But this braided line is much thicker in diameter and is just a lot easier to see.  It’s about as easy to see as a conventional fly line. If you can’t see this line, you need to think about signing yourself up for beginner Braille classes right away.

Cortland Braided Running Line for Tenkara

Cortland Braided Running Line for Tenkara


I made a 16′ line out of the 30 lb. test and added simple overhand knot to the end to connect the tippet with a slip knot.  At the end that attaches to the lilian, I made a simple loop to connect it with a girth hitch knot out of 30 lb. orange dacron backing. But there are multiple ways you could make these connections.  Those are just the ones that seemed to make the most sense to me for this type of line.  Click here to see how to make these knots & connections.

Cortland braided line for tenkara

How to connect the line to your tenkara rod & tippet


So, I really like this line and am going to experiment with it a lot more and give you updates (I haven’t actually had it on the water yet).  But, here are two things you should be aware of before you buy this line:

1.  It’s kinky.  No matter how much you stretch it, you will still have some mild kinks.  The good news is that this doesn’t seem to affect castability.  So it’s a non-issue for me.  But just be prepared for it.

2.  Because it’s a braided line, cut ends will fray.  Burn them with a lighter to melt them together.


This is a good alternative that overcomes the visibility problem that is typically associated with fluorocarbon lines. It still needs some exploring, but seems to be promising if we can put our heads together and figure it out.  If you try this line for tenkara, I’d love to hear your experiences (as I’m sure would others).

Author: Jason Klass

Jason is an avid fly angler and backpacker. As a former fly fishing guide originally from Western New York, he moved to Colorado and became an early adopter of tenkara which perfectly suited the small, high altitude streams and lakes there. He has not fished a Western-style fly rod for trout since.

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  1. VERY cool!

  2. eh there jason.

    glad it made it to you. in this age of cyberspace and overnight, sameday shipping, it is still pretty neat to me that for the price of a stamp and a few days time, we can send and receive not just cards and letters, but tangible items as well.

    as for the line…i picked it up and put it down a couple times while at the store. i even popped open the packaging, and peeled some off the spool to studied it. 30# mono braid? finally, i figured i’d take it home and look for write-ups on the internets. i have to say i was surprised i found there was very little quite like it out there, and nothing re: using it for tenkara. at that point i became a little hesitant to cut into it. i mean, at only $15, i wasn’t exactly breaking the bank, but i can nickel and dime myself to death in the clearance section only to have boxes of never used could have beens and almost wases. as i stood attempting to cast it straight from the spool, my step-daughter gave the, “what are you doing?” look i’ve come to know and love, and that sealed the deal. i cut off 13’ or so, and added tippet.

    i paired the line with the tusa yamame. unlike you, i used the overhand loop as is used for attaching level line to lillian. i tried a perfection-ish loop, but it was way too bulky. it looks like dacron is the way to go. i’ll be hunting for some soonly. on the business end, i used the same connection you’ve noted above.

    it’s good to read that you have the same impression of this stuff as i do. it seems to fish pretty alright as well. indeed, it behaves much like a furled tenkara line. being a novice with level lines and always fishing them with kinks, the slight kinkablilty of the mono braid didn’t really bother me either. as i noted in another post, my father, who has done very little fly fishing and had never touched a tenkara rod, had no trouble with manipulating his cast, with his presentation, nor with landing his first fish on a fly since he was a kid. like i said, i haven’t quite left the nest when it comes to using level line. i have it and i use it now and again, but i just really like the tusa kevlar furl. the only real exception that i have to that line is that i’ve longed to for it to be…well…longer. maybe cortland’s mono braid is the answer.

    anywho, i’ll be testing it out regularly at the creek down the way. i’ll report back on how it holds up to the blackberry bushes, bass, and bluegill. i’m stoked ya got it, checked out, and wrote it up. now take it out and catch a fish. =]

  3. What would be your opinion about its use with weight flies/nymph patterns and a stiffer rod?

  4. I played with the stuff two years when I was rank tenkara rookie. It seemed to work, but I assumed it was such old news that it had been discarded by better anglers than I, so I concentrated on fishing level fluoro.

    Braid can be fun to work with: looped ends are easy with a splicing needle, plus one can construct tapers by feeding different diameter braids into one another and securing the splice. I still have spools of running line left from when I was double-hauling in the salt more frequently than I can now, and still have spools fine mono braid from an Airflo roll-your-own braided leader kit, which helps the experimentation.

    Of course, my approach to tapers has been entirely impressionistic, not grounded in substantive knowledge of the dynamics of lines and tenkara casting. My testing protocol isn’t exactly rigorous, either.

  5. Hi Mike, thanks for the backstory. I too will probably remain faithful to my level lines but this braided stuff has me excited. I just need more time with it to determine its best application. Every line shines in one situation or another.

    Let me return the favor by sending you some Dacron. I have tons of it in different colors. Just send me your mailing address.

  6. Tenkara seems to be a stealthy way to approach fish does the braided line effect your ability to make a light cast on the water? I assume the braided line weighs more so does that effect how the fly lands and I assume the line sinks as well.

  7. Hoss, I’ll have the answers to those and other questions I have after I fish it. Not sure how it sinks yet.

  8. Hello Hoss and Jason,

    Good point, the first thing that i was thinking was weight and floatability too. When it comes to floatability. Musicilin colour red , the English floatant material. During the European Tenkara Convention the French Tenkara guides gave me this tip. When that paste is warm it is kinda fluid and easy to apply to the braided lines, because they all sink after a while. But as soon as the greased leader touches the water the muscline stiffens up and tightens all teh pories of the braided leader which makes it very floatant and it still keeps its flexibility, it just needs to be the red muscilin they said. So that issue is solved. Now the weight. It is important when landing on the water so we do not scare the Fish bust most important, for me, is that i do not want to have any kind of drag after the fly landed. With a levelline you can present the line diagonal and the fly is anker enough to let it stay at its Place without drag. A lot of braided leaders are so Heavy that they pul Your fly almost a metre back so most of the braided leaders are hanging quite under the rodtip. and that is what i do not like about braided leaders. There are only a few that have less then a metre of drag or backdrop whatever you want to Call it after the fly lands on the water. So jason please let me know about Your experiences

  9. I’ve been using bright yellow fly line backing as tenkara line for years. Good to know I wasn’t completely crazed.

  10. …no jimihathaway, you’re not crazy…I’ve been doing the same…in fact, I found that fly line backing makes excellent lillian’s…been using it as such for a few years…I’m going to pick up some cortland line this week and give it a try on the water…

  11. Sakura makes a tenkara line very similar to this. I have some but I have not tried it yet.

  12. John, is it braided nylon too? I’d love to try braided fluorocarbon to see what that’s like.

  13. It feels like nylon. I’ll find out exactly what it is and get back to you.

  14. Red muscillin huh? I am curious,where would you find that? Have heard of it but never seen it any where that I can remember. Google here I come.

  15. Why do you guys want it to float? I actually want my line to sink to get my fly deeper. So, I hope this line sinks well.

  16. Musicilin came or comes in little metal hockey puck-like tins in

    two colors – green and red. The waxy paste is all the same color

    I believe. One version contained silicone and the other didn’t.

    One formula caused the coatings on some brands of fly lines to

    crack a while back. That’s probably not an issue now and it

    wouldn’t be for T-anglers anyway. Here is a link to a source for

    Musicilin, you

    will have to scroll down a ways to get to the little Red Tin of



    Nylon has a specific gravity that’s about half

    of what fluorocarbon’s is. So if Jason wants more sink, FC or

    Titanium lines would probably be a better way to go.

  17. I use the contrast of line and leader as my indicator so floating helps in that respect. In warm water visibility can become an issue so….Plus I just assumed that you were supposed to keep the line off the water mostly anyhow.

  18. Thanks Karl

  19. Bought some of this line, tried it out Monday. Was not skunked at local small pond, but fewer than expected strikes. May need to use longer leader? Casts beautifully! Do need to watch tempo and not over-load rod in forward cast. Still very forgiving of inept casts (like mine, lol).

  20. I have been using Cortland running line (20 lb test) for the past three years with our tenkara rods. It is especially useful in our teaching/guiding of children and beginners since it casts beautifully and easily. It is far superior for my purposes (longer casts/larger rivers/larger fish) than any other line.

  21. Jeffry, gee, thanks for not sharing it with us sooner! (just kidding). I think it’s also good for demonstration videos and pictures so you can actually see the line.

  22. I picked up some 30lb after reading this article. After some pretty dismal attempts with my slinky #3 fluoro(didn’t know I needed to straiten it), I total got it with the Cortland Braided line. Great visibility, works in the wind and I’m not switching back. Funny thing is I can only cast backhand… What’s better for longer lengths, the 30lb or the 20lb?

  23. Mike,
    Glad you like it! I think the 20 lb works good for longer lengths if you’re talking more like 18 or 20+ feet. 30 lb starts getting too heavy.

  24. hi jason, i’m putting together some more rigs and i’m curious as to how you connected the dacron to the running line. thanks in advance.

  25. p.s. i’m seeing were you wrote, “I made a simple loop to connect it with a girth hitch knot out of 30 lb. orange dacron backing,” and i’m lloking at the pictures both here and on the entry where you fished the line, but for some reason the pics and text aren’t computing.

  26. This set up is very close to the homemade beginner line that Sebata Yuzo posted in 2006 to the website of the fishing club he belongs to.

    He used Kencraft Maestro running line. Also recommending the 30# line. The Maestro line seems to no longer be in production and it appears that in the USA the name Kencraft is owned by a yacht company. But the Kencraft ( UK company) line seems to be available in the USA under the Airflo name. But I suspect the Cortland line is very similar.

    The Sebata post indicates that he makes his own line, or did in 2005/6. But he offered the plans for making the line with running line for beginners. He adds a .5m section of 4号 line on the tippet end. The Sunline Deepone line appears to be a salt water line that he used to make the Chichiwa, aka the loop for connection to the Lillian.

    No need really to try to read the Japanese text. The diagram is straight forward. The yellow line is the running line 4m, the fluorocarbon line is .5m. The note below the drawing only indicates that he used a Nail Knot to make the loop for the Chichiwa end and also to attach the fluorocarbon line. The link is probably to long to work just by clicking on it. But just copy and paste it, removing any spaces that might have gotten added into it when you copied it, before hitting return to open the webpage.

    I might add that in the text he says that he makes 4 lengths of lines. Mainly using 4.5 and 5.5 meter lines. And a 6.5 m line on large streams and a 3.5 m line for Ozawa, small areas.

    Here is a link describing a typical setup, 6m line plus 1.5m of tippet. The caption on the yellow line says Running Line or DIY tapered line, 5.5m.

    He attaches the tippet in a way I have not seen elsewhere. Basically tying a small loop in the end of the tippet, then pulling the standing part through the loop, essentially making a lasso and just tightens it over the fluorocarbon line above the stop knot.

  27. Thanks for your comment David. I’m a rank beginner and a good reason I probably favor this line. I’ll be tying up some longer lines as described in your links.

  28. As always, excellent information and links David! I don’t know how you find this stuff!

  29. Thanks guys. Glad you found the information useful. I had stumbled upon these webpages just by looking around following the advice of the great philosopher Yogi Berra who said, ” You can see a lot by just looking.”

    But it was Eddie ( Eiji) Yamakawa who identified those webpages as being written by Sebata Yuzo ( 瀬畑雄三 さん) in a TUSA forum post. Before that I was not sure who had written it. Another page at the same website does have his name on it, really one of his nicknames (渓語り翁) at the top. But the article is about him, not written by him.

    I thought at first Sebata was not recommending the 20lb line. However, thinking about it some more I think he might just be saying he recommends you try the 30 lb line first or initially because of its extra mass. Japanese sentence structure flips things round from the English view point and it’s easy to get things a little or a lot confused.

    After my first year of tenkara fishing I switched from furled lines to level lines and haven’t looked back. But this post and the follow up has encouraged me to give braided lines another try, especially tapered by addition of the 1/2 meter 4号 fluorocarbon extension.

    I’ve skipped fishing several days this past summer because I knew my level line would be flying like a pennant not touching the water like a fishing line. I’ve ordered some of the Cortland 30# line. Or hope I have, my first order from riverbum was cancelled as out of stock and an email said that Cortland had discontinued the line or at least the 30# yellow line.

    I’ve also ordered some Airflo Miracle Braid 30# line from feather-craft.
    Link to a German website that has the best picture of this line.

    And though it is much stronger than needed. I am anxious to see how Calcutta Ultra Braid 200# line compares to the Cortland or Airflo line in size and feel. I have two 300 yd spools of the stuff. A life time supply. I got it for backpacking, not for fishing, because 50ft of it can be wrapped into a hank not much bigger that a large Bic lighter. A lot of extra line in a small,light weight package. I also have it in 130# and 80#.

    200# line is .76mm about 21号, and 130# is .61m about 14号 and 100# is .53 mm about 11号. But the yellow 100# line is often out of stock and I only have it int green. Much stronger than needed but the tippet protects the system and if this line has the right balance of stiffness and suppleness it might work. The line has a nice hand and has a bit of waxy feel to it.

    After I get the other line I’ll let you know how it compares by appearance. How it compares by fishing may not come till next spring.

  30. David, can I ask you a question? You always seem to be able to dig up useful tenkara information that the rest of us are blind to. How do you find this stuff? Do you speak Japanese? Do you just have mad Google search skills? I consider myself pretty internet savvy but can never seem to find the same things you do. If you’re willing to share, I’d love to know your approach. I’m sure others would too.

  31. Jason, I don’t mind you asking. No I do not speak Japanese, and, more importantly, I can not read Japanese, which is a more important skill as far as looking around the internet is concerned.

    How, would take several pages to explain. I would guess 8 pages or so. Too long for here and, I think, too long to hold most peoples interest. I have doubts how many people would be interested in learning my little tricks. Sometimes I find fun stuff and get it right. Other times I find fun stuff and get a lot it completely wrong.

    Japanese is much different from English, sentences seem to be written backwards, a word in one sentence gets translated differently when used in a different sentence surrounded by different words. The Japanese の character, phonetically No, which usually means something more like Of, messes up translations by being turned into No or Not. Maddening sometimes, but its part of the fun. But it leaves you not sure if they recommend something or recommended you not do something.

    How, is mostly a combination of having developed a joy for the pleasure of figuring things out about stuff I know nothing about and the tenacity to stay at until I do. Probably a habit, urge, interest, call it what you will, I developed during many years of doing submarine patrols. Once on duty station there were no more drills to occupy your time. It became keep quiet, do your routine, until the patrol was over. You had to find mental challenges to keep your mind busy. Word games with obscure words from a very large dictionary was one games we played. Winner was the guy who got the most votes for the definition that furthest from being true. An activity that will seem quite weird to most people. You have to have been there to understand.

    Before my involvement with tenkara I played around a lot with folding kayaks. I have 5 of them. Folding kayaks are mostly of German origin. Before WW2 there were probably 100 folding kayak manufacturers in Germany and many home builders. If you want to learn more about their historic culture you had to poke around on German languages websites. Another language I do not read. The Japanese also have a folding kayak culture so I played around on them too. Google ” faltboot ” or 折り畳みカヌー to see what you find.

    But here are a couple of tricks. There are others And this will not doubt get – Much longer than I planned to write here. But here it is. Maybe enough foundation for a curious mind to build on.


    The best trick for finding stuff on Japanese Tenkara websites is do the searches with the search terms written in Japanese. Combine two or more key words. No need to worry about grammar, just select words like making a mind map. Google might suggest something better when you put the terms in the search window.

    Were do you find good Japanese words to search with? Two ways:

    Just look at Japanese tenkara blogs. Japanese Tenkara tutorial web pages are a great places to look. Because they talk a lot about fundamental principles. I know of maybe four tenkara tutorial websites. Some of them are very thorough in the topics covered.

    The biggest hindrance to squeezing understandable google translations out of some of them is, I think, the writing style. My guess is some people write like Hemingway, short simple words and sentence structure. Others write with complex sentence structure and perhaps a lot of cultural references or obscure Japanese words that elude easy electronic translation.

    I think on line translations particularly of Japanese have a reputation to being very poor to horrible. True, but for me, over coming that is part of the fun of the challenge. Bulk whole page translations often are poor. It is better going line by line, separating out sentences and phrases with in commas onto separate lines in the translation window.

    Try this – Translate the whole page in a google window. Then when you mouse over a line that looks interesting in English, it will highlight, opening a popup window. Click on the ‘contribute to better translation’ and the pop up box opens a little more.

    Copy the Japanese text from the top and paste it into a google translation window, opened in another browser tab. There you can pick apart the sentence and words, which can often lead to a better understanding. But some times it is of no help.

    Translation window trick example. Try this. This is Japanese for Headwaters. 源流 . Copy and paste it into a google translation window set to translate Japanese -> English.

    Notice that below the left window you will see Genryū , the phonetic spelling. You may have to click the A in lower corner to make the phonetic words appear below the box. In the right side box click on Headwaters. A drop down window will appear giving you alternate translations. Sometimes this is helpful. Now go back to the left side box and separate the two characters onto to different lines like this

    Now do the same thing. Mouse over and click the English words to see alternate translations. Also note that the phonetic spelling changed too. Now it shows Minamoto Ryū.

    The 2 things to remember is that if 源流 is in a sentence any of the alternate English words may show up in the translation of a complete phrase, instead of Headwaters. And those words may not be next to one another.

    iow – a sentence that may say something like “We tenkara fished the headwaters today” . Might end up looking more like this. “Today supply fished tenkara style” . Which is the value of picking apart the sentence, sometime you can straighten out the word order a little. Sometimes it helps to try to read Japanese sentences backwards. If it’s not part of the fun for you. Don’t waste your time.

    Learning the phonetic words will also help you improve translations. You may not remember that Japanese words but scanning the phonetic words may help. I’ve done this enough that I have learned a lot of them. It helped me a lot one day when I was looking at a character that would not translate to any English word that made sense. But from the phonetic I could see it had something to do with hackle.

    One last thing put 源流 alone in the left window, click the speaker Icon and you get an electronic pronounceation of the word. Maybe not a big help but fun sometimes, try it with テンカラ


    The second trick is you have to learn the words that google often translates Japanese words into. Then you can sometimes work backwards to get the right word in Japanese. I usually open a word document to keep terms for future use. Some terms are easy to find. Others you just have to collect them and keep when you find them.

    Try these words to quickly find a couple of the four ways I know to spell Kebari.

    Set the google translate window to translate English – > Japanese.
    Type these words into the left window.

    burr hair
    bali hair
    hair needle
    hair hook

    Notice that in the right window kebari is still kebari. So that doesn’t work. But the other 3 terms did convert to Japanese characters. Note also that you can click on them and get the same drop down window with alternate terms + a little box giving you an English translation. If you want to change to a different Japanese term, click it. It will become the text in the right box, highlighted in blue. English words in the right window works the same way.

    Next . Copy the 3 Japanese words in the right side and paste them into the left window. Switch the translation to Japanese -> English. With the double arrow at the top.

    So you have
    バリ毛 Bari ke
    バリ毛 Bari ke
    毛針 Kebari
    フック毛 Fukku ke

    Close but 2 are backward. Only one is right and 1 is something different. Flip them around. To get.
    毛バリ Kebari
    毛バリ Kebari
    毛針 Kebari
    毛フック Ke fukku

    So, now you have 2 different ways Kebari is written in Japanese that were found from 3 different combinations of English words.

    And the 4th term Ke fukku. ( pronounce that one carefully) Is not Kebari, but it illustrates a funny thing. Google with
    毛フック and you get images of paint brushes, girls hair adornments various kind of hangers, and a few big fishing flies. Which probably means the two terms together are not often used in Japanese but matches a few fishing fly items. Mostly not tenkara types. One note – I’ve noticed sometimes google translate will translate words differently. Not sure why unless it is google trying to give you what it thinks you want rather than what you really want. Point is something that worked one day may not another day.

    So copy 毛バリ or 毛針 ,Kebari, into the google search window. Notice all the other suggested search terms google offers. Select some of them, put them in your translation window and see what new terms you have found. I think you might get more suggestions if you use 毛バリ .

    However, Google is not always your ally. Google looks at your search history and tries to give you what it thinks you want. OK most of the time. But google doesn’t always know what I want ( like a bunch of hustlers who think they know what insurance I need) I often want to find the unexpected, something new. So ever once in a while you have to mess with Google’s mind and do a search for weird combinations of key words to shock it into giving you something new. Combining 毛フック テンカラ, or some other odd combination may work to scramble google’s mind before you return to searching for テンカラ 毛バリ, tenkara kebari, for example.

    So put 毛バリ in the search window, select some of the suggested terms.

    Like this one 毛鉤 作作り方 , Oh, what is that? Kebari tsukurikata
    Oh, it’s a 3d way to spell Kebari 毛鉤 + the full phrase translates, in the word order Kebari How to Make. So 作り方 has to with how to make something.

    From experience I know there is another term for making something yourself. Take a look at the webpage posted earlier about how to make the shooting line tapered line. You may see a term similar to 自家製 , Jikasei. I got that term quickly just now by entering “home made” in a google translate window.

    There are slight variations of that term that will translate as Own, DIY, homebrew, etc. All of them will have the little 自 at the front and the phonetic will be Ji or Ja or something like that. So terms with 自 or 作 will often have to do with how something is made, 作り方 is more how to make something, and 自家製 indicate maybe more where it is may, but if it’s made at home, generally it includes how they did it.

    I think paying attention to the phonetic words is helpful. But there are cautions. They do weird things and interesting things. That can change how the terms get translated into English.

    This 作り方 is Tsukurikata, How to make ( check the alternate translations, recipe, making, how to create)

    but this 作 り方 is Sakuri kata, Ri who work. Adding a space changed it a lot. Realize that this complicates getting understandable translations. Just part of the joy.

    However, this 自家製 is Jikasei, Homemade – but this 自 家製, is Ji-ka-sei, Own Home Made. So the space with this term actually helped clarify the translation. Interesting ?

    Point is this happens a lot with different Japanese terms. Fascinating and fun. At least for us members of the keepers of odd knowledge society.

    If you put 毛バリ in the search window you might get this suggested search term.

    毛鉤 仕掛け Kebari shikake Fly-trick – check alternate translations
    仕掛け shikake Will generally have something to do with line spools, line rigging, how kebari are connected, etc.

    You may get slightly different search results if you borrow the tern and match it with the original kebari term.
    毛バリ 仕掛け Kebari shikake Bali hair trick/gimmick/mechanism/work

    Or just chop off the kebari part and find what google suggest for other search terms that contain 仕掛け Shikake
    Some will be tenkara related and some will be about totally other topics.

    Like this one
    仕掛け巻き Shikake-maki Winding mechanism Definitely more specific to line spools. Try combining it with tenkara テンカラ 仕掛け巻き and do a search with it or see what else google suggest.

    Hmmm. 巻き Maki Wind/wound/coil. Sounds like wrapping something round something else. Like winding a kebari maybe. What if I combined that with one of the 3 kebari terms? What would I find with 毛鉤巻き, 毛バリ巻き , or 毛針巻き.
    What new terms might I find on one of the webpages found doing a search with those terms?

    For an exercise try these words. Translate them in to Japanese. Put the Japanese terms in a google search window, see what other search terms Google suggest I use when I paste the term in the search window. Maybe combine one of these terms with some others we used before.

    from heaven
    tenkara pole
    tenkara rod
    level line
    tenkara level line
    tapered line
    tenkara tapered line
    ( hmm. what would I find if I combined the term found with the Japanese word for tenkara tapered line with 自家製 or 作り方)

    upside hair bali
    upside hair burr
    fishing fly
    fly hackle

    Some of these words will translate into Japanese terms you want and some will not. Use the correct terms with some of the other terms discussed and try a search with them.

    With out the longer how-to with other little trick I use. I think you now have a few tricks I use and an idea that it just takes an inquisitive mind, an attitude of joy in the figuring out stuff you have no knowledge about. You can do it with other interest too.

    One warning if you post some things you found online and you got it wrong. Well, its a little embarrassing. Posting stuff you got grossly wrong is Toto pulling the curtain aside revealing you to be an impostor translator of Japanese. It’s not fatal.

    I do it mostly for personal entertainment. And occasionally in return I am rewarded with a bit of enlightenment in return.

    I keep most of my explorations of Japanese Tenkara pages to myself. I have fun with it for weeks sometimes. Then get burned out on it and set it aside for a while. Then pick it back up again a few months later.

    One recent discovery was I found the name of a guy who was a field tester for one of the major Japanese companies. Specifically for level line. That was kind of fun. Playing around with this kind of thing is just another facet of Tenkara you can do if you find it fun. And having fun with Tenkara is the main thing.

  32. Thanks for the tips David. I took Japanese in college but never learned much Kanji–only hiragana & katakana. Which is basically useless for searching on Google.

  33. Jason, I hope you find the information helpful. You know you get most of the blame for my sojourning on Japanese Tenkara websites. You sold me my first tenkara rod – an Ayu. Which has now been given to a friend.

    I received my order of Cortland and Airflo running line today. Here is an initial right out of the box impression comparison of Cortland v Airflo v Calcutta Ultra Braid 200# and 130# lines.

    I was surprised that the Cortland line is Chartreuse color rather than hi viz yellow as listed on most web pages. But upon a closer look at Jason’s pictures in two of them the line looks yellow and in the other two it looks chartreuse.

    The Ariflo line is a pale yellow but still kind of bright. If that makes any sense. Really it looks close in color to Jason’s bottom picture of the Cortland line. However, the bottom picture of the Airflo line on the webpage listed earlier comes closest to getting the color correct on my monitor. But, As they say. YMMV, your monitor may vary.

    The Calcutta line is the most intense or saturated yellow of the three and perhaps the brightest but not neon bright like the Cortland line. All 3 lines I think will be visible with the Cortland line being the brightest. I wonder which color the fish ignore the most.

    I successfully ordered the 30# Cortland and Airflo line from feather-craft and it arrived quickly. I had previously ordered the Cortland line from Riverbum. But Matt sent me an email saying he was out of stock and Cortland had told him they have discontinued the line. Though he did have the line in white or what I think is more of a clear color.

    The Cortland and Airflo line both have about the same texture in the hand. They are both a little course feeling when pulled through the fingers. The 200 or 130 Calcutta line feels very smooth.

    Rolling the line between my fingers the Ariflo line rolls and feels completely round.

    The Cortland line will roll between my fingers but feels slightly out of round or oval.

    The Calcutta line when first pulled off the spool looks and feels round. But after being handled it goes flat and will no longer roll between my fingers.

    Comparing the stiffness of the 3 lines the Airflo and Calcutta lines are close to feeling the same. And just a little stiffer than the Cortland line.

    If I bend a section of line into an S-shape the Airflo and Calcutta line will both retain the S-shape for several seconds and both respond about the same. The Cortland line will not retain an S-shape.

    If I roll several feet of line off the spool and hold the spool over my head, wiggling it from side to side the sine waves in the Cortland line are a little larger than in the other two lines and the sine waves in the Airflo and Calcutta line are about the same and both are smaller than in the Cortland.

    Conclusion is the Cortland line is the least stiff of the 3 lines. I don’t know what that will mean about how they cast. In general I think level line that is just a little stiff cast better than line that is very limp.

    The Airflo line is the most expensive, ~ $0.20/ft. The Cortland ~$0.15/ft . The Calcutta 200 $0.06/ft and 130 $0.05/ft.

    I ordered the Airflo line because I thought it might be closer to the Kencraft line that Sebata Yuzo used in his 2006 article. Airflo being the same company or owned by Kencraft.

    The Calcutta line is just line I purchased a couple of years ago. Though I did not buy it for use as fishing line. Since it seems to behave a lot like the Airflo line and is about the same size I think it worth trying it to see how will it cast.

    The Calcutta lines feel similar in size to the Cortland and Ariflo lines. The Calcutta line lays flat. The 200 line looks just slightly wider that the Cortland/Ariflo lines and the 130 about the same or just very slightly narrower. I don’t know how the weight per foot compares. If the Calcutta line is a lot lighter it may not cast very well.

    Jason let me know if you would like to try some of the Calcutta line for comparison. Two 20ft / 6m lengths are only about $2. About 40cents in 1974 dollars.

  34. Hi David, yes, you posts are always helpful and extremely informative! I didn’t know that I sold you your first tekara rod. That’s pretty cool! Things have changed so much since the days.

    I would love to take you up on your generous offer to try the Calcutta line. You know me, always interested in experimenting!

    Let me know how best to pay you and send you my address.

  35. Jason , no need to pay me for the line. It’s low cost and I have plenty. I sent you a message on your contact page requesting you to email me your mailing address and how much line you want. Maybe it will cast well or maybe not. Worth trying.

  36. I ordered some 20# Cortland from FeatherCraft because at the time I ordered it last week, they said they were out of stock of 30#. Just got shipment of everything else (feathers, cape, etc) and on the invoice says the 20# is back-ordered as well, so I don’t know if it is really out of manufacture or if everyone is out due to this thread! On the bright side, maybe Tenkara is gaining in popularity (again)!?!

  37. Michael,

    This is the email I recieved from Matt Kankeinen at Riverbum ( dated Nov 18th. 5:47 p.m.) :

    “Thanks for the order. I’m sorry to report that we have run out of the Cortland Braided Mono Running Line in the 30lb Chartreuse. We contacted Cortland and they have discontinued it. We have the 30lb in White or a 20lb in Chartruese left. Just let me know what you want to do.”

    I ordered the 30lb Cortland Chartuse line and 30lb Airflo Miracle line from FeatherCraft on the 19th and they did have the 30lb in stock. I did not ask about the 20lb line.


  38. Thanks, David. I went ahead and ordered the 20# from them also. Imagine I will get two spools of it on same day with my luck, but it’s not like it won’t get used. I mainly got it to practice long line casting with a new Oni rod I expect to receive in the next week or two before transitioning to level line. I’ve not had great luck with level lines, but I’ve also not been able to practice on a windless day, so I’m hopeful that this braid will help me to get the experience and muscle memory to do better with level lines, eventually. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  39. It’s me again and thanks for your previous reply. Some may claim to be a newbie but I’m not even up to that level yet in my Tenkara investigation hence my initial posting a few days ago. However I’ve decided to literally buy into this adventure and get a Tenkara rod but I’m working on selling something else first so that I’ll have the dollars.
    Being 66 years old and retired for a year now as a school interpreter for the deaf , I have been simplifying my life. We sold the farm and built a berm home. I mostly heated with a Woodstock wood stove for the past two winters. I’ve found far more serenity paddleing and fishing from a kayak I recently bought than struggleing with the details of maintaining and using the 17 foot bass boat I sold. I also bought my wife a kayak. I’m a Southern raised countryish boy (Kentucky) and fished a cane pole up into my teens. Got away from bluegill fishing then and started fishing for bass and cats with more “advanced” fishing machines. Did an occasional fly fishing alternative with a flea market bought Courtland outfit but found it cumbersome yet extremely fun. I found the fly varieties more intriqueing and easier to store that all the bass baits from plastics to cranks. But for me the combination of fly rod, reel, leaders, tippets, hooking the trees behind me (cuz I didn’t master the roll cast and needed as much room behind me as in front) took a bit of the sweetness out of “flying”. Watching the Tenkara vids and lurking the posts here persuaded me that Tenkara would be the fishing choice for my path into the simpler life. All my fishing requirement would easily lean in the bottom of the closet next to my Crocs and Sanuks.
    If I haven’t digressed too far for you to still be with me, I have a few questions to ask to establish some basic understanding for me. I’m really confused about lines and their lengths. What seems to be used can vary from braids to horsehair to thin florocarbon?!

    First of all I see mentioned often “level line” in discussion. I assume this is to differentiate from tapered line?

    Next, I’m familar with flurocarbon lines used for rod and reel fishing, but am I to understand that you can use a regular (level of course) length of flurocarbon line as a Tenkara casting line? Then add a tapered leader and tippet to that?

    Then,I followed the thread here about the braided high vis 30# Cortland backing and if I understood right, it is usable as a casting line for Tenkara. My old flyrod reel has a green braided dacron backing on it. I’m not sure the pound test but it’s not much more in diameter than maybe 20# FC. Is that type backing something one would use for a Tenkara casting line?

    And what about furreled (sp.) line?

    Finally, when I get a Tenkara rod, how long and what action would best suit me. How long the line, the leader and tippet? The overall line length? I doubt I’ll ever fish a mountain trout stream but you’ll fine me paddleing the upper creeks or tailwaters on reservoirs, floating small rivers or on a lake all in a kayak or even walking the shores of a pond or any of these. My most common species are bluegill, crappie, white bass, small mouth bass, and large mouth bass. When I’m hungry for an occasional catfish I stick with the methods most used for them. However if you caught carp on Tenkara, I think channel cat would work.

    Thanks for indulging me. It could be after all those years in special-ed I contracted ADHD syndrome. I thank you in advance for any and all comment.

    Blessings- Colin

  40. I don’t know if this will get read much, but I’ve tried to find this Cortland HiVis 30 lb braided mono line and it appears that it is no longer made and or available. I did find 50 lb and maybe 20 lb. I wonder if someone could send me about 15 ft of it in an envelope to : Colin Bruner, Box 765, Lebanon Junction, KY 40150 ? Bill me fairly and you’ll get it by return mail :-)

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