A Simple System for Marking & Identifying Tenkara Level Lines
Jan07

A Simple System for Marking & Identifying Tenkara Level Lines

If you’re anything like me, you’ve accumulated a bunch of level lines that live in anonymity.  You’ve long forgotten the size and have no idea what the length is.  And they all start to look the same after a while. Rather than getting the micrometer and measuring tape out every time you uncoil a mystery line, here’s a simple system you can use to instantly identify any level line’s length and diameter....

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Painted Tenkara Level Lines
Dec08

Painted Tenkara Level Lines

An ongoing dilema I’ve faced has been line visibility.  If you’re using a furled tenkara line, then visibility is usually not an issue.  But if you use level fluorocarbon lines, you know that even the brightest line can sometimes be hard to see in different light conditions. I basically use two colors:  orange, and bright yellow.  Neither are 100% high vis all the time so I find myself switching between them based on the...

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Tying Flies with Common, Everyday Materials
Nov10

Tying Flies with Common, Everyday Materials

Fly tiers have it pretty easy these days.  Run out of red floss during a marathon tying session of Royal Coachmans?  Head down to your local fly shop and pick some up.  Need fluorescent pink guinea fowl for a killer new Spey fly?  Order in online and it will be at your door in a few days. But imagine what it must have been like for early tenkara anglers. Not only were there no fly shops (or e-commerce) back then, but living in remote...

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Add a Silencer to your Tenkara Rod
May29

Add a Silencer to your Tenkara Rod

  Right now, go to your gear closet, man cave, garage, armory, or wherever you keep your fishing gear.  Grab your tenkara rod and shake it (vertically).  Hear that rattle?  It’s the collapsed segments of your rod slamming into the end cap.  No, it isn’t broken.  In fact, most tenkara rods do this–it’s just intrinsic in the design.  While this rattling sound probably won’t damage your rod, it can...

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DIY Fly Tying Background Plate
May16

DIY Fly Tying Background Plate

  Even the most organized fly tying desks can have cluttered backgrounds that can be distracting when you’re trying to put the finishing touches on that perfect fly.  It can not only adversely affect the quality of the fly you’re tying, but also cause eye strain.  Here’s a simple, low-cost solution I came up with to block the complicated background of my tying desk… The Problem   As you can see, I...

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A DIY Tippet Spool Holder
Apr07

A DIY Tippet Spool Holder

  I normally don’t like gadgets hanging off the outside of my chest pack.  I try to limit it to the things I want quick access to like hemostats and line clippers.  Until now, I have kept my tippet spools inside my pack thinking it was one less thing to clank around.  But, I like the convenience of having my tippet readily available and to be able to pull off a length of tippet with one hand.  I’ve also been known to...

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20 ft. Furled Line & DIY Line Spool Mod
Feb20

20 ft. Furled Line & DIY Line Spool Mod

  Today, I got my long awaited Nissin Prosquare tenkara rod in the mail (review coming soon).  A friend in Japan who bought and sent the rod to me was kind enough to also include a 20 ft. furled line he made himself and one of his flies.  Thanks Eiji!  The line looks a lot like the horse hair tenkara lines I recently made, with different snoods knotted together.  After reading Daniel’s article on long line tenkara, I am...

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Horse Hair Tenkara Lines
Dec27

Horse Hair Tenkara Lines

For Christmas, my lovely wife got me a  horse hair tenkara line kit from Tenkara Bum.  I’ve always wanted to try to make my own horse hair line and since I have this whole week off for the holidays, I immediately started furling away.  The results were very interesting. So far, I’ve made two lines.  They’re both 13 ft. but with different tapers.  When talking about horse hair lines, the taper is defined by the number...

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Bi-vis Tenkara Line
Nov27

Bi-vis Tenkara Line

  That’s not a typo.  We talk a lot about “Hi-vis” line in tenkara but this one really is a “Bi-vis” line because it’s actually two colors. The first two thirds are clear fluorocarbon while the last third is hi-vis fluorocarbon.  It all started during a conversation with Karel from Tenkara on the Fly.   One day, Karel mentioned to me that he was thinking of making a level line that only had the...

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A Line Clip for Your Tenkara Rod
Nov21

A Line Clip for Your Tenkara Rod

  Ever wonder what to do with your line when you’re moving from spot to spot?  If you need to go through brush, the best thing to do is collapse the rod and either remove the line and wind it around a tenkara spool or around your EZ Keepers.  But sometimes, you don’t need to collapse the rod and just want a way to hold your line while you scout out the next spot. While at my local Bass Pro Shops, I discovered some...

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Adjustable Tenkara Line
Nov20

Adjustable Tenkara Line

One of the things I love about my Tenkara USA Ito is the zoom feature which gives you the ability to instantly lengthen the rod when you need a little extra reach.  But I’ve always dreamed of and adjustable line. Wouldn’t it be nice to instantly change your line from a 10 ft. to a 15 ft. without having to tie one more line or use loop-to-loop connections?  I’ve been experimenting but haven’t quite gotten it to...

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Tenkara Rod Rack
Nov09

Tenkara Rod Rack

After reading Mike’s post about a tenkara rod rack over at Troutrageous!, I just had to drag myself over to Walmart to buy one (actually two).  Using my iPhone level app and a cordless drill, I had both racks installed in a corner of my man cave in about 10 minutes.     Of course, these aren’t really “tenkara rod racks”.  They’re actually pool cue racks from a company called Sportcraft.  At...

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How to Fix a Loose End Cap on Your Tenkara Rod
Sep21

How to Fix a Loose End Cap on Your Tenkara Rod

It hasn’t happened to me yet but I’ve heard some people complain that while fishing, the end cap on their tenkara rod loosens up and sometimes fall off. While they’re easily replaceable from Tenkara USA, the loss of the end cap could pose some problems in the field when you want to collapse your rod. But have no fear. If you suffer from Chronic ELS (Endcap Loosening Syndrome), there is a cure. Simply head down to...

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A Simple Marking System for Identifying Tenkara Lines
Jul19

A Simple Marking System for Identifying Tenkara Lines

I’ve been making a lot of my own Tenkara level lines lately and I’ve noticed small problem: they all look the same. At first, I tried putting them on Tenkara USA blue spools and marking the spool with a Sharpie marker to indicate the line’s diameter and length. Of course, I ran out of spools pretty quickly and found that I didn’t like permanently marking the spools because I don’t want to dedicate one...

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Tenkara Level Line Experiments
Jun30

Tenkara Level Line Experiments

Many people talk about high visibility fluorocarbon level lines for Tenkara fly fishing and I’ve recently gotten into them.  As a predominantly dry fly fisher, I really don’t “see” (get it) the need for this. And, I think in certain situations, it’s best to have a line you can cast over the fish without scaring them.  So I made some experimental level lines using clear fluorocarbon and the braided loop...

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How to Attach a Braided Loop to a Tenkara Level Line
Jun28

How to Attach a Braided Loop to a Tenkara Level Line

If you’re like me, you dig level fluorocarbon lines for Tenkara fishing but miss the convenience of the girth hitch knot that the traditional furled lines offer.  Luckily, there’s a simple technique you can use to get all the benefits of fishing a level line with the convenience of the braided loop connection.  Here’s how… Step 1 Grab the tag end of your level line and gently singe it with a lighter to form a...

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How to Make a “French Slinky” Strike Indicator

This easy-to-make strike indicator was invented by the French during an international fly fishing competition and was recently featured in Fly Fisherman Magazine.  It’s basically a monofilament “spring” that is very sensitive and gives you a good visual indication of even the most subtle strikes.  I don’t know if the French have a name for it, but I call it the French Slinky. Why It’s Good Unlike...

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