Today, I got some fluorocarbon tenkara level line and a nice note from Chris Stewart of Tenkarabum.com. Chris is a level line guru and has tried just about every type of level line out there but also encourages experimentation. So I was delighted when he sent me a couple of “extras” to try out.
The lines included my favorite Tenkara Bum Orange size 3,4, and 5 lines but he threw in a clear/fluorescent Stren 12 lb. test line and Bass Pro Shops Carbon Gold in 14 lb. test. While I am familiar with the Tenkara Bum level lines, I haven’t cast the other two (though I was already aware of the Bass Pro line).
The first thing I did was to make two lines in my favorite lengths: 10.5′ and 13′:
Of course, I added a braided loop of dacron to each which is now my standard method for attaching the line to the rod. Rather than a perfection loop or a surgeon’s loop, I used 2mm tippet rings for a better transfer of energy and strength.
The Davy Knot
A standard clinch or Trilene knot would be too bulky to attach the tippet ring to the line, so I used a Davy knot.
The Davy knot was designed to tie tippet to flies. Flies give you something substantial to hang on to as you pull the knot tight but that’s not really practical with a miniscule, 2mm tippet ring. To make it easier, I first clamp the tippet ring in my hemostats, thread the fluorocarbon, tie the Davy knot, and then use the handles of the hemostats to pull the knot tight. It’s much easier:
The more I cast and experiment with level lines, the more I love them. They cast well in the wind, are DIY friendly, are inexpensive, and an all around pleasure to cast.
Do you prefer level or furled tenkara lines?
Hello Jason, I have been experimenting with level line as well, based on information from the Tenkarabum.com sit, didn’t think to use a tippet ring will have to try. I have been using Stern Hi Vis Gold 12LB and 6# leader and tippet or just tippet. I’m going to try your braided backing connection as up till now I have been using the one Chris suggests for his lines.
Would be interested in what you are using after the tippet ring.
I probably fish 6X 90% of the time. I might use 5X tippet if I think I can get away with it or are pursuing bigger fish. I really like the tippet ring and the braided connection works really well. Happy experimenting!
Jason, where did you get your tippet rings from ?
I got them on eBay. If you just search for “tippet rings” you should be able to find both 2mm and 3mm. They were cheaper than in some of the stores I looked at.
Feather-Craft Fly Fishing is another source for metal leader rings. I don’t know how the price compares with what Jason was able to get them for but F-C’s price is 8.95/10-Pack. They come in 3 sizes, and here is a link so anyone who wants to see the information can view it for them selves: http://www.feather-craft.com/wecs.php?store=feacraft&action=category_view&target=210
Have you had success with any other knots besides the Davy for tying the tippet ring to the level line?
I just tried a Uni knot, but it was difficult to get it tightened all the way down and it seems a little bulky to me.
Hi Jason, I haven’t really tried any other than the ones I mentioned.
Please email me at XXX and tell me what lb dacron you used. Thanks
Hi George, In the original post, I used 20 lb. Dacron, but I’ve found since that 12 lb. holds better so that’s what I used now. (FYI, I removed George’s email address for privacy)