Whenever I see a new “introductory” tenkara video come out, I usually end up doing a lot of fast forwarding or make it about halfway through before calling it quits. Having fished tenkara for 5 years now, anything geared towards a beginner is usually focused on things I already know, so I get bored pretty quickly. But even though this DVD’s tagline is “An Introduction to Tenkara: Basics & Fundamentals”, I actually watched it all the way through.
While the it does contain a lot of useful information for the beginner, it wasn’t that info that compelled me. For one thing, the the tone and copy of the narration and the subtle cadence of the cinematography was humble, encouraging, and unpretentious–breath of fresh air from many videos I’ve seen that blast heavy metal music in the background and do fisheye closeup shots of trophy trout in an apparent effort to make fly fishing look like an extreme sport. This is exactly how beginners need to be introduced to the sport–not made to feel inadequate because they’re not catching 25″ fish worthy of a magazine cover.
Another reason I found myself actually making it all the way to the end was the overall production value. The footage and transitions are just enjoyable to watch. If you can’t go fishing, watching this DVD is probably the next best thing. It would be a nice cure for cabin fever in the off season or when the streams are blown out or seized up in ice. If you’re a seasoned tenkara angler, you may not “learn” a lot from this video. But I bet you’ll still enjoy watching it.
If you’re a beginner, this is probably the best introduction you could get. You could spend hours scouring the internet for fragmented information to try and put together a cohesive picture of what tenkara is. Or, you could sit back and relax for 40 minutes and watch this video. I think the latter would not only be much more efficient, but also much more entertaining and inspiring.
The video is presented by the UK’s first tenkara guides, John Pearson and Dr. Paul Gaskell from Discover Tenkara and they do an exceptional job of explaining and demonstrating key tenkara concepts without going into technical minutia that might scare off the uninitiated. There’s also a fair amount of footage from the venerable Japanese tenkara expert Dr. Hisao Ishigaki. Altogether, they present a great overview on the history and techniques of tenkara in laymen’s terms that will serve as the perfect starting point for the novice. And, there are plenty of practical tips and takeaways that probably wouldn’t occur to the beginner, but will certainly prevent a lot of headaches and frustration.
On the case, this video is labelled “Vol. 1” so I hope that means they’re planning on producing more. It would be great to see them use a similar format to tackle more specific or more advanced topics in a series that would cater to not just beginners, but also to intermediate and advanced anglers.
Discovering Tenkara Vol. 1 Trailer
The DVD is available in the U.S. from Tenkara USA and available in Europe on the Discover Tenkara website.
I am eager to watch the next DVD, the guys have traveled to Japan and met some of the greatest Tenkara masters so there is no doubt it will be a blast!
nice review. i don’t have the vid yet, but the trailer has the, “subtle cadence,” and “humble, encouraging unpretentiousness,” you described…and i like it.
They are in production this summer! We were hoping to see them on west of England rivers this summer and they can’t be & do everything. They are both as supportive to “newbies” via our uk tenkara forum
Just watched it yesterday. I found it boring but informative. I’ve been fly fishing for ten years and now exclusively tenkara fishing for the past two years. No matter how experience we are we can use reminders from time to time. I always forget what I have read or watched that I find useful. So I always go back for reference to refreshen my memory. There where a few things in that video that I forgot about that I could add to my arsenal. YOUR DOING A FABULOUS JOB JASON, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!