Tenkara USA is launching a new line. Not a new product “line”, but an actual “line”. It’s tapered nylon which is a departure from from their traditional offering of fluorocarbon level lines and furled tapered lines. They’re made by Fujino (one of the industry’s most trusted brands) and will be available in various lengths under the the Tenkara USA branding and design guidance. I’ve been testing two: a 14′ 9″ and an 11′ 6″, and both are excellent.
As someone who fishes primarily level lines, switching to a tapered one always makes me feel superhuman. With the sheer mass of a taper behind your turnover, casting seems effortless; and these lines don’t disappoint.
The reason level lines work so well with tenkara is because even the lightest fluorocarbon has enough mass to load even the most delicate actions of the typically soft tips of tenkara rods. The mass is distributed evenly, but it’s still off the tip. Yet, that doesn’t mean the turnover will be smooth. With a tapered line, you not only get a similar mass transfer, but you also get the benefit of the line “working for you”. And since it’s nylon (which is more delicate than fluorocarbon or a braided or furled leader), you get the benefit of mass to make casting easier or defeat the wind while still being able to make a delicate presentation. It’s the best of both worlds.
Furled lines are usually pretty easy to see since they’re thicker. But level lines can pull disappearing acts on you since they’re typically translucent. This line is opaque, and even at the thin tip section, it is easy to track for strike detection.
The line comes with a built-in (Kevlar?) loop for an easy girth-hitch connection to the lilian. While you don’t have to use this, I like it. It’s a much more convenient way to attach your line than the typical level line connection.
Like any nylon or fluorocarbon line, these do have memory so you’ll need to straighten them out before hitting the water. That’s just par for the course if you’re using anything other than a braided or furled line. And, unlike level line which comes on a big spool and is relatively cheap, remember that cutting into the line repeatedly means (at some point) affecting the taper. So if you want to preserve the action, I’d recommend being judicious with snipping off the tip section. It might even be a good idea to add a tippet ring or an extender just to ensure its longevity.
So, where can I get one?
The lines won’t officially be available until tomorrow ( June 13th 2016), but I thought I’d give you a heads up on it. If you give one a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. More info will be available at Tenkara USA soon.