TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

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By Neumie
For the past couple years I've tossed around the idea of giving the ]Japanese style Tenkara fly fishing a try on out smaller hill country rivers; mainly the Upper Medina and Sabinal rivers. After quite a bit of research and input from a Facebook group I determined a "zoom" rod from about 8 to 10 feet would suit my needs given the fish (mostly sun fish and Rio Cichlids) and canopy (cypress trees).

I pulled the trigger an Japanese made Nissin Pro Spec 2 Way. It can be fished at either 2.7 m or 3.2 m (roughly 8' 10" to 10' 6") depending on how much canopy I have to deal with. Tenkara is all about simplicity so there is no reel, just a little bit of line and some tippet. It's a very minimalist approach with gear and flies as well.

Anyone else ever tried Tenkara?
imagejpeg_0 - Copy.jpg
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By JW FunGuy
I have! I’ve been playing with one for at least 5 years. I have a Tenkara USA Sato, it adjusts from 10’8” 11’10” 12’9”
And you are right, they are blast on small streams and creeks, I have also caught some decent sized rainbows on the Guad. Landing them was a real challenge!
Where I have found they really excel is places you have to hike into or hike along a stream. Having such a small package and being able to open and close it quickly especially through brush is wonderful.
By junkyard chihuahua
I have used a similar set up that Cabela's used to sell as a crappie rod. I believe mine is 12 feet. I have had a blast with it. Mainly fishing creeks on some hill country ranches. I've landed a fair number of fish over the years... It lives in my work truck glove box... It gets pulled out on lunch breaks fairly regularly! I once landed about a 2 lb bass out of a quarry pond up near Georgetown. Bigger fish get...interesting!
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By TexasJim
Josh: If you get up to the Upper Guadalupe, say "Howdy" to all the lures I left in the trees! I'm just beginning to re-try flyfishing after 60+ years. Adult Education is painful(and expensive). Catch 'em up! TexasJim
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By Ron Mc
A good mid-length venerable glass fly rod from the 70s will fit in all places in the hill country, especially in cypress tunnels, and would be my recommendation to anybody.
That's something else the Japanese make, multipiece rods for any fishing you want, including some famous mid-length glass fly rods. Seems riding on trains has a stealth traveling factor for Japanese - bumping somebody with a long two piece rod tube would lose face.
Image(as you can see, reels are a priority for me)Image

Josh, your new rod is really pretty, and thanks for posting it. Looking forward to fishing results.
Nissin makes great rods - they were high on my list for a new longer salt XUL before I recently sprang for the 8'3" Yamage blanks TZ Nano (that was about catching one in stock - they sell out quickly).
In case any want to see an on-line catalog of Japanese rods, Plat is a very good vendor:
https://www.plat.co.jp/shop/catalog/def ... 8/rod.html
you can also get all your reel parts there, including Shimano Yumeya and Daiwa SLP Works

For the fly rods, Blue Dun Fly Shop is a great vendor - the owner has very good English, used to guide in Montana (he worked then for MRFC)
Last edited by Ron Mc on Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By JW FunGuy
For those of you who don’t know what Tenkara really is, as Neumie stated it is an ancient Japanese style of fly fishing based on its ultimate simplicity, just a rod, a line attached to the rod tip and no reel. The lack of a reel and a short line really makes you rethink how you fish and how you land a fish.
Here is a little intro
https://www.tenkarausa.com/myportfolio/ ... o-tenkara/
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By Ron Mc
no offense, but all fly fishing is pretty much a variation on cane pole fishing - extended by the floating line.
In 1881, Doc Henshall described skittering flies for bass using then-standard 15' (wood) fly rod.
I think you'll find the Japanese to be the most enthusiastic, though least mystic, of all fishermen.
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By JW FunGuy
Of course not Ron. And of course it is all a variation of cane pole fishing because that is pretty much all there was at first. But the Japanese have been doing it for over 200 years and still are but have turned it into an art form, with the addition of collapsible poles.
Tenkara fishing originated in Japan at least 200 years ago. The first western reference to tenkara fly-fishing was in 1878 in a book called "Diary of climbing Mt. Tateyama" written by Ernest Mason Satow, a linguist and British diplomat during the early modernization of Japan.[3] Tenkara fly-fishing originated with professional fishermen in the mountain streams of Japan who found it an effective method of catching the local fish, yamame, iwana and amago.[4]
Originally the rod was simply a bamboo/cane rod, which was cut and treated, but unlike contemporary western bamboo rods, they were not "manufactured" (i.e. split and glued back together). Unlike in the western fly-fishing tradition where anglers used heavy wooden rods, in Japan anglers always used bamboo, which is readily available and very light. Because of its light weight, Japanese anglers were able to use very long bamboo rods and reach as far as needed without the need to develop reels for the short rods developed in the west.[3]
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By Ron Mc
there's a (Scot) Pict depiction of fish god Dagon doing basically the same thing, ancient Greeks, Chinese from the 3rd century...
The Greeks and Chinese both have reel depictions that old, and certainly Greeks are as seafood-centric as any culture.
of course nobody's as mystic as a neophyte dry fly fisher, except maybe a curmudgeonly one

if you follow my link to Plat above, you'll find a Tenkara arsenal (along with some incredible XUL spinning rods for shoreline fishing - Light Game or rockfish rods).
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