An Introduction to Tenkara Fly Fishing with Mike Roden

An Introduction to Tenkara Fly Fishing with Mike Roden

Tenkara Fishing Guide

From a modest start Tenkara fly fishing is now growing in both awareness and popularity both in the UK and across Europe. Indeed, there are now an ever increasing band of enthusiasts for whom Tenkara is the only method of fly fishing that they practice. For most however, it will be in additional string to their bow to compliment the more common rod, reel and line set up.

There are a number of very good reasons as to why everyone who fly fishes or wants to fly fish should look seriously at Tenkara and more importantly have a go!

From the experienced to the complete beginner Tenkara has something to offer. First and foremost it’s the superb presentation that can be achieved, due in the main to the fact that you don’t have a heavy fly line on the water that will always create drag. When dry fly fishing for example, the only thing in touch with the water is your fly, it cannot possibly drag! The casting process itself is much easier than the demanding techniques associated with a rod, reel and line. Anyone (and I do mean anyone) can be effectively fly fishing on a river after a very short time practicing the casting technique, which is very intuitive.

Mike Roden fishing the Wharfe with a Tenkara setup

So what do you need to start Tenkara fly fishing? Well, firstly the two things you don’t need are a reel and a fly line!

Sportfish carry a range of rods from Tenkara Centre UK. These start at 8 foot and go up to 13 foot to cover most fishing situations. You then require a leader of some type – level line, tapered leader or a furled leader, then simply add between 3 and 5 feet of tippet. Your choice of leader will depend upon the fishing conditions you encounter, but your first option should always be level line as this can produce the very best drag free presentation, but other options may be better if the wind picks up.

Tenkara rods come in a choice of actions typically from 5:5 to 6:4 to 7:3. This sounds complicated but is in fact very simple – 6:4 just means that 60% of the rod is stiffer and 40% softer. The length of the rod is not directly related to the size of river more the height of any canopy – low canopy means you will use a shorter rod to cast underneath the overhanging branches.

So a popular and versatile set up would be:-
A Masu 11ft 7:3 action rod and the Masu leader pack which contains a length of level line and furled leader to match the rod and 2 spools of tippet material all available from Sportfish for only £116.98. Just add your usual river fly patterns and you can start fishing!

View all our Tenkara tackle range »

I will be doing a couple of Tenkara workshops with Sportfish on the 8th and 9th Sept on a lovely beat on the River Usk near Crickhowell in Wales. I can assure you of a great couple of days where I will be able to show you the full range of products and the variety of fishing techniques available to the Tenkara fly-fisher.


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