Tenkara - Simply Fishing

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A rod a line a fly and your thoughts
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A rod a line a fly and your thoughts

What's needed for tenkara?

A rod, line and fly is needed for tenkara. Anything else is a personal thing.
If the rod will cast a line out with a fly on the end - it will do. If the line can be attached to the rod and a fly - it will do. If a fly can be attached to the line - it will do. 
Tenkara is - simply fishing.

Breaking it down

The rod is usually between 10ft and 13ft made of various materials and the makeup of the rod is really down to your preference. With the availability of these materials most rods are and should be very affordable. I have tried many and some of the most affordable do the same job as some of the expensive ones. I believe the more expensive rods are usually a talking point to others rather than firm advantage. I will catch as many fish on a £60 rod as I will on a £200+ rod - fact!
A really well made rod is lovely to use as you would expect but pound to pleasure I struggle to justify the difference. It is and should be a tool to help you do the job at hand and I personally would sooner take a lower priced rod to throw around a river than a treasured expensive rod.
The line is as important as the rod. It needs with the help of the rod to get your fly on/in the water. I tend to manly use a furled tapered leader with a fluorocarbon tippet. The right one will turn your fly over perfectly and get it to where you want it. Level lines are great too for the right situation. I often hear about wind problems and my reply is always the same, get yourself in the right place and the wind can only help you, use the wind to your advantage.
Many flies are designed to catch a fisherman not necessarily fish. Over the last 30 years I’ve been caught out buying flies that work on certain rivers, lakes or reservoirs. It always seemed to be from the box with most in it? You seriously don’t need a massive collection of flies to be successful. I use what I’ve called the tenkaraten this is a collection of ten flies that have never let me down. Mainly western patterns with some Sakasa Kebari they work in every situation. Take time to learn a little about entomology and river craft and they will fit every eventuality. 
Keeping it simple
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Keeping it simple

What you need

You only need a rod a line and a fly to fish tenkara.
This is true but, I always have a set of hook keepers on my rod so the rod is set up ready to fish.

I take a couple of spare lines at least another furled tapered leader and a fluorocarbon level line on a line spool with about 4ft – 6ft of tippet attached.

Some tippet material, I use fluorocarbon usually x3.

My set of flies – The Tenkaraten.

Some scissors/line snippet.  

An Amadou patch for the dry flies.

A small scoop net. I use a collapsible Damo net and sometimes I take out  a really nice small wooden curved scoop net that is only around 36cm long, for no other reason than it does the job and looks stunning.

A good pair of polarised glasses.

I love the ability to move freely when I’ve made the effort to go fishing and tenkara allows you to do this. Everything I take can fit in my pockets, even though I tend to take a long shoulder bag with me as it holds a bottle of water and some snacks!

I often get asked which I prefer, fly fishing or tenkara?
I don’t see it as an “either - or”, Sometimes you just can’t cast in areas with a fly rod as you can with a tenkara rod. These styles go together and when I take a fly rod out for a spin, I’ll always take a tenkara rod with me for those situations. After all it takes up so little room!
If I’m not familiar with a stretch of water and I need to explore it, then a tenkara rod is always my preferred choice.

I may have an ebay shop for you to buy items but for me it is about simply fishing and if you have questions please ask - the answers are free :) 

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