What Use is a Tenkara Rod if you Can Fish Tenkara with a Regular rod and Reel?

Thursday, 24 November 2016  |  PG

If you've tried out the email tutorials, you will know that they make a big deal out of the fact you can use all the tactics with a rod and reel - just as easily as with a specialised tenkara rod....

So how come me and JP actually own and use tenkara rods then? Are we idiots?

Well, I am sure that we are indeed idiots in many ways (!) but when it comes to having incredible fun with tenkara tactics - I think we are on fairly solid ground. Of course there is a really nice "feel" of a tradition that evolved from bamboo, fixed-line rods that could be stored inside the thickest (handle) section of the rod. In the same way, being fully telescopic (without line guides to get in the way) they are incredibly convenient and "packable". But these things are only part of the picture.



DT Rods Trailer from Discover Tenkara on Vimeo.


There are also a lot of ways that they can make the actual fishing easier, more pleasurable and even more effective. Here are just a few:

  • Their (generally) greater length gives you a huge "vertical advantage" in controlling your line and your fly (this gives you more reach while still being able to hold line off complex currents)
  • Being long also helps when landing fish (by giving a longer lever to turn a running fish, as well as recovering more line if a fish runs towards you suddenly)
  • A real killer difference is the progressive action of good tenkara rods - that gives amazing ability to throw beautiful casting loops with the lightest of casting lines; while at the same time having power in reserve when a fish puts a really deep bend in the rod.
  • One of the biggest things that separates great tenkara rods from average or poor ones is that ability to cast very light lines - BUT then have the tip recover without excessive wobble (you can find a whole series of unforgiving tests of tenkara rod performance here http://www.discovertenkara.co.uk/blog/blog-19.html 
  • The lack of rod-rings also seriously increases the ability of such fine rod blanks to cast and recover (especially at the tip) to recover (it is amazing how much momentum and also air-resistance adding those rings creates)
  • Last in this (very short list of a much longer topic!!) is the often completely overlooked "flex and recovery" with incredibly responsive precision when you are using the whole range of challenging "Fly Manipulation" (or "Sasoi") techniques. There is a massively increased sensitivity in an excellent tenkara rod. It also has a much greater amount of "usable flex" compared to rods designed to cast fly lines.

You should know (ahead of our Black Friday - through to Cyber Monday Special offers on Two Specially-Selected Rods, the Otaki and the Hakusan) that ANYTHING with a DT logo on it has to be kit that we actively use, support and stand-by ourselves. 

Look out for our offers tomorrow - but in the meantime: check out the characteristics of these high performance tenkara rods that had a warm reception from the expert tenkara community during their testing phases in Japan:

CLICK HERE to Find out More About the Otaki

CLICK HERE to Find out More About the Hakusan (including its special name!)