Tenkara: Radically Simple, Ultralight Fly Fishing

Overview


Fly fishing, that most contemplative of sports, can be complex and costly. And yet it doesn’t have to be. Not with tenkara. This Eastern approach to fly fishing has no cumbersome gear. The line is hitched directly to the end of a long collapsible rod, and without a reel casting becomes easy and intuitive. The gear is not only inexpensive but also highly portable, perfect for hiking and camping. Long overlooked in the West, tenkara is taking the West by storm.

...

See more details below
Paperback
$13.18
BN.com price
(Save 33%)$19.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $11.34   
  • New (11) from $11.34   
  • Used (6) from $11.67   
Sending request ...

Overview


Fly fishing, that most contemplative of sports, can be complex and costly. And yet it doesn’t have to be. Not with tenkara. This Eastern approach to fly fishing has no cumbersome gear. The line is hitched directly to the end of a long collapsible rod, and without a reel casting becomes easy and intuitive. The gear is not only inexpensive but also highly portable, perfect for hiking and camping. Long overlooked in the West, tenkara is taking the West by storm.

Beginning and seasoned anglers will find the information needed to make the transition from Western to tenkara fishing: the essentials of gear and rigging, fishing dry lines, subsurface fishing and casting, knots, tenkara backpacking, and tenkara for women. Regardless of your skill level, it’s the simplicity that’s going to win you over. Tenkara has everything you love about fly fishing, but with a liberating minimalism.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762763948
  • Publisher: Lyons Press, The
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 466,429
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin C. Kelleher, MD, is a family physician, an adjunct professor of medicine, the author of a monthly medical advice column, and an award-winning painter. He is also a backpacker, canoeist, and tenkara devotee. 

Misako Ishimura, a top international fly-fishing competitor, was the charter director of the International Women Fly Fishers and the founder of World Fly Fishing of Japan. 

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

The Tenkara Rod

Modern tenkara rods are technological wonders. Carbon-reinforced polymers have revolutionized tenkara. These rods are amazingly light, have a high strength-to-weight ratio, and have a telescoping package that allows for compact storage. Modern tenkara rods typically weigh two to four ounces, and are generally nine to fifteen feet long, with as many as eleven sections. The handle or grip contains the telescoping sections, allowing for easy transport. The remarkable collapsed package is only fourteen to twenty-four inches long, perfect for carry-on luggage or an ultralight backpack.

There are a surprising number of telescoping rods in Japan, each aimed at a specific type of fishing. However, a tenkara rod by definition has a grip, and its length is effectively limited to fifteen feet or less. The grip and length limitation are necessary to provide a light, balanced rod, which is comfortable for the repeated casting needed for all day fly presentation. Great care is taken to properly balance a tenkara rod.

Since tenkara rods have no reels, the line is attached at the tip. This may remind you of a cane pole, and, in many ways, a tenkara rod does reflect the cane pole’s simplicity. The grace and delicate presentation of the tenkara rod, however, supplied by its smooth application of power, far exceeds the cane pole or its poor cousins, the crappie pole and loop rod. The hollow, refined carbon modular components allow a transfer of force through the rod’s long lever arm, resulting in an almost effortless turning over of the line and fly. The rod actually becomes part of the flexing compound curve that turns over the line. Its tip, in the range of three hundredths of an inch (0.03"), is so flexible it becomes part of the cast. Indeed I have often said that the tenkara rod simply “launches a leader,” rather than a line.

Tenkara rods are rated by a ratio based on the number of stiff to supple sections. For instance, a 6:4 rod has six stiffer sections combined with four more flexible ones: the larger the ratio, the stiffer, or “faster,” the rod. When you “shake test” a tenkara rod, this ratio will predict the point of maximum flex. But keep in mind that the tenkara rod, particularly because of its length, is slower than traditional fly rods. This makes it ideal for short and delicate presentations.

A standardized method of describing a fly rod’s action in its entirety has not yet been devised. The “Common Cents System” [1] is perhaps the most useful. When you choose your rod, remember that tenkara rods do not describe the same kind of compound curve as do fly rods. The so-called “action angle” is of little use in describing their speed. More useful, the ERN values (Effective Rod Number) that correspond to the weight of line in the western system roughly correlate with the “stiffness” of the tenkara rod. Measurements of a sampling of tenkara rods correspond with western rods, from a one-weight all the way to a six-weight rod. I prefer rods at the softer (lower) end for their ease in casting. A stiffer (higher) rod has the ability to manage larger fish but tends to need a bit more muscle in casting. For now, test casting a tenkara rod is the best way to match your particular sensibilities and style.

One particularly ingenious innovation of the modern tenkara rod is in its telescoping grip storage. This compact storage makes for one of the smallest packages in fishing even while creating one of the longest reaches. With a simple unscrewing of the butt cap, all the pieces can be removed for cleaning and easily and inexpensively replaced if damaged. When extending or collapsing your tenkara rod, be sure to push and pull in-line with the long axis; most damage occurs when collapsing the rod. Make sure the sections are snug, ensuring a smooth action, but don’t over tighten. Cleaning your rod from time to time with a soft cloth and drying it after a day on the stream is always a good idea, and can make for a nice, mindful conclusion to a fishing excursion. Gear readiness also makes your next spontaneous outing more likely. Lightly waxing the joining sections can aid the fit, making telescoping in freezing weather easier.

[1] Hanneman, William, http://www.common-cents.info/.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1: Gear Simplicity

Ultra-light, radically simple, and inexpensive, in an increasingly complicated world tenkara provides a number of advantages. The gear and technique retain the grace of fly-fishing even while providing on-stream ease and a direct, uncluttered, natural experience.

Chapter 2: Rigging Easily

With a tenkara rods and a few gear essentials, you can be fishing in minutes.

Chapter 3: Roots of Tenkara

Tenkara is rooted in the mountain streams of Japan and in the pragmatism of the subsistence fisherman. It has evolved over the years, and has benefited from recent American innovation.

Chapter 4: Dance of the Dry Fly

To fish dry flies with a tenkara rod, there are only three basic principles needed.

Chapter 5: Underwater Rooms

It’s easy to fish nymphs with tenkara. This chapter covers the major techniques of subsurface fishing, as well as the  vivid visualizing of underwater hide-outs.

Chapter 6: Simplest Cast in Fly-Fishing

Complete casting instruction can be communicated in minutes not days, including the fine points for the experienced caster.

Chapter 7: Small Streams

Tenkara is perfect for fishing small trout streams. This chapter will discuss how to read the water and present your fly in restricted environs, as well as the advantages of tenkara over western fly-fishing.

Chapter 8: Large Water

Even with a shorter cast, tenkara is surprisingly adaptable to larger waters.

Chapter 9: Hook to Hand

This chapter discusses playing, landing, and fish handling with a tenkara rod, and why tenkara actually enhances fish survival.

Chapter 10: Bugs 101

There are a few basic, aquatic insects any fisherman who wants to take tenkara to the next level should know about.

Chapter 11: Kebari and Western Flies

Simplified, situational fly recommendations can streamline your fly box, accented by the traditional Japanese reverse-hackle. The basics of fly tying is covered, as well as brief instruction on how you can make sensible, on-stream fly choices.

Chapter 12: Making Tenkara Leaders

This is a discussion of how to build level and tapered monofilament leaders as well the easy winding of traditional tenkara furled leaders.

Chapter 13: Tenkara Backpacking

Backpacking and tenkara fly-fishing are perfectly matched. Packing, storage, camp use, and camp cookery are covered as well as bonus recipes.

Chapter 14: Tenkara Women

Tenkara is being discovered and explored by women. World class angler Misako discusses the beauty and sensibility of tenkara for women, friendships, family, and treasured memories.

Chapter 15: Final Word

A final world about how tenkara expands the fly-fishing experience and renews us.

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Tenkara

Radically Simple, Ultralight Fly Fishing
By Kevin C Kelleher, MD

Lyons Press

Copyright © 2011 Kevin C Kelleher, MD
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780762763948

The Tenkara Rod

Modern tenkara rods are technological wonders. Carbon-reinforced polymers have revolutionized tenkara. These rods are amazingly light, have a high strength-to-weight ratio, and have a telescoping package that allows for compact storage. Modern tenkara rods typically weigh two to four ounces, and are generally nine to fifteen feet long, with as many as eleven sections. The handle or grip contains the telescoping sections, allowing for easy transport. The remarkable collapsed package is only fourteen to twenty-four inches long, perfect for carry-on luggage or an ultralight backpack.

There are a surprising number of telescoping rods in Japan, each aimed at a specific type of fishing. However, a tenkara rod by definition has a grip, and its length is effectively limited to fifteen feet or less. The grip and length limitation are necessary to provide a light, balanced rod, which is comfortable for the repeated casting needed for all day fly presentation. Great care is taken to properly balance a tenkara rod.

Since tenkara rods have no reels, the line is attached at the tip. This may remind you of a cane pole, and, in many ways, a tenkara rod does reflect the cane pole’s simplicity. The grace and delicate presentation of the tenkara rod, however, supplied by its smooth application of power, far exceeds the cane pole or its poor cousins, the crappie pole and loop rod. The hollow, refined carbon modular components allow a transfer of force through the rod’s long lever arm, resulting in an almost effortless turning over of the line and fly. The rod actually becomes part of the flexing compound curve that turns over the line. Its tip, in the range of three hundredths of an inch (0.03"), is so flexible it becomes part of the cast. Indeed I have often said that the tenkara rod simply "launches a leader,” rather than a line.

Tenkara rods are rated by a ratio based on the number of stiff to supple sections. For instance, a 6:4 rod has six stiffer sections combined with four more flexible ones: the larger the ratio, the stiffer, or "faster,” the rod. When you "shake test” a tenkara rod, this ratio will predict the point of maximum flex. But keep in mind that the tenkara rod, particularly because of its length, is slower than traditional fly rods. This makes it ideal for short and delicate presentations.

A standardized method of describing a fly rod’s action in its entirety has not yet been devised. The "Common Cents System” [1] is perhaps the most useful. When you choose your rod, remember that tenkara rods do not describe the same kind of compound curve as do fly rods. The so-called "action angle” is of little use in describing their speed. More useful, the ERN values (Effective Rod Number) that correspond to the weight of line in the western system roughly correlate with the "stiffness” of the tenkara rod. Measurements of a sampling of tenkara rods correspond with western rods, from a one-weight all the way to a six-weight rod. I prefer rods at the softer (lower) end for their ease in casting. A stiffer (higher) rod has the ability to manage larger fish but tends to need a bit more muscle in casting. For now, test casting a tenkara rod is the best way to match your particular sensibilities and style.

One particularly ingenious innovation of the modern tenkara rod is in its telescoping grip storage. This compact storage makes for one of the smallest packages in fishing even while creating one of the longest reaches. With a simple unscrewing of the butt cap, all the pieces can be removed for cleaning and easily and inexpensively replaced if damaged. When extending or collapsing your tenkara rod, be sure to push and pull in-line with the long axis; most damage occurs when collapsing the rod. Make sure the sections are snug, ensuring a smooth action, but don’t over tighten. Cleaning your rod from time to time with a soft cloth and drying it after a day on the stream is always a good idea, and can make for a nice, mindful conclusion to a fishing excursion. Gear readiness also makes your next spontaneous outing more likely. Lightly waxing the joining sections can aid the fit, making telescoping in freezing weather easier.

[1] Hanneman, William, http://www.common-cents.info/.



Continues...

Excerpted from Tenkara by Kevin C Kelleher, MD Copyright © 2011 by Kevin C Kelleher, MD. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)