Is “Tenkara” a Religion?

13 01 2011

Recently over at TenkaraUSA’s message boards there has been some talk by several anglers, including myself, about the idea of a shorter tenkara rod. Something from 6 to 8 feet long, for fishing smaller streams…streams you can jump (or spit) across. While most of the comments and posts have been very constructive, there are a few posts that border on something else: fanaticism.

A small southeastern stream, too small to even wade.

I could be wrong, of course. Perhaps those who don’t really see personal need for a shorter rod can’t understand why anyone would want a shorter tenkara rod? Perhaps those who don’t see the need for a short tenkara rod are new to fly fishing, or even fishing altogether? Perhaps they’ve never fished a 3 ft. wide Smokies stream full of miniature jewels, bright green with red spots circled with bright blue halos? Maybe they think that their idea about tenkara, or about fly fishing are the only ideas that should be considered or allowed? Surely no one is that self-righteous? Surely no one could think that there is only one “proper” way to fish a cane pole? Surely no one, especially a fisherman, could think that any tool should be confined to a specific length, width, or weight – of confined to a specific purpose?

The tool not to be tinkered with...

Do we not all use our forceps to remove the hook from a fish, and also to smash down a split-shot on our line? Don’t fishermen often carry tools that are capable of helping us to tie 8 or 10 different knots? Don’t we sometimes “choke up” on our rods in order to make shorter casts in tight quarters? Do fishermen not use a hat to shield their noggins’ from flinging flies and the sun – yet also use them to hold flies while they dry, when we’ve tied on a new fly? And don’t some of us even modify our hats, our vests, our reels, and even the flies we tie at the tying bench on a cold winter’s night? Are we still bound to use natural material? Do we frown upon those who actually use a vise to tie a fly, and not create them in-hand? Is silicone fly treatment the devil? Did someone not invent a small, square loop, fitted just above the winding check, in order to make a convenient place to store the fly on the rod?

I know the list above was long, but it’s important to me to convey the idea that nothing in fly fishing is what it once was. Everything changes, sometimes for the better – and sometimes not. We tinker. We modify. We implement new designs; from our garages and our production lines. In America, we’ve been fishing “cane poles” for probably almost as long as we’ve been here…and before that, the native people used nets and fish traps. When was the last time you saw someone in a river building a fish trap with rocks? There’s a reason for that. A better way was created. Methods were improved. More and bigger fish were caught. Maybe Americans are just too practical of a people? Maybe we’re just not content not to “tinker” with things. But if there might be a way to build a “better mousetrap” why not think about it,… at the very least!?

A very open brookie stream, Shining Rock Wilderness Area.

And to ask something like “…don’t we all understand? ” Obviously, some of us don’t “all understand.” Not only that, some of us…err..speaking just for myself…don’t appreciate the tone of such a statement. “Don’t we all understand” implies from the beginning that those of us who would want a shorter rod are wrong for even wanting it. Which, I have to tell you, sounds a little weird to me.

“Don’t we all understand that David loves us and is just doing what is best for us? ” “Don’t we all understand that Jim just wants us to have some Kool-Aid because it’s kinda hot out here? ” “Don’t we all understand that Hope and Change is good for us? ”

The Southern Appalachian Brook Trout. A worthy Tenkara quarry.

So I leave you with the post I penned on the tenkara forums and the sincere hope that fisherfolks of any stripe, be they bass anglers, fly fishers, salt-water junkies, or perch pinchers, will understand that just because you think something is fine like it is doesn’t mean that it’s “wrong” for those of us who are less than satisfied with a thing to think about making that thing work a little better….for us….even if you don’t particularly think it needs improvement. I mean, don’t we all understand that not everyone has to adhere to some mandated, sterile, historical view of fishing?

The previous comment: “I don’t understand why we keep discussing the merits of a really short Tenkara rod…don’t we all understand that Tenkara rods are great b/c they are so long?” [ Umm. NO.]

The reply:

Because we can? Why not discuss it? At one time, I’m sure someone posted about tenkara on a fly fishing site and someone said ” why are we discussing cane poles?” ;)  

It’s just chatting. It’s not as if we’re burning tenkara rods in an anti-tenkara protest or anything.

Do you have to “let it be” a specific thing to belong to this club? Can I not be “not quite satisfied” with an 11 foot rod, if I’d like to try tenkara on a 2 ft. wide stream? If I wanted to shorten a bamboo rod to 5 ft. long would that be so horrible?

What is the benefit of keeping it “pure?” Is it a method of fishing, or a way of life – or both? Can it not be changed? Is it somehow immoral to even want to “tinker” with tenkara? Didn’t the Japanese “tinker” with it when they were first discovering the methods and creating what we know of as tenkara? (Surely they did, as it’s hard to imagine them getting it right the very first time someone tried to catch a fish on a rod with a line and fly)

Is there a reason to lament that some people might want a shorter ( or longer?) rod…

Although there is surely more to tenkara than catching fish ( as there is with most Japanese traditions and cultural things, as I understand it) I can’t really say that I understand making a fishing method more than what it is…a way to catch fish. If it’s a religion, then I’ll stick to my Cabela’s 3 wt. and Ross Reel, thanks.

PS – I was thinking last night about another question I have about tenkara’s early years….if these guys that invented it were ” professional” fisherman…meaning, from what I’m reading – that they fished for meat – to feed their families or sell the fish…then why would they fish with flies? Did flies come later? Did they fish live bait in the beginning? And to that end, if so – should we all be fishing red wigglers in order to keep it “pure?”

________________________________________________

So, all joking aside….this tenkara thing? Do you have to be a radical, fanatical “purist” in order to be a part of it? Because I hate to say it, fellow anglers….but I didn’t sign up for that. I just bought a rod, and wish I had one that was 4 feet long. If that goes against the “family’s” rules, then I’m in the wrong freaking family and maybe I’ll just stick with my big, fat, chartreuse fly line and Ross reel.

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41 responses

13 01 2011
Blatt

Owl, the tenkara preacher rsssss
Just kidding, i agree with you…
Why not use a shorter rod and call it tenkara, so nice to discuss about it…
Why not!

13 01 2011
Howard (cofisher)

Magnificently put Owl. I have always been a tinkerer and won’t stop because some yahoo tells me I’m breaking tradition. I’m not totally surprised by the attitude though. You see it among some that fish bamboo. You even find it among those that fish glass. There is a joke on the Fiberglass Flyrodders that you can’t mention the word graphite. Many followers there dumped all their graphite rods after starting to fish glass. (I’m still hanging onto an Orvis PM-10 just in case.)

Keep giving them hell Owl!

13 01 2011
The River Damsel

I’m still waiting for a picture of you and the candy cane that you fish with. The best line in this post was… “I will just stick with my big, fat, chartreuse fly line and Ross reel”!!! Now, you’re talking my language!!! J/K…good luck!

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

What? You didn’t see the video? 🙂 Here ya go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quPkK_T8agk

13 01 2011
The River Damsel

Of course I saw the vid… I’m talking about a close up pic of the cane pole. Is there a post with it somewhere?

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

Thanks Howard. I don’t mean to “give ’em hell” – it’s just that when someone writes after my post “don’t we all understand” that intellectually dishonest ploy just rubs me the wrong way. I don’t see why anyone thinks they should be able to dictate to anyone else what fishing “is” or “is not” and/or how it should be done – or with what length rod, or with what type reel or line or fly! Of course, they’re entitled to their opinion…but I’m also entitled to suggest that they might be a little too devoted to the “pureness” of tenkara. Or worm fishing. Either one. ( or both!)

13 01 2011
troutrageous1

Owl…I enjoyed your post (you know I’m a fan)…I but you need to take a step back and separate Tenkara USA (capital T), from tenkara itself (lower case t).

Tenkara USA is just one manufacturer of rods, and presents its own viewpoints. It is not the “sport” itself, not the end all. The forum you speak of lives on that manufacturer’s website…and as such is populated by users/fans. While I respect everyone’s opinion, the vocal minority don’t always represent the silent majority. Pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down?

I’m sure if you want a short tenkara (lower case t) rod, you can find one – heck, I’ll build you one – or find a forum that would happily discuss the merits or drawbacks of such. I know of a place if you’re so inclined.

Or, you could just take your telescoping rod and just go fish it and have fun, paying no mind to the forums at all. Like I said before, the more people try to simplify their fishing, the more they tend to complicate their thoughts…

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

Troutlipsegous, I know, I know. 😉 They are the only tenkara forum that I can find that has consistent activity though, even if it is boring activity most days. I realize that tenkarausa isn’t “tenkara fishing” on the whole. I just feel the need to give my opinion about the discussion of shorter rods and the absurd idea that there is an exact, precise “right” length of rod for any type of fishing. As soon as I get some extra $$$ I’ll be trying out that Fountainhead rod and if those guys across the pond ever get back to me on the shipping, I’ll be ordering one of those European “Switches” that’s 7-9 ft. long to try out, too. So far, they haven’t emailed back. ( Maybe they’ve heard of me!? Doh! 😉 LOL )

PS – I put some pics in there of the water here, but none of them are as “overgrown” as most small creeks here are. Those are “open” areas for some small creeks we fish here.

13 01 2011
TippinTaco

In every sport there is and always will be people that try to persuade others that theres only one way to do things. I personally don’t have time to waste on sticking to “tradition” when it comes to fishing. My goal as a fly fisherman is to cast a beautiful cast, and in the end result catch an amazing fish. When purchasing a Tenkara (sp?) rod, I purchase it to use it as a tool, not to be involved with the political aspect of it, I’m sure no where in the package does it state: MUST USE IN TRADITIONAL JAPANESE WAYS. It’s a rod, with line attached to it , to achieve the end result: To catch fish. Sounds like you said: An Elitist Cult. Do as they say or don’t participate in their method of fly fishing with a CANE POLE.

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

” MUST USE IN TRADITIONAL JAPANESE WAY” Exactly right. At least, the package mine came in didn’t say that!

OwlJones.com – A Southeastern Fly Fishing Internet Hub!

13 01 2011
Clif

You use forceps to pinch split shot? What’s wrong with teeth? Oh…you’re from Georgia.

Sorry, couldn’t resist. You know I love you man…right? 🙂

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

Clif, I also use them for plucking wayward mustache hairs. As far as using your teeth, I think you may be confusing Georgia with… Alabama. 🙂 LOL

13 01 2011
Clif

Stupid question from an uneducated fellow coming up….

Why do you have to fully extend the telescoping rod? Would that damage the rod?

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

The front section of each piece is smaller than the front( obviously), and if you only extend, say 3 sections – then where the extended sections meet the unextended ones, there is a big “gap” of space, side to side(all around, actually) – if you were to have a fish pull too hard and bend the extended sections too far, they could snap against the unextended glob of sections which would be much more fragile. It’s hard to imagine how tiny the top sections are without holding one( I couldn’t). Take your average 3 wt fly rod tip and imagine it only 1/3 as big. It would be easy to snap the tip of a tenkara rod between the fingers of one hand for me and my “bear claws” as my wife calls them. I’m pretty sure I could just put it between my fingers and break it in two. Thus, the warning to use small tippet and not fish for bluefish with them. 😉

13 01 2011
Jay

I think the folks you’ve irritated on the forum with your silly questions must not understand what a small Appalachian trout stream is all about. I know what they’re like, I’ve fished them, so I wouldn’t question your desire for a 7′ or shorter tenkara rod. The only rod I ever used on those streams was a 6’6″ Eagle Claw Featherlight. How you like that? I was on a pretty tight budget back when I lived in east TN.

And by they way, I think the reason we don’t see anybody making stone fish traps on the river is the legality of it. If it were a legal method for catching fish, I’m sure some bubba in our part of the country would do it… but then again, moving rocks is a lot of work… better just use a stick of dynamite.

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

Or hand-crank telephone line rigs! ( PS – I’ve no end to “silly” questions, either. 😉 )

13 01 2011
Mark

Owl, The traditional Tenkara bias that’s running rampant with some of the fly fisherman is no different than those that will tell you you’re not a fly fisherman unless you fish only upstream dry fly. If someone actually studies the various Tenkara methods that are fished in Japan they will find that the techniques and methods vary from region to region, sometimes town to town. In some circles in Japan, Tenkara USA is viewed as nothing more than a commercial hustle, selling rods for nearly three times the price you’d actually find competition rods selling for in Japan. Everyone has the right to enjoy themselves on the streams and if you want a short Tenkara rod, make one and have a party. So long as the fish is fairly taken, whose business is it, but yours! In the end, most of the fisherman that fish Tenkara actually are fishing kind of a modified Czech/High Stick method and are not even close to the methods actually used on the streams of Japan. In the end, it doesn’t matter whether the rod is six feet of fifteen feet; it’s all stick and string fishing. Contrary to some folks thinking, you don’t have to be in a Zen state to pull it off.

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

Thanks for the comment Mark. Do you by chance know if they started out fishing with crickets or worms? I can’t find much about the early, EARLY history of it.

13 01 2011
Bigerrfish

Ok ok ok! This whole thing has gotten nuts, Owl do you want to stir your coffee with a stick or a spoon? There you have a choice, but you cant use a tennis ball..
wtf does that mean?… It means… stand back, so you can spit in the creek instead of across it.
does that solve any of your problems? its just putting a fly to a fish,, for heavens sake!

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

Gotten nuts? Really? I’m afraid to go back over there. haha.

No, Bigerrfish, that doesn’t solve the problem. There’s no way to “stand back” in a Southern Appalachian brookies stream( well, in 99% of them anyway). If you were to “stand back” to cast, your rod would most likely be confined to sticking out through the rhodo’s in a 6 inch gap. Hard to cast with just 6″ of clearance.

I think the whole problem is that when the rest of the country thinks “small stream” they imagine either a little 10 ft. wide creek running through a meadow, or a 10 ft. wide stream running through the north woods. I suppose most of my questions have been answered in a ’round about way…and I’ll try to refrain from any more discussion of 4 ft. wide streams under a tunnel of branches, limbs and bus-sized rocks! I surely don’t want anyone to “go nuts!” hahaha

13 01 2011
Anthony

I enjoy Tenkara in its place. But yes I love my good ol’ fly rod and reel too. I too get the feeling that that is not ok with some of the tenkara faction. Heaven forbid if you want a shorter tenkara rod!

I’ve gotten into the “one-fly” philosophy discussion on tenkara forums. I’m just not drinking the kool-aid on that one. But it too seems to be a verboten topic – there seems to be a feeling that if you enjoy tying and fishing different flies that you can’t be a true tenkara fisherman.

Most of us are not from Japan – and we’ll never fish in Japan – we’ll probably never fully understand what tenkara really means to the Japanese practitioners. So I think that we need to forge a New American Tenkara, that borrows from the Japanese tradition and combines it with our American experience. That is what is exciting to me. To just try and imitate the Japanese tradition is impossible at best and pretentious and insulting at worst.

Maybe it’s been mentioned above, and I missed it, but you could easily, remove the bottom section or two of a tenkara rod, put on a grip the new butt section and make your own short tenkara. The grip could even be made to be removable so that you could switch between long and short.

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

Thanks for the comments! I fully agree with everything you’re saying. There have been discussions in various places online about creating a “shortie” tenkara rod (or mini-cane pole if you prefer!?) from a full sized model and I don’t see why that wouldn’t work!? However, as someone who doesn’t know the first thing about building a rod, I’d have no idea how to attach a cork grip so that it was removable. Can you tell me your thoughts on how you’d do this? That sounds like a perfect solution to really small streams.
As for the “integrity” of tenkara as Daniel puts it, I got a whiff of that the first time or two I took a few minutes to research tenkara fishing online. Didn’t think much about it at the time, but apparently Daniel’s goal is to subjugate American anglers to some “absolute” for fishing tenkarausa’s rods. It’s really a shame, too because I really like the guy. But don’t tell me that I’m “compromising the integrity” of a fishing method because I’d rather the rod be a different ( and more effective!) size for my waters. It seems to me to be the epitome of irony. If Japanese style fishing is to be kept “pure,” should it have even been exported to another country in the first place? Of course, since I don’t quite subscribe to the idea of the “purity” of a particular fishing method, be it tenkara, bamboo, or graphite, that last statement is sarcasm. I enjoyed the two hours i spent casting and fishing with my Iwana and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be a viable and enjoyable method of catching fish here in the USA, or anywhere that the method is effective. But to say it should only be done with a rod longer than 10 ft? To steal a phrase from ESPN….” C’mon man! ” 🙂

13 01 2011
Anthony

Regarding making a cork grip ….If you bought a pre-made cork grip, a reamer, and a rat-tail file you could do it. It would be tricky to get the inside taper of the grip just right, but it could be done (it’s basically what you do when building a rod). You could ream the cork-grip so that it would slide on the butt section, and come off again easily. The problem would be, that if the inside taper of the cork isn’t pretty close to perfect, you would crack the handle. Another option would be to buy cork rings, fit each one individually, to get the taper just so, then glue them together on a rigged up mandrel (a piece of all thread), then use nuts and washers to clamp during the glue curing process.

This has got me thinking that I should try this out. I’ll put in an order for some cork-rings the next time I buy supplies. I too have thought that a shorter tenkara would be cool. If I ever get around to it, I’ll let you know how it comes out.

I’m sure some other more experienced builders would have better advice on this.

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

Awesome! Be sure to let us know how it turns out if you try it. I may just give it a shot this spring without the cork handle. Just cover the butt end of a section with tape or something so it can’t slide out backwards and hold the rod in my hand. I doubt you’d even need a handle for the 6 inch brookies the streams in question produce. Thanks!

13 01 2011
The River Damsel

The answer is simple…move out to the WEST where you have a little more than 6″ of clearance…ha.

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

Oh now, I can’t compromise the integrity of my Southeren roots. 😉 lol

PS – I don’t have a close up, but for you I’ll take one. 🙂

13 01 2011
Rodney Brown

I recommend that all of you folks give up on this nonsense. If you want sport, go catch a cow. Now there is a challenge. Why do they call it fishing? They ought to call it idiot on a stick.

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

Waaaaaahhhhahhhhh! THERE HE IS! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES BEFORE HE STARTS SLINGING SCALES OR DROPPER RIGS!

13 01 2011
dtgbuettner

Owl, as you know, I fish the Appalachians and also fish “traditional” tenkara style. However, I still put on the TUSA forum (though in a different thread I’m pretty sure) about wanting a shorter rod that was 9.5 or 10 ft. Not because I would personally buy it, but because I believe that it would have specific situational value for other folks. It’s inevitable (and the folks that really understand the business admit it) know that it’s going to be changed when moving into a different country (and like Mark said, it’s even different from region to region in Japan). The USA is vast, has almost the entire gammit (gammet?) of environments, and different traditions when it comes to flies and fishing philosophy. I can understand Daniel’s goal as being the anchor on the traditional front and that’s good, but as far as other random folks on the site getting all bent out of shape over non-traditional stuff like a short rod, it simply isn’t their job. And all it’s doing is pushing people away. It’s a shame. Daniel knows more about traditional tenkara than probably anyone in the US and I don’t see him making inflammatory remarks. He just gave his reasoning as to why he’s not coming out with a shorter rod and left it at that and that is respectable. Furthermore, I CHOSE to do the traditional thing because it was my initial draw to tenkara. Why can’t someone not only discuss but CHOOSE to do it a different way?? I say, practice tenkara however you want to practice it, Owl and don’t let that kind of unnecessary commentary get you down. I hope you do find a shorter rod one of these days and when you do, I’d love to see it in action. 🙂

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

Thanks dtg. I have no issue with Daniel, other than I think it’s silly to worry about “compromising the integrity” of a fishing method. I think he’s a great guy and if it weren’t for him, we probably wouldn’t be talking about this at all! Thanks for the comments, I think you’re right on the money!

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

I’d just like to thank you all for the comments on this discussion. I believe this has become the post with the most comments, now. Even if half of them ARE my replies to you guys. 🙂 LOL

If anyone has seen a shortie tenkara – either in person or online in a photo, etc. please share it with us!

13 01 2011
Jim

Owl… You folks certainly have some pretty country back there and its pretty thick along a lot of your water, but don’t think for a minute that folks out west don’t have to deal with the three foot wide, overgrown creek issue. In less than a half hour I can have you as spot where you can straddle the Colorado river and the tamarac is so thick you can’t walk through it. It’s the same with almost all the rivers in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, Oregon etc. Another problem we sometimes run into is that at real high altitude there is no cover and sneaking up on a little creek turns into some kind of Black Ops mission. I’ll take hiding in the weeds and willows any day over doing the belly crawl across rocks…. At any rate, if you want a short Tenkara rod, buy a short two or three weight rod kit, leave the guides in the box and epoxy the tip top on. Leave the reel seat in the box as well and build up a cork handle.

13 01 2011
Jeff

Hey Owl! Great post. I salute you! It needed to be said.

13 01 2011
TJ Ferreira

I started the thread and have been posting along as more people chip in. I will tell you I am a very happy TenkaraUSA customer and the kind that is brand loyal. Good or bad brand loyalty is, I see myself buying lots of gear from Daniel. I appreciate all the hard work he has done to bring Tenkara to the USA. I guess I see a need for a shorter rod as well as a longer one also. I really see TenkaraUSA becoming the defacto standard in USA for this style of fishing. That is why I feel listening to customers and making what they want to be a good thing. I understand sticking with tradition and like that he is doing it to a degree, but in 5 years from now, if enough people ask, maybe there is indeed a market for such a short or long rod and it still be considered Tenkara. The way I look at it, if it is a rod, no reel, has line on end, and casts a fly as shown by Tenkara fishing folk from Japan, it is considered Tenkara. That means if the rod is 6 foot or 15 feet. If it does not cast properly, then yes, I agree, not pure Tenkara at that point and is really some other form of fly fishing.

Here is my last post I did on this subject over on the forums. I will be a long time customer of Daniels but if I have questionsm not afraid to ask them like any adult should.

tj

My post on TenkaraUSA.
Having taken various martial arts as a teen, some being Japanese based, I can see holding onto tradition. Obviously it has proven merit from years and years handed down from Masters. At the same time, one should never be so rigid to not become adaptable at a time of need. Just like anything else, things change, things grow, and although I love and live my traditions, I am one not to be afraid to take new adventures down a new road untravelled. I will stick to my tried and true options in front of me but will quickly adapt to something new maybe I did not see before.

I am sure even the Masters would tell us and train on us old ways but quick to slap us upon the noggin because we think only one way will get the job done.

I will be happy with the TenkaraUSA rods I have and if needed, buy a short rod elsewhere if TenkaraUSA does not have one. For now my shortest is the 11′ and that will have to do until I get better at fly fishing and find a need for something shorter, or longer. .

My original concern and post was “Hypothetical “effective” shortest and longest Tenkara Rod?”. This basically asks is there a length where the rod is no longer effective at casting Tenkara style and therefore the rod not really being considered a “Pure” Tenkara rod. Obviously there are shorter and longer rods available on the market so wonder if those are not considered “Pure Tenkara” rods because they can’t cast as Tenkara rods should or that they are vertically challenged (as I am hehehe) and not long enough?

Obviously TenkaraUSA has had to adapt to materials used in 2010 versus what was available 100s years ago from then Tenkara fisherman so how pure can one be? Are only those from 100s of years ago pure and we are only 97% since the lengths are 1 foot longer or shorter than they were then and we are not using the same material used to make the rods from long long ago?

Would be interesting to know what rod sizes were back in the day. Obviously the TenkaraUSA rods range from 11′ to 13.5′ so these have been tested to confirm they cast as Tenkara should. I think Daniel said the 10′ rod made for Backpacking Lite was about the threshold for shortest length so I take that as anything below 10′ casting Tenkara style would not work well so maybe that rod is not considered pure Tenkara rod? I can understand that if that is the case and would not proceed trying to find one shorter. TenkaraUSA has explored these things way way way more than I could ever do so I will take their word on it.

At any rate, I am kind of brand loyal kind of person and am happy to be building my own TenkaraUSA collection of gear. Odds are I will not buy another brand rod as I feel the TenkaraUSA are the best quality from what my little experiences are versus the reviews I have read about others.

tj

13 01 2011
Owl Jones

I talked to Daniel early on about the need to adjust and adapt – especially in today’s economy, and he is dead set against anything that is not 1000% traditional Japanese tenkara. I don’t think the idea of making more money( if many people request a specific thing) would move him an inch.

13 01 2011
bigerrfish

Maybe try, dropping your fly and dunkn yer worm, I hear dem feesh lik wurms..
Might keep ya in the 6inch range, as long as you dont brag about it..

14 01 2011
Mark

You know I’m right there with ya Owl. Nothing wrong with a little innovation. That’s why I made my own 7 footer, and I’ll probably make a 9 foot Tenkara rod as well. Oh yeah, somebody dare me! I’ll make one alright…

You know, if you want to get technical, and I know you like to get technical Owl. Janpanese Tenkara rods are probably built on the metric system anyway, so calling them 11′ and 13′ is all wrong from the get go. I doubt there are written rules that say they have to be a certain length or you’re breaking some kind of Zen law or something, or screwing with the space time continuum.

14 01 2011
Owl Jones

I just hope they don’t try to divide by zero over at tenkarausa. 🙂 And yes, technically speaking calling them by “feet” should be a no-no to anyone worrying about compromising the “integrity” of the thing. . . english words on the rod probably do that too. Thanks for the great comment Mark! I’m going to check out Packsandtracksoutdoors.com right now!

14 01 2011
Mark

I can assure you I won’t be fishing a 3 foot wide rhododendron choked stream with a 13′ rod. Its like the old saying, ‘Adapt and Improvise.’

14 01 2011
Owl Jones

HAhahaha. Just a couple of notes about this post and this day.
#1 – People are voting this post down! 🙂 lol ( This lets me know I’m over the target. 😉 )
#2 – Thanks to those people, and the rest of you – we hit a new record high for hits yesterday at nearly 350 unique URL’s.

So to those that came to downgrade the post, and those that stopped by for other reasons – THANK YOU from FFSBR!

31 01 2011
Jeff Loftin

I’m not sure what all this is about the Japanese make Tenkara rods from 9′ to 15.’ They can be purchased on-line from a broker in New York for about half the “San Fran” price…I guess I lied…I kinda do know what this is all about as I was told a Tenkara Master can swing a 14 footer in the Rhodo…Wax on…Wax off…

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