Balance, Power, and Precision for Unconventional Tenkara Fishing
Mike rides the power curve with a nice smallmouth on the hook.
As Summer slides ever closer and the weather here in Wisconsin continues to stabilize, our tenkara fishing focus shifts from trout to bass. We've started making the rounds on our local smallmouth streams, and slowly but surely, the bite switch is definitely moving into the "on" position! The timing couldn't have been better - we just got our first shipment of the new WISCO 2 rods in and we've been excited to get them on the water. We took them out to "Little Left Branch" to see if the Bronzebacks were ready to play, and got to put the rods through the paces on some nice fish...
It's no secret that Badger is a big fan of tenkara fishing for smallmouth bass. We designed the original WISCO rod to target bigger fish, and the refinements we made to the WISCO 2 make it an even better fixed line fly fishing rod for throwing larger patterns at bigger prey.
We both rigged up with Badger-lite floating line and hit the water. The rod threw 13-16 ft lengths of line with another 6 ft of 6lb test mono-filament line with ease. We cycled through streamers and crayfish patterns ranging up to size #2 hooks, dropping them in place with smooth, accurate casts. Weighted patterns up to about a size #4 were manageable to cast, though not particularly gentle on the presentation.
The new design is extremely well balanced. Dropping the grip length down to 14 inches shaved off an ounce of weight. The refined 7:3 action casts and loads the force of a hooked fish at an exceptionally smooth and consistent rate. We spent most of the trip fishing streamers on down stream swings, which produced about 20 bass up to 17 inches. Most of our luck came prospecting low in the water column. The direct control offered by a tenkara rod makes for amazing streamer action! You can move it up and down different depths pretty much at will, making it easy to adjust tactics quickly.
Once hooked, the rod managed both fish and current without breaking a sweat. It sets into a firm but flexible power curve and puts you in control. The 17 incher in moderate current felt like it was on the low side of the rod's comfort zone. Foot-longs and below fell well below the rod's radar, truth be told.
All and all, it was a great day out. Its clear that we are still a few warm weeks short of kicking Smallmouth season into high gear. Regardless, it was a perfect opportunity to test drive the WISCO 2 on the bass we've been waiting for since we finalized the design!