How do I extend and collapse a tenkara rod?
Deploying the rod: Ensure that you have the space to safely deploy the rod. Remove the tip plug, and hold the rod firmly under your arm as shown. Gently shake the rod until the lilian is visible. Using two fingers to support each section, slowly extend the sections straight outwards. Apply enough pressure to lightly seat each section as it deploys. Using too much force will jam the sections, make collapsing the rod difficult, and could cause damage to the rod sections.
How do I rig the line?
We tried to make some instructional videos on how to rig up your Tenkara rods, lines, tippets, and flies. They ended up being a confusing blur of thumbs and unfocused shots of Mike's kitchen counter-tops. Instead of subjecting you to those horrible videos, here are some links that show you the knots you'll need to get rigged up.
Connecting the rod to the line:
Our furled lines already have a connecting loop sewn into them, so you can connect it to the rod by making a girth hitch and then wrapping the lilian through and around it twice. Then you just tighten it down. Simple!
For the Badger Line or the Level Line, you have some options. Tie a small perfection loop to one end of the line, and then you can use that loop to run the girth hitch around the line. We prefer to use the sliding poacher's knot. You can wrap the lillian through and around the loop a few times, and then slide it closed tight.
Here is a blog post with pictures showing how to connect the line to the Lillian.
Connecting the line to the tippet:
For the Badger Line or the Level Line, tie a small stopper knot in the end of the line. Then, tie the improved clinch knot in the tippet. Pass the line end through the loop on your clinch knot, then tighten the loop down around the stopper so it can't slide off.
Connecting the fly to the tippet:
*We use 3-5 feet of tippet depending on the conditions and type of fish we are targeting.
*Mike's favorite knot for connecting the hook to the tippet is the non-slip mono loop.
*Matt's favorite knot for connecting the hook to the tippet is the improved clinch knot.
*Just clip off the remaining tag end when your done!
How Do I Cast a Tenkara Rod?
The basic Tenkara cast is a simple “overhand, back to 12 o’clock and then forward” motion that is very easy to learn. Here it is, step by step:
*Stay relaxed, and keep your motions smooth and consistent.
*Don’t try to over-power the cast. Practice until you find the minimum amount of energy you need to throw the line and present the fly. Typically, putting too much force into a cast will spoil it!
*For increased control of the cast, move your grip position to the top of the cork.
*For increased sensitivity when fishing sub-surface, grip the rod from the very bottom
*In our experience, the biggest problem that anglers who have spent time fishing with a conventional fly rod and reel have with learning the Tenkara cast is training themselves to NOT drop the rod tip.
*Remember, check the cast at a 45 degree angle! This allows you to maximize the rod’s ability to keep your line off the water.
Once you become comfortable with the basic mechanics of the cast, it is easy to begin to apply it to less common casting angles. Be patient, spend time practicing, and you’ll be throwing great casts in no time!
How do I land a fish without a reel ?!?!
Play the fish towards you until you can grasp the line with your free hand. Once you have it firmly in control, transfer that grasp to the hand that is holding the rod. Repeat the process until the fish is close enough to land it. Too easy!