How tenkara works
In tenkara one just uses a rod, line and fly. A fixed length of line connects to the tip of the telescopic rod. Casting the fly to where you think the fish are is very quick to learn and intuitive. Landing the fish even more so. Watch the video below to find out more and read through the page to learn more.
After years of learning tenkara directly from the masters, Daniel's much anticipated book is in the presses and almost ready to ship! At 216 pages, this book will show you all you need to tenkara, and the stories in its pages will take you along Daniel's journey of learning tenkara.
In tenkara–the book, Tenkara USA founder Daniel Galhardo shows just how simple fly-fishing can be. This book is a complete guide to the techniques, gear, history and philosophy of tenkara, the Japanese method of fly-fishing. It is also a manifesto on fly-fishing simplicity.
An angler picking up a tenkara rod for the first time will find this book’s concepts well laid out and intuitive. The experienced angler will appreciate the simpler approach to fly-fishing and the advanced techniques shared in the book.
tenkara – the book was designed to be interactive and take advantage of all the resources we have created over the years. Throughout the book, readers will find QR (quick read) codes that will give access to the videos, podcast episodes and other complementary information to the chapters at hand.
Watch a short video about tenkara – the book
You need a tenkara rod, a tenkara line and tippet, and flies. A line holder to store your line, and a set of forceps (to remove flies caught deeper in a fish's mouth) and nippers (to cut your tippet and line) are also handy to have. Read below for the gear you need to start fishing.
Shop for tenkara lines.
How to use a tenkara rod
Opening a tenkara rod
1) Remove rod plug. Tilt rod down slightly to expose the tenkara rod tip.
2) Keeping the hard tip of the rod inside the main segment, expose the braided tip material (the lillian), attach line to rod tip. (keeping the hard tip inside will prevent a broken tenkara rod)
3) Once your line is attached, hold rod handle segment near the opening with one hand. With the other hand pull the tenkara rod tip, and each subsequent segment out, sliding them out between your fingers. Starting with the tip pull each piece out completely until next segment comes out and becomes snug. Do this in order. Pieces should feel snug, not overly tight.
Closing a tenkara rod
To collapse the tenkara rod, simply start by pushing the segments back into the handle, in order, starting with the thickest segment first and making your way to the tip of the rod. You may leave your tenkara line tied to the rod tip, and, when you have collapsed the entire rod, wind the line around a tenkara line holder and move on to the next stop. If you’re ready to pack up for the rest of the day, pull the tag end of your line to remove the line from the rod and stow both away.
Should you have any problems with your tenkara rod, take a look at the rod troubleshooting page for easy solutions to common problems.
Casting and techniques
Casting with tenkara is very intuitive, you will get it after just a few casts. The basic concept is that you will move your rod tip back quickly, stop at the vertical position (12 o'clock) to throw the line back and make the rod flex. And, then move the rod tip forward, stopping at roughly 10 o'clock in front of you. making your line move forward and the fly hit the target. Having an index finger on top of the handle helps stop at the vertical position more naturally and improves accuracy. Watch the video below for more information on how to cast with tenkara.
Tenkara casting becomes very obvious when you have a rod in hand, it is a bit similar to throwing a ball at a target, your brain does most of the work after a few attempts. The videos below will show you how to cast with tenkara as well as techniques for using your tenkara fly and also how to land fish with tenkara.
Casting with tenkara is not difficult. In fact, we find it to be a very intuitive thing to do. Learn how to cast tenkara in this video with Daniel Galhardo. Remember to...
Tenkara places more emphasis on technique rather than gear. One way to simplify is to reduce the number of fly choices and try different techniques. In Japan I’ve...
Here’s a good video shot at Mossy Creek, Virginia, demonstrating the effective use of the pause-and-drift technique for tenkara. It also perfectly illustrates how...
Knots for tenkara
Knots are just one of those things, no matter how experienced you are, you may have to learn and practice. But, don't worry, there are only 3 knots you really need to learn: (1) a girth hitch to connect your tapered line to rod tip, (2) the double-loop slip knot for tippet to various places (the level line to rod tip can be seen as a variation of this with one fewer loop). And, finally, (3) the blood knot to connect two lines together should you need to.
Tenkara Knot videos
Learn how to open and close a tenkara rod the proper way. In this video Daniel will show you how to use the tenkara rod and the unique features of some tenkara rods...
Learn how to tie the “Double-Loop slip knot” for tenkara, one very simple tenkara knot that can be used to tie your tippet to tenkara line and tippet to...
How to tie tenkara flies
While you can purchase tenkara flies and we make that easy, tying tenkara flies is one of the easiest ways to get into fly-tying and can be a fun hobby too. A tenkara fly, or kebari, is often tied with the simplest of materials: a hook, sewing thread, and a feather (hackle). The tenkara fly embodies the spirit of tenkara in its simplicity and effectiveness. Learn how to tie tenkara flies.
In 3 minutes tenkara guide, and McGuckin’s tenkara guru, Steve Conrad will show you how to tie a very effective tenkara fly, the Royal Conrad...
Allison Marriott is a fly-fishing guide and fly-tying instructor in the Boulder, Colorado area, working for Rocky Mountain Anglers fly shop. As part of our Tenkara...
John Geer shows us how to tie flies without a vise. That’s simple fly-tying...
Tenkara Fly-tying Kits
Fly-tying is also pretty simple. We have put together two tenkara fly-tying kit options with all that you need to tie tenkara flies and nothing you don't. The kits have enough hooks to tie 50 flies and will pay for themselves very quickly compared to purchasing flies.
Listen to our Podcast
The Tenkara Cast is a podcast hosted by Daniel Galhardo. It covers stories, techniques, philosophy and other information that will inspire you to keep your fly-fishing simple and explore the outdoors. Sharing the tenkara story™
The Ito is Daniel’s favorite rod as well as that of many of the most experienced tenkara anglers. Yet, people are intimidated by its length. Listen to this episode...
Fly-fishing small streams and tight waters require the right tactics. In this episode Daniel discusses the equipment, rigging options and techniques used to fish small...
2016 went by fast! Daniel does a retrospective on the year that has gone by (the 7th year in existence for Tenkara USA) and looks ahead to 2017 for exciting developments...