We’ve been hearing a lot of comments recently about the very stupid myth, or “instruction”, that if you catch a good size fish on tenkara, you should throw your tenkara rod in the water. And we hope you have not been taking that seriously.
So, we want to tell you: You should not throw your tenkara rod in the water. At least not a Tenkara USA rod.
The myth is being spread with the popularity of Yvon Chouinard’s and Craig Matthew’s book, Simple Fly Fishing. It is a very unfortunate piece of instruction we wish had not been included in an otherwise decent book. It is based on old tales of anglers centuries ago throwing their wooden or bamboo rods in the water to prevent breakage. Good modern tenkara rods are advanced tools made of carbon fiber and exponentially stronger than older rods. If high-quality carbon fiber is used and the design and construction are solid, tenkara rods are very strong and very rarely break on fish. You may want to follow the fish a little bit as you fight it and get it in a good position (away from strong currents) to land it. But, I hope you believe us when we say you do not need to throw your rod in the water.
We do not market tenkara as a tool for targeting large fish. However, from the very beginning we recognized that if we were to successfully introduce tenkara to these shores we needed to design good rods. We could have counted on people loving the method enough that they would forgive a rod that breaks, or a rod that needs to be thrown in the water. But, we took a strong stance that tenkara rods should not break easily, and designed them with that in mind.
While we could make more money by telling you to throw your rod in the water and come buy another one, I really, really hope this message gets spread far and wide.
Don’t believe us? Here are just a couple of nice fish landed on our rods, where the angler NEVER threw the rod in the water. You can also do a search for “large fish tenkara” to find some other good examples
Here’s a nice short video of my wife landing a very good size trout on one of our rods. Not only does she not throw her rod in the water, but she doesn’t even have to move as the rod does all the work. She lost the second one when the hook came off the fish.