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Iwana stress test

Trip reports, findings, events, and general experiences with tenkara fishing. Tell other tenkara enthusiasts about your tenkara experience

Iwana stress test

Postby CM_Stewart » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:33 pm

I was fishing one of my favorite streams with my 11' Iwana, catching 7 and 8 inch fish, which the Iwana is the perfect rod for. I'd just started fishing one of the pools - not the biggest or the deepest by any means, when the line just stopped. I set the hook, because you never know, it might be a fish rather than a rock or sunken branch. It was a fish, allright, and I am happy to report that the Iwana will handle larger fish than advertised.

Please forgive the poor quality of the photo. I don't have a digital camera, and I have yet to figure out how to take good fish pics with my cellphone. In the net, the fish is curled up a bit, but stretched out it measured just over 17". The opening of the net is 15"

Image

I have been fishing with a line and tippet about a foot longer than the rod, because with my older tenkara rod I found that is the longest line I can use and still net a larger fish. The Iwana bent enough that I still couldn't net the fish, and after several failed attempts I had to drop the net, grab the line with my left hand, pull it enough to trap it against the rod with my right hand, then pick up the net and net the fish. I found out that if you do this in one smooth motion while the fish's head is out of the water it works pretty well. Using 5x tippet rather than the 6x I had used before Dr. Ishigaki's Catskill presentation probably helped as well.

I think the Yamame would a better rod for fish this size, but if you happen to have an Iwana with you, and if there happens to be a pool that might just hold a larger fish, don't be afraid to make the cast. Because, you never know...
CM_Stewart
 
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Re: Iwana stress test

Postby rsetina » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:21 pm

I think I'll be ordering another rod in the future. I bought the Ayu 6:4 but maybe a rod with a bit more
strength would be a good thing to have in the event I have a chance to catch a bigger fish.
Rick

テンカラ。小さなストリームのシンプルさ。
My Tenkara Rods:
13' Ayu, 12' Yamame, 11' with a conversion handle, and an Ito.

My Wife's Tenkara Rods:
12' Ebisu and 13.5' Amago, 12' Iwana with a conversion handle, and an Ito.
rsetina
 
Posts: 1514
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:55 pm
Location: La Crescenta, CA

Re: Iwana stress test

Postby CM_Stewart » Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:43 am

After seeing the fish that Wupperfischer has been catching with his Ayu, I don't know if there IS a stronger rod. I had assumed that the Yamame was stronger because it is stiffer, but it certainly seems the Ayu is strong enough to handle the fish that most fishermen can realistically expect to catch. Now that I've seen what the Ayu can do, I'd say to consider an Iwana if you want a second rod. After all, just like tenkara isn't about distance casting, it really isn't about big fish. The Iwana is a sweet little rod, and together with the longer Ayu, would give you the widest range of possibilities. If you expect to fish really tight, overgrown small streams, consider the 11', but the 12' would give you more reach if your streams are a bit more open.
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Re: Iwana stress test

Postby rsetina » Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:02 am

Are the tips of the rods all the same when you compare the 5:5 and the 8:2 styles? My only concern is the if I used my Ayu 6:4 on an Eastern Sierra river and hooked into a larger fish, I'd break the tip. I'm new to Tenkara and for me even using a conventional fly rod catching big fish is not my main concern. I just like being on the water and enjoying the experience. I guess I'm just afraid of breaking my rod fishing water it wasn't made to fish.

By the way, great forum guys. I enjoy reading your posts.
Rick

テンカラ。小さなストリームのシンプルさ。
My Tenkara Rods:
13' Ayu, 12' Yamame, 11' with a conversion handle, and an Ito.

My Wife's Tenkara Rods:
12' Ebisu and 13.5' Amago, 12' Iwana with a conversion handle, and an Ito.
rsetina
 
Posts: 1514
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:55 pm
Location: La Crescenta, CA

Re: Iwana stress test

Postby CM_Stewart » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:14 am

The tips on the rods are not interchangeable, but I don't really know how much of a difference there is.

I also have the Ayu and you are not going to break the tip on a fish. The last several segments are flexible enough that with even a medium sized fish, the bend is spread over the middle of the rod. The tip sections would be directly alligned with the pull of the line, so they would not be at risk. I have broken one rod on a fish (it was not a TenkaraUSA rod, and wasn't even a "real" tenkara rod, although I was using it as one; and my tippet was 6.4 lb test). The break that occured was where the second and third segments (from the butt, not from the tip) joined. The length and the flexibility of the rods distribute the force pretty well. I never got a good look at the fish, but I did see it's tail and it was A LOT bigger than the 17 incher pictured above.

That said, the tip section, and the next couple down from the tip are the sections that break most frequently in tenkara rods, but those are broken primarily when collapsing the rod. You really have to be very careful to avoid putting any side pressure on the segments when pushing them back in. There will be times when you snag your line high in a tree or on the other side of a stream where you cannot wade to retrieve it. If at all possible, get close enough so that you can pull on the line itself rather than pulling on the rod to break the tippet. Breaking the tippet by pulling with the rod jams the segments together, making them harder to push back in. That may be the biggest reason to use only 5x or 6x. You may never catch a fish big enough to risk your rod, but I can guarantee you that you will eventually snag your line and have to break it by pulling on the rod, and you really don't want to jam them together with the force that is required to break heavier tippet. You also have to be careful if you fish on streams with overhead branches. If you do, at some point you'll get your rod tip, or the line next to the rod tip caught in the branches. The safest thing to do is clip off your fly so you can gradually pull the line through the branches.

If you fish with 5x, or better yet, 6x, and don't try to stop or muscle in a fish that is clearly larger than the rod is intended for, I don't think you have to worry about breaking the rod on a fish. Your Ayu will protect 6x beautifully. If you tie good knots and replace your tippet if it gets abraded by rocks or branches, I doubt you'll lose many fish because your tippet breaks. (I would NOT take your Ayu fishing for some of those big California largemouths though. It's not a bass rod.)
Last edited by CM_Stewart on Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Location: New York City

Re: Iwana stress test

Postby rsetina » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:04 am

Thanks Chris. Lots of good info there as usual. I normally fish with tippet 5X or smaller and since Tenkara rods are made mainly to fish small creeks and streams, I'll most likely use 6X exclusively. I do not look forward to a snag in a tree or bush I can't reach. There was a thread I read that suggested having pruning shears in the event of a snag. I thought that was an interesting idea and I'll think about doing that, though the thought of cutting branches from trees and bushes does make me uncomfortable. And as for bass fishing, I'll leave that for my float tube and my 6WT Orvis Rod.
Rick

テンカラ。小さなストリームのシンプルさ。
My Tenkara Rods:
13' Ayu, 12' Yamame, 11' with a conversion handle, and an Ito.

My Wife's Tenkara Rods:
12' Ebisu and 13.5' Amago, 12' Iwana with a conversion handle, and an Ito.
rsetina
 
Posts: 1514
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:55 pm
Location: La Crescenta, CA


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