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Fighting larger fish with Tenkara rods

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

Fighting larger fish with Tenkara rods

Postby rvrgzr » Wed May 05, 2010 5:32 am

This has worked for me and I lost a good number of fish before I figured this technique out. It may only work for the Amago rod, but I think the method would apply to the other models.

When I feel a fish on, and can tell pretty quick that's it's more than 12" or one pound, I pull the top of the rod handle back towards me and push the bottom of the handle away from me. This allows to rod to fight the weight of the fish instead of the 5x tippet. If I'm at streamside or wading, I use a horizontal "sweep" with the aforementioned method, and try to keep the rod's pull in the opposite direction the fish is going. In other words, I've learned to "trust the rod" and not do the shenanigans I used to attempt such as thrusting the rod towards the fish in hopes of preventing a break off. All that does is put more pressure on the tippet.

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I know what you're asking, "Why would a guy put himself through such abuse to suffer a bloody thumb caused by releasing a half-dozen nice bass?" What can I say? Some of us just have a calling....
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Re: Fighting larger fish with Tenkara rods

Postby Jay K » Wed May 05, 2010 10:18 am

Very nice and great tips. I think it's hard to initially trust your rod, but people probably end up saving their rod more often than not by using your technique. Certainly sounds like pointing your rod at a retreating fish is the wrong way to go about things even from a simple mechanical view, but it's hard to fight that immediate impulse I suppose.

Great pics by the way - I'm always jealous of the size fish, like that monster bluegill, can attain in warmer climes with longer feeding seasons. Shoulda fished earlier and more when I lived in the South.

Tight lines.
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Re: Fighting larger fish with Tenkara rods

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Wed May 05, 2010 11:36 am

I know what you're asking, "Why would a guy put himself through such abuse to suffer a bloody thumb caused by releasing a half-dozen nice bass?"


The way I always see it is this, I'm there putting a hook at a bunch of fish's mouths, the least we need to do is get a little hurt. I NEVER mind it when I get a scrape, a puncture on a finger, or any of the minor things that will always happen when I'm fishing, it's just karma paying back right away; at least it's not accumulating for a future larger payback :)
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Re: Fighting larger fish with Tenkara rods

Postby rvrgzr » Wed May 05, 2010 5:57 pm

Daniel @ TenkaraUSA wrote:
at least it's not accumulating for a future larger payback :)


Hmmm, who knows what lies beneath the surface as we cast from the bow of Charon's boat while crossing the river Styx?

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Re: Fighting larger fish with Tenkara rods

Postby solocanoe » Wed May 05, 2010 7:06 pm

Daniel - you probably know about this, being in CA, but the latest kayak angler magazine has an article on a new fad that some (idiots?) are doing off the left coast...kayak shark fishing! :o :shock:

Rvrgzr - thanks for the tip - I'm going to be around some bigger fish this weekend - browns regularly above 8-10 and hopefully another day trip to some nice 3-4 pound smallies. :)
-john
Lucky to get out. Whenever I can. Never enough. Romans 8:31
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Re: Fighting larger fish with Tenkara rods

Postby Jay K » Wed May 05, 2010 9:04 pm

Kayak anglers fishing salmon sharks off the coast of Alaska is old news. :D Not that I'd do it myself.
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Re: Fighting larger fish with Tenkara rods

Postby danku » Fri May 07, 2010 3:57 am

Trust your rod. Let it do all the work. I have fished for steelies with these rods with 2lb leaders. We called them 1/2 pounders but they came in at 2-3lb. Some times you win some times the fish wins. This is what is fun about fishing. Fishing for 1lb fish with 5lb leader is no fun. Good luck have fun.
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