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Tippet Strength

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

Tippet Strength

Postby CM_Stewart » Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:10 am

I don't want to sound preachy here, but I think this needs to be said and I know Daniel won't say it.


Do not use tippet stronger than 5x.


There is a reason TenkaraUSA doesn't sell 4x tippet. They only sell 5x - 7x, and it's great stuff (if you like Frog Hair, you'll like TenkaraUSA tippet).

I have broken a rod using 4x tippet, although it wasn't a TenkaraUSA rod, and rvrgzr says "4x or stronger can cause rod damage--don't ask me how I know, twice--" viewtopic.php?f=3&t=66

Tenkara is not about big fish.

I'd say more, but then I'd definitely sound too preachy.
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Re: Tippet Strength

Postby Derrick » Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:46 pm

Would this hold true for the IWANA as well? Not that I'm worried about a fish busting it more likely a tree snag. Also how do you handle busting it out of a tree now that I think of it? I guess I'll have to pack a folding hand saw:).

Hopefully my rod will arrive today so I can spend my weekend at work catching grayling:). I think it took the scenic route through Canada as it only had to travel 1400miles as the crow flies and its been 8 business days since usps got its hands on it.
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Re: Tippet Strength

Postby BigCliff » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:01 pm

Derrick wrote: Also how do you handle busting it out of a tree now that I think of it?


Go get it. Remember, you're not going to be casting 70'.

When snagged above my head, I just grab the tippet and pull the branch down gradually until I can grab the fly. On the rare 1/3 of occasions where this doesn't work, I just tie on a new fly. (retying the tippet2fly knot after tugging on foliage is always a good idea anyway)

While certain flies can become magical and precious, we need to view them as somewhat disposable, and our time and the waters we fish as the valued resource.
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Re: Tippet Strength

Postby Derrick » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:56 pm

Ya I'm not to worried about the fly. Just the off chance that when missing hook set my line would get hooked high. Being a 12' rod there is the off chance the leader would be out of reach and its not like you would be wanting to yank down hard on the rod, I'm thinking. to bust the tippet. I did get side tracked with that post though.

My main question was Is a 5x tippet light enough to protect the IWANA on the off chance I hooked into someting to big. Especially with the time the postal service to here seems to take to here.
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Re: Tippet Strength

Postby CM_Stewart » Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:46 pm

Where I usually fish, if I miss a fish I hook a tree - almost every time. I have it down to a routine, now. First, I wade to directly under where it is hooked. If it is hooked low enough that I can reach the line, I collapse the rod (to protect the tip) grab the line and pull. Sometimes I get my fly back and sometimes I don't, but I tie simple flies so it's no big deal. If it is hooked high enough that I cannot reach the line (also if I get snagged on the opposite shore or on a rock where I cannot wade close enough in my hippers to reach the line) I will point the rod directly at the snag and pull backward slowly until the tippet breaks. I know I've broken 6x that way with my Iwana, and I'm pretty sure that by now I've broken 5x that way, too. I know I've broken 5x that way with both my Ebisu and my Yamame. Note: doing this will make it harder to collapse the rod, as it pulls the segments together pretty tightly. Be very, very careful not to put sideways pressure on the segments when pushing them to collapse the rod.

Many times while fishing I will get the line just beyond the rod tip caught in an overhead branch. Depending on how it is caught I will often clip off the fly, pull the line through and retie the fly.

I'm confident that an Iwana would survive hooking a big fish with 5x as long as you fight the fish with the rod angle not higher than 11 oclock as it is trying to run. As it tires and you try to net it or grab the line, you'll be able to raise the rod to vertical or beyond. (I caught a 17 incher on 5x with no problem, and even though 17" isn't a huge fish, it's probably bigger than an Iwana was intended for).

Of course, you could always use 6x instead if you are concerned. I've caught fish the same size with 6x (different tenkara rod, though).
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Re: Tippet Strength

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:49 pm

The main thing is to avoid, at all cost, using the rod to pull the tippet from a snag. Sure, it may happen, but everytime try to reach the line (tip-toe, go on top of a rock, etc) to grab the line first. If not possible, then it's not possible. ....but most often than not there is a way....

5X tippet will help protect the Iwana. The Iwana rod is light, and has a very flexible action (which makes harder to land larger fish) but it is a very strong rod still.
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Re: Tippet Strength

Postby Derrick » Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:46 am

Thanks for all the help full info. The rod didn't arrive yesterday so here's hoping for today.
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Re: Tippet Strength

Postby rvrgzr » Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:36 pm

Yes, I'm now a disciple and my 1st commandment is: Thou shalt not use larger than 5x.

About the tree snagging, I've learned to use the "Tenkara horizontal sweep" when a fish grabs a fly. Unless I'm Czech nymphing, I now "set the hook" with a low sweep of the rod the opposite direction I think the fish is going. Much easier to retrieve the flies 4 or 5 feet high than 12.
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