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Day one, lessons learned.

Day one, lessons learned.

Postby Skinhead » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:03 pm

Went to my home stream today for my first time out with a Tenkara rod, my 12' Iwana. Conditions weren't in my favour, but I was missing the water. It was bright sun, cold at 2 Celsius, and very windy. The water had been in flood for most of the last 5-6 months and recently seems devoid of any fish, but that wasn't going to put me off.

Lesson 1. Don't think that your casting stroke will be the same as that with your western rod, it won't. Learn to walk before you try to run.

Initially I set up with a home made, 3X mono, 10' Singaporean line, to which I added 4' of 6Xflouro. With a fly rod in hand I was on auto pilot. Let's just say, it wasn't pretty.

Lesson 2. Start heavier and come down.

I re-rigged with my TUSA 10'6" Traditional Tenkara Line which is heavier, added 3' of 6X tippet and shortened my stroke. Now things were starting to improve. The total lack of fish didn't worry me, this was good practice. The wind did cause issues though. On thing that surprised me was that my side casting was far better, possibly it was staying beneath the wind.

I moved on to a wider stretch, and now feeling more confident I re-rigged again, this time with a 3X mono, 16' Singaporean that I made a couple of days ago. I added 4-5' of 6X flouro and got casting. Luckily it was more sheltered here. Again side casting worked better, and I was able to lay out the whole line, pretty regularly. Still no fish though

Lesson 3. Don't get cocky and try to cast a long line into a strong head wind. It will not work, at least not that quickly.

Confidently I moved again, to another wider stretch, but now exposed to the full wind, mostly head on. Things quickly reverted back to not pretty, with the majority of casts stalling. This I took as the gods saying time to go home, and so I did.

Lesson 4. Take a small pair of scissors rather than snips for changing flies. With Sakasa Kebari it can be difficult to get the snips on to the tag end of the flouro without clipping some of the hackle. Small scissors, no problem.

The three hours on the stream flew by. One fly was lost to a tree fish, the Iwana's a lot longer than the 6' - 7'6" rods that I usually pack. Always remember to look what's above and to the side of your casting stroke. Hopefully next time out, the weather will be more obliging. Until then, I'll buy a TUSA 13' traditional line, which I'll do after posting this, and tie more flies.
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Re: Day one, lessons learned.

Postby OutdoorsBen » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:37 pm

Skinhead wrote:Went to my home stream today for my first time out with a Tenkara rod, my 12' Iwana. Conditions weren't in my favour, but I was missing the water. It was bright sun, cold at 2 Celsius, and very windy. The water had been in flood for most of the last 5-6 months and recently seems devoid of any fish, but that wasn't going to put me off.

Lesson 1. Don't think that your casting stroke will be the same as that with your western rod, it won't. Learn to walk before you try to run.

Initially I set up with a home made, 3X mono, 10' Singaporean line, to which I added 4' of 6Xflouro. With a fly rod in hand I was on auto pilot. Let's just say, it wasn't pretty.

Lesson 2. Start heavier and come down.

I re-rigged with my TUSA 10'6" Traditional Tenkara Line which is heavier, added 3' of 6X tippet and shortened my stroke. Now things were starting to improve. The total lack of fish didn't worry me, this was good practice. The wind did cause issues though. On thing that surprised me was that my side casting was far better, possibly it was staying beneath the wind.

I moved on to a wider stretch, and now feeling more confident I re-rigged again, this time with a 3X mono, 16' Singaporean that I made a couple of days ago. I added 4-5' of 6X flouro and got casting. Luckily it was more sheltered here. Again side casting worked better, and I was able to lay out the whole line, pretty regularly. Still no fish though

Lesson 3. Don't get cocky and try to cast a long line into a strong head wind. It will not work, at least not that quickly.

Confidently I moved again, to another wider stretch, but now exposed to the full wind, mostly head on. Things quickly reverted back to not pretty, with the majority of casts stalling. This I took as the gods saying time to go home, and so I did.

Lesson 4. Take a small pair of scissors rather than snips for changing flies. With Sakasa Kebari it can be difficult to get the snips on to the tag end of the flouro without clipping some of the hackle. Small scissors, no problem.

The three hours on the stream flew by. One fly was lost to a tree fish, the Iwana's a lot longer than the 6' - 7'6" rods that I usually pack. Always remember to look what's above and to the side of your casting stroke. Hopefully next time out, the weather will be more obliging. Until then, I'll buy a TUSA 13' traditional line, which I'll do after posting this, and tie more flies.

A tip I've found for cutting the line is to blow toward the fly and/or hold the hackle back and snip.
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Re: Day one, lessons learned.

Postby achilles38 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:51 am

I just used my 11' Iwana with 10.5' TUSA traditional line in windy conditions 2 days ago and if you side cast it lays out really nicely. I find that if I swing the line around my head to the left in a big, low circle, then as it gets behind my head I accelerate and come around the right side, continuing the circle, and basically snapping it forward, stopping the cast out to my right side, the line will almost shoot out sideways and lay out nicely. Or if super windy I'll slingshot cast, lay the line in the water, and fish almost like a fly line to keep the wind from lifting my line and ruining the drift.

For cutting tag ends on kebari, I start my nippers above the hackle, close them almost to the line, push down so the hackle gets bumped out of the way by the nippers, then cut.
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