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Dr Ishigaki Ju and Go Grip for Kebari Presentation

Re: Dr Ishigaki Ju and Go Grip for Kebari Presentation

Postby johnnyv145 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:12 pm

dwalker wrote:
johnnyv145 wrote:Dr. Ishigaki and I have discussed grip pressures quite a bit over the past couple of years. I have had the pleasure of fishing with him one-on-one quite a few times for entire days on the water. Here are a few things I have learned from fishing with him.
2. On long or tip heavy rods, I switch to a thumb on top grip using the same variable grip pressure techniques. This gives me a lot more power control and lessens hand fatigue with long, tip heavy rods.

3. Figure out what type of grip works for you. Thumb on top, index finger on top, it does not really matter. If you have arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome and the whole index finger on top thing does not work for you, don't sweat it.

4. Most tenkara anglers benefit from a softer grip and less power on the casting.

5. You can move your casting hand forward slightly using your elbow. It is a slight push forward just as the tippet lays out to decelerate the fly and get a nice soft landing/presentation.

The biggest things I have learned from fishing with Dr. Ishgaki are to relax and just have fun. Don't sweat the small stuff. When you fish with him in a non-teaching role, he laughs a lot and just likes to have a good time.


Thanks for your feedback. Good points about about casting. Did you ever discuss different grips during the fly presentation alone? Or hear Dr. Ishigaki use the terms Ju and Go when describing the fly presentation grips?

Good points about thumb on top and arm movement during the cast. On some Japanese tenkara sites or videos I do see the thumb on top grip fairly frequently. I was a little surprised Daniel did not mention it on his latest casting video. I sometimes use the thumb on top grip when casting the Ito with it extended to full length, which makes it tip heavy. I don't cast it fully extended very often, but sometimes it helps reach the fish you see or suspect is holding just a little further away.

Trying to analyze my arm movement during a cast, especially when casting longer lines, lines longer than rod length + 1.25 meter, it seems to work better for me if most of the small arm movement comes from my shoulder than from my elbow ( the elbow almost held rigid but relaxed. With maybe a slight forward push from the elbow at the end), with the appropriate wrist snap. Casting from the shoulder seems to keep the mechanics of the arm movement straight. But more elbow pivot seems OK when casting shorter lines.

It might be interesting to learn if pulsing the fly more from shoulder movement than wrist or elbow movement works better. I know when studying penmanship it is said that flowing smooth letters can only be written from forearm and shoulder movement keeping the fingers relaxed. And that guiding the pen with your fingers alone leaves your letters looking pinched, more chicken scratch-like than calligraphy art.

The small details do add up.

Team Oni gives the same advice, relax and have fun fishing.


Dwalker, I don't remember him discussing Ju or Go. He may have and I just didn't get what he was saying. We talked a lot about how tenouchi (sword grip technique) may cross over to tenkara. Being a classically trained Japanese swordsman, I use a lot of tenouchi in my tenkara grip. The rod is gripped firmly with the pinky and ring finger with the middle, index and thumb relaxed with the variable grip pressure added during the cast. He found the relation to sword work very interesting.

Most of my time fishing with Dr. Ishigaki has been in a non-instructional role. More of a fishing with friends kind of thing. He would watch me cast once in a while and ask why I would do something a certain way or if I was really butchering something, he would give a small pointer or two. We spent some time discussing theories and ideas of tweaks to get more power or more accuracy. He has spent some quality time with me on fly manipulation but I have a long way to go before I have any real skill at that. I just don't do a whole lot of fly manipulation so I pretty much suck at it.

When he has been here in the US, he was here to teach and do demos, we took him out to fish and relax so there was not really any instruction unless I asked him a direct question. We did have a hell of a lot of fun though.
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Re: Dr Ishigaki Ju and Go Grip for Kebari Presentation

Postby Paul Gaskell » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:47 pm

Hi, apologies for any confusion, the original blog post was designed to make a link between very general concepts of 'softness' and 'hardness' according to the separate needs of crisp casting versus soft undulating manipulation. In Japanese those broad concepts may be referred to by the terms mentioned. However these are not used as specific names for particular grips.
It is really up to the individual angler (and also determined by individual rod properties) what the specifics of the grip are. In fact Dr. Ishigaki's own recommendation is to just make your hand 'hard' or 'soft' at the right time in order to get the hang of it. The important thing is that you understand when it is appropriate to squeeze and when to relax. The specifics will then evolve naturally according to need -and you can see on various photos (e.g. the cover of 'Level Line Tenkara') that Dr. Ishigaki tends to have his index finger off the handle when he wants a soft grip. That is his evolved style. Your own may differ.

The more prescriptive elements tend to be applied to rod tip height for different (basic) manipulations and turning the hand so that the knuckles are lined up in the plane of manipulation and opposite to the kebari. Again, learning the rationale for adopting those details and how they help to achieve effective 'standard' manipulations means that when you improvise 'non-standard' manipulations, you can apply the same rationale to help keep your technique efficient and effective.

That's quite a long-winded way of saying that the overall principle is more important than the individual facts. :-)
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