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More About Casting Grips

More About Casting Grips

Postby dwalker » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:01 pm

Many people have seen the video Daniel posted to the blog on Nov 6th. "How to Cast with Tenkara - learning tenkara casting. 4:36


In this video Daniel mentions that he prefers the index finger on top grip. Holding the handle at the butt end of the rod. And he also mentions a V-grip. Which I had not seen too often. Daniel did not mention the Thumb on top grip that I have seen more often than the V-grip, especially when watching videos or looking at still frame images of older generation of Japanese Tenkara fishermen.

I'm not trying to contradict Daniel's advice. Just expand up on it a little from some webpages I have recently found.

I found this Yoshidkebari blog post from 12-28-2009 interesting. It is a post about using different kinds of lines for Tenkara lines. Shooting lines, furled tapered lines or fluorocarbon level lines. He discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each line. And gives his opinion about the best grip and casting motion for each line. I'm not going to get in to that other than to say the basic conclusion is that shooting and tapered lines are heavier lines and therefore easier for most beginners to cast than to cast FC level lines.


He only shows the V-grip. Advising to grip the handle at the top when when casting the shooting line or tapered line. Since these lines are heavier than FC Level Line this grip placement takes advantage of the counter weight of the handle. Writing that the shooting line can be cast mostly with the wrist and the furled tapered lines the same with a bit more power from the elbow. The casting motion like hammering a nail.

Shooting line and furled tapered line grip.

But for casting the FC Level Line he recommends to hold the rod at the same point as Daniel. At the butt end of the rod. To take full advantage of the flex of the rod rather than the weight of the line to cast the line. The explanation was a bit hard to follow.

Here is the FC Level Line casting grip.

Whether he still favors the V-grip today four years later or the Index finger on top, who can tell. Either way if casting something other than FC level line the top grip may be worth exploring.

Sebata Yozu wrote an introduction to Tenkara fishing for the tenkarakebari website 6-29-2103.


He cast a furled or braided line. I think. And he uses the Thumb on top grip. Though he does not grip the handle at the top. At least not in the nifty little drawing that was embedded in the blog post. It is one of the nifty-est little drawings showing the casting motion I've seen on the internet.


瀬畑翁, Sebata Okina, finds interesting fish in the mountain streams. I think his casting method works. ;)


Maybe some other ideas to think about when casting different types of lines. Some different techniques to try.

BTW - I find the yoshidakebari and the tenkarakebari web sites some of the most fun ones to look at from time to time.

The tenkarakebari site is not strictly Tenkara, despite the name, but it has a lot of Tenkara content and events. It can also makes you hungry. They have lots of pictures of food that looks pretty yummy. ;)
And some other dishes, not so much. :shock:

Yuu's blog at
Is also informative. Though he seems to have been absent since Sept of this year adding new content.

fwiw, Just making my contribution to liven up this forum, which has been pretty quiet lately. :)
Last edited by dwalker on Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: More About Casting Grips

Postby johnnyv145 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:54 pm

I use the thumb on top for long rods (4.5-6.2 meter rods). Long rods fatigue my hand really quick trying to cast index finger on top.

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Re: More About Casting Grips

Postby GregM » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:44 am

johnnyv145 wrote:I use the thumb on top for long rods (4.5-6.2 meter rods). Long rods fatigue my hand really quick trying to cast index finger on top.


Me too, when trying to drive just a 13' rod (3.9 meter) and line into a stiff wind all day long.
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Re: More About Casting Grips

Postby Eddie » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:46 am

I do not think you have to be seriously concerned about which grip to use. I have been using only a V-grip for years. I can relax my wrist with this grip when casting.

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Re: More About Casting Grips

Postby adventureR » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:05 pm

-Many Grips-

Index finger on top is my most often used grip.

My index finger does seem to end up on the side of the grip during casts under a tree. I suppose this is the -V- Grip.

Index finger on the bottom of the rod thumb on the side. Using the grip to tell the the fish to come here! Casting like Spiderman slings a web. Also sort of V Grip.

Thumb on top is great for fatigue felt while casting for some time with the index finger on top.

I suppose really my grip seems to be all over the place.

Great to hear from you around these parts Eddie San! :D
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Re: More About Casting Grips

Postby John @ Tenkara USA » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:26 pm

I mostly use the finger on top, but don't have a problem with the v grip, at all. With the Amago, I find the thumb on top to work pretty well, especially with a heavier line, but don't use it at all on lighter rods. I'll also change my grip around if my hand gets tired.
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