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Hypothetical "effective" shortest and longest Tenkara Rod?

Discussion on tenkara rods

Re: Hypothetical "effective" shortest and longest Tenkara Rod?

Postby CM_Stewart » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:46 am

No need to butcher anything, and a "proof of concept" wouldn't necessarily have to have a permanent grip. Just take your Iwana apart, and fish with the top 5 segments (or 4, or 6, whatever length fits your small stream). Just try it long enough to see if it works very well. If it does, then buy a second rod to permanently convert. Problem solved.

We can discuss short rods for months, but until someone actually tries it for long enough to really understand it's strengths and weaknesses, we won't have anything to work with but opinions. (Opinions are fine, but I think this is another situation where actual experience will be more valuable.)

Before I could buy a real tenkara rod I tied lines to the tips of several different rods, including a 6' ultra-ultra light spinning rod. I did catch a fish, but quickly decided that for the streams I fish, a rod that short was a significant disadvantage, so I did no more research on short rods. If anyone (and this is not directed at anyone specifically) thinks a short rod would work better on their local streams, it is pretty easy to shorten the rods - just go fishing and try it out.
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Re: Hypothetical "effective" shortest and longest Tenkara Rod?

Postby ToddW » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:01 am

A question for those of you with experience with Japanese culture and individuals. Do Japanese fisherman have the driving urge to tinker and modify like we Americans(or should I generalize even more and say westerners)? It's a family joke in my house that as soon as I get a piece of new or found equipment or clothing I have to find a way to "improve" it. This has often had disastrous and hilarious results, but seems to be born into our cultural DNA. Do the Japanese have perhaps a different tendency geared more toward tradition and successful past practices?

I know it's dangerous to wade into these kind of cultural waters, and I'm not interested in negative stereotyping, but this whole thread and many others seems to be indicative of a tugging between cultural norms. I think Daniel has done PhD level work not only building his business but has also threaded a much smaller needle in presenting this new world to us in a way our westernized brains have found attractive. And then of course we caught fish, had a good time and were hooked! That urge to tinker and deviate from the norm still remains, however. So, I think this short rod discussion has practical as well as cultural origins. Wow! All of that and I haven't even had breakfast yet! Cheers. ToddW
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Re: Hypothetical "effective" shortest and longest Tenkara Rod?

Postby rsetina » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:24 am

Before taking a modified shorter rod out to the stream and try fishing with it the best thing to do would be to try it in the back yard first. See how it casts there. The "taper" may be all wrong or maybe not. It may cast well, it may not. That would be the next logical set in this discussion. I've shortened my Iwana and Ayu in the past and just don't like how they cast. The action is just not right in my opinion. Anyway, got ot get ready for work.
Rick

テンカラ。小さなストリームのシンプルさ。
My Tenkara Rods:
13' Ayu, 12' Yamame, 11' with a conversion handle, and an Ito.

My Wife's Tenkara Rods:
12' Ebisu and 13.5' Amago, 12' Iwana with a conversion handle, and an Ito.
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Re: Hypothetical "effective" shortest and longest Tenkara Rod?

Postby TJ @ Tenkara USA » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:51 am

Having taken various martial arts as a teen, some being Japanese based, I can see holding onto tradition. Obviously it has proven merit from years and years handed down from Masters. At the same time, one should never be so rigid to not become adaptable at a time of need. Just like anything else, things change, things grow, and although I love and live my traditions, I am one not to be afraid to take new adventures down a new road untravelled. I will stick to my tried and true options in front of me but will quickly adapt to something new maybe I did not see before.

I am sure even the Masters would tell us and train on us old ways but quick to slap us upon the noggin because we think only one way will get the job done.

I will be happy with the TenkaraUSA rods I have and if needed, buy a short rod elsewhere if TenkaraUSA does not have one. For now my shortest is the 11' and that will have to do until I get better at fly fishing and find a need for something shorter, or longer. :D .

My original concern and post was "Hypothetical "effective" shortest and longest Tenkara Rod?". This basically asks is there a length where the rod is no longer effective at casting Tenkara style and therefore the rod not really being considered a "Pure" Tenkara rod. Obviously there are shorter and longer rods available on the market so wonder if those are not considered "Pure Tenkara" rods because they can't cast as Tenkara rods should or that they are vertically challenged (as I am hehehe) and not long enough?

Obviously TenkaraUSA has had to adapt to materials used in 2010 versus what was available 100s years ago from then Tenkara fisherman so how pure can one be? Are only those from 100s of years ago pure and we are only 97% since the lengths are 1 foot longer or shorter than they were then and we are not using the same material used to make the rods from long long ago? :)

Would be interesting to know what rod sizes were back in the day. Obviously the TenkaraUSA rods range from 11' to 13.5' so these have been tested to confirm they cast as Tenkara should. I think Daniel said the 10' rod made for Backpacking Lite was about the threshold for shortest length so I take that as anything below 10' casting Tenkara style would not work well so maybe that rod is not considered pure Tenkara rod? I can understand that if that is the case and would not proceed trying to find one shorter. TenkaraUSA has explored these things way way way more than I could ever do so I will take their word on it.

At any rate, I am kind of brand loyal kind of person and am happy to be building my own TenkaraUSA collection of gear. Odds are I will not buy another brand rod as I feel the TenkaraUSA are the best quality from what my little experiences are versus the reviews I have read about others.

tj
Tenkara USA, Director of Customer Service

Tenkara Junkie - Tenkarajankī
Now sporting all of the Tenkara USA Rods!
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Re: Hypothetical "effective" shortest and longest Tenkara Rod?

Postby b1gr3dd0g » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:12 pm

ToddW wrote:A question for those of you with experience with Japanese culture and individuals. Do Japanese fisherman have the driving urge to tinker and modify like we Americans(or should I generalize even more and say westerners)? It's a family joke in my house that as soon as I get a piece of new or found equipment or clothing I have to find a way to "improve" it. This has often had disastrous and hilarious results, but seems to be born into our cultural DNA. Do the Japanese have perhaps a different tendency geared more toward tradition and successful past practices?

If we look at Japan's fishing industry as a whole, I'd say that they are every bit as willing to experiment, innovate and refine as westerners. The BassDozer website (which has nothing to do with Tenkara) has a wonderful article about how Japanese bass fishing culture (and their fishing environment) differs from the Western perspective:

http://www.bassdozer.com/articles/japan.shtml
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Re: Hypothetical "effective" shortest and longest Tenkara Rod?

Postby Ahnkochee » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:35 pm

Late 19th century Japan went from medieval to modern practically overnight (Meiji Restoration). Over 1000 years of tradition and culture was changed drastically in the process. If preserving tradition was of utmost importance they would all have stuck with bamboo rods, and some still do but in my opinion Japan is the technological innovator successfully mixing tradition with innovation.
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Re: Hypothetical "effective" shortest and longest Tenkara Rod?

Postby Owl Jones » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:48 pm

Great posts on this page. Interesting discussion benefits all. CM I thought you were going somewhere else with that analogy about opinions, but I'm glad to see that you didn't. ;) lol

I'd also like to thank everyone from this forum for checking out the blog. I don't even mind that you ding'd down the post. ;) We broke 330 unique visitors yesterday, mostly thanks to hits from here. Today, we've eclipsed that! So thank you to everyone who enjoys a good discussion and has a sense of humor.

Have a great weekend tenkara bums one and all. . .
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Re: Hypothetical "effective" shortest and longest Tenkara Ro

Postby Hatefire » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:22 pm

When I backpack, I take two rods. The shortest I have used. 6'10" and at times I had to "choke up" a little, because the overgrowth was insane. I felt like a rabbit working my way thru little tunnels of growth just to get to the stream, but the fishing experience was awesome, enjoyable, and challenging. the longest at the moment 11'8" for when I arrive at the alpine lakes in the Eastern Sierra. Yes the lakes are wide bodies of water, but the growth around the lakes often prevents back casting so crucial to western fly fishing. but the long rod serves me well. would longer be better, not sure even when I fished western, most of the fish caught were only 20-25 feet from shore. So ????? who knows. All I do know is Tenkara and Backpacking were made for each other.
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Re: Hypothetical "effective" shortest and longest Tenkara Ro

Postby Boyd_Shockley » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:26 pm

What is a 7/3, or a 6/4? What does that mean? What is the “number” of the current ITO?
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