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

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:01 pm
by jayfisher
Jeffry Gottfried's work with kids was profiled in an article in the Oregonian, "Tenkara fishing blends best of Japanese tradition with allure of trout fishing."
Link:
http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/bill_monroe/index.ssf/2010/10/bill_monroe_tenkera_fishing.html

The photo of his rod in the Oregonian article also looks like an Ayu. With rods this light with a fixed line, casting is so much easier for kids and other beginners than using a shorter 8-9 foot fly rod.

For those new to fly fishing, learning to cast a heavy line is hard enough. But in traditional fly fishing the learning is compounded by having to managing the line. Traditional fly fishing casts a heavy line and coordinates line handling between the reel hand and index finger of the casting hand while swirling water flows downstream and a friend or casting coach says, "Mend, mend, take up the slack, don't drag, strike! Aww, shucks you missed him!" :D

It typically takes several years to become semi-experienced. It's a wonder that so many actually end up learning traditional fly fishing.

-Jack :)

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

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:03 pm
by Owl Jones
Article says they were 7-9 year olds. Looks like they were in a creek though. Makes me, as an adult trout chaser of over 20 years wonder if it's that easy for them, what am I doing wrong? ;) LOL I totally agree that it's amazing more people don't give up after the first six months of learning to fly fish. Is that because fly fishers are so eager to help new folks learn it? Or because we're just stubborn people? ;)

I emailed those guys from the link on here. The ones in Europe that had the aprox. $25 short tenkara "switches" - but so far, no word back on how much shipping to the US would be.

Jay, this: "With rods this light with a fixed line, casting is so much easier for kids and other beginners than using a shorter 8-9 foot fly rod. " I don't think anyone is arguing that any tenkara rod (of any length) is harder to fish with than casting a western rod. Just saying.
I think the question was whether or not kids could be introduced more easily to tenkara(or fishing?) if there was a shorter rod built just for them.

Since I don't have kids, I don't have a dog in this fight - but I do think there would be a place for shorter tenkara rods here in the US. I might just have to buy Daniel's tenkarausa rods and turn them into shorty versions. If I did that though, I'd have to charge $250 a rod,...so that pretty much ends that daydream. ;) LOL

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

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:13 pm
by jaymesymonds
just a thought, but kids will enjoy whatever they are fishing with, it doesnt have to be a $200 rod. even if they dont catch anything with theirs, they can always land the fish that is on yours.

or, tie a line on the end of the walmart fly rod.

J

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

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:53 am
by erik.ostrander
I don't understand why we keep discussing the merits of a really short Tenkara rod...don't we all understand that Tenkara rods are great b/c they are so long?

It's kinda like having an F-16 that only goes 300 mph...Why??? ;)

Recently, Daniel stated to me that to learn Tenkara techniques, think of yourself as "poor" professional angler. IMO a "poor" professional angler would want a long rod. Only rich anglers that want to westernize tenkara will want a rod of every length for every water out there.

Tenkara is supposed to be simple, let's let it be that way. :)

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

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:18 pm
by Owl Jones
No. I guess we don't "all understand." Should we? Don't "we all understand" that small, over-grown streams could be an amazing place for a 4 ft. tenkara rod? Or a 6 ft. tenkara rod? Apparently, again - no, we don't "all understand."

If the method, in it's simple form, takes fish with an 11 - 13 foot rod - then why wouldn't it take fish at 4 pr 6 ft long? Well, it would - but some of you can't seem to wrap your head around the idea that those of us discussing a short rod aren't talking about taking them out to a "tenkara sized" river and fishing them there. Obviously, an 11 ft rod would be perfect where it's designed to be fished. But it would be a disaster in a 3 ft wide Appalachain or eastern stream. Un-fishable wouldn't be too strong a word. If you're fishing a wide open river, like in Daniel's videos then of course you wouldn't want to handicap yourself with a 4 ft. long rod, when a much longer rod would be more effective. But no one is wanting to use a 4 ft rod on a stream like that, as far as I can tell...


Here's the thing:

Why talk about a shorter tenkara rod? Because we can? Why not discuss it? At one time, I'm sure someone posted about tenkara on a fly fishing site and someone said " why are we discussing cane poles?" ;)

It's just chatting. It's not as if we're burning tenkara rods in an anti-tenkara protest or anything.

Do you have to "let it be" a specific thing to belong to this club? Can I not be "not quite satisfied" with an 11 foot rod, if I'd like to try tenkara on a 2 ft. wide stream? If I wanted to shorten a bamboo rod to 5 ft. long would that be so horrible?

What is the benefit of keeping it "pure?" Is it a method of fishing, or a way of life - or both? Can it not be changed? Is it somehow immoral to even want to "tinker" with tenkara? Didn't the Japanese "tinker" with it when they were first discovering the methods and creating what we know of as tenkara? (Surely they did, as it's hard to imagine them getting it right the very first time someone tried to catch a fish on a rod with a line and fly)

Is there a reason to lament that some people might want a shorter ( or longer?) rod...

Although there is surely more to tenkara than catching fish ( as there is with most Japanese traditions and cultural things, as I understand it) I can't really say that I understand making a fishing method more than what it is...a way to catch fish. If it's a religion, then I'll stick to my Cabela's 3 wt. and Ross Reel, thanks.

PS - I was thinking last night about another question I have about tenkara's early years....if these guys that invented it were " professional" fisherman...meaning, from what I'm reading - that they fished for meat - to feed their families or sell the fish...then why would they fish with flies? Did flies come later? Did they fish live bait in the beginning? And to that end, if so - should we all be fishing red wigglers in order to keep it "pure?"

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

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:15 pm
by blatt1970
:D
Owl, word by word, i agree with you!

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

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:29 pm
by Daniel @ Tenkara USA
I think this is one of those discussions with no end in sight. It is clear some people would like a shorter tenkara rod, and it is clear I will not compromise the integrity of tenkara, as we are learning it from Japan, and offer a rod we don't think is purely a tenkara rod.

There may be places where a very short rod, no reel, and a fly will work nicely. But, there shouldn't be a need for a rod to be built specifically to be so short. We developed another rod, the Hane, which is 10ft long, for Backpacking Light, and after fishing it, I realized that would be our threshold. Even in VERY tight streams, in my opinion it is just too small a rod to be used for tenkara. It can, however, be fished as a 7ft tenkara rod if one wishes by simply collapsing a segment and holding above the handle, but there I see no need to manufacture something so specialized.

About the question:
if these guys that invented it were " professional" fisherman...meaning, from what I'm reading - that they fished for meat - to feed their families or sell the fish...then why would they fish with flies? Did flies come later? Did they fish live bait in the beginning? And to that end, if so - should we all be fishing red wigglers in order to keep it "pure?"


I think this is another of those philosophical questions, but too much in the line of "which came first, egg or chicken" :lol: . It is very likely that the professional fishermen we speak were using flies very early on. Why would they fish with flies? Because it is way more efficient to tie something on a hook so it seems to be a bug, than to look for or grow a bug and then have to replace it with every fish caught or with every fish missed. It is my strong belief that tenkara anglers realized this very early on and were the ones who developed the method, without influence from "outsiders".

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

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:47 am
by Daniel @ Tenkara USA
On a further note, I think this is what the forum is setup to do here, for us to have our discussion and understand/learn and come up with insights about tenkara. Some, myself included, will have strong opinions about certain things (yes, like wanting shorter rods), but no it's not a religion ;)

However, I feel like it is my duty to introduce the concept as it is practiced in Japan. Tenkara is so new here that there must be a guiding place to start from. Anytime the opportunity arises I'll try to talk to you about to the traditional tenkara practice, and defend why certain things are as they are in tenkara.

I understand the desire for a shorter rod, but I want to ask you to give the long, traditional tenkara rod a fair chance, perhaps by choking it up, or holding it above the handle. Otherwise you'll have to buy every rod we produce :)

Owl, you just got your rod, and haven't had a chance to fish it much in the tighter streams, give it a fair chance. The stream in the picture below gets tighter upstream.

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

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:13 am
by Owl Jones
Daniel @ TenkaraUSA wrote:I think this is one of those discussions with no end in sight. It is clear some people would like a shorter tenkara rod, and it is clear I will not compromise the integrity of tenkara, as we are learning it from Japan, and offer a rod we don't think is purely a tenkara rod. [ I had no idea we were talking about compromising the integrity of anything by varying the length of the tool.]

There may be places where a very short rod, no reel, and a fly will work nicely. But, there shouldn't be a need for a rod to be built specifically to be so short. We developed another rod, the Hane, which is 10ft long, for Backpacking Light, and after fishing it, I realized that would be our threshold. Even in VERY tight streams, in my opinion it is just too small a rod to be used for tenkara. It can, however, be fished as a 7ft tenkara rod if one wishes by simply collapsing a segment and holding above the handle, but there I see no need to manufacture something so specialized.

[In one of your videos you say that you can collapse the rod, but then you warn us to fully extend the rod for playing the fish. With even a 10 ft. rod this would be impractical if not impossible in a small stream situation for me. ]

About the question:
if these guys that invented it were " professional" fisherman...meaning, from what I'm reading - that they fished for meat - to feed their families or sell the fish...then why would they fish with flies? Did flies come later? Did they fish live bait in the beginning? And to that end, if so - should we all be fishing red wigglers in order to keep it "pure?"


I think this is another of those philosophical questions, but too much in the line of "which came first, egg or chicken" :lol: . It is very likely that the professional fishermen we speak were using flies very early on. Why would they fish with flies? Because it is way more efficient to tie something on a hook so it seems to be a bug, than to look for or grow a bug and then have to replace it with every fish caught or with every fish missed. It is my strong belief that tenkara anglers realized this very early on and were the ones who developed the method, without influence from "outsiders".
[ I was thinking along the lines of a worm or grub, perhaps?]

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

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:21 am
by Owl Jones
Daniel @ TenkaraUSA wrote:On a further note, I think this is what the forum is setup to do here, for us to have our discussion and understand/learn and come up with insights about tenkara. Some, myself included, will have strong opinions about certain things (yes, like wanting shorter rods), but no it's not a religion ;)

However, I feel like it is my duty to introduce the concept as it is practiced in Japan. Tenkara is so new here that there must be a guiding place to start from. Anytime the opportunity arises I'll try to talk to you about to the traditional tenkara practice, and defend why certain things are as they are in tenkara.

I understand the desire for a shorter rod, but I want to ask you to give the long, traditional tenkara rod a fair chance, perhaps by choking it up, or holding it above the handle. Otherwise you'll have to buy every rod we produce :)

Owl, you just got your rod, and haven't had a chance to fish it much in the tighter streams, give it a fair chance. The stream in the picture below gets tighter upstream.



Daniel, I hate to break it to you, but that is what we call an "open" stream. Maybe I'm just not being clear. This spring I'll provide some photographs of what I'm talking about. And I'm not asking TenkaraUSA to make a shorter rod. I was just discussing the merits or perhaps the disadvantages of it. Just wondering if it would work. If doing so upsets anyone, including you, I'm sorry - but maybe there's room in tenkara for the discussion of it. After all, didn't I read that different methods of tenkara fishing were created in different regions of Japan? Why not here, then? And now I'm wondering if they had such discussions region to region and if one region told the other region that they were "compromising the integrity" of tenkara fishing by doing X thing?

A small stream here is 1/4th that size and you have to spend most of your time either bent over under heavy tree cover, "duck-walking" from hole to hole, or occasionally even crawling on hands and knees. And even when you get a somewhat "open" run or pool, the trees and bushes and vines and briars come right to the water's edge, so there's no room for a side arm cast with any rod over 6 or 7 ft. long and that's when you're choked up on it. Sometimes, we even disassemble the short rod and cast with the tip only. I hope that helps for some to visualize how small some of us are talking.....if every stream here that we called "small" looked like the one in your photo, I'd never have contemplated it.

I think I may take a cheaper model tenkara and see what I can do with it. I surely wouldn't want to butcher my Iwana into something smaller.

Thanks for the reply.