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Which rod for swinging flies?

Discussion on tenkara rods

Which rod for swinging flies?

Postby Heli911 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:32 pm

Hello, I'm looking into getting into tenkara. This weekend I had the privilege of taking a class from Misako Ishimura. It was well worth the time and money. The simplicity along with the compactness and ease-of-use has me wanting to buy my first rod. I'll preface with this, I'm about as western of a fly fisherman as you can get. I build rods, tie flies, have a drift boat, etc. However, there always have been times when I'm fishing riffles to educated trout were the utmost delicate presentation and drag free drift was the only ticket to getting the fish to bite. Hence my interest in tenkara. I primarily fish big rivers, and even the creek's i hike in to fish have fish 8-16".

My style of fishing is to fish drag free and then let it swing at the end. I catch a good percentage of my fish on the dangle. So I'm looking to buy a rod that has enough stiffness to handle the "swing". I was able to cast the Ito, and that is one awesome rod. I will probably buy one eventually, but I didn't think it had the backbone to be able to swing a soft hackle without loading it too much. I've held the TFO Soft Hackle rod, which I believe is designed for this type of fishing. However it utilizes a small section of Rio fly line. In my opinion I can pretty much utilize my 9' fly rod for this type of fishing, since you still have heavy fly line.

So i'm open to every bodies opinion on which rod will handle swinging flies the best.

Thanks
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Re: Which rod for swinging flies?

Postby Heli911 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:27 pm

Ok, I have been doing some reading. How about the Yamame? It appears to be faster action rod. Does anybody have any experience with how it fishes with stronger currents and 14-16" size fish?
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Re: Which rod for swinging flies?

Postby pechelman » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:36 pm

The ito might be able to handle it, depending on what you're wanting to swing, but the next two obvious choices are the Ayu II and Amago.

The amago would be my choice just for the extra reach and backbone should you regularly get into 16+" fish in heavy current. I'd personally ignore the yamame for fishing moving water.
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Re: Which rod for swinging flies?

Postby Heli911 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:12 pm

It doesn't look like the Ayu II is an option here in the USA. I was considering the Yamame due to its faster action. It says its designed for more backbone and fish >16". The Amago is a slower action rod. That would be awesome if the Ito could handle moving water. I'm mainly wanting the fish the riffle sections of big water, which is a little slower than the main current. I'm wanting to swing size 12-14 soft hackles.
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Re: Which rod for swinging flies?

Postby craigthor » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:18 pm

Heli911 wrote:It doesn't look like the Ayu II is an option here in the USA. I was considering the Yamame due to its faster action. It says its designed for more backbone and fish >16". The Amago is a slower action rod. That would be awesome if the Ito could handle moving water. I'm mainly wanting the fish the riffle sections of big water, which is a little slower than the main current. I'm wanting to swing size 12-14 soft hackles.


Ito would work fine as would most of the rods TUSA has to offer
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Re: Which rod for swinging flies?

Postby CraigP » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:24 am

Yup allwork
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Re: Which rod for swinging flies?

Postby John @ Tenkara USA » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:43 am

Friends of mine who are avid swing fisherman for both trout and steelhead tell me one of the critical things is not setting the hook too fast and pulling it out of the fish's mouth. They like to wait until they feel the fish on and then raise the rod tip. I would think this would be tough with a stiffer tenkara rod since you're always tight to the fly, but I don't really have much practical experience of my own. Looking forward to hearing your experiences on this.
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Re: Which rod for swinging flies?

Postby Heli911 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:11 pm

John, you are correct on what your friends said. However with a tenkara rod I wouldn't have that much line out. I'm just worried about the rod being to overloaded with the tension from the current pulling on the fly before I hook into a fish. I will somewhat agree with what everybody has stated so far in the fact that all the rods will work to a certain extent. However what i'm worried about the most is the delicate tip section being stressed.

I know from playing around with the ito that it doesn't take to much to load the rod being a 6:4. I'll be honest, I like the ito a lot. I'm just worried it will be too soft for swinging at the end of the drift. I did see the video with Daniel landing a 20" brown with it in some fairly swift big water. That totally built my confidence up that it is a lot stronger rod than I perceived.

Since I don't have any experience in tenkara fishing, and have limited casting with the ito, I was leaning towards the yamame just due to the faster action and the fact it takes a little more work to load the rod. I don't know if it has a bigger tip section or not. Maybe somebody has a comparison?
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Re: Which rod for swinging flies?

Postby pechelman » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:10 am

The Ito and amago are both listed as 6:4, but they couldn't be more polar opposite rods.

Now I see why you said you were worried about the slow amago after only having handled a 6:4 Ito.

The rod I think you're looking for is the amago.

edit:
After I posted this, Tom from tetontenkara posted a great update to his rod flex index chart that correlates the Common Cents System (CCS) to rod length.

http://tetontenkara.blogspot.com/2013/04/rod-flex-index.html

Really shows how different the ito and amago are despite their 6:4 ratings....
I guess you could almost equate this to the Ito being more like a ~3wt and the Amago being a ~5wt with somewhat similar flex ratings from the manf.
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Re: Which rod for swinging flies?

Postby jd_smith » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:52 pm

[quote="Heli911"Since I don't have any experience in tenkara fishing, and have limited casting with the ito, I was leaning towards the yamame just due to the faster action and the fact it takes a little more work to load the rod. I don't know if it has a bigger tip section or not. Maybe somebody has a comparison?[/quote]

To answer your question directly. Yes. The Yamame does have a bigger/fatter tip section than the Ito. I don't have the actual figures for them now because I've sold both my Yamame and my Ito, but they were very different. If I were to give a fair estimate to size, I would say the Ito is about .7mm at the tip and the Yamame about .9mm at the tip.

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