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Maximizing level line with line spools..

Discussion of tenkara lines, tippets, etc...

Maximizing level line with line spools..

Postby sandtrout » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:31 pm

I got a level line spool with 65' of line. I've now learned that some of you have different lengths of line on different spools. So...I'm wondering how you divide the 65' efficiently. Is sit something like: spool 1 - 30'...spool 2 - 20'...spool 3 - 10'...spool 4 - 5'. What have you all found to be the most efficient? Should I be thinking about getting another 65' of line and a whole lot of spools to take up the various lengths? I'd love to learn from your mistakes and save a ton of money! :roll:
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Re: Maximizing level line with line spools..

Postby dwalker » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:11 am

Hi Sandtrout,

I don't know what lengths of line you have cast before so its difficult to say what length of line you would be comfortable casting. Nor do I know what length of rod you have which would also make a difference in what lengths you would want to cut your lines. I mostly use the Ayu or Ito rods. I think I saw that your post count is 10 leading me to think you are perhaps new to tenkara casting and that maybe you would want to lean toward shorter lines till you gain some skill at casting. However, that may be a wrong assumption on my part. If you live in the east with brushy rivers you may want to have more shorter lines than if you live out west with more open rivers where you could more often use longer lines.

If you watch one of the early Tenkara introduction videos, In the Land of Little Rivers Part 2, about half way through you will see the Dr Ishigaki's graph of the standard line length he uses. 4m, 5.5M, 7m and 9.5m. 9.5m is a very long line ( about 31ft) and I have never tried casting a line that long.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmKF_FlF3X4

I do play around casting a 7m ( about 23 ft 5inches) line. If nothing else I have found that spending some time casting a 23 ft line improves my casting of shorter lines when I return to fishing with lines shorter than 7 m. Maybe something like a 5.5m(18ft) or 5.77m ( 19ft) line. That is total line length including about 4ft of tippet. For a 7m line the level line would be about 19 ft long + 4ft tippet making a total line of 7m ( 23ft 5in) . I don't think you will want to cast a line that is any longer than than that until you've gained some skill at casting. If you have not read it you might find the essay on long line tenkara that Daniel wrote for the Tenkarabum website informative. In the fourth paragraph he talks about casting lines of 15 or 18 ft plus 4 ft of tippet. Further down he talks about the assortment of standard lengths he carries. 15 feet of level line + 4 ft of tippet makes a line about 5.77m in length.

http://www.tenkarabum.com/long-line-tenkara.html

If you want to be guided by Dr Ishigaki line graph and have a selection of lines with total lenghts of 4m ( 13ft), 5.5m (18ft) or maybe 7m ( 23ft 5in) . Assuming each line will have about 4ft of tippet you would cut your level line about 4ft shorter than the total length. An example 14ft of level line + 4 ft of tippet would give you a 5.5m or 18ft line. Elsewhere in the section of the forum I think you will find that Daniel has stated that he finds the most versatile line length to be about 18 or 19 foot length.

From 65 ft of level line you could cut 5 lines: 2 9ft , 1 14 ft , 1 15ft and 1 18 ft line. Adding 4 ft of tippet to each of those length would give you 2 4m lines, 1 5.5m line , 1 5.77m ( 19 ft) line and one 7m line. That would be a good spectrum of line lengths to play around with. I don't think plus or minus 6inches to a foot in length makes that much difference. You might want to cut one 14ft line or a 9 to 10 foot line and try casting them first before deciding what lengths you want to divide the rest of line into.

My 2 cents.
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Re: Maximizing level line with line spools..

Postby sandtrout » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:27 am

Well! You're 2 cents of knowledge on Tenkara and lines is more than my whole bank account! Thanks for taking the time to answer IN DEPTH. I actually printed it out and have pulled it out of my pocket several times for review. I also printed out the info from the Tenkarabum site.

I'm very new to flyfishing. I took some free fly casting classes offered by The Long Beach Fly Caster's Club every April but have only been fly fishing twice. Then I ran into Tenkara on a fishing forum. Not so complex...very basic. I ended up (at the advice of many) getting the IWANA 11' with the package including furled line, hi-vis level line, and line holder.

In my backyard, the furled line casts great. Haven't tried the level line yet but didn't want to just start at random cutting different lengths to try. Your info will help a ton. I'm going to a free seminar tomorrow at a fly fishing store (Bob Marriotts) and local places to fish and I'll pick up some tippett material and some kebari flys if they have them. Thanks again for all the info! DAN
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Re: Maximizing level line with line spools..

Postby dwalker » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:17 pm

sandtrout wrote:Well! You're 2 cents of knowledge on Tenkara and lines is more than my whole bank account! Thanks for taking the time to answer IN DEPTH. I actually printed it out and have pulled it out of my pocket several times for review. I also printed out the info from the Tenkarabum site.

I'm very new to flyfishing. I took some free fly casting classes offered by The Long Beach Fly Caster's Club every April but have only been fly fishing twice. Then I ran into Tenkara on a fishing forum. Not so complex...very basic. I ended up (at the advice of many) getting the IWANA 11' with the package including furled line, hi-vis level line, and line holder.

..... I'm going to a free seminar tomorrow at a fly fishing store (Bob Marriotts) and local places to fish and I'll pick up some tippett material and some kebari flys if they have them. Thanks again for all the info! DAN



Sandtrout Dan,

You're welcome. Just keep in mind other people would recommend something different.

If the event you are attending is not casting tenkara rods and lines then tenkara casting will have some differences. A bit softer and a slower rhythm. In another thread in this same section of the forum the concept of line speed was introduced by Eddie. This was a new idea to me but apparently something that is considered when casting with western type fly fishing gear. Here is the summary presented by Eddie:

"A long line needs higher line speed than a shorter line if the lines have the same thickness, so basically a long line needs a stiffer rod that will generate higher line speed. But when a softer rod and a stiffer rod both can generate enough line speed for a long line, you can cast the long line with the softer rod with less force.

The best balance depends on your preference, but if the best balance represents easiness (less force) of cast, the rules of thumb can be:
1. A longer line needs higher line speed than a shorter line when the lines have the same thickness.
2. A lighter line needs higher line speed than a heavier line when the lines have the same length.
3. A rod will generate a higher line speed with a lighter line than with a heavier line.
4. A stiffer rod will generate higher line speed than a softer rod.

....
I think your can cast the furled line with the same rod more easier than the level line. From my experience, with the same rod, you can cast a furled taper line more easily than a level line with the same length.

I think the reason is that even if the line speed of the furled line is decreased due to heavier weight, that line speed is enough for the furled line."

If you think about the rod tip speed of different length of rods you will understand that a short western type fly rod has to move faster that the longer Tenkara rod. The tip of the longer rod will be moving faster because of its length thereby generating the required line speed Eddie talked about.

Chris Stewart tossed in this bit of advice:
"..Sakakibara-sensei mentioned last year in Japan, the only real force in the cast is at the start of the back cast."

This followed the idea of trying to add a bit more zip to the back cast than on the forward cast without adding power. iow - faster but not more powerful.

During the first minute of this 2:40 video you can see the gentle motion of this Japanese fisherman. It appears his back cast is just a little quicker than the forward cast.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLuDslahplY

One of my favorite tenkara videos is from Italy. A Japanese man living in Italy, named Ryuta, fishing with a 7 m ( 23ft) line, 6m of level line + 1 m of tippet. Using a 3.9m (12.8ft) You see his casting motion is rather slow, compared to the speed of western fly rod casting.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCUrI8f7_3E&feature=related

Casting different lengths of line is getting a bit away from your original question. However, you might find this thread informative. It was started by tj a few months back when he asked what is the Optimal line length vs length of Tenkara rod model length. Or the best balance of line length and rod length. This is probably closer helping you decide what lengths you will want to get out of your 65 ft of level line.

http://www.tenkarausa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2332

The summary was that the lengths of line suggested by tj were probably good for the maximum length you would want to try to cast but for effective fishing and easy casting reduce the lengths given by about 4 feet.

Another 1 cent.

D
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Re: Maximizing level line with line spools..

Postby adventureR » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:45 am

Sandtrout Dan, when I first started Tenkara fishing I began with a section of Level Line the same length as the rod. I feel this is a good starting point. Or a length of Level line about ten foot long really helps to show the fish a very natural delicate presentation with nothing but the fly touching the water. Then after getting good at casting these lengths when conditions dictate perhaps customize a length of line for a particular situation where you see a fish just beyond your reach, and stalking closer is difficult. The lengths of Level Line should last you a long time.

D, Good to see your back posting, great info. Always enjoy your insightful posts.
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Re: Maximizing level line with line spools..

Postby dwalker » Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:22 pm

adventureR wrote:Sandtrout Dan, when I first started Tenkara fishing I began with a section of Level Line the same length as the rod. I feel this is a good starting point. Or a length of Level line about ten foot long really helps to show the fish a very natural delicate presentation with nothing but the fly touching the water. ......
D, Good to see your back posting, great info. Always enjoy your insightful posts.


Thanks aR. I've been busy with other life issues and I figured the forum could use a break from my odd rambling thoughts. So while still reading the forum I've refrained from posting much lately . :)


sandtrout wrote:.... I ended up (at the advice of many) getting the IWANA 11'.....
Thanks again for all the info! DAN


Dan since I now know you have the 11ft ( 3.3m) Iwana, and as adventureR mentioned he and many other folks start off with a line about the length of their rod, then I think starting with a line about 11ft + 3 to 4 ft of tippet would be a good starting place. Or may be you'll find you want to go a little shorter, 9 or 10 ft before adding on the tippet, till you get the hang of Tenkara casting and landing a hooked fish.

Like me I think you are wanting to not waste line by ending up with pieces that are to short to be useful. Thinking about the 11' Iwana and how to make maximum use of 65ft of level line. I would revise my previous suggestion and skip the longer line lengths. You could get 2-11ft lines, 2 - 14 ft lines and 1 - 15 ft line. No wasted piece of line 3 to 6 ft in length which is kind of useless unless you have some other weight of line and want to make a hand tied tapered line.

Again I would not cut all of it to different lengths until you know what you like or can use on the streams you fish. I would perhaps start with two lines: 11ft line and a 14 ft line. Add on 3 to 4 ft of tippet. And try casting and fishing with them.

If you look again at the Ishigaki graph on the Little Streams video. You may note that the referenced rod length is 4.0m ~ 4.5m. He then list 4 lengths of line that are 4m, 5.5m, 7m and 9.5m. Or thought about in another way he shows lines that if referenced to the 4m rod the length the lines as a ratio or multiple of the rod length ( RL ) are : 4M = 1.0xRL, 5.5m = 1.375x RL, 7m = 1.75RL and 9.5m = 2.375xRL. I don't think most of us would try using a line 2.375x RL. To long and to tiring to cast and probably not useful most of time. ( maybe useful after years of experience on the right river ) :o

For the 11ft Iwana a line length of 11ft + 4 ft of tippet = 1.379xRL, about the same ratio as the ratio of the 4m rod to a 5.5m line. So maybe try an 11ft line plus tippet. See how it works for you. You can always use a shorter tippet or shorten the level line a foot or two if you find you'd like it a bit shorter.

If you cut a piece of level line at 15ft and add 4 ft of tippet = 19 ft, the ratio to the 11ft Iwana is 1.75. The same ratio of the Ishigaki 4m rod and 7m line. I don't think you will want to try fishing with a line any longer than that with your Iwana. At that length it takes a little more skill to roll over the line during the cast and land the fly first and keep the line off the water.

The 19ft line with the Iwana should let you cast to about 17 to 24ft maximum range keeping the rod angle high, one o'clock angle. Someone mentioned on another post that some experienced fly fisher said that around 20 ft is the perfect fishing distance. And this should cover that range easily.

And of course a piece of level line 14 ft in length + 4 ft of tippet will get you an 18 ft line. As mentioned before Daniel has stated elsewhere that he finds an 18ft line to be a good all-round length to use. otoh, he mostly uses the 3.9m Ayu or Ito. An 18ft line on 3.9m rod has a ratio of 1.4x RL. But , 1.4x3.3m ( Iwana) = 15ft. Which brings you back to the same ratio as 11ft level line + 4ft of tippet on the 11ft Iwana rod. Which is more useful or easier to use - an 18ft line or using a rod/line with the ratio of 1.4xRL? Only fishing with the different combinations on the streams available to you will answer that question.

If using 11ft of level line, adding about 3 to 4 ft of tippet you should still be able to cast to around the 20ft range with a lower rod angle, two o'clock angle. Try this length and see how it works for you. Maybe you will find you might want to shorten it a bit to 10 ft or 9 ft before added a length of tippet. Then try working up to casting a little longer line. Holding the rod angle high when using a total line length of 15 ft you should also be able to cast as close as about 10 ft too.

Cut two pieces of level line: 1 14 ft and another 11 ft. Try the 11ft first, see how it works or if you want to shorten it a little. After some practice or some fishing with that length try the 14ft line. Only after that decide how to best cut the remaining 40 ft of line. Who can tell - you might find that 11ft of level line + 4 ft of tippet is the best for you. In which case, from 65ft of LL you can cut five 11ft lines and one 10 ft line.

That's about the best ideas I have for an 3.3m Iwana and how to best utilize 65 ft of level line. Maybe others with different experience will suggest something different.
fwiw, David :)
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Re: Maximizing level line with line spools..

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:20 pm

I think the suggestions here are right on. Thanks David for the thorough analysis and suggestion on line lengths.

One thing I'd like to remind people about the level line is the ability to cut and join lines as you see fit and during fishing. I do this more often than necessary and more often than most people probably will. But, for example, you may want to go out with two spools of line, say one that is 11ft and the other 15. You could possibly join these two lines and then have a very long 26ft line to fish the large river you saw on your way to the smaller one. Or, you can start with just one spool of 20ft, then you find it too long, cut 5ft off, wind it in a coil and put it in your pocket. Fish your line at 15ft then if you really need rejoin them to make it a 20ft line. That's a neat thing about level lines.
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Re: Maximizing level line with line spools..

Postby jayfisher » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:11 am

I was going to suggest what Daniel just said about joining lines. Cutting line shorter isn't the "end of the line." Lines can be rejoined without affecting casting very much at all. Use a traditional blood knot or (much easier) a triple surgeon's knot.

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