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Maximum Casting Range of tenkara rods - matched line length

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Maximum Casting Range of tenkara rods - matched line length

Postby TJ @ Tenkara USA » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:21 pm

I was thinking today about optimal casting distances of all the Tenkara USA rods I own.

Now I know this can vary depending on line length and all that, but for today I wanted to stick with main lines the same length of the rod. For me, and for the way I cast, the Tenkara USA rods really work so perfectly with (and for me optimally) when the main line matches the rod length and then adding 4’ of tippet to that main line.

The casting seems easier, the fly lands first, and it just seems this works for me well.

I wanted to establish some casting distances for myself so I could cast each rod model with matching lines and 4’ tippet so I could set out targets all around my property at those distances so I can better focus on my casting and accuracy.

Here is what I am coming up with and wondered if this seems to fit the rest of your casting distances. This takes into account I stop at the normal 10 o’clock positition and slightly pull back on the rod so the fly lands first and flips over nicely where I wanted it to go.

These ranges below might help someone else who wants to figure out how far they should be casting the tenkara style rods. Of course this is just my opinion and wondered what others thought.

Iwana 9’ - Maximim Casting Distance = 15’ to 17’ range.
Iwana 11’ - Maximum Casting Distance = 18’ to 20’ range.
Iwana 12’, Yamame 12’, Ebisu 12’ = Maximum Casting Distance 20’ to 22’ range.
Ayu 13’, Ito 13’ Mode, Amago 13.5’ = Maximum Casting Distance 23’ to 25’ range.
Ito 14.5’ Mode = Maximum Casting Distance 27’ to 29’ range.

With all of these maximum ranges one can lean more into the cast or going a bit past the 10 o’clock position to reach the cast out further for even more range but I like to keep things simple and comfortable for myself.

So what I summize is depending on what rod I decide to use, and with the tenkara fly fishing method of fishing, I can cast anywhere from 15’ up to a maximum of almost 30’ when I head out to the waters.

I think that sure does cover a great effective range to catch fish. And as a backup system, having some longer level lines handy with say the Ito in 14.5’ mode, one can take there casts someplace between 30’ and 40’ with effective fly first casts. That is if one has practiced casting a 25’+ line. 8-)

I tried casting a 20’ Level Line with 4’ Tippet today on my 12’ Yamame and 13’ Ayu and I sure was all over the place. I just have not had enough time and practice working on shooting out that much line and never really tried it before other than I think I tried Daniel’s Ito when we fished that once with 18‘ of line.

I have found though I really prefer same length as rod main lines as the level of control and placement of fly is that much better for me. I figure if I can cast someplace between 15’ and 29’ with targeted casts, I should have a nice time fishing most waters.

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Re: Optimal Casting Distances of Tenkara USA rods

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:52 pm

Great topic TJ,

I think your observations on the lengths are close to being a good generalization based on my experience as well. But, I have to add a few things:
1) I'm not crazy about the term "optimal", and would prefer something else to be used for this purpose. Optimal brings up the need for a definition "what is it optimal for?". Optimal casting distances are really determined by the stream one is fishing. Fishing with 15 ft of line with all the rods may be the optimal for most scenarios.
2) What I think you mean by optimal, is a "maximum length of line that can be comfortably cast and used on large streams." I think 27-29' of line is a bit too long to be called optimal for most people in most situations. I personally think 18ft of line is a very good all-around length for just about any of the rods in large streams.
3) This may vary slightly based on the line diameter being used.
4) I think the suggested ranges are good references for maximum lengths people could use, but I generally would suggest 3-4ft less for a more comfortable experience with long lines.

Iwana 9’ = 15’ to 17’ range.
Iwana 11’ = 18’ to 20’ range.
Iwana 12’, Yamame 12’, Ebisu 12’ = 20’ to 22’ range.
Ayu 13’, Ito 13’ Mode, Amago 13.5’ = 23’ to 25’ range.
Ito 14.5’ Mode = 27’ to 29’ range.
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Re: Maximum Casting Range of tenkara rods - matched line length

Postby TJ @ Tenkara USA » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:12 pm

Re-worded to maximum and adjusted thread title.

Maybe this makes better sense.

I also was having a hard time deciding if "optimal" was the right word but maybe maximum is better.

Although for me, I think optimal may still apply somewhat for optimal length of line to cast and effectively keep the main line off the water so only fly and maybe tippet are in the water. I think at a certain point with very long lines it is rather hard to keep the main line off the water but I am no long line expert and can only relate what I have experienced so far while using various lengths of lines.

Basically what I am trying to get at is, "these are the distances one should be able to get casting these rods when open casting space is available to them".

Now one can put out targets to practice at during non fishing days. Then in time you can practice leaning into a cast and get extra mileage from a cast when needed, or going past the 10 o'clock position to do the same.


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Re: Maximum Casting Range of tenkara rods - matched line length

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:45 pm

TJ, completely agree with you and I could see that by optimal you meant ""these are the distances one should be able to get casting these rods when open casting space is available to them", and that it can be cast with comfort and also kept off the water. I feel you got the lengths right for "maximum optimal".

For example, I can actually cast 35ft of line with the Ito (maybe even 40ft), but that is not comfortable, not necessary and just not optimal. Up to 30ft it is okay, and that's as much as I use in demonstrations to show what is possible, though I do like to emphasize a shorter line is equally or more effective. 18ft is probably my preferred length all around.
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Re: Maximum Casting Range of tenkara rods - matched line length

Postby delaneg » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:26 pm

Thanks to you both for this exchange. It cleared up a lot of questions I had concerning lines, length and casting. One of the best forums on the internet is here at Tenkara USA and well worth the daily visits.
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Re: Maximum Casting Range of tenkara rods - matched line length

Postby scorpion1971 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:24 am

Let me through a few other points in. You are mainly talking about streams that you fish. Most of my fishing is in retention ponds or lakes. I also fish from a kayak. Then you are talking about mainly over head or side arm cast. You may find using spey cast helpful casting the longer lines. Of course you may have to use regular fly line or a poly leader to help retain the anchor point. Now I have only fished with my tenkara rod 2 times and I have not tried a spey cast with it so I am not sure if it is even possible but I am sure it can be done. I like to think outside of the box compared to other and try new things. I would also like to add that my main target with my tenkara rod is panfish and bass compared to most fishing for trout.

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Re: Maximum Casting Range of tenkara rods - matched line len

Postby richard859 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:48 am

I've read a book recently thats called ''Advanced Fly Fishing'' the authour says the perfect range to be when fly fishing is 20' from the fish. He states it gives you all the best possibilities. Less drag, better line control, accurate casting, possibility to spot the take.

Makes you think as that's the ranges you talking about with most Tenkara rods??

Regards Richard.
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Re: Maximum Casting Range of tenkara rods - matched line len

Postby TJ @ Tenkara USA » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:42 pm

richard859 wrote:I've read a book recently thats called ''Advanced Fly Fishing'' the authour says the perfect range to be when fly fishing is 20' from the fish. He states it gives you all the best possibilities. Less drag, better line control, accurate casting, possibility to spot the take.

Makes you think as that's the ranges you talking about with most Tenkara rods??

Regards Richard.


Interesting.

I also feel that a 15' to 25' range is just about right for a great fishing experience. Seems you are that much more connected to the experience.

I posed a new thread about me loving the Iwana 9' rod but thought I would post the link to my video here as it helps confirm my ranges I set initially, at least for a Iwana 9' rod.

Seems 17' for me is just about right for my Iwana 9'. Adding a little more level line one can easily get to that lower 20' range and be just as accurate. Or some good leaning and reaching of the rod past the 10 o'clock position using my same line lengths could work also.

Enjoy...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuWwuUemSHw

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Re: Maximum Casting Range of tenkara rods - matched line len

Postby erik.ostrander » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:10 pm

Casting range for me does not equal rod length + line length. I never lay my line out all on the water. I'd say I probably lose 10% of the summed distance when I fish. Keeping the line off the water is more important than range.
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Re: Maximum Casting Range of tenkara rods - matched line len

Postby TJ @ Tenkara USA » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:27 pm

erik.ostrander wrote:Casting range for me does not equal rod length + line length. I never lay my line out all on the water. I'd say I probably lose 10% of the summed distance when I fish. Keeping the line off the water is more important than range.


Does not for me either. My distances I noted are what I consider my max cast distance by rod models and line lengths being used that I feel comfortable casting to a target while I can still hold all but fly and maybe a little tippet off the water. ;)

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