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Tenkara stress test?

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 7:08 pm
by jeffkreager
I received my beautiful new Tenkara rod in the mail last week and for the first time took it out tonight for some fishing.

I wanted to test the rod at the local pond before taking it to the mountains this weekend for stream brook trout fishing. I caught close to 30 fish and the rod performed flawlessly on large bluegill and bass up to 15 inches. (I couldn't catch a bigger one). I worked on my landing technique and practiced with several different length tippets. To say the rod is simple is an understatement. The joy of it comes in the simplicity but the ability to present a well delivered fly equals that of any fly rod.

I have several suggestions but that will be a different post.

The pond I was fishing is loaded with grass carp which weigh up to 30 lbs. If you try real hard you can get one to take a fly. I had on 8 lb. 3x tippet. The fish are very shy but I was able to sneak up to a nice 10 lb grass carp and delicately flip my fly in front of his nose. Yea, I know. Dumb move but I treat all my gear like this. Without hesitation the fight was on. My first thought (after OH SH*T!) was that my rod was going to snap in two but my Tenkara rod just bent over and over and over until...until...until...much to my surprise, nothing happend!? My tippet would not break because my rod was so flexible and my rod wouldn't break because it was so strong. I ran up and down the bank while the fish was leaving washtub size swirls in the water until he got off. Finally breaking my tippet after I tried to horse him up the bank.

These rods are strong!

Keep in mind I never held the rod over 60 degrees.

Re: Tenkara stress test?

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 9:42 pm
by Daniel @ Tenkara USA
WOW! What an experience Jeff....!
I am very glad you liked the rod, and also VERY glad (though with mixed emotions of surprise, awe, and the need to say "not recommended" :) that you hooked such a large fish and the rod stood the test.
This is incredible, and may be the hardest field test our rods have gone through so far, in all our outings we handn't encountered fish that big yet...tried hooking a passing cow, but nothing in the water....I think I would have panicked a bit.
Thanks a lot for the report

Re: Tenkara stress test?

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:56 am
by CM_Stewart
That is an amazing story. I am very impressed that the Tenkara USA rod held up to the carp until the 8# test tippet broke. That said, I think I'll stay with 6x. The way I see it, tenkara rods protect a light tippet, and a light tippet protects tenkara rods.

Re: Tenkara stress test?

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 11:10 am
by jeffkreager
Here's some fish porn from the other day.
Image

Image

Re: Tenkara stress test?

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 5:03 pm
by Daniel @ Tenkara USA
Hey Jeff,

Since you caught a lot of fish and some large ones, I was curious how you found landing the fish worked? Was it difficult or pretty intuitive?

- Daniel

Re: Tenkara stress test?

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 8:17 pm
by jeffkreager
Daniel,

Very good question.

I have been putting my rod through some rigorous testing. I have a list of questions and suggestions from personal experience I have been saving for a later date and more testing. That will follow in June. I want to get more time under my belt before making any assumptions.

I have used several different techniques to land the fish. First of all I have used leader/tippet combos that range from 12-20 feet in length. By far the best combination for the easiest landing is the 12-14 foot leader/tippet combo and a small landing net. I was able to rescue a fish from the water quickly and harmlessly.

While fishing conventional fly rods in the mountains a big concern is dragging or bumping a caught fish into one of the many large rocks in the stream.

With a 12-14 foot leader/tippet I would simply extend the rod up and away in the left hand and reach for the fish with my right. The net would safely subdue the fish. Nets are best hung off the right hip with this technique. With a 20 foot leader/tippet I would hold the rod in my left hand, grab the line with my right hand and pull it towards the left and pinch it between my left hand and rod handle. I would repeat this process until the fish was close enough to net. It is best to net a fish while it is still in the water. You can't be too careful with light tippets. Holding the rod straight up is best to avoid trees and bushes. If necessary to point the rod horizonal it's best to point it straight up or down stream.

Landing without a net is also possible but a net allows you to safely set the rod aside while you use both hands to unhook and release a fish. Small stream trout are very delicate and require extra attention as well as the 12 foot rods in brushy areas. Nets are a must.

I'm fishing the fast action Yamane model. I'm not sure if the bend of a slower rod will require different adjustments or techniques.

I just purchased some 12 foot leaders (mono) i'm going to test soon. After I find a good leader/tippet combo I'll be working on landing with longer leaders.

I was rained out of my WV trip this weekend. I have a 4 day trip planned at the end of the month. In the mean time nothing more exotic than the local panfish and bass.

Re: Tenkara stress test?

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 4:21 pm
by mcpenttila
Sounds like fun Jeff. Too bad to hear about the WVA trip being lousy weather. I'm headed off on vacation starting tonight, will be leaving Friday moring first thing and will be returning after Memorial Day. I've got a Iwana 12 foot rod to try out on the local brook, brown, rainbow, and tiger trout up here in New England.

Sounds like fun with the bass and panfish, I might give that a shot tomorrow moring before I need to pack everything up for the weekend.

Talk to you later

Matt

Re: Tenkara stress test?

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:26 pm
by jeffkreager
Good luck Matt. We expect photos.