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Tapered Tenkara Leaders For Floating Tenkara Lines

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:16 pm
by Karl Klavon
Using Tenkara Level Fluoro Carbon Line For Leader Construction: Most PVC Floating Lines used for Tenkara fly fishing will have a breaking strength of around 20 Pounds. A tapered leader made out of level Fluorocarbon Tenkara lines can easily be made using sizes 4.5, 3.5 and 2.5 line sizes if you mostly fish wet weighted and unweighted Tenkara fly patterns. However, if you want to get the most it is possible to get out of fishing with Dry Flies, then using Nylon for the butt section will give you much longer and more effective floating dry fly presentations.

The best material I have found for the slow-sink Butt Section is RIO's 16 LB. Nylon STEELHEAD/SALMON TIPPET MATERIAL, which is a medium stiff material in a Glacial Green color that easily blends into most lake and stream water colors. In a leader application, what you need is a Low-Vis FC instead of the more popular FL-Pink, Orange and Chartreuse FC. Lines commonly available. The line I am presently using is made by Valcan. Its a Fluoro Carbon level line made in Japan for Tenkara fishing, with a model name of Sanyo. It is a pale, milky Green in color but turns a light FL-Sky-Blue under a Black Light, which so far has not hampered its fish catching abilities in the least.

The leader formula I have presently settled on is: 24 inches of 16 LB. RIO Salmon/Steelhead Tippet Material; 18" of 3.5 size Valcan Sanyo; 12" of size 2.5 Valcan Sanyo, with a final 9" of 8 Lb. Cabela's No-Vis FC. Spinning Line. The pound test progression is: 16#, 12#, 10# and 8Lb, finished off with the 5X or 6X FC. tippet material of your choice, in about a 3 foot length. This gives a total leader length of between 8 and 9 feet. And with a Floating line equal to the length of the rod you are fishing, plus the length of the leader and tippet, you have an ample enough reach to catch a lot of stillwater fish. With this leader I have fished tippets until they became less than 12 inches long without any noticable fall off in fish catching ability.

Knots: For leader section joining knots the Doubled Figure-8, which is simply a figure-8 knot tied with the two different line size strands at the same time. For connecting to the leader to floating line and tippets to the leader, Perfection Loops are used, as well as on the Floating PVC line. A small loop on the PVC line and 3 inch or so long loops on the tippet, which acts as a transition section to the heavier leader line above it.

Conclusion: Of course with such a long length of line and leader out, landing fish will require hand-line-ing-in the fish. The easiest way to accomplish this is to get a hold of the line with your free hand and transfer it to your rod hand for control, then strip the line in with your free hand from behind your rod hand, controlling the line with the first finger and thumb of your rod hand, giving you about an arm-length and a half of line gathering ability in one stroke. At times you may have to give line to the fish and even put the fish back on the rod, which is easy enough to do by letting the line slide through your fingers and releasing it completely if necessary. Wear the fish down and then gain line control again and begin anew. Most of us do not get to catch fish big enough to require this technique. But it is useful to know how to do it for when that big fish comes along, so practice on your average sized fish from time to time. Tight lines....Karl.