I have never been a fan of fishing magazines.
I have never found any interest in these publications where half of the pages are ads. These magazines are pretty cheap but 5, 6 or 7 $ for fifty pages of advertisements is really too much for my taste.
The determining factor in my decision is not the price but the fact that fishing magazines do not cover topics that can have interest for me or if they cover interesting topics I do not like the way it is done.
There is no regular Tenkara publication yet in this part of the world except the one by Tenkara USA whose issue #2 is expected.
In Japan the fishing press is literally oversized, it is kind of impressive to see the incredible offer in fishing magazines and I was looking for one that could encounter my needs and requirements my attention was caught by HEADWATER Magazine.
When I purchased my first copy I was convinced it was destined to become a collector, that it would please me to have it in my shelf but when I started to browse its page I did realize that it was the magazine I have always dreamed of! This magazine is strictly speaking about Tenkara or Keiryu but it encompasses the different fishing techniques used in the mountains of Japan as well as other activities such as Sawanobori, mushroom picking, traditional crafts, etc. I really like this aspect of Headwater magazine which considers fishing as a part of the culture and not as a mere hobby. In this issue there is, among many other things, a review of the Sakura rods by Takashi Yoshida (yoshidakebari); he also does a review of the Patagonia kit in this issue. Like often in this magazine the pictures are really breathtaking. There are a lot of full page pictures in this magazine. It is no surprise that I have decided to collect every issue of this magazine but not only for the pleasure of collecting a great fishing magazine it is also because I consider Headwater as a reliable source of information about fishing techniques I am interested in such as Tenkara or Keiryu.
I think that a good analysis of photos of fishermen such Takashi Yoshida, Yuzo Sebata or Masami Sakakibara can teach me, along with my own experiences, what I need to know about these fishing techniques.
For each fishing report a diagram is included and this is something that, as far as I know does not exist elsewhere. it is a simple and good idea to find infos about different rigging in each fishing technique depicted in the magazine. Too bad that western magazines prefer focusing on useless complications and unnecessary accessories.
This issue includes many things including an article about Yuzo Sebata, several articles about Keiryu, fly fishing, tenkara, the new Tiemco clothing range, etc. The menu is hearty.
This magazine is really full of interesting things and the gear reviews show the lead that the Japanese companies have in the design and functionality of fishing, mountaineering, hinking and camping equipment.
If you want to get an accurate idea of what is an excellent fishing magazine I recommend to check this one.