mardi 26 août 2014


Once again Fumi A releases as often a worth watching (and analyzing) video. For the people who can't afford learning with a guide watching this kind of videos can really help.

vendredi 22 août 2014


Tenkara fishing leads some of us to question and change our gear and also the accessories we carry with us when fishing.

For some time I have realized that I was not satisfied by my accessories and that I was more and more interested in having some of them made by myself like Tamos.

I am lucky enough to be offered one of these authentic Japanese nets by a friend who is a fine fisherman and I thank him because this copy allows me to have a model made in the rules of art. It is simple yet beautiful. It is soulful. This is not an industrial product.

I now enjoy my fishing trips to collect wood but not just any. I am only interested by species which I found mentioned on Japanese websites or those advised by Japanese anglers who make their Tamos themselves. Some species are very difficult or impossible to find in Europe so in that case I choose the local species which is the closer in the family. 
Holly, yew, fir. Light and supple wood. That is no surprise, why would one make the work difficult with heavy and hard wood? 

It also gives me another reason to spend my free time in the woods which is always a good thing!

I do not know yet if I will be able to produce any Tamo really worthwhile but I think that if I am able to make a good use of all the informations I have found on the internet combined with the advices of some Japanese friends I will reach honorable results. 
It is also important to me to create something that fits my Tenkara that I want to develop through the knowledge and respect of the Japanese fishing culture. 

Now I have to be patient because I have no intention to spoil these materials by working them before they are dry which will take at least nine months. My reward shall be to create Tamos worth of the name.

jeudi 21 août 2014


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

jeudi 14 août 2014


Paul and John continue to share their trip to Japan with us but this time their publication does not directly deal with fishing. The two guys behind Discover Tenkara are among the most active in Europe (and generally in the west) to publicize Tenkara as a cultural aspect and not only as a fishing technique.

They interest us today in Japanese cuisine shared with friends after a fishing trip. As usual the article is very interesting and this video is very appetizing!

Tenkara Food and Friends in Japan from Discover Tenkara on Vimeo.

mardi 12 août 2014


My fishing outfit has changed a lot this year, the vest was replaced by a strap pack, Montana's anvils gave way to real wading shoes and since I have them that fit better with my practice of wading I do not feel like wearing my chest waders anymore. These waders stay in their storage and have been replaced by neoprene gaiters.

After taking information from anglers with feedback about this kind of equipment I did choose the Keiryu model from the Japanese company Caravan
I opted for gaiters because I do not really need waders as I very rarely fish in deep places and when you walk a lot as I do when I go fishing a pair of waders reveal uncomfortable and take the wear very quickly. My gaiters are size L (the biggest in this model) and only weigh 11.6 oz! It is really much less than the weigh of any pair of chest waders.

These gaiters are made of 3 mm thick neoprene, the tibia zone is doubled, they close with a YKK zipper and this closure is protected by a velcro. The most obvious advantage of these gaiters have on waders is that in case you make a hitch on them they remain functional while waders with a snag immediately start filling with water. Combined with good shoes like the KR-1F these gaiters offer a permanent drainage. 

The velcro is very effective and it remains impeccably closed, may it be dry or wet. The zipper is a YKK so it is not a surprise to have a reliable operation.

The gaiters are secured to the shoes by a small hook like stockings are on any pair of waders. The upper leg ends with a hem made of flexible rubber foam allowing the gaiters to firmly stay in place when walking. 

This product is really excellent, it is not expensive (USD 58) and the comfort is truly exceptional. They come in three sizes and two colors. 
If you want to purchase these gaiters I invite to visit Tenkara-ya tackle shop. Keiichi Okushi who is the manager of the shop will give you all the infos and advices you can need. 

jeudi 7 août 2014


Like many european Tenkara enthusiasts I know Tenkara Centre UK through their website and their Youtube channel but I had never had the opportunity to try one of their rod yet. I have received this rod from Mike Roden in last May, fished a lot with it and it is now time to review this rod.

Let's start with the specifications.

Length: 12 ft
Closed Length: 22.5 in
Weight: 2.4 oz
Sections: 8
Action: 6:4
Handle: 9.75 in

The Hayase (which means "rapids" in Japanese) comes in an embroidered rod bad that closes with velcro and a carbon fibre tube closing with aluminium caps. The TCUK is printed on this tube, the rod's name being reduced to a sticker.
The least we can say is that for the people at TCUK aesthetic details are more than only details!

The rod has a mate black finish, a very good quality cork handle. Even though I do not consider the cork quality as essential I was not surprised to read a famous blogger considering this handle quality higher than his Winston Rod's one. I think the handle shape is one of  most important factor to have a comfortable rod to fish with and I can tell you that if the Hayase's handle has a pretty uncommon shape it reveals to be very comfortable!

The tip and handle plugs are classic. The tip plug is made of wood with rubber insert while the handle plug is knurled metal with drain hole of course but also a coin slot.

When I did receive the rod the first thing I did was disassembling it and I noticed that the deburring of the rubber insert in the handle plug was not properly executed and that was the reason why I found rubber particles in the cap thread.

I do not hold it against the TCUK team because this "defect" is very common on the market. This demonstrates that one must be careful with his rods to keep them in the best possible conditions to avoid stuck segments and breakage. 

With a name meaning "swift currents" I was excepting a crisp action rod like a Nissin Kawashi for example but the Hayase is a bit particular as the two top sections are very supple and the six other are pretty stiff. This makes the casting very easy and accurate and allows the use of very light tippets which is a good thing to obtain better kebari drifts.

To conclude I consider the Hayase as good rod, with flattering aesthetics and even if I have personal preferences for more minimalist appearance  this rod really answers to a need in the western Tenkara galaxy. 

If you are interested by this rod, visit Tenkara Centre UK

mardi 5 août 2014


Tenkara has not only revolutionized my fishing it also makes my gear change because I am more demanding than I was. I want my gear to be really adapted to my fishing.

After years of loyalty to Simms I decided to look for something else, not that my Freestone boots were used, they were not, but after almost two seasons wearing it I was convinced that these boots were not only heavy and uncomfortable but also unadapted to the use I wanted to do.
The last memory I have with these boots is snatching the whole padding that was so uncomfortable and made the boots impossible to dry...I will never be caught buying Simms boots again.

I had to find new wading shoes that would meet my three basic requirements: light, comfortable and easy to dry. And if possible a good value for money.
I started a thread in a Facebook group to get feedback about wet wading gear and an experienced friend of mine (Thanks Adam!) helped me to focus my research.
I found some interesting products on Japanese websites where the kind of gear I was looking for is quite common.
Quickly Caravan products held my attention and after visits of a few other companies websites I finally purchased the Keiryu KR-1F model by Caravan.

I am now going to try to present their main characteristics and my opinion about the three main criteria in choosing this model.

The weight of my pair (size 28 cm) is only 1.2 kg while the Simms (that ended their brief career in a bin) weighted 1850 grams!The lightweight feel of the Keiryu shoes is also reinforced by the facts that there is no unnecessary padding. Some would argue that these dense foam panels are necessary to protect one's ankle but to me this argument is fallacious because when an angler is wading he walks slowly anyway to remain as unobtrusive as possible in the eyes of fishes, he does not rush at the stream like an angry bull!

The comfort of these shoes is really amazing! The upper part is made of nylon mesh and the lining is a non-woven fabric and this combination ensures a great flexibility of the ensemble. The KR-1F are not as supple as my Mizuno running sneakers but they are pretty close. They are really light years far from the Bozeman's anvils! It should also be noted that the lower part of the shoes is made a very light and flexible set consisting of an EVA midsole, a non vulcanized rubber sole and a charcoal felt sole. 
When you walk several miles on smashed paths to go fishing I can assure that I really make the difference between good and bad shoes.

One of the main problem with wading shoes is drying them, and dry them well to keep them in good conditions and healthy. 
I never found a good solution until I purchased the KR-1F. I only have to place them in an airflow away from the sun. That's it!
The fabric of these shoes is so light that most of the time when I am back home after fishing they are already almost dry so the process is pretty fast. This also avoids the use of chemical deodorant and desiccant products that are often used with hard to dry wading boots. 

My last criteria was value for money and I have to say that these excellent wading shoes are cheaper than the basic Simms model I had before. 

I am totally satisfied with these wading shoes and there is no doubt that I will remain faithful to Caravan from now on.