vendredi 31 octobre 2014


A few weeks ago as I was hanging on the web I did go back to the Owner co. website and I came by chance on a hook that immediately caught my attention. A hook whose name means "bent corner" and whose shape exactly matches what I was looking for.

This hook has a micro spade, a good feature to make the tying easier and stronger. In my opinion the two basic qualities of a kebari are to match the "taste" of fishes and be strong enough to survive multiple takes. I am not a collector looking for artistic quality to his ties, I am an angler and my kebari are not destined to spend their career in boxes. 
The Ikkaku chirashi is a fine wire hook with a short shank, a typically generous curve, a very wide gap and a laser sharp short point. 
Many tenkara newbies complain to miss a lot of fishes because of their bad hook setting and every time one of them asks me advices about that my answer is always the same: fish with wide gap hooks! 
One should know that this type of hooks, just like the Shinobi and the Micro X from Owner, are not tenkara hooks but are designed for Ayu fishing, a traditional live bait technique in which hook setting absolutely needs to be efficient. 

Here is a comparative picture of the Ikkaku Chirashi with two commonly used hooks in Europe: 

As you see it is not always good to trust the size number printed on the labels!

If you are interested by these hooks you can purchase some here if you live in Europe; I invite overseas anglers to get in touch with my friend Keiichi Okushi of

Meanwhile I invite you to watch a tying video of my favorite fly: the Takayama sakasa kebari. 

mercredi 29 octobre 2014


Since I have been practicing tenkara I have used several different line spools and I will share today my definitive opinion about some of them.

This post only reflects my opinion based on my experience of using these spools, it is therefore possible that other tenkara anglers have different opinions about these products.

The Tenkara Pyrénées spool accompanied me often. This cork spool is very light and strong but as I do not wear waders anymore I realized that its thickness is too important for I keep it in the pockets of my pants. The major drawback for me, in addition to the thickness, isthe axial hole which is too small to allow a secure locking of the spool on the handle of my favorite tenkara rods. 

The styro-foam spool...I had purchased 8 of these in a clar plastic case on e-bay and I must say that for the super cheap price I did pay I had what I deserved! The 8 spools were destroyed in 8 outings. I always put my spool in my pants pockets and these ones were quickly so squeezed that they had become unusable. I personally think it is a shame that more and more tenkara tackle shop sell these to their customers at high prices when this is ultra cheap on wholesale and low quality. Avoid this #rap!
Eclectic Angler is the only company to offer a 3D printed spool that I like for its small dimensions (only 48 mm in diameter!) and light weight (0.34 oz)! It is deep despite the small diameter but on the other hand the axial hole is quite small, at least too small for I can lock it on the handle of my favorite tenkara rod. It is exclusively sold on the Eclectic Angler website for 10 US dollars. 
The Raji Leica spool has the advantage of an incredible strength and convenience. It is not thick (13 mm) and lightweight (12.5 grams). One can use a tiny metal rod to hang the fly but in this case I advise not to try to put the spool on the rod handle. This spool has many notches and very dense foam so there are a lot of possibilities to manage your fly and your line. Like many other tenkara line spools you will have to write on it to identify the line stocked. All in all this accessory is very good quality and not expensive. 
My favorite spool! The Meiho Shibamaru is very convenient with many notches to manage your fly and your line. It is not deep but one will stock a 20 ft line (level or tapered) without problem. This spool is incredibly strong, only 14 mm thick and pretty light (0.61 oz). It is sold in packs of two including stickers to identify the line stocked on the spools. I also like this spool because I can "lock" it on the handle of my favorite rod; that is how I carry my line when I go fishing or when I walk from a spot to another.  

Tenkara is a rod, a line and a fly. A good spool in my opinion is convenient and strong. It is the product that will avoid replacing cheap and bad quality accessories by other cheap and bad quality accessories. 
This post is based on my experience with one of the rare useful accessories in tenkara and you might not agree with my choices. It's your right! 

lundi 27 octobre 2014


I have just read a very interesting article by John and Paul about the origins of the world "tenkara" which remains very mysterious.
But their interpretation is probably the most  credible that I have known so far.

You can read this very interesting article here. It is never useless to learn more about our beloved fishing technique, isn't it? 

mardi 21 octobre 2014


At the end of the 2013 season I had decided to experience the one fly theory that has nothing of a dogma but rather a fishing theory based on the principle that for tenkara fishermen technique is more important to catch fishes than the choice of a particular fly.
After that season finished I decided to stay true to the most productive pattern used in 2013 inspired by a traditional Japanese pattern: the Takayama sakasa kebari.
Some of my ties were the same than the original Japanese pattern, others were not for the simple reason that I did not have enough stock of this or that element of the pattern and I wanted to buy as little as possible fly tying materials during this 2014 season.

I no longer differentiate my flies in categories such as "wet", "emerging" or "dries" because I think that as I do not consider tenkara in terms such as "fly fishing without reel" so I am not limited by the restrictive boundaries of the different sects ruling the fly fishing microcosm. I rather explore all the possibilities offered by only one pattern. 
As I wrote in the introduction the one fly theory is not a dogma but it is nevertheless advised for those who want to improve their technique. 

During the 2014 season, which was probably the most difficult in many years, I did not get skunked any single time and I even surprised myself to catch trouts in places where I had never caught anything else than chubs! 
I think that fishing only with one fly pattern makes you question your technique and can help to improve it and make you more self confident while continuous fly pattern changes only lead to fill boxes.
Trout is not less opportunistic and more intelligent than other freshwater fish species, I am not a partisan of the smoking theories about the "intelligence" of trouts. Their brain is not bigger than the one of a chicken but I have never met an angler praising the intelligence of chicken. 

Self confidence and technique are the keys to successful fishing. Is it a coincidence if the true fly fishermen that were our fathers and grandfathers used only a few fly patterns generally tied with materials found in their backyard or in the woods? Absolutely not! I am sure that they know that their technique was more important than the pattern used. 

My one fly experience has really brought me to fish with more self confidence than ever and there is no doubt for me that if I had not questioned my technique I would still spoil my pleasure to fish and that I would also be a less skilled angler. 

dimanche 19 octobre 2014


A few months ago I did purchase a cheap second hand tenkara rod on the web; a Neo Tenkara LT39 SC from Daiwa and I think that the time has come to write the review about this rod.

This Daiwa rod is made in China and features these characteristics:

-Length: 391 cm
-Collapsed length: 41 cm
-Handle: 27.5 cm
-Sections: 12
-Weight: 3.88 oz

The tip has a diameter of 0.8mm which is really superior to what one can find for similar action rods in other brands, I am thinking of Nissin for example.
The blank of this rod being big, the tip and butt caps are really huge sized! The tip cap is made of wood with a rubber insert and perfectly stays in its place while the butt cap is made of metal with a tendency to unscrew by itself. As it has a coin slot with a slick surface the angler will  have to use a coin or anything to keep it screwed. Note also that this cap has no drain hole. 

The diameter of the blank is high and the rod is fat! At the handle winder the diameter is 16.55 millimeters! That is one the main thing I did not like with this rod. Because of this huge blank diameter handling the rod and fishing with it is really uncomfortable. Indeed every time I go fishing with this rod I have to carry a second rod because I get tired fast. If you are like me subject to metacarpal tendinitis do NOT purchase this rod!
Because of the high weight combined with a very stiff and thick blank the sensitivity of the rod is very low; and what I like with good tenkara rods is their very high sensitivity. 

The "LT" in the reference means "tapered line" as this rod was designed to preferably cast this kind of lines. I did test this rod with a Fujino Tenkara Soft line and I must say that I obtained very decent casts with no effort. It was very different with light level lines. The rod is meant to cast pretty heavy lines. So if you only fish tapered or furled lines this rod is for you.

The rod is sold in a black velvet sock that includes a flyer with basic instructions about the using of the rod and basic security instructions. 
To be honest, I have been disappointed by this rod. Perhaps was I expecting too much from this entry level Daiwa rod but based on my experience I would say that there is no major difference between the LT39 SC and 99.9% of the other chinese made tenkara rods on the market. 

jeudi 16 octobre 2014


We all know the Tenkara Bum website as Chris Stewart has been a very active Tenkara ambassador in the U.S and generally in the west but the man himself remains unknown by many.
A few days ago a video was released with Chris about his Tenkara. I really enjoyed this few minutes during which Chris let us know a bit more about his Tenkara.

Tenkara Bum from Roamads on Vimeo.

mercredi 15 octobre 2014


Yesterday I made my first tenkara outing this fall, I wanted to enjoy the nice weather that was expected.
I arrived a little before 8 a.m and I barely had the time to deploy my rod and connect the line on it before the rain began. The uniformly grey sky had not let me consider anything else anyway.

I started fishing with a rod about which I will probably write soon: the Daiwa LT39 SC. I did cast a 3.5 level line and a #8 zenmai dou. The morning was rainy and very quiet as the catches did become regular before half past eleven when the weather finally began to unravel.
The first fishes to be active on food were perches. This pond has a large population of small perches and I did catch about three dozens quite easily.

When I fish for perch in stillwater I use a very simple technique that consists in letting the kebari sink to the bottom then I bring it back towards me by making the kebari sawtooth swim just above the bottom. In my experience of stillwater tenkara this jerking swim is particularly attractive for perch.
Meanwhile I was fishing these perches the weather improved and a light wind began to blow. I did have lunch observing a few trouts porpoise in the middle of the pond, inaccessible to fishermen. They seemed to have great times!

My lunch finished I changed my rod and the spot where I was in order to be better positioned at 45° to the wind direction in order to try my luck with the trouts. I had seen several shadows in front of me during my lunch between the bank and the wind rippled zone. 
It was much harder than with the perches! I did catch only three trouts in nearly two hours and lost two because of weak hook settings or their own fighting abilities. There was only one other angler on this pond and it was not easy for him either. I did stare at him from time to time and almost every time he was changing his fly. 

The wind increasing I decided to fish the only area of the pond sheltered from the wind even though I was sure that I would not catch any trout there. I fished in the most relaxed style, sitting on the ground and casting gently in font of me. Sheltered from the wind the atmosphere was fine and I had fun catching a bunch of roaches.

To catch a roach on tenkara my technique is simple. I cast my kebari and let it sink to the bottom then I bring it back towards me in a very slow and regular move; this is very simple and adapted to this species that has no aggressiveness. 
I finished the afternoon at the same spot taking long breaks to avoid creating a panic among the school of roaches I was targeting. It was a really nice moment, very peaceful.

In the end I did spend a very nice day. I had never caught so many fishes in one outing. I did meet the other angler on the parking lot when I left ; he did not seem to be in the same mood as me!


Jun Yossy has posted a new video and as usual I did spend a good moment watching it. Today's film is about tenkara on a Okutone lake tributary and it is a very good example (once again) of the total uselessness of false casts that one can reach if he uses a balanced rod/line/kebari ensemble.
I hope that some of you will like this video!

vendredi 10 octobre 2014


There are a lot of blogs about Tenkara, more and more in fact but among the ones I follow there is one that is really above the rest for the pictures posted which the Kevin Fricke's blog TENKARA RISING.
Kevin's blog is a tenkara fishing log which I really like to browse, he is located in Colorado and when I see the great scenery of this area it is not a mystery why this state is the epicenter of western tenkara.  How could one not be irresistibly attracted to these beautiful streams and mountains?

Kevin's pictures are just awesome so I invite to visit his blog and subscribe to be sure not to miss none!

mercredi 8 octobre 2014


The trout season is finished so now I only can get prepared for 2015 and perhaps do a few outings in local ponds.
Some of us are lucky enough to live in areas where regulations and climate allow year round fishing, Tom Davis is one of them and we are lucky that he edits an excellent blog on which one can read very interesting reviews and watch very nice Tenkara videos like this one.

samedi 4 octobre 2014


As soon as a trout season is finished some people start thinking about the next one and I must say my pleasant surprise to see people getting in touch with me to get the basic infos about tenkara with the plan to fish with this technique next season.
Obviously it makes me happy to see new Tenkara practitioners coming and it is always a pleasure to answer their questions. Their basic questions are almost always the same even though I have noticed that people with no experience in fishing often have the most useful questions.
Today, in order to answer the #1 question I have been asked lately, I post a video by Masami Sakakibara showing the knots he uses and that I use myself. As you will see these knots are simple.