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Old 04-03-2013, 05:45 PM
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Default tenkara questions

Let's say I have a ten foot rod, and then I decide to leave the main stream and fish a tributary with alot less room to cast, etc., such as a rhodo tunnel. Is it possible or practical to collapse the bottom section to make a shorter rod? Will I need to change the line/leader? Is it a good idea to carry multiple lengths of leader for different situations? Honestly, I have never given much thought to tenkara, but now, after the previous discussion and debate, my interest has peaked. I am trying to consider the pros and cons of tenkara from a blueline backpacker's point of view. Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: tenkara questions

In my "readings" on this subject others have stated that you can move your hand up the rod to make it easy to cast in tight cover. As far as changing line length I guess that depends on the situation. I have read that you can bring longer or shorter lines as needed. The slip knot to the lillian makes it easy to change lines quickly.

Craig
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: tenkara questions

I have read that some rods are sold with a replacement handle that shortens the rod.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: tenkara questions

Tenkara USA sells a shorter handle for there Iwana rod. That's the only one I know of.

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Old 04-04-2013, 05:19 AM
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Default Re: tenkara questions

Probably not a good idea to try fishing a semi-collapsed rod. It wouldn't be very pleasant to fish.

Line length is readily adjustable. Choice of lines pretty much comes down to personal preference. There are two major schools of thought, a tapered furled line and single strand length of level flourocarbon. One advantage for using flourocarbon is that if you carry along a spool, it's quick and easy to cut off a length to suit your current conditions. There are other considerations regarding choice of line, but for the situation you described, flourocarbon would provide a very suitable solution.

The other option, and terminology gets in the way here, is to adjust the length of the leader you are using in conjunction with a furled line. (Note: alot of folks do refer to the main line as the leader, but alot of folks who use a furled line attach an actual leader between the furled line and the tippet, it gets confusing.) So one could use a longer leader on a furled line to extend one's reach in open conditions, and cut down or eliminate the leader when fishing the tight stuff.

One thing I should say here, it's important to understand that if you are going to be fishing in places where you will be getting frequently snagged, you can't lean back on the rod until something breaks to free a snag. You really need to collapse the rod, and pull directly on the line. It only takes a few seconds to do this, but I imagine it could get old after a while.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:57 AM
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Default Re: tenkara questions

Thanks for the replies......I was hoping I could just quickly shorten the rod and just use the upper sections, if conditions warranted such an action. That way I could carry one "do it all" rod on a backpacking trip and save weight and space. I am talking small trout around 6 inches in most of the places. Our streams go from wide open to totally enclosed, sometimes in a matter of a few yards. Thanks again.....
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: tenkara questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by yonder View Post
Let's say I have a ten foot rod, and then I decide to leave the main stream and fish a tributary with alot less room to cast, etc., such as a rhodo tunnel. Is it possible or practical to collapse the bottom section to make a shorter rod? Will I need to change the line/leader? Is it a good idea to carry multiple lengths of leader for different situations? Honestly, I have never given much thought to tenkara, but now, after the previous discussion and debate, my interest has peaked. I am trying to consider the pros and cons of tenkara from a blueline backpacker's point of view. Thanks in advance.
A ten foot rod is already on the short side and you don't have many choices if you want to go even shorter.

It is possible to collapse the bottom section to make a shorter rod. If you do so, I would suggest also choking up on the rod so that your index finger is above the grip section and presses on the first extended section. If you don't do that, the rod will be loose, will rattle and will not give you nearly the sensitivity it does when fully extended. I suspect that in streams so small that this is necessary, you are unlikely to hook a particularly large fish. However, if you did, you now have a hard spot in the rod where the section is collapsed so the rod cannot form the full arc it was designed for. To be safe you would have to extend the rod fully, which then risks getting the tip caught in the canopy. I guess the bottom line is you can do it, but you have to be very careful if you catch a fish of any size.

You do not have to change the line length, but in fact you might want to change to a shorter line before you mess around with the rod length - depends on whether the problem is lack of room for a back cast rather than lack of room to swing the rod.

I would highly recommend carrying different line lengths and weights. Different lengths for the situation you outlined, and different weights for dead calm, slight breeze, etc. The lighter the line the easier it is to hold off the water's surface, which is what gives you the improved presentations. On a dead calm day you can cast a very light line (softer rods to this better than stiffer rods).

If you find that you often fish places where a rod of a different length would be better, you might want to invest in a second rod. Tenkara USA does adverstise a replacement grip to shorten its Iwana, but similar replacement grips are available for many rods - they're just not advertised. When buying a rod, ask if a replacement grip is available.

From a blue line backpacker's point of view, consider also the length of the collapsed rod and the weight. There are huge differences among the available rods.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: tenkara questions

I agree with the experienced voices above, but would add:

1. You'll find you need to adjust length less than you'd think. Tenkara rods can fish very compactly on small brushy streams, with a naturally compact casting motion and a much easier bow and arrow casts then western rods. I fish some very tight creeks with my 11-foot and don't fish my 9 footer anymore at all.

2. Snipping a fluorocarbon line down to size is the most common adjustment I make.

3. I have fished a partially collapsed rod and it does fine for a temporary adjustment, and frankly I get away with not even worrying about grip or loose sections for the small fish I am usually targeting when I do this. You can also just take the grip section or two off the rod and fish without a grip if you find yourself over-rodded; this works better than partially collapsing if you need to adapt for more than a cast or two.

Bottom line though is you'll cast a longer rod more easily than you think, and after you get used to it you will appreciated the added length.

Kevin
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: tenkara questions

tenkara usa makes some good shorter rods
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