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The Tenkara Forum Threads Discuss the tackle and techniques of Tenkara fly fishing here

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Old 04-23-2014, 11:53 PM
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Default Tenkara vs. Cane Pole?.......

Hi All;

Before everyone gets up in arms, simply know I'm asking because I "don't know". However, "what is the difference in Tenkara fishing and fishing with a Cane Pole and a fly?"

Among the steel fly rods and other hunting and fishing antiquities the wife has overflowed the house with, we have a very old yet very fancy cane pole (in that it is a 15' (3x5'), yet has rather elaborate screw together joints, a nice cloth sack and case it came in, so it's not some backwater rod/pole). Whomever owned it before however had wrapped on some guides and a very old and basic stamped tin reel, yet on its tip still remains the loop to attach a classic cane pole line.

In any case, I might strip off the old additions and give it a try.....Call it "Kentuckara" if you must.....Yet I'm curious to discover the difference.

Thanks!

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Old 04-24-2014, 03:08 AM
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Default Re: Tenkara vs. Cane Pole?.......

I'll be interested to hear how it casts. Tenkara rods cast a fly very nicely and are worlds different from the cane pole I used to catch gills in the pond when I was a kid. Post pics of the one you found.
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:29 AM
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Default Re: Tenkara vs. Cane Pole?.......

When I first heard about fly fishing with a fixed length line system 5 or 6 years ago, I decided I wanted to give it a try. I started with a South Bend Black Beauty composite rod/pole I bought at Wal-Mart for $12.

Click the image to open in full size.

Other than being heavier in weight than might be ideal (I could only fish with it for a couple of hours before I got too tired), it cast and fished without problems, I caught a ton of fish using this set up. I found it best to attach the line directly to the tip of the rod -

Click the image to open in full size.

I found you needed to use a line that was considerable heavier than a line you might use on an actual tenkara rod. Since I furl my own lines, other than a bit of trial and error, once you find the right combination, the set up was certainly more than capable of delivering and fishing a fly.


Make no mistake, it's not nearly as pleasant as fishing a rod actually designed to fish a fly with a fixed length line, but if it comes down to fishing with Black Beauty, or not fishing at all, Black Beauty wins every time.

I will always have a soft spot for this set up, it's what got me started having a great time fly fishing with a then new technique to me. I can certainly say for me, it was indeed a fountainhead.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: Tenkara vs. Cane Pole?.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by grtlksmarlin View Post

"what is the difference in Tenkara fishing and fishing with a Cane Pole and a fly?"
There are three main differences between a tenkara rod and your cane pole.
1) A tenkara rod weighs 2-3 ounces and your cane pole probably weighs 8-12 ounces. Most collapse to less than 2' vs a cane pole at 4 or 5'. You can cast it all day without getting tired and carry it in a backpack.
2) A tenkara rod will cast an unweighted fly on a very light line. Certainly 12# test fluorocarbon and many will cast 6# fluoro - no split shot, no bobber, just 12# fluoro for your casting line, 3' of 5X tippet and a fly. The lighter the line, the easier it is to hold off the water's surface (critical on creeks, not so much on lakes).
3. A tenkara rod will protect a very light tippet - people have caught 26" trout with 6X tippet.

Basically, a tenkara rod is a very high tech cane pole specifically designed for fly fishing.

The first tenkara rods, hundreds of years ago, WERE cane poles. They gradually got lighter, stronger and more sensitive as fiberglass and graphite technology was developed.

The difference between a tenkara rod and a bream buster or equivalent is that the bream buster is designed for fishing with a bobber and split shot - and made as cheaply as possible so it can be sold for $20 in WalMart. A tenkara rod is designed for fishing without weight and made with the care and components that go into a quality fishing rod.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: Tenkara vs. Cane Pole?.......

I don't disagree with anything Chris has said, I probably have a slightly different perspective though. The way I look at it, it's said that folks have practiced tenkara for the past 400 years. Graphite rods have been around for the past 30 or so.

If you want to fish like they did 50 or 100 years ago, I'd say give it a try.

Again, I'm the first to admit there are differences, but then again, if state of the art is the one and only goal, strap on some snake guides and a disk drag reel.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Tenkara vs. Cane Pole?.......

Thanks for the responses!

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Old 04-24-2014, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Tenkara vs. Cane Pole?.......

Tenkara will present a fly very delicately on your first day using it. A good cane pole probably will too, but not the ones I have used.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: Tenkara vs. Cane Pole?.......

It's a point and shoot camera vs a leica rangefinder. Same idea, two different tools to achieve the same objective.
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:21 AM
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Default Re: Tenkara vs. Cane Pole?.......

I have only been using Tenkara since the first part of January this year. I have found that my old cane pole just would not present flys like my Tenkara rod. I have coughs crappie and trout on my Tenkara due to the presentation of my flys. So I do think the Tenkara rod is the way to go.:-)


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Old 06-01-2014, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: Tenkara vs. Cane Pole?.......

Interesting discussion..... Like the original post, I am asking this out of ignorance...

One comparison has been between WalMart Cane Poles and the pre-graphite, cane rods used in Japan. The implication is that they were similar. Is that the case? The Japanese were extraordinary craftsmen so it doesn't take much of a leap to imagine they used a very refined cane rod. Surely they would have thought of binding thin bamboo strips to produce something much more like an early western bamboo rod with comparable casting characteristics... Anyone know about this?

Or, this may just be the early Sunday morning, not-enough-coffee imagination going on off a tangent!
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