Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tenkara Rod Plug Replacement

If you fish with a fixed-length-line rod, there is about an 98% chance you belong to one of two groups -

1) Folks who have lost a rod plug
2)Folks who will lose a rod plug

Fortunately, you can easily and cheaply make your own replacement plug. The best material I've found is foam from a cheap pair of flip flops.

Start off by cutting a block of foam, slightly wider than the diameter of your rod. You may want to use a brightly colored flip flop, ideally not one that is still in use by your significant other -

Trim your foam block to a length of 1 1/4 long

Make a slit sut on each corner of the block, about 1/2" down from the top of the block

Trim the corners on the bottom 3/4" of your block

Give it a test fit. You want a slightly snug fit. Do not try to force fit the plug, if it's too big, trim away a bit more of the foam

The foam makes a very functional rod plug. Maybe not so pretty, but by using a bright color it will be easy to find if you drop it.

Now that you have the hang of it, make an extra or two. Put a spare in fly vest/pack.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


The following words are not mine. As a matter of fact, I received these words of wisdom at least fifth or sixth hand. I do not know the author's name. The author is at the twilight of his journey here on earth, and wanted to pass along the wisdom he has learned over the course of a rich life to his family and friends -

    • Look the world in the eye and shake hands like a man
    • Always do what you say you are going to do
    • Live your life as deeply as you can and love how you are living it
    • Do what is “right” and trust your heart and soul to tell you what right is
    • Put your family first
    • Be the man that your true friends know they can trust and count on
    • Become the man you are destined to become … be the best man you can be
    • Dare to love and allow others to love you
    • When the world looks the blackest, be true to yourself and follow your heart and keep doing what you know is right and it will somehow work out

    • Go fishing when your heart needs too
    • Give yourself permission to catch fish any way you want too
    • But remember to sometimes fish however you love the most …….even if it isn’t the best way to catch fish
    • Go to streams you have never been too before and truly experience them
    • Fish your favorite river often enough that
      o You know a few fish by name
      o You can tell a particular pool, riffle or run by the sound of it alone
      o You have your own rock in the middle that is your own private “thinking” place
    • Teach at least one person to fly fish each year
    • Take the time to stop when you have caught “enough” and just listen to the river rolling by
    • When you think you have walked far enough and should start fishing now….. walk fifteen minutes more …… at least
    • Make time to fish with your friends
    • Enjoy a drink and a campfire with your true friends
    • But, enjoy a campfire and a stream by yourself occasionally
    • And lastly enjoy the lights ……. Sunlight, Firelight and Starlight ……… because you never know when they may burn out ………

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Ultimate UltraLIght

I am on the horns of the proverbial dilemma. I have always truly loved the looks and feel of fly reels. If truth be told, they probably hold more fascination for me than fly rods. When my son was born 25 years ago I wanted to get him something that represented myself and my feelings for my son. I bought him a Hardy Perfect and had it engraved with his initial and birth date. In retrospect, I now wish I had bought a couple of cases of them, they've appreciated much more than any of my other investments. Oh well.

Where my problem comes in, about two years ago, I started to fly fish with a fixed length line rod which required no reel (i.e. Tenkara, if you prefer). From day one, for me it was everything and more when it came to what I loved about ultra light fly fishing. Total system weight, about 2.something ounces. Casts like a dream, very accurate, gentle and intimate. The fixed length line fly rod also provides more control when it comes to presentation, and much more "feel" to every fish hooked. Although I really feel every move the fish makes, I'm able to land fish very effectively and quickly.

Only downside, no reel. I don't really miss a reel while actually fishing, but I do miss handling and generally fondling them. Nothing stopping me from still buying the occasional new reel, it's just I have a hard time justifying it since chances are I won't be using them for their intended purpose. As in most things in life, I guess everything is a trade off.