Monday, January 12, 2015

Tenkara using a Crappie Pole

One fairly common question - Can I fish tenkara style with a telescoping crappie pole? Up until now, I’ve been answering - Yes.

It’s how I got started. When I first heard about fly fishing with a fixed length line system several 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. 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 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.

As I think about it, a truer answer would be – Yes, with the right line. And that might be easier said than done for some folks. 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 I find the right combination, the set up was certainly more than capable of delivering and fishing a fly.

I found that a permanent connection to the rod tip worked best for me -

I think the question actually being asked is – Is using a crappie pole the cheapest way to fish a fixed length line system? If it requires the purchase of a custom tapered line, which may or may not work, maybe it’s actually cheaper to buy a $50 - $60 true tenkara rod. Coupled with a couple dollars worth of single strand fluorocarbon line, a real tenkara rod may be just as economical. It’s definitely a demonstrably better solution at close to the same price.

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