How Hard Is Tenkara Fishing?

Tenkara fishing is very easy because of its simplicity and minimal accessories. All you need is a rod, line, and fly. Of course, there are many Tenkara rods in the market that vary in length, material, weight, and action but they all have one thing in common they don’t use reels.

Reels are not necessary because the line is tied directly to the tip of your rod so you can control the line and the fly as you fish. The lightness of the rods also makes them easy to carry around.

Tenkara fishing is a great way for beginners to get into fly fishing because it is simple and doesn’t require a lot of equipment or experience.

Before we understand why Tenkara fishing is not that hard let us dive into its history and origin.

The meaning of Tenkara in Japanese is “from the sky” and it is a type of fly-fishing that originated in Japan about 350 years ago. It was developed as a way to catch fish in the cold, clear streams and rivers of Japan.

The simplicity of the equipment and techniques made it ideal for these types of waters.

Tenkara gained popularity in the US a few years ago and has been growing in popularity ever since. It is now being used all over the world by anglers of all skill levels.

Why Is Tenkara Fishing Not that Hard?

There are a few reasons. First, the lightness and simplicity of the equipment make it easy to use and carry around. Second, the direct connection between the line and the rod tip gives you more control over the fly and the fish.

Third, the techniques are easy to learn and master. Finally, Tenkara is a great way to catch a variety of fish in a variety of water conditions.

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Things that You Will Need for Tenkara Fishing

In order to go Tenkara fishing, you will need three things: a rod, line, and fly. The most popular type of rod is the telescopic rod which can be broken down into pieces for easy transport.

There are many different types and brands of lines available but most anglers use a weight-forward floating line. As for flies, there are thousands of different patterns available so it is best to experiment until you find the ones that work best for you.

What Size Tenkara Rod Should I Get?

It is generally recommended to start your Tenkara fishing adventure with a 12-foot rod. This length is versatile and will cover most fishing needs. If you are looking to fish smaller streams though, you may want to go for a 10-foot rod instead.

How Does the Fly Line Work?

The fly line on a Tenkara rod is very simple. It is just a long, thin piece of monofilament attached to the tip of the rod. The end of this line is tied to a fly, and the angler slowly drifts the fly across the stream while keeping tension on the line with their other hand.

This action is very similar to fly fishing, except that you don’t use a reel or retrieve your flies into a pile at your feet.

What Kind of Flies Should I Use?

Tenkara fishermen typically use smaller flies than those used in traditional fly fishing. This is because Tenkara rods are more sensitive and can handle smaller flies better.

There are a variety of fly patterns that work well for Tenkara fishing, but you’ll want to experiment to see what works best for you.

Setting up The Tenkara Rod

Setting up the Tenkara rod is quite easy.  Just follow these simple steps:

1. Thread the fly line through the guides on the rod.

2. Tie the end of the fly line to your fly.

3. Cast the fly out into the stream and start fishing!

Another advantage of Tenkara fishing is that it is quick and simple to set up. If you see an interesting spot while you’re out, you may stop and fish right away.

There’s no need to prepare everything in advance, and you won’t waste time fussing with your gear.

Can You Use Regular Flies with Tenkara?

Yes, Tenkara rods are designed to cast a light line and a regular fly. If you want to try using a different type of fly, however, it should be heavy enough that the weight of the line doesn’t pull it down too far or make casting difficult.

Note: Don’t expect great results from these types of flies if you’re fishing for larger trout. Heavier flies are better suited for larger fish.

What Kind of Line Do You Use for Tenkara?

For Tenkara fishing, a fluorocarbon line is used because it is dense and sinks quickly. This is important because you want the fly to stay as close as possible to the bottom of the stream where the fish are biting.

There are a few different types of fluorocarbon lines, but I recommend using a line with a weight of 4-6 lbs. Heavier lines can be used for larger fish, but they will be more difficult to cast.

How Do You Set the Hook for Tenkara?

Unlike regular fly fishing, you don’t need to worry about setting the hook when Tenkara fishing. The fly is already attached to the line, and when a trout bites, the line will tighten up and automatically set the hook.

All you need to do is keep your hand on the line and wait for the fish to start tugging. When this happens, just reel him in!

What Are the Basic Techniques for Tenkara Fishing?

There are three basic techniques that you can use while Tenkara fishing: upstream, downstream, and across the stream.

**Upstream:** This is the most basic Tenkara fishing technique and it’s probably the one you’ll use most often. All you need to do is cast your line upstream and let it flow downstream through the current until it hits the bottom. Then wait for a fish to bite.

**Downstream:** You can also cast downstream and let the fly drift naturally along with the current. This technique is especially useful when fishing from a boat, as you can let out as much line as you need to fish as far as possible.

**Across stream:** This technique involves casting the fly across or diagonal to the flow of water. You’ll use this technique occasionally when you see trout feeding in a certain area but they’re too far away to cast to directly.

In addition to these basic techniques, you can also try using a variant of the downstream technique called the “J” cast.

This involves casting the fly downstream and then quickly pulling it back upstream towards you. This will cause the fly to bounce along the surface of the water, which can attract the attention of nearby fish.

Common Mistakes in Tenkara Fishing?

The main mistake people make when Tenkara fishing is not waiting long enough for the fly to sink before starting to reel in. You need to give the fly time to sink down to where the fish are biting, and then start reeling in slowly.

Another mistake is trying to use too heavy of a fly. Remember that the goal is to use a light fly that will sink quickly and stay close to the bottom of the stream. using too heavy of a fly can make casting difficult and cause your line to tangle.

Taking Care of Your Tenkara Fishing Rod

One should always take care of their fishing rods, regardless of the type. This is especially important with a delicate Tenkara rod.

When not in use, it’s best to store your Tenkara rod in a dry place. If you’re using a net or keepers to hold your flies, make sure the hook point is facing down so that it doesn’t snag on something and break.

As a beginner, you should avoid hitting your delicate Tenkara rod against anything. This includes rocks, logs, and other hard objects that could snap the tip of your line or damage the cork grip. It’s best to use a soft-sided case or bag to protect the cork handle from being scratched when you’re not using it.


If you are looking for a new outdoor hobby, one that is easy to learn and fun for all ages, then Tenkara fishing may be the perfect solution. Tenkara fishermen have been catching fish with this method of fly-fishing since the 1800s in Japan where it was popularized by anglers seeking trout near mountain streams. You don’t need to buy expensive gear or spend hours learning about knots because Tenkaras come preassembled at reasonable prices so anyone can get started without any hassle!