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Non-Tenkara Rods for Tenkara Fishing. Part 2.

The next web page dated 14 March 2013 is titled 仕掛けの長さ, which translates as Length of Work. That may be an inaccurate translation. However, reading this page he describes the lengths of the line and tippet and rod. I think we also get a clue as to why he has started to post some details about these rods he has experimented with since last summer.

He seems to have gotten into a discussion with people about the tackle he is using. I believe these are people who are outside of the group that fished with these rods last year. He goes on to describe the total length of the setup from the fly to the butt end of the rod as 7meters:  1m of tippet, 3m of line and a 3 m rod:

ラインは3メートル ( Rain wa 3 mētoru) Line is 3 meters
ハリスは1メートル (Harisu wa 1 mētoru) Harris ( aka Tippet) 1 meter

If you would like to see some of the earlier post about these rods look back into the archive post to last summer and fall or a few post made earlier this year. At the top of the yoshidakebari web page, click on the word archive. You will get a drop down list of – Month Year (number of post) Click on a month and all the post for that month will open.

I will list a few of then here. But there are other posts about these rods if you look at the post for the entire month.

  • From 21 August 2012 藪沢の魅力 The Attractiveness or Charm of Yabu Sawa: http://yoshidakebari.jugem.jp/?eid=909 
  • From September 8, 2012 グリップにテープを. To tape the grip. This page shows how they wrapped the grip of the rods with racket tape or cork tape. Finishing the ends with wraps of twine, which are coated to prevent fraying: http://yoshidakebari.jugem.jp/?eid=924
  • From 14 and 28 September 2012. Notice that he has labeled each rod and rod tube with a name, Yabusawa, followed by the name of a species of fish, Iwana or Yamame. Then a length 270 or 300. When I first saw these pictures the model of rod had not yet been identified. I thought, incorrectly, that perhaps yabusawa was a manufacturers model name: http://yoshidakebari.jugem.jp/?eid=930 http://yoshidakebari.jugem.jp/?eid=944

The 当会藪沢班 (Tōkai no sōtaku han) Yabu Sawa Society Team. Or Yabu Sawa Association Team. Seems to be the name of the group that fishes these areas.

More images of these rods can be found on other post from September 2012 through March 2013. Check the archive if you would like to see the other post. Go to the parent web site. Click on the word archive above the days of the month. A drop down list will appear showing; month year (number of post). Click on the month you want and all the post for that month will load. 

Another post from this same web site from January 8, 2011. Titled ハエ竿(改)テンカラ竿 Fly(think Chub) Rod ( revisited or remodeled) Tenkara rod: http://yoshidakebari.jugem.jp/?eid=363

To find out what a ハエ竿 (Hae sao) rod is and the type of fish it is designed to catch. Just google the term ハエ竿 and you will find several examples of other models of these rods made by different manufacturers and pictures of the fish. One page that popped up in my search results for ハエ竿 was this next web page. That just happens to have a very similar title to the link posted just above this one: 

In this case a SZM(スズミ)の清流竿, SZM (Suzumi) Seiryū Rod or Clear Stream rod: 
私の使用しているハエ竿改のテンカラ竿を紹介します (I introduce a Hae Rod modified for tenkara rod.) 
The description states this rod is softer than a cheap tenkara rod. He has cut 20cm off the tip and uses it as a 3.6m rod to target 20cm fish. 

The rest of the post lists 2 other rods that he uses for tenkara. One is a tenkara rod. The other one another  ハエ竿 rod:

アルファータックル(alpha tackle) テンカラ ST(Alpha Tackle (alpha tackle) Tenkara ST)
プロックス(PROX) 奥飛騨ハエTE 硬調 390(390 TE Okuhida Purokkusu fly high contrast (PROX))

Which he likes as a rod because it aims well. For use for tenkara he would also like to cut the rod tip by 20cm because it is softer than a dedicated tenkara rod, and use it as a 3.6m tenkara rod to cast light level line.

There are other approaches to making your own tenkara rod. Gary Borger, a well know person in the fly fishing world, was interviewed in a February 5, 2013 blog post at Tenkara Talk.  Gary builds fly rods and has access to many rod blanks and he builds his own tenkara rods. He doesn’t give any details of how he builds the rods he uses for tenkara. Gary says his home made tenkara sticks are “back-alley” and “second-cousin” in nature. He calls his approach  scrap-built rod “hot-rod tenkara” but perhaps “dumpster tenkara” would be better.  Read the blog interview here: http://www.tenkaratalk.com/2013/02/jason-borger-on-tenkara/

If you do a Google search with the names of some of the rods mentioned or some of the other Japanese terms you can find web pages showing how many of these rods are usually used, or the fish they target or auction pages selling these used rods. You may find it interesting.

I have tried to provide several links to different web pages, written by different authors, wherein people have modified non-tenkara rods for use as tenkara rods.

The largest challenge was to limit the number of web sites to include. Using bait rods for tenkara rods is not a new activity. Some rods were modified very little. Only wrapping the grip for added comfort as a personal preference. Others were major rebuilds. Removing whole sections of the rod, building up the remaining sections and making new grips. You can find many other pages describing this process by searching with some of the Japanese terms listed at the beginning. 

I am not advocating the modification of bait rods in to tenkara rods or the use of bait rods without modification for tenkara. I think you ought to have the freedom to use whatever kind of rod you would like to use. Only choose one that works well for tenkara. Choose a rod that cast the kind of line you want to use, that is balanced, not to heavy, and is long enough or short enough to cast it where you want to fish.

My only goal was to show that people in the tenkara community in Japan are doing this. They have been doing this for a long time and from what I have seen in pictures of gathering of fans of tenkara.  No one is shunned for doing this. Indeed, at least two of the links I provided are from what I would call tenkara tutorial web sites. This process is being taught to tenkara beginners who might like to try it themselves.

I wont post the term in Japanese here. But one site has posted a phrase that translated as (Do not impose on others, ideas and principles, from your own way of fishing) Good advice, I think.

I cannot read Japanese. I have to rely on electronic translation of the web pages. However, for the fun of the challenge, I like to play around on Japanese web sites, to see what I can discover. Some web pages translate fairly well. Others leave me quite baffled. I think how well a page translates depends a lot upon the writing style of the author. And whether they are using words or phrases that can only be understood by someone who knows the language and the culture. Hopefully, this information has been mostly accurate, informative and provided a few phrases that would be helpful to do your own exploring of tenkara on Japanese web pages for other information. (Hey, I know it’s not for everyone, just small fish, like myself).

David Walker: Non-tenkara rods for tenkara fishing. Part 1>>