September 10, 2013

Tenkara Tuesday - Sherpa Flies

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday.

Recently, I unintentionally stumbled upon an e-tailer called Sherpa Flies.  See, I got some random newsletter email from them entitled "Test," and like a sucker opened it up.  It was possibly unsolicited, but considering all the online contests I've entered and/or things I've signed up for, who knows.

Anyway upon opening, it was an email from Sherpa Flies advertising their fancy new website...which in addition to all kinds of "traditional" flies, I also noticed that they offered tenkara flies (kebari).  While I enjoy tying my own kebari, there was just something about the look of these flies that intrigued me...besides the insanely inexpensive price of $5.50/dozen.

Now their website is pretty nice to look at, but it was pretty unclear how much it would cost to ship these flies to me in Florida.  I mean the address in the "Contact Us" section is in Nepal.  Who wants to go through the process of placing an order to later find out that the shipping costs 3x the flies themselves?

So I emailed them to get the skinny.  They quickly responded and not only told me that they had some kebari on hand domestically in Massachusetts, but they gave me a full inventory list of what they had - a mixture of most of the flies posted on their site in varying sizes.

Figuring "what the heck" I ordered 3 dozen in size 12, basically to thank them for responding to my inquiry.  It cost me $19 via PayPal, including shipping and showed up at my door in about a week.  So that is something like $0.53 a fly.  I won't tell you how much it costs to buy kebari in other places, we'll just say "more."

Here's what they look like in real life, not in a retailer's re-touched glamour shot.
Note:  They actually look a bit better in person, my point & shoot doesn't do macro shots justice.

Black Death Kebari
Sherpa's Tenkara
Olive Tenkara
Here's one of my ties, simply for comparison's sake...which I'll happily sell to you for much more than $0.53/fly....

Now I haven't fished them yet, but here are some takeaways...

  • The flies are tied very clean, some minor stray threads, but no sickly looking hackle or excess cement 
  • The hook eyes are small.  Smaller than what I'm used to
  • The points are sharp, I unintentionally stabbed myself to prove it
  • The hook wire is on the thin side, not a bad thing, just an observation

Oh, and did I mention they came in this little plastic box too?  Gotta be some additional value there.

Am I recommending these?  Nope, not yet, as I mentioned before, I haven't fished them.  Just making you aware that a very low price option is out there if you're buying and not tying...oh, and probably more importantly, that Sherpa Flies actually will ship you, and at a reasonable price if you place that order, not just take your PayPal funds and run.


Are you a Western tenkara angler? Do you have a story, pictures, video, fly recipe, or simply a fishing report from one of your recent tenkara adventures? If so, Troutrageous! wants to hear from you for a future Tenkara Tuesday post! Feel free to send and email HERE, or check out this previous post for more information.


  1. That's a common problem for everything we buy on the internet, it rarely is what it looks like!

    1. Thanks for the comment. I actually think they look better in person than my pictures show them, I don't want this post to be mistaken as a defamatory post. The Black Death & the Olive are really well done (for the price). I probably wouldn't order any more of the Sherpa version, the hackle was a bit shorter than I like. But then again, that's just aesthetics...who knows which ones the fish prefer. Only one way to find out!

  2. Thanks for the post. Shipping is showing up as $20 for up to 12 dozen (in multiples of 12 dozen).

    1. Email them. I saw the same thing. They sent me a PayPal invoice with shipping at $2.50.

  3. Their Black Tiger Tor and Kinky Pink Tor look bluegilliscious!