May 26, 2015

Tenkara Tuesday - Floating Tenkara Lines For Warmwater

If you haven't tried a tenkara floating fly line for warmwater applications yet, do yourself a favor and pick one up...especially if you frequent lakes or ponds.

Some background...

Being a trout guy by nature, my tenkara kit in recent years had evolved into level lines and kebari; excellent tools for tricking opportunistic browns, brookies, and rainbows in swift moving, coldwater streams where the emphasis is on presentation and keeping the line off the water. The perfect tools for the job at hand.

With the warmwater opportunities that present themselves in Florida, and fish like bass and bluegill that are not quite as line or leader shy as trout, those same level lines and kebari can still work, but sometimes it's just more effective (& entertaining) to fish topwater. 

Kebari are not just for trout, you can see the reverse hackle sticking out from the upper jaw...

Foam grasshoppers, beetles, and poppers, work extremely well in warmwater settings like ponds, but I'm not going to lie and suggest that level line (or furled lines) are the best compliment to that menu of flies. Sure, you can add floatant to each to keep them somewhat buoyant, however over time, both types of lines will "want" to sink and bring your fly down with them. On the other hand, the ultralight floating fly lines designed for tenkara rods seem to be the perfect tool for THIS job, and in my opinion well worth including in your arsenal. 

A bass caught on a foam popper using a 12' floating tenkara line

Some Options...

While I'm not going to endorse a specific floating line, two great options that I've personally fished are the RIGS floating tenkara line and the Streamside Leaders Windcutter floating line.

Both lines cast and turn over easily, even with larger flies. They obviously both float. A few differences between the two is that the RIGS line has a short section of high-vis indicator at the very end of the PVC line. It utilizes a tippet ring for line-to-tippet connection. The Streamside lines can be purchased at several lengths from 8' to 30', and use a welded loop for line-to-tippet connection. I'd also say that the RIGS line seems slightly smaller in diameter than the Streamside line, although I can't provide specific dimensions.

RIGS Floating Line (Left); Streamside Windcutter Line (Right)
Both Pics Courtesy of Respective Manufacturers

(A related aside, I also have a Badger floating line on order to complement a new rod purchase from Badger Tenkara, but I haven't fished their option yet).

So what's the takeaway? 

While you probably won't see a ton of coverage online regarding floating tenkara lines (unless you're from the school of "Simple Fly Fishing") in my humble opinion, they are probably the easiest casting and most effective lines to use if you are going to fish dries or topwater in a warmwater pond for bass or panfish. If that sort of tenkara fishing is something you enjoy doing, even if only on occasion, you owe it to yourself to give a floating tenkara line a shot. I think you'll find it enhancing your fishing experience.


Are you a 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, I'd really enjoy hearing from you for an upcoming Tenkara Tuesday post! Feel free to send an email HERE, I'd love to publish your original contribution.

1 comment:

  1. Mike! Nice post buddy! RIGGS makes some nice Tenkara leaders without a doubt. I had not given much thought to a floating line component to the Tenkara arsenal; however, I will give it a try on the smallies we are chasing now and let ya know how it works! Nice bass and like the Tenkara Tuesday thought process! Tightlines!