You CAN land big fish with a tenkara rod

Catching big fish can be very exciting, especially on a tenkara rod. But you do have a limited distance with which to play the fish, since a tenkara line will not extend beyond the fixed length. So, in order to land the fish, you move, walk, and fight to keep him in your side or upstream side. By using a few simple techniques, you can land large fish every time.

Use proper equipment

Daniel Galhardo at Tenkara Summit
Daniel Galhardo at the Tenkara Summit

It is much better to use proper equipment in correlation to the size of the fish you are after. Landings will be much easier and faster with the proper rod weight and tippet. Use the heaviest tippet that you can get away with. If the fish where you are fishing will eat a fly on 5X tippet, then there’s no reason to use a 6X. By changing the angle of your rod and your line after hooking a fish, you can keep constant pressure and avoid losing them. Show them who is boss by keeping constant tension on your line! When taking drag is not an option, you have to fight smarter, not harder.

You will have to chase that big fish

Man Tenkara Fishing

It is important to stay light on your feet and proper wading skills, as the time will come when you have to chase your fish. This may mean running downstream in a panic or just easing down to maintain a good 90-degree connection to the fish. Whatever the case may be, this method of fishing can and will be a little more physical than most.

Be confident in your setup

Last but not least, it is very important to have confidence in your setup and in your abilities. If you are using the proper equipment depending on the size of your quarry and have the basic skills, you should view every hook up as an opportunity to land the fish of a lifetime. Don’t think that tenkara is all about small fish.


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