Rigging Tricks and Techniques Part 2by Graham Moran October 27, 2016 5 comments
As a tenkara guide I have found a few tricks that do truly maximize my clients time on the water! In Part One we covered the traditional knots found in the practice of tenkara. In this post we will look at a few rigging techniques and tricks I use daily. All of the rigging techniques and tricks I will describe in this post are done before I get to the river if possible.
Line to Rod Rigging Techniques
Level Line to a Tenkara Rod
When rigging a level line to a tenkara rod some anglers use the Double-Loop Slip Knot, which in my opinion is a very good knot to use if you are willing to learn it. I would suggest that you do this at some point to have in your knot arsenal. Using this knot allows you to quickly attach the level line with a minimum of effort.
Steps to a perfect Double-Loop Slip Knot
- Form a loop putting the tag end over the top of the running line.
- Fold the tag end around the back of the running line and around the back of the tag end loop.
- Bring the tag end over the top and thread it thru the loop so the tag end is coming through the back of the loop.
- Make sure you leave yourself a tag approximately 1/2 inch long.
Attach A Double-Loop Slip Knot to your tenkara rod
- Slip the lilian thru the loop.
- Wrap the lilian around the back of loop and back thru a second time.
- Pull the level line down tightening the slip knot onto the lilian.
- To release the line from the tenkara rod simply tug on the tag end while grasping the lilian.
Girth Hitch to a Tenkara Rod using a Transition Loop
The knot that I find speeds things up is the girth hitch on a level line which I will agree is not traditional at all, but it does keep rigging running smoothly, especially when new tenkara anglers are learning their knots.
At the time of this writing, Tenkara USA released their tapered line which all ready has the transition loop tied to the end of the line. Additionally, anyone new to tenkara will find the transition loop on all furled lines available on the market today.
Creating a Transition Loop
To get the Girth Hitch on a Level Line, an angler will need a Transition Loop. To set up your line with a Transition Loop there are a few items and steps that need to be followed. First off you will need a piece of level line cut to your desired length, rod length or longer, dependent on experience, plus approximately five (5″) inches. I suggest the extra five (5″) inches as you will be losing some line length to two total knots. You will also need a spool of fly line backing to create the loop for a girth hitch.
- Cut a piece of fly line backing approximately 4.5″ long.
- Fold the ends creating a loop.
- Tie a basic overhand knot and pull tight forming your transition loop.
Attaching a Transition Loop to your Level Line
Now that you have a Transition Loop made, you need to attach that to the rod end of your level line.
For this I suggest first tying a Perfection Knot into the end of your line. I make this suggestion because it allows me to use a Loop to Loop Connection to complete the rigging. The steps I am going to give you are here work the best for me. Use the image at the right as a reference if you need to.
Steps to a Perfection Loop
- Place the tag end of the line between your thumb and pointer finger, giving yourself about 4.5″ line.
- Create a loop by wrapping the tag end of the line around your pointer finger.
- Pinch the tag end between your thumb and fore finger.
- Wrap the tag end around your pointer finger one more time pinching the tag end again.
- Fold the tag endbehind the first loop pinching it between your thumb and pointer finger. If you are tying the knot holding it in your left hand the tag will be pointing to the right.
- Slide the loopoff of your pointer finger and pull it thru the first loop you created.
- Gently pull this loop thru and continue to pinch the running end and tag end firmly while pulling the loop creating your Perfection Loop.
Loop to Loop Connections
Now that you have both the Transition Loop and the Perfection Loop tied it is time to connect the two loops together. For this you will use the Loop-to-Loop Connection. This is by far one of the easiest knots to tie in my humble opinion.
Steps to a perfect Loop to Loop Connection
- Grasp the level line with the Perfection Loop in your left hand and the Transition Loop in your right hand.
- Feed the Transition Loop through the Perfection Loop and pinch the Transition Loop between your the thumb and pointer finger of your left hand.
- Take the knotted end of the Transition Loop and feed it thru it’s own loop and pull to the right tightly so that it binds on itself and the Perfection loop in the level line.
Attaching A Level Line with a Transition Loop to a Tenkara Rod
This step will take no more than a few seconds to complete and I typically do not suggest doing this until you get to where you wish to fish.
- Fold the Transition Loop back toward the level line so that it is above the line.
- Pull the level line up thru the Transition Loop forming the letter D.
- Feed the lilian thru the D loop and grasp the end of the lilian.
- Gently pull the level line down and the Transition Loop will tighten onto the lilian. And you are pretty much ready to fish.
- To remove the line from your rod simply grasp the tag end of the Transition Loop and pull up. This will quickly remove your line from the rod.
I want to make one suggestion that will also lengthen the life of your rod. When attaching or detaching your line from your tenkara rod make sure that the rod is completely collapsed. Make sure that the first section of the tenkara rod is within the body of the rod as in the image above. If more than just the lilian is visible there is a strong likely hood of the first section of the rod breaking. I have seen this more than a few times and it is horrible to see, let alone do in person!
In Part Three of the this series I will show you one or two other little tricks I have used to get my clients into as many fish as possible. And no, it does not have anything to do with salmon eggs!!! There is a story there but not for right now. Along with Part Three there will be a video demonstrating all of the tricks and techniques I have discussed in this series.
The images used in this post were provided courtesy of Tenkara USA and with written permission for Andy Steer of AnglingKnots.com. I want to thank both companies for allowing me to use their images in this post.
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Till next time my friends, Tight Lines and Tenkara!!!