Tenkara Grasshopper Central

Large River Tenkara

Large River Tenkara

by June 14, 2017 1 comment

During my time as a tenkara angler and guide in Colorado I have experienced a conundrum. When fishing larger rivers like the South Platte River at Deckers I have been looking for the perfect large river tenkara setup to increase my catch rate. Many other tenkara anglers have asked me “What is a good large river tenkara setup?”

Large River Tenkara

Breaking Down a River

Because tenkara uses a fixed length of line fishing the full width of the river is limited. Yet, it is not impossible to cover all the water available to you. Knowing how to break down a large river is just the first step in successfully fishing tenkara on larger waters.

Every tenkara angler has their own way of making a larger river fishable. I am going to share the way I do this you, keep in mind that you will develop your methods as you grow as a tenkara angler.

Method #1 One Big River, Many Small Rivers

On a wide river like the South Platte near Deckers, Colorado I have a system that works very well for me. I take the section of river I am on and imagine that there are 4-5 smaller rivers in front of me.

When I arrive at the riverside I first gage the overall size of the river. Breaking the river down into smaller rivers is dependent on the line lengths I am currently carrying. There is also a dimension added to the equation dependent on the rod(s) I am carrying.

Big River Tenkara Equipment

Big River Rod: The Tenkara USA Ito

tenkara zoom rod ito big riverMy number one big river rod is the Tenkara USA Ito. The Ito starts at 13′  (396 cm) and extending to a maximum length of 14’7″ (443 cm). I use the Ito as my large river rod because of it’s massive reach. The staff at Tenkara USA put a lot of time and effort into building a rod that can handle the larger fish found on the South Platte, or any larger river for that matter.

Back when the Ito hit the market I wrote a review that you can check out here. Daniel Galhardo, the brains behind the Ito recently released a podcast on why the Ito is his favorite rod. Listen to this episode where Daniel explains why he loves this rod so much. Everything he says I agree with completely and because of this episode my interest in the Ito has been rekindled.

If you plan on fishing any larger rivers in the future I would also suggest getting your hands on this rod. The Ito is available for purchase from Avidmax.com, a local Denver company.

Big River Tenkara Lines

As the Tenkara USA Ito is my go to big river rod, I need a matching big river tenkara line. Using different methods of breaking down a river, I want different line options. One of the best choices for this is a level line in a range of #2.5 to #4.5. Since a spool of level line comes in 60 meter spools I can cut custom line lengths.

Because the Tenkara USA Ito has two lengths, I will cut the level line to produce to separate lines. One line will run at a total length of 13′ and the second line will run between 14′-15′.

In Large River Tenkara Part 2 I will cover line combinations. I will also share a few of my secrets for a productive day on larger rivers.

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  1. Alex
    #1 Alex 18 November, 2017, 10:53

    Eagerly awaiting part two 😉

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