Tenkara Grasshopper Central

What is the proper line length for a zoom rod?

What is the proper line length for a zoom rod?

by April 7, 2015 1 comment

What is the proper line length for a tenkara zoom rod?

There has been a move by a number of manufacturers within the tenkara community to design a style of rod known as the zoom rod. This development has been a very cool opportunity for many anglers to try out two to three different rod lengths in on unit. It has also allowed tenkara anglers to save some money for different river types by buying one rod which will serve a few purposes. On rod in particular that I have and use consistently is the Tenkara USA Sato rod. The Sato is what is known as a Triple Zoom rod, meaning that at it’s short length is ten feet eight inches with a mid-length of eleven feet ten inches and maxes out at twelve feet nine inches. Using this rod gives the opporunity to fish small water but also be able to access larger water as well.

Photo Courtesy of  Tenkara USA

One question I frequently find new users of a zoom rod asking is what line do they use with their rod, such as the Tenkara USA Sato. As many already know tenkara is about the simplicity of the gear and the minimalist essentials common to this Japanese style of fly fishing. I wondered the same thing when I first got my Sato. I went to the source of all things tenkara, Google, and searched for the overall feeling within the tenkara community about what line length to use. Many of the results came down to one thing. Use the line length that matches the maximum length the rod will go to, which as I stated before is twelvel feet nine inches.

I suggest this line length to all my clients due to the fact that I like simplicity and would rather not have to carry multiple lines to fish different waters with my Sato. I have been known to carry three different line lengths to match each rod length but it took more time to tie knots and rig each and every time I changed rod length. By using the maximum rod length for my line I am able to fish almost anything I want.

Yes, there is a bit of a learning curve to cast a twelve to thirteen foot line with a ten foot rod although that is some of the enjoyment that comes from fishing in the tenkara style. There is a maxim in the world, not just fly fishing, that “Practice Makes Perfect” and tenkara with a longer line than the rod is one of those things.

In conclusion, I believe that it is best to take the line that matches the ultimate length of the tenkara rod you are using. As an additional option you can eventually work up to a line that is up to double the length of your rod, although this is something we will get into in another post.

Tenkara and Tight Lines

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