How to Land Fish With a Tenkara Rod

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Any angler, new or seasoned, definitely feels that adrenaline once the line begins to wriggle. In order to experience this excitement, especially if you are only just starting out, learning to land fish with a rod is an important lesson. So, if you would be using a Tenkara rod, then you must be privy to how to land fish with a Tenkara rod.

How to Land Fish With a Tenkara Rod

Without knowing how to properly prepare your Tenkara rod, all of your confidence, careful examination of the fishing spot, and familiarity with the streams will be for naught when it comes to reeling in fish. So, this step is a particularly vital one in the process.

A wooden and metal fishing rod is placed near a small fishing lure on top of a brown wooden table

How Do You Prepare Your Tenkara Rod?

Preparing your rod requires careful examination of the line you would be using. Beginner Tenkara lines should be no longer than an arm’s length from the pole. While no throwing distance is gained, the fish often comes to the angler with little room for repositioning, reducing the tension of keeping it for more than a few seconds.

A lengthier setup would use a half-length leader or tippet and a level or furled line. Each fish must be hand-lined. Fluorocarbon tapered tippets and combinations with a somewhat thicker leader piece of monofilament line and a 4x or 6x fluorocarbon tippet segment work.

With this fishing rod setup, the line’s weight distribution is more evenly distributed from the heavier part to the lighter tippet, which improves casting efficiency to a small degree. It also permits the use of a thinner, more shock- and abrasion-resistant terminal line in the critical range near the fish.

Strategies for Landing Fish Using a Tenkara Rod

Landing fish with a Tenkara rod involves specific strategies that, if applied right, would significantly improve your chances of a catch. The basics include making a clear-cut plan, setting the hook, and finally landing the fish smartly. Beyond these, here are important details that you should note:

Create a Plan of Attack for Your Landing

There is a separate location to play in for each pool, rapid, and stream. Before you even attempt to start fly fishing, you need to double-check the floor.

Take into consideration the following:

  • Depth of the water
  • The position of any snags
  • The angle at which the bank slopes
  • The areas of the bank where you will be able to safely manipulate your ten-foot rod if you catch a fish

Maintaining your composure and making the most intelligent choices you can under the circumstances will be easier if you have a strategy for landing in place.

Setting the Hook

Some of the most common complaints from newcomers to Tenkara fishing is about the hook setting process. As a result, not every take is the same, and you should tailor your hooksets accordingly. While the reaction time is crucial, pausing to make sure the fly is securely lodged in the fish’s jaw can be very helpful.

If the fish are taking the fly aggressively, a brief, sharp forward stroke of the rod tip is usually all that is needed to hook them. When casting, it is common knowledge that moving the rod tip slightly downstream during the sweep of the set improves the likelihood of a successful hookset.

  • If the current is moving left, the rod tip should be positioned at eleven o’clock,
  • If it’s moving right, it should be set at one o’clock

Despite the fineness of the distinction, it appears to make a difference when fishing.

Fight Smart and Efficiently to Save Your Energy

You will need to devise an alternative strategy if the fish refuse to take the drag. If the fish is subjected to an excessive amount of strain at the wrong time, it may become aggressive and begin to fight.

Take it easy at first so that you may appreciate the fish at its most flavorful stage when it is at its freshest. Avoid creating a feeling of panic in it by any means. Your present mission is to wait out the struggle and buy yourself enough time for it to become exhausted. After that, you can raise the pressure and land the fish.

A man in a gray jacket and blue denim pants holding a fishing rod while sitting on a brown rock near a river

Make Use of the Toughest Tippet

It is not required that you use a tippet of 6X if the fish in the location where you are fishing will take a fly with a leader of 5X. It is essential to avoid making things more complicated than they need to be.

Present the Fish With the Butt of Your Rod

This is the point where the butt of your rod begins. Tenkara rods, due to their unique construction, can make acute twists and turns. Keeping the rod bent as much as possible can assist you in providing more line when the fish demands it.

Even the largest trout only move short distances occasionally. Direct the butt of the rod directly at the fish to slow down its fast movements and gain control.

Take Action

The time may come much sooner rather than later for you to go after your fish. If this is the case, prepare yourself. Your support comes from your feet. You have to have faith in your ability to tread water and keep your balance to wade through the water.

This may need a frantic run downstream or a calm slowing down to maintain a consistent 90-degree angle with the fish. That could even mean running right into the middle of the river.

Light Pressure

That is the correct manner in which to use any type of fishing rod. Maintaining a low position with the rod at an angle that is perpendicular to where the fish is swimming will provide you the most control while also maximizing your comfort.

Make him work for it by maintaining a position behind him until it is time to reel in.


You have it now. Tips and tricks for catching fish using Tenkara rods. A tough task indeed, especially for newcomers. Over time, however, you will become an expert at using Tenkara rods and landing fish with ease.