February 3, 2014

More Monobraid for Tenkara

This past summer Jason Klass of Tenkara Talk blogged about using Cortland Braided Mono Running Line for Tenkara. In that article he outlined some of its possible advantages and disadvantages over using a level line or a furled line. Then in September, he took the line to the water a fished with it. Overall, he seemed to like the line and gave it a solid review.

Well, after reading this I was interested. Like usual, however, I didn't want to use the same line, but rather, I sought out another option and source for this material. After finding some other options I bought it and gave it a try.

I found another source of braided monofilament backing that could be used for tenkara lines. It is from TroutFlies.com.au. This line is likely similar to the Cortland product but this line is thinner at 25lb and comes in both fluorescent orange and chartreuse, where as the Cortland product only comes in chartreuse.

The diameter is very thin and comparable to, but slightly thicker than, a section of #4 fluorocarbon level line. The braided line is extremely supple. There are no kinks and it comes off the spool easily. Cutting it to length is straight forward and, just like the Cortland product, melting the cut ends stops it from fraying.  The weave is extremely tight. Because it is so highly visible, it also makes an excellent sighter that can be used with another type of line.

Comparison of lines: Sunline #4 fluorocarbon level line, Streamside furled line (clear mono),  Hi-TEC ultra slim braided line in both orange and chartreuse.

I have made a number of lines of varying lengths with this stuff and used these lines with various rods. As for color, I prefer the fluorescent orange over the chartreuse.  It casts very well at all reasonable lengths. Being made of monofilament it initially floats but then will sink just under the surface. It takes paste floatant well and thus remains floating for quite a while. It will turn over dries, kebari, beadheads, and tandems all without a problem. It does seem to work best with a stiffer rod (stiff 6:4 or 7:3) than with a more flexible rod -- at least in my hands.

The downside is that, like furled lines, it is heavier than a level line. This stuff is not heavy at all but it is heavier than a level line so keeping it off the water is similar to a standard furled line. I personally don't fish furled lines for that very reason, but many people do and this line might be attractive to them.  I sent a tenkara line made from this product to a friend of mine in Utah. He stated that he liked the line and that it was very easy for him to see (he had trouble seeing many other types of lines).

So there you go, another source of tightly braided line that can be used for tenkara. As for me, I'll stick with a level line but it's always nice to have other options.


  1. Ordered a orange One!
    Let's see if it does better than dacron.
    I guess, at least, for lake fishing it can be a very good option.

    Another big thanks to you Tom.

    1. I'll be interested to see what you think of it, Carlos.

  2. I have found this 12lb backing line which I will test as soon as the winter gives way:



    1. Some folks have used Dacron backing as tenkara line. I have not. Please keep me informed. Thanks!

  3. Is this line hollow enough to accept a splicing needle? I made 1 line out of the 20 lb Cortland with prox 5 feet of 1x tippet spliced in, that made a nice short line, but I ran out of the braid to experiment further. The splice makes a very nice smooth transition though.

    1. Yes, this line is hollow. It works well with splicing.