September 14, 2016

I Have Finally Arrived!

I can't believe it, but I have (apparently) finally arrived. I have never considered myself a "traditional tenkarist" or, as some would say, a purist, but I guess I am. You don't believe me? Well, I've got it in writing, on the Internet, so it has to be true!

As some of you know, Zen Fly Fishing has started the journey of making the first designed and made in America tenkara rod. Zen has Paul Vertrees with them and as I have said before, I respect him for his skill, experience, and judgement. He is one of the team who is working on this exciting new project.

Zen has the mandrels now, after much experimentation, and soon they should be getting blanks to test. They will be making the rods to their own specifications, and with Paul on board, I'm sure this rod (or rods) should be really good.

Anyway, back to my coming of age. In their news article about the new made in America rod, Zen mentions me -- well not exactly, but I feel their love. Here is what they say: Our Baichi Rod was also scoffed at. The rod was stiff, short and many “traditional tenkarist” said “Boo” and scrunched up their noses at it. That's me, scrunching up my nose!! I've been labeled a “traditional tenkarist”!! WOW!

I'll be signing autographs later. Peace out!


In all seriousness, I am excited to see their new rod. Can a startup tenkara company from Colorado outdo the Japanese? We'll see!


  1. Last rod you tested you had to change the tip out with a TenkaraUSA tip to make it feel right, right? Lol

    1. Well, "right" for me. Others may like the rod the way it is provided from Zen.

  2. Right is a relevant term and opinion. Just making a point and clarifying.

  3. Traditionalist: The beliefs of those opposed to modernism, liberalism, or radicalism. From time to time, I am one myself. And at other times, I find myself looking around the corner and asking myself, "what if?". It's those open-ended questions I find most interesting.

  4. Replies
    1. Nah, just catching fish. I can barely master myself let alone tenkara :)

  5. There is no such thing as a traditionalist in tenkara. I've been to Japan, fished and studied with more than one master tenkara teacher, and everyone there has their own version of tenkara. Just because you have a Japanese made rod and fish with one kebari pattern, doesn't make you a traditionalist.

    This is a sport where the minimal equipment allows a lot of room for freedom of self expression through your fishing. It includes everything from the type or brand of rods you use, the kinds of flies you use, the types of waters you fish, the species of fish you pursue, your casting style, etc.

    If you just mimic what somebody else does or says, you are completely missing the boat. What is important is for each of us to seek out our own individual tenkara. Develop it to suit our tastes, and just have fun.


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