January 7, 2016

Long-term Follow Up of a Few Commonly Used Items

I have been using a few items for tenkara for quite some time now. Today, I thought I'd revisit a few of those and let you know how they are working out for me.

1) Line

Ever since I went to using level lines I have been using highly colored florocarbon lines with a contrasting colored sighter. I've used all sorts of color combinations, but the one that seems to work best for me, for my eyes, is an orange line with a green sighter. Right now I use Sunline Tenkara line, usually in either a #3 or #3.5, with 8-10 inches of 8 lb green Amnesia tied to the terminal end. The Amnesia is the sighter. This is where I focus my eyes, and it seems to me that I can find that green color easily and adjust my line to make it hover just above the water's surface. (FYI, I used furled lines for only a couple months in early 2012, then changed to level lines.)

Conclusion: This line color pattern works for me and so I'll keep using it.

2) Tippet Rings

I've been using tippets rings for years. There has been some controversy regarding whether the ring causes the tippet to break off more frequently than the more traditional line-to-tippet knot connection. In my experience I have not seen this problem. I am aware, however, that not all tippet rings are made the same. Although most all are circular, not all have rounded edges and this may be where the "increased tippet break off" issue comes from. I use Stonfo brand competition grade tippet rings (from TenkaraBum), but any high quality ring with rounded edges should be just fine.

Conclusion: Tippet rings work for me and so I'll keep using them.

3) Line Spool Cards

Recently there was a discussion on line control on one of the tenkara forums. There was nothing new, but rather, they were ruminating upon the same argument that has been visited and revisited over and over again. Personally, I gave up spools early in 2014. It was then that I started making and using my own spool cards. I call them spool cards because they are shaped like a spool but are thin as a card. I make mine out of polystyrene sheeting; they are 80 mm in diameter. I prefer a 6 tab design rather than a 5 tab star-like design. They are thin and take up no room at all. I can carry a few different lines with me and they take up less room than just one of the more traditional line spools. I still have a few spools, but I only use them to store some of my longer lines, like a Fujino Tenkara Line 7 m.

Conclusion: These cards work well for me and I'll keep using them.

4) Clip on Line Control

After trying EZ-Keepers, and not liking them, I purchased some clip on line winders, way back in 2013. Back then I was ambivalent as to whether these line winders were going to work any better than EZ-Keepers, but over the past few years they have grown on me. First of all, the original winder I bought was labeled for a 3.6 m rod, but this was too loose for most of my tenkara rods. I then purchased a winder labeled 2.7 m. These fit my rods better. I placed foam inserts on the 3.6 m ones and now they fit better. I keep one in my Zimmerbuilt Chest Pack and use it to wind up the line (after collapsing the rod) if I plan on moving from one fishing spot to another. I wouldn't say they work any better than a standard line spool, but remember, I don't carry line spools.

Conclusion: I feel better about these than I did in 2013 and will continue using them while exploring other options.

5) Zimmerbuilt Chest Pack

I have used various ways to carry my fly boxes and a few accouterments over my many years of fly fishing, but the chest pack has been my preferred method. I went to chest packs in the early 90's and have used a variety of sizes and styles. After using a small Orvis chest pack for a few years (gifted now to my son) I now use a Zimmerbuilt Chest Pack. It is small enough to be non-obtrusive but big enough to not have to fight getting my fly box in or out. It holds my fly box (C&F Design S-size case), line spool cards, tippet, line winder, Smith Creek Trash Fish, and a couple Tip Grips without any fuss. On the outside I have a line clipper and a Ty-Rite.

Conclusion: This chest pack works for me and I'll continue to use it.

6) Smith Creek Trash Fish

This compact, flat, well built item is what I use to capture my waste tippet material. I find it is easier to use than a Monomaster or any other waste line control devise, and it is far more compact than any of them. Ever since getting it in 2012, the Trash Fish has been in my chest pack.

Conclusion: This small devise works great. I'll keep using it.

So there you have it, a few items that I have been consistently using over the past years. They have stood the test of time and withstood my fickle nature, so they must be somewhat good and reliable.

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