Fountainhead Tenkara Fly Fishing

A stick, some string and a fly

Tenkara Fly Lines


There are a number of different options currently available to the Tenkara Fly Fisher regarding how to string up a Tenkara outfit.  Alot of opinions, and at least a fair amount of confusion. At least from my perspective, I think part of the confusion comes from the terminology. Alot of people refer to the entire "string" part of a Tenkara set up as a leader. I think just as with western fly fishing, there are several components to that "string". There is a line portion, than perhaps a leader portion, then a tippet portion. Each of those component serve a similar function to their western counterparts.

The line needs to capture and transfer energy generated at the rod tip by the caster. The leader portion (if there is one) provides a transition from the line to the tippet. The tippet adds suppleness/stealth and all the other stuff a tippet is supposed to do. (Especially in the case of Tenkara, being the weakest link)

I'm not sure it's any easier to answer the Tenkara line question, than to answer a question directed to western fly fishing - "Why doesn't everyone just use a level fly line?" There are tons of tapers developed for countless combinations of environments, situations, species, and conditions. I think by the time all is said and done, Tenkara will also have more than it's fair share of variations. No right, no wrong, no better no worst, just alot of "It depends".

  Most Tenkara rods are capable and comfortable casting a variety of  line types. You may find you prefer the way a certain line feels on your particular rod, or you may find that a certain certain line type best suits your style of casting and fishing. 

Tenkara lines can be grouped into two general categories -

Tapered Furled Fly Lines

Level Single Strand Fly Lines

Tenkara Tapered Furled Fly Lines



If you prefer to fish with a tapered furled Tenkara Fly Line, we recommend  you consider a line made by Fountainhead Furled Fly Lines -

Fountainhead Fly Fishing Furled Leaders

Fountainhead Fly Fishing Furled Tenkara Fly Fishing lines measure ten and a half (10 1/2) feet, to which you will add a three to five foot leader/tippet.

You can attach your tippet using a loop-to-loop, or the same type of knot you use to tie on your fly. After adding your tippet, you will end up with a Tenkara line about thirteen to fifteen feet long.

Fountainhead Fly Fishing Furled Tenkara fly lines are available in a traditional Triangular Taper, which is a continuous downward taper.  The Triangular Taper excels at the delicate presentation of dry flies on small clear waters.

Fountainhead Fly fishing also offers a unique Combo line which consists of a furled portion of line which terminates into a long single strand of fluorocarbon.  This line casts great, and provides the advantages associated with fishing single strand fluorocarbon.

Fountainhead Fly Fishing Tenkara lines are made with multiple strands of clear monofilament so they have an opaque clear color. They have a woven loop  on the rod attachement end and a looped mono end to which the tippet is attached.   Each line has a braided spectra loop included which is used to connect the line to the braided lilian on the end of your tenkara rod using a very simple girth hitch slip knot. (see the how to page for complete instructions)



Tenkara Level Single-Strand Lines



Single-stand level lines can provide a very simple and economical option for the fixed-length-line angler.

You may also want to experiment with a length of standard fluorocarbon line in the 15 - 20 lb range as a good starting point. Different brands of fluoro offer various characteristics which may make them better suited for use.  Typically a brand which tends to be stiffer works better as a fly line.  Another characteristic that is important to some anglers is visibility.



If you are interested in trying a single-strand level line, I suggest you start with the.014 Hi-Viz Fluorocarbon line available on -

Fountainhead Fly Fishing Furled Leaders


Leaders and Tippets

There are a wide variety of options regarding how the Tenkara line is terminated so that a fly can be attached.  Many anglers just directly attach a length of tippet material directly to the end of the tenkara line.  Other anglers may used a tapered leader which then terminates with a tippet.  These various options allow the angler to easily adjust the total length of line being fished to best match the environment and techniques being used.

The important thing to remember, a FIXED-length-line is a FIXED-system.  One cannot apply unlimited force without having the system fail (break) at some point.  You want to make sure you consciously design your tippet to be the weak link in the chain. If too heavy of tippet is used, you place your rod at risk.It is STRONGLY recommended you do not use a tippet exceeding a breaking strength of 3-4 lbs.