Fountainhead Tenkara Fly Fishing

A stick, some string and a fly

Tenkara DIY

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Fly "Patch"

Posted by Tenkara Flyfish on August 31, 2015 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Here's a simple DIY way to dry flies.  

Another Easy Rod Cap/Plug Solution

Posted by Tenkara Flyfish on August 31, 2015 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)

A friend of mine showed me this.  Quick and easy, just a piece of flat foam folded over.  Adding the cord makes it easy to handle, and hard to lose.

Fish Relaease Gizmo

Posted by Tenkara Flyfish on August 9, 2014 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I've been using one of these wine cork fish release giznos for the past couple of years.  I haven't had to touch a single fish.  It's just a loop of wire.  To use, insert you line into the loop and slide it down until it reaches the hook.  Hold the leader in the other hand and gentle lift the fish up using the gizmo inside the bend of the hook.  the fish falls right off.  Just make sure to do this over the water.

Another Rod Cap/Plug option

Posted by Tenkara Flyfish on November 26, 2012 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Next time you find yourself sitting around the campfire with your trusty pocket knife handy, grab a branch and make yourself a spare (or replacement) rod cap.

As with all things tenkara, take it slow and easy, use a gentle hand.


Make sure you don't try to force a peg that is too big into a hole that is too small. You could possibly damage you rod. You also need to be sure not to try to force the cap too deep into the rod, remember there are rod sections down there. If you have your current plug handy, you can use it as a template regarding length and diameter.

Replacement Tenkara Rod Plug

Posted by Tenkara Flyfish on October 24, 2010 at 4:57 PM Comments comments (0)

If you fish a fixed-length-line rod, there is a 98% probability you fall into one of these groups-

1) I HAVE lost a rod plug

2) I WILL lose a rod plug

3) All of the above

The good news, it's easy and cheap to make a functional replacement.

Start off with a cheap pair of foam flip flops.  You might want to choose a bright color, you also don't want to use a pair in current use by your significant other.  Cut a block sightly wider than the diameter of your rod

Trim the block to a length of about 1 1/4 inches long.

About 1/2 inch from one end, cut a slit on each corner.

On the 3/4" side, trim the corners to the slits you previously made

Give a test fit, it should fit with slight resistance.  Don't try to force it, trim a bit more instead.  The fit doesn't have to be exact.

Not pretty, but functional.  You might want to make an extra or two, just to have around.

Tenkara Rod Grip Pads

Posted by Tenkara Flyfish on September 29, 2010 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

One needs to be particularly careful when closing a Tenkara rod after a day astream.  The vast majority of Tenkara rods are broken while collapsing the rod.  Cold, wet, tired hands don't help.  It helps immensely to be able to get a good,firm grip on the rod, in order to be able to apply precise and controlled force while closing the rod.  A good way to get a firm grip is to use a rubber grip pad. 

One can use a rubber jar opener, or a piece of rubberized drawer liner.


Replace a Tenkara Lilian Rod Tip

Posted by Tenkara Flyfish on May 12, 2010 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (7)

Lilian is the name of the hollow braided string which is attached to the end of a Tenkara rod. The lilian is used to connect to the Tenkara fly line to the Tenkara rod.


The lilian is hollow, and is designed to slip over the end of the Tenkara rod tip.  The first step is to dry fit the lilian onto the tip of the rod.  This will help develop the opening in the lilian, making it easier to get started for the final assembly.  Once you have the lilian dry fitted on the rod, don't completely remove it.  Rather back it off, leaving about 1/8 - 1/16 still attached.



Apply a very thin layer of epoxy to the tip area of the Tenkara rod ahead of the still attached lilian. The epoxy will serve both as an adhesive as well as a lubricant to aid in slipping the hollow lilian over the rod tip. I have found that using a twisting motion helps to seat the lilian over the Tenkara rod tip.  You will want to have about an 1 1/4 of overlap.


All that is left to do is to clean up any excess epoxy which was push out when seating the lilian,

and of course, be sure to let the epoxy thoroughly cure before using the Tenkara rod. 


PVC Tenkara Rod Case

Posted by Tenkara Flyfish on April 14, 2010 at 6:54 AM Comments comments (1)

One rod housing option.




I have a problem, er I mean opportunity that is probably unique to only me.



Bright shiny aluminum/carbon rod tubes that come with alot of rods are nice, very nice, actually TOO nice.




I drive a pickup, and when I go fishing, I often park my truck in spots that have alot of people coming and going, often times at least a few with prying eyes. I also park in other places that are pretty remote and desolate. If someone happens across the truck, they know they have plenty of time and no witnesses. In both of these environments, I don't like to have any sort of nice or shiny looking rod tube left inside my truck. When some folks see a nice rod tube, they figure it might have a nice expensive rod inside. I feel there is no need to tempt fate or the occasional passerby.


A long time back, I started making up rod cases out of pvc that I use to safely transport my fly fishing rods when I knew I'd be leaving the cases in an empty truck. I actually don't even put the empty cases inside the truck, I just leave them out in the open bed. Anyone who wants to open them up and see that they are empty is welcome to have at it. Their idle curiosity is solved, and they don't have to smash my window or pry open my door to find out.


These rod cases are very cheap, easy and quick to make, even for a monkey like me. They cost less than $5 to make, I figure if they save even one smashed in vehicle window, I'm ahead of the game.


 Start off with a trip to the hardware store, you'll need to buy a length of PVC pipe (I used 1 1/2" diameter) and some assorted fittings.  The fittings consist of (left to right in the photo) - an unthreaded cap, a threaded adapter, and a threaded cap.  The only tool you'll need is a hacksaw, or some other way to cut the PVC to length.  If you ask nicely, they may even cut it for you at the hardware store.


  You'll need to measure your rod in order to cut the pipe to length

 Once cut, 90%of the work is done.  You can add the fittings.  In most cases, a press fit will do.  If it makes you feel better, you can cement them in place with PVC cement.  I've never had a problem just firmly seating them without the use of any adhesive.

 There are several different options for what threaded cap to use, these are the two caps I like best.  Playing with these components is like playing with tinker toys. There will be bin after bin of components at the hardware store.  Look until you find something you like, and be sure to test fit everything at the store.

 Each cap gives a slightly different look


Total project cost, less than $5, total assembly time, less than 10 minutes.  Satisfaction of knowing your rod is safe and secure - Priceless.

UPDATE -  I've found some thin wall 1 1/4" pvc that makes an excellent case that weighs less than half of what a thick walled case would weigh.

Tenkara Line Winders

Posted by Tenkara Flyfish on April 11, 2010 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

I recently saw a photo of a neat idea in regards to Tenkara line storage.  It used a hook made from the foam used in flip flops.  Fully intending to steal, er I mean, reuse that basic design, I headed to my flip flop pile. I always have a bunch around, they make great popper heads for bluegills (and bass like them too). Anyhow on top of the pile was one of the straps I had previously cut off one of the flips. As I picked it up, I realized why I had kept it a several month earlier (just for this sort of inspiration).


A trimmed flip flop strap fits a tenkara rod great. This certainty isn't an elegant solution, but it sure is fast (and cheap), and it works great.

If I was sure I was going to leave it on the rod, I'd take some time to replace the rubber bands with some o-rings and trim the flip flop strap a little closer.

Another cheap, quick and easy line winder option is shown below -

A swimming pool noodle sliced into slabs with a groove cut in the edge. Not pretty, but works great.

p.s. The bug shown in the picture above was tied using flip flop foam,  You can also "turn" the foam using a dremel or drill to make very nice popper bodies.