Troubleshooting Your Tenkara Cast

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An excerpt from tenkara - the book

October 12, 2020

Troubleshooting the Tenkara Cast: Learn how to make your casting with a tenkara rod better

An excerpt from tenkara – the book

I have noticed a few common problems that occur in casting. I hope this quick troubleshooting guide will help if you are having any problems with your cast.

My line doesn’t straighten out in front of me/it wiggles at the end of the cast

– Too much power. While you need speed in the cast, it is important not to use much force. Relax.
– Too stiff a wrist, especially at the end of the forward cast. It is important to relax the wrist and hand at the end of the cast in order to absorb oscillation in the rod tip. Again, relax.

The line doesn’t go out far/it piles up below the rod tip

– Too slow a backcast, not throwing the line back, or not doing a backcast. Speed up the backcast, don’t be afraid of throwing the line back (up).
– Not having a well-defined stop on the backcast or forward cast. On the backcast stop the rod at 12 o’clock very briefly; on the forward-cast stop at around 2 o’clock and don’t follow through.
– Stopping for too long on the backcast. This will cause the line to fall to the back, and the rod will not shoot the line forward for you.

The fly doesn’t land first/too much line landing on the water

– Moving the rod too far back on the backcast (past the 12 o’clock position). If you are not doing it, try holding the rod with an index finger on top of the grip rather than thumb on top. And stop the rod sooner on the backcast.
– Stopping the rod too low on the forward cast. Stop the rod tip a bit higher on the forward cast to shoot the fly down to your target.
– Following through after the stop will cause the line to go down with the rod tip. Don’t follow through.
– Try pulling the rod back up a couple of inches right before the fly lands.

My fly is not going where I want it to/lack of accuracy on casting

– Arm sticking out to the side rather than in a straight line in front of you. Body and face not facing the direction you want the fly to go.

It’s just not working

– You are likely thinking too much about what your cast looks like, focus on your target.
– Pick a target, focus on it rather than on your cast, and just move your arm.

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