Loading... Please wait...

News - zen tenkara

Zen Tenkara Floating Line, Reviewed by Jason Klass, TenkaraTalk.com

Posted by

A few weeks ago, I met up with Karin Miller from Zen Flyfishing and she let me try out her new floating line along the banks of the Fall River in Estes Park, CO. I pretty much exclusively fish level fluorocarbon lines; however, there are situations in which I find a floating line works better (more on that in a minute).

I’ve been tenkara fishing since 2009 and since then I’ve experimented with a lot of different lines. But I have to say, I was blown away on the first cast with this line. My friend Brian Lindsay was there too and I kept asking for the rod back because I couldn’t get enough of casting this line. It’s hands down one of the easiest lines to cast with an effortless turnover that makes you feel like you’re a tenkara rockstar. Not only is it a thrill to cast, but some of the design features are pure genius …

Technical Features

First of all, I’m not sure what material the main line is made from but I’m assuming it’s PVC-based similar to a regular fly line to give it its floatability. On one end there’s a (Kevlar?) loop to easily attach it to your lilian. But the real genius is in the tip end. It’s an 8-inch section of hi-vis orange for strike detection and at the very end there’s both a loop and a tippet ring. This means that you have the option of attaching your tippet either by a loop-to-loop (handshake) knot OR a clinch knot to the tippet ring! I’ve never seen this on any other line and I think it’s pretty innovative.

From end to end, I can tell Karin put a lot of thought into every detail of the design of this line. It’s currently available in the following lengths: 7′, 11′, 12.5′ and 15′. Some other practical advantages are spelled out on the packaging itself 

Applications

I mentioned earlier that sometimes I think a floating line is preferable to fluorocarbon in certain situations. To me, these include …

  • High-wind conditions. The greater mass of a PVC line cuts through the wind. And, if you’ve ever tried to maintain a dead drift with a level fluorocarbon line, you know that the wind can make it impossible because it grabs your line and thrashes it around, taking the control away from you. It’s better to have a line that cuts through the wind and keep it on the water to make a good presentation.
  • Stillwater. In lakes and ponds, I prefer a floating line. There’s no need to keep your line off the water in stillwaters and I feel like I can make a better presentation.
  • Fishing larger flies. Floating lines tend to be able to turn over bigger flies like streamers or weighted flies with more grace whereas with a fluorocarbon line you’re kind of “lobbing” it out there with an ugly cast that just feels terrible.
  • Beginners. Again, because of the heavier mass, a line like this is much easier for a beginner to cast that a level line. It almost turns itself over without any effort. I’ve seen plenty of novices get frustrated when they couldn’t get a fluorocarbon line to lay out. But with this line, it’s much more intuitive and will shorten the learning curve of the casting stroke and timing.
  • Dry fly fishing in slow waters. There are some places I fish where the water is slow moving and there are no cross currents to create drag, so it’s OK to have your line on the water. In these cases, I like a floating line.

Conclusion

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of experimentation and innovation in tenkara and in my opinion, the Zen Tenkara Floating Line is one of a few notable hallmarks of the evolution of our sport. It may not end up being your everyday line, but it’s definitely worth keeping in your arsenal when the conditions demand it. You’ll be glad you had it with you.

Zen Fly Fishing 3-in-1 Tenkara Spoolbox, by Jason Klass

Over the long holiday weekend, I was able to catch up with my friend Karin Miller of Zen Flyfishing and got my hands on their new tenkara spoolbox. This is a really innovative piece of gear that is as beautiful as it is function.It’s basically a round wooden box that can hold more flies than [...]

Read More »


BIG News!

You may have noticed lately that Zen has been quieter than usual on the social media airways. That’s because we’ve been in deep contemplation and very busy planning an exciting new year. As the 2015 fishing season gradually winds down, Zen is revving up! Our first three years as a company have been an incredible journey and we have [...]

Read More »


Tenkara Winter Series Melts Away for a Year

The Tenkara Winter Series ended its inaugural year, I believe, on a high note. Looking back now, it amazes me we actually pulled it off, and did so with such grace and talent. Not my talent mind you, but that of our presenters. People like Paul Vertrees, Kirk Deeter and Chris Stewart along with fantastic photographers Kevin Fricke, Anthony [...]

Read More »


We're Growing!

As August quickly approaches I’m forced to look back on another year and scream out ”OMG!” It’s been about two years since Zen got picked up by our very first retail shop, Mountain Anglers in Breckenridge, Colorado. Time flies when you’re working two jobs, running a business, designing products, doing demos, certifying guides and taking care of clients….it’s a busy little life we [...]

Read More »


Sign up for our newsletter

View Cart Go To Checkout