Nymphing lines

Does anyone have experience with tenkara nymphing lines? I’m looking at the Moonlit Oudachi line and thinking about giving it a try. Would I still want to stick with (approximately) a rod length line or go longer or shorter?

It’s always trial and error with each rod, that being said I pick a line length based on the size of water I’ll be fishing.

1 Like

Yep, the issue here is the lines I’m looking at all come at a fixed length. Since I only want to start with one I am looking for a little insight on length and other thoughts.

Since part of the line is intended to sink, my inclination would be to go a bit longer than I normally would with just a level line.

I had success using the Oudachi to fish small jig streamers when I first started fishing fixed line. The Oudachi was easy to see and cast heavier flies well. I feel like the Oudachi excels at presentations where line weight is not critical, such as actively swimming a jig streamer at distances greater than the line can be held off the water effectively. I was able to cast the 20’ line with the Traveller 44 easily using size 14 jig streamers with 4mm tungsten beads. I also like the Oudachi for throwing the Baby Fat Minnow style streamers meant to be retrieved and not drifted…

For more traditional dead drift Euro style fishing where the line is off the water, I quickly moved away from Oudachi to the Nissin Oni level lines after trying all of the brands Dragontail and Tenkara Bum sell.
Switching to light level line required I learn more of a Belgium or Oval style cast, but paid off with exponentially less tangles in the long run and far better drifts at distance with the light line.

I still think the 2.5 size Oni Line is my favorite all around line for Contact Nymphing while still being able to throw a size 20 midge dry fly without the need for Markers on the line for strike detection…

With that said, I find the 1.25 size Tenjo Line Tenkara Bum sells to be the best compromise between weight, wind resistance, and sensitivity for fishing weighted flies with a tight line. With some yarn markers it is tough to find a line that can be fished farther away with weighted nymphs. While braid and nylon sighter line are technically lighter than the Tenjo line, I find the Tenjo line cuts the wind better than braid, nylon, or the furled leaders I have tried.
I acknowledge that this line makes it difficult to cast unweighted flies, and takes some practice to get accuracy even with weighted flies. This line is also impossible for me to see without Markers, where the Oni 2.5 orange I can see most of the time without markers.

In the end, I think people should test a few of the better options and go with what they like best for their situations.

hope that helps


Thanks for the detailed response.

Unfortunately, I probably only fish this way less than a half dozen times a year. Most of my fishing is small streams, short rods and regular level line. It would take me years to test a bunch of different solutions in any meaningful way. My main aim here is to find a good option for getting deep in the handful of times I need to do that per year.

Why don’t you give Brent Auger at Dragontail a call. Tell what rod you have and he’ll be able to answer all your questions and point you in the right direction.


Great idea DaveR. Brent would be an excellent resource. You could also contact Chris Stewart, who has a wealth of tenkara knowledge.

Chris does have a wealth of tenkara knowledge. But he’s more of a level line angler and the Oudachi is a line that Brent designed.

I experimented making my own deep water nymphing lines, which worked out well. I used bright yellow 65lb braid for the main line, with 18 to 24 inches of SA Tri-Color indicator mono and a tippet ring. Everything purchased from Amazon. Casted really really nice, and fished well with heavy nymphs and a rod with the backbone to handle the weight. Not a replacement for level line which is what I prefer.

If getting weighted nymphs deeper is the aim, I would stick with whatever level line you have, and use as thin and dense of tippet as possible. I personally prefer TroutHunter 7x Flourocarbon. I notice the 6x feels at least 20% slower to get down to depth with the same flies compared to the 7x.

If you wanted to buy a line specifically for nymphing I would go for either the 2.5 Oni or the 1.25 Tenjo; I would also use markers…

1 Like

What length did you use? Similar to your normal level line length or longer?

@mak1277 There is a bit of synchronicity here. My other thread was a motivater to find folk who might be interested in my lines that I bought but will be giving away.

I have to catalog them all, and also I am busy fishing, so it may take a few beats. I definitely have Moonlit Oudachi that i can mail to you to play with. Do not buy any…just pm me the length you are looking for and i will send you the closest thing I have.



normal lengths

Where can I get a spool of #1.25 (Sunline - Tenjo) Line???
TBum is out of stock, no listings on Tenkara-Ya, Amazon.co.jp

Also a DIY question, is “Tenjo line” stiffer than 0.190mm - ~0.0075" - ~4.5X) fluoro tippet, 3X-4X nylon Euro Sighter, or 3X-4X fluoro fishing line AND, does it matter?

For tight line nymphing you want a thin line that you can see. The rod loads with the weight of the nymph so line taper etc is irrelevant. Line choice is more about the thinest you can see as the line is your sighter. You can always build a sighter from some of the euro nymphing products on the market as well. The line you use wont aid in casting a weighted nymph - the weight of the fly will load the rod. Tenkara rods vs Fly rods bend way more easily so with almost any tenkara rod you should not need any line taper to cast even the lightest weighted bead head. A euro fly rod at say 4 wt might benefit from a tapered leader to help cast a light beaded fly but that is not the case with most tenkara rods.

Having said that…by all means play around and try different things.

1 Like

I would see if TBum can order you some.

With that said, I don’t think it’s a special line. I find it to be stiffer than comparable diameter fluorocarbon tippet; seems similar to fluorocarbon leader material, but I rarely see anything under 6lb in the stiffer leader specific materials like Seagur Blue label…

I have played around with nylon sighter down to the Rio 6x. I can cast these lines, but I seem to wad up those lines anytime I need to pull a snag. I also broke off the Rio 6x casting line instead of my 7x flouro tippet a couple of times.

I also tried the 6lb suffix 832 braid, but again, the tangles were too much.

I can go weeks without wadding up a 10’ piece of Tenjo line, but the lighter lines seem to get me at least once a session…

1 Like

If this is the case I would stick with the line you like for the majority of your fishing. When you get to a deeper hole switch to a heavy fly. The fly will get down. If that deep hole is small then use something like a perdigon that has no resistance and gets down asap. Look up tuck cast which you can also do with a tenkara rod aiming and stopping you rod even sooner to have the weighted fly extend out and bounce back in the air before landing…this will drive the fly down.

1 Like

Have you used a line with a sink tip like that Ouadachi? Is it just a gimmick then?

I have not. It sounds like a gimmick to me. The speed of sinking for tightline nymphing is best controlled by a heavier and/or more streamlined fly. Going thinner on your tippet too can help. I think of sink tips for fly fishing where you lay the mass of the line on the water and you are fishing such that you don’t want it to float but sink. So if you are fishing a very long line on a big river or lake and wanted a lot of the line to go down then perhaps this is a tool?

I’m envisioning a scenario where I want to fish at 6-10’ deep. I’ve tried this before with a “normal” setup with heavy flies but never feel like I’m down far enough. I’m also (right or wrong) reluctant to use 6-10’ of tippet on the end of my level line.