Roll casts?

So gotta question for y’all. What’s the Tenkara equivalent of a roll cast? I was on vacation and staying at a place that backs up to the Columbia River with a tiny area to fish from. Literally, this is a 10 foot wide “beach” between some low trees and a 30 foot high levee 6 feet behind it. So there was no room at all for any sort of backcast and the 12 o’clock vertical clearance was maybe 3 feet wide between those trees.

I had 2 Tenkara rods with me, a Sawtooth and an 8 ft Kasugo and also an old 8 ft 5 wt fly rod. I tried the Tenkara rods 1st and made some 1/2 assed semi-sideways casts that didn’t work great. I then tried a more traditional cast and ended up in the trees, so figured I would try the fly rod. That worked out great. I could do a roll cast and get about 20 feet in front of me into an eddy that I could then use to drift a fly sideways with.

So what’s the solution with a Tenkara rod for a situation like this? I thought about putting the back end of one of my fly lines on the Sawtooth, since it has the backbone to probably deal with it, but ended up just fishing with my old rod.


I ran into a similar situation on the Conway River in VA. I tried everything but kept getting stuck in the trees casting or setting the hook. I eventually went with a fly rod (Sage LL2 7’3" 4 wt.) and had an amazing day of trout fishing with my son… Maybe I’m not skilled enough for CQC with a tenkara rod but we sure kicked butt with the fly rods. My suggestion would be use the fly rod when you have to
and not fell bad using it. Each fishing style has their advantages and disadvantages. I enjoy both styles so I don’t worry about switching back and forth while on a stream. Maybe you could use a
small tenkara rod in the 240cm range. On that stream I used both types of rods to tackle different situations. Close quarters I use the fly rod and when the stream opened up I switched to the tenkara rod. I hope this helps you.
There are some extremely talented tenkara anglers on this forum and they might know a special technique to help you.


Put a PVC Floating Tenkara Line on your T-rod and Roll-Cast all you want. A conventional Tapered Leader will also help a lot in roll casting with a floating line, especially casting into the wind…Karl.


My suggestion is the bow and arrow (B&A) cast. PVC line and T-rod with a really soft tip not the best solution for a roll cast. I stick to level lines and B&A cast. Many of the streams I fish that is 90% of my casting.


You can also do a flip cast. Essentially it is where you hold the rod vertically so that the line in the fly also hang vertically, you then flip the tip of the rod forward which causes the line and the fly to follow the tip up and over and to the target. The only downside of this cast is if there are branches immediately overhead, the fly can get caught in them. You can sort of think of the flip cast as an “air roll cast”.


Maybe I’m not properly envisioning the environment, but could you have done a sort of Belgian cast?

Or a sidearm cast where the rod is more or less parallel to the water, out over the river?

I took the Kasugo out today and figured out a crude roll cast with it. I’m using a braided line which seems to do what I want it to, as long as I remember to use the tip of the rod, and not the line itself for the casting energy. I also tried some side-arm casts today. That
wouldn’t have worked at the vacation house, but it does work in a pretty confined space.

I think it’s just going to take a whole lot of experimentation to figure out what situations work best for Tenkara vs. something else.

Thanks for the advice everyone.

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Not all senarios are ideal or enjoyable for tenkara. There is also always a factor of equipment and skill, but even so really tight canopy can be a real challenge.

There is just some water that may not be conducive. How you describe that spot might make it equally challenging to fight and land a good fish, but without seeing it I am speculating.

There is some water I won’t bother with.

Bow and Arrow cast for sure. Very effective. Will allow you to use all the length of your line and it’s very accurate.

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