Which is more important casting skill or fly presentation skill?

I don’t know, when sight fishing with dry flies and if you have a downstream take you can wait quite a long time before setting the hook, the fly certainly isn’t rejected sub-1 second.

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Sight fishing is of course a different animal than blind fishing - I’ll give you that for sure

and I’ll admit that I don’t often have the privilege of sight fishing

can you rule out the idea that a fly with a hook may sometimes be tough to spit out? even before you set the hook?

When hiking along a stream and not fishing I often prospect for fish by tossing small bits of stick or hemlock pine cones (anything small that I can toss on the water) - the fish seem to hit and reject said items pretty quickly without any tension at all - they determine that they are not food very quickly

just a thought

It’s all very curious and that’s what keeps it interesting I suppose

I think part of the “problem” with tenkara (and fly fishing) in general is that over all it’s pretty easy once you get the knack - and that invariably there are plenty of ways to skin this particular cat - so that very often folks with quite different ideas are each very successful

perhaps it is that we are successful in spite of our ideas :slight_smile:

Not sure if I understand, but I do not feel a hook is harder for them to spit than a stick.

I wonder what changes the behavior of fish. Sometimes they take without abandon. A fish will accept a fly whole heartedly …the on a dime the behavior changes and they employ a lightning sample and discard. This is a part of the behavior I do not fully understand.

I do believe that we luck into the moment before the discard a lot.

dwalker introduced me to this guy…Underwater Oz, aka Wendell Ozefovich great stuff on fish behavior. He has footage on trout eating everything.

Someone noted recently fish eating moss chunks…separating the living critters embedded and spitting the plant matter.

@Gressak I guess most everything is speculation - and I actually try to stay away form it but get drawn into it from time to time

Speculation is not limited to the amateurs - I see so many fishing writers and experts saying much that they cannot possibly know about why things work

For example when people start talking about why a fly or a technique works I immediately tune out

All we can really know is that something works (or doesn’t)

As soon as reasons and explanations start coming into the discussion that’s when my BS meter starts chiming

I just want to add that to anything that I’ve said above, disregard the “whys” if I’ve given any because I think that nobody really understands the “whys” fully - and until we can ask the fish in english and get answers back in english - it is very much speculation

But one cannot argue with results - the proof is in the pudding right? I suspect that very often we come upon flies and techniques that work very well - but the reasons explaining that effectiveness are often incorrect (no way of knowing really) - and the reasons are mostly irrelevant anyway. Very famously LaFontaines’s mysterious theory about why his sparkle pupae work. The flies works but probably not for any reason related to the “why” that he proposed

One is either catching fish (enough to have fun) or they’re not

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absoulutely. For the record I think it is fair to speculate.
After all, we are not fish…hahaahhahaha…we cannot help but apply some anthropomorphism.

I am like most people and will pick and choose what it believe and follow. I am not hung up on my amateur status or insecure in it.

I really do enjoy all the discussion. All of it. I am a believer in this sort of working out of ideas and theories, as it can really help fortify our own and even spawn new ones. Its good stuff.

As noted in my last entry, fish behavior really puzzles me as it is seemingly inconsistent. What makes it fun also makes it frustrating to understand at times. I was not putting any of that on you or anyone in particular it was an innocent statement.

Perhaps the best answer to the title of this thread is:

Neither. The most important skill is the ability for an angler to observe, adapt, and modify his/her skill to fish behavior.

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That statement reminds me of something Paul G wrote in the In Focus Insider 2 Manipulations pdf file that was paired with the manipulations video. That is Mel Krieger’s concept of two types of students, engineers and poets. Those who what to know the why & how vs those who just what to know what it feels like. My view is that is the same mix of great artists. Their art works create an emotional response, yet the artist is also a talented engineer. Understanding perspective, the mixing of colors, and how to apply them to the canvas to create the effect they want, or I guess also how to shape and weld steel or or carve stone or other material. It takes a mix of both - poet and engineer/chemist. Plus for fishermen, biologists.

Mel Kreiger’s engineers and poets

DT using engineering & poetry to present your flies

otoh - Richard Feynman believed scientific knowledge, knowing the how & why of things - aided seeing a deeper appreciation of physical things.


Anyway, to return to duncanp’s earlier point,
in the same pdf document, Paul writes that - while he would not abandon the golden rule that as a default you should start your day fishing with a skillful natural dead drift. But there are days when fish will only respond to manipulated flies, something that makes your fly stand out from all the other bits flowing past the fish in the water.

On those days when you approach a new fish lie, first do your best manipulated presentation, if no response, then try different ones, but don’t abandon doing a dead drift next. In his view fish can change their behavior faster than you can change your fly. And a big advantage of the tenkara approach to fishing is that you can change your presentation faster than you can change your fly. Maybe he is correct.


Sounds like i am missing out on that DT content.

Thanks again for sharing all that you have absorbed. Very interesting and enlightening…those nuggets you cherry pick.

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Thanks, speaking of absorbing stuff. I haven’t eaten anything since yesterday at 18:00 time to go absorb some vittles.

There is a guy in Japan, 松本, Matsumoto. Who has a blog, and he has also published a couple of kindle e-books. And I have also seen his kebari for sale on ebay.

The blog, the name on ebay, and the books all actually are under the name, Matsumoto · kebari workshop! or studio, [松本毛ばり工房!]

He makes a claim of quadrupling your catch rate, 釣果4倍!, by using his variation of
合わせテンカラ釣法!Awase Tenkara Fishing Method !
But, I have not yet been able to figure out just what it is.

His two e-books are also on Amazon US. They were only a couple of dollars. I purchased both of them about a year ago.

Each book is about 24 pages. There was no look inside feature. Turns out they are entirely text, no diagrams. A disappointment. However, I thought in trying to translate them I might learn more Japanese, and maybe learn something about his perspective on fishing too.

But it was a tedious work and I didn’t get very far. Before being distracted by other things.

Actually I had forgotten I had downloaded the kindle books until searching the internet for tips about detecting a strike. Prompted by this discussion, Which turned up his blog again.

The titles of his two kindle books are:

I’ve never been satisfied I have translated the titles correctly.

However, both titles include the phrase , 合わせテンカラ釣法, Awase Tenkara Fishing Method. And I know Awase (合わせ) means connecting with the fish.

The first title also includes - Hida River System fishing record or fishing trip.

The phrase found in both titles, that I haven’t been able to translate is - 目が疲れない.
It either translates as - My eyes get tired, or My eyes are not tired. The ない ,nai bit on the end is usually something “is Not”. Similar to ません, masen, not.
But I doubt it should translate as eyes at all. Maybe as Sight. But I am not sure.

What catches my attention the most is the first part of the second title.
釣・果4倍!Fishing-fruit 4 times.
iow, Increase your fishing results 4x or quadrupedal your fishing results.

But how? What is he recommending?

On his blog he sometimes list the title differently.
As 「空ら合わせテンカラ釣法」“Something?” Awase Tenkara Fishng Method.
空ら often seems to mean, sky , air or even emptiness.

In another place as (空合わせテンカラ釣法) Empty? Awase Tenkara Fishing Method?

I do not know the difference in meaning of - 空合わせ, 空ら合わせ or から合わせ??
It is a fun mystery to try to figure out. :thinking:
Maybe they all mean the same thing only written differently.

I suspect he is advocating detecting takes by some motion of the rod tip, or possibly as, I think mentioned by Peder, detecting takes using the motion of the fishing line. As a long strike indicator.

I can read Japanese well enough to see that 片山悦二テンカラ名人から, (from tenkara master Katayama Etsuji) is mentioned. He seems to be providing input to part of the book. If you have seen his tenkara set up on the Daiwa website you might recall he uses a fairly long line, with a bright color marker, about 4 inches long, between the end of the level line and the tippet.

Now I am motivated to again try to translate the book. It might be a rewarding project.
Maybe I will learn some new strike detection method. Or just decide his claim is more boast than helpful advice.

Some relevant remarks found in his blog post (with my crude translation):
内容紹介 Introduction
ドライ毛鉤釣法から I switched from dry fly fishing method
「から合わせテンカラ釣法」に to awase tenkara fishing method.
converting , fishing results, (number of fish caught) was quadrupled as I mentioned.

(空合わせテンカラ釣法)(Empty? alignment Tenkara Fishing Method)
毛鉤を振り込んで、remit the fly, (cast the fly, I think)
「ここらへんで・食いつくだろう」it will arrive here and be eaten?
というタイミングで 合わせる、by timing of awase
「空ら合わせテンカラ釣法」です。it is 空ら awase tenkara fishing method
毛鉤を目視しないので. because I do not look at the kebari
目が疲れません。my eyes/ my sighting does not get tired.

Links to two of his blog post about his recommended method.

1 Amago 1 Raibow trout 空 awase tenkara fishing method April 2017

Again it catches からawase tenkara fishing method Takehara River. May 2017

Hey, this kind of thing is how i keep my life in balance…
After hours doing things the easy way - it must be balanced with some time doing things the hard way. Stuff like this. :open_mouth:

Maybe some of our Japanese forum members can help, Letting us know if the Matsumoto · kebari studio advice is helpful or nothing new.


OK. :thinking:
It’s also explained here
Translation of copyrighted matter gives rise to problems, so I will explain the general “kara-awase” fishing method ・・・・・Japanese Language Fishing Terminology
Please give me a time

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“空-合わせ kara-awase” it is not a new method

Fish reacting to dry fry are 20 to 30%(The visible reaction)

There are many invisible reactions(70~80%)

There are very many hook-set where there is no reaction on the rod tip and line

It is to hook-set a fish that rhythmically moves the stick tip up and down to show no reaction

Predicting the whereabouts of fish

If you know the location of the fish’s feeding lane

Hook-set is easy to fish in the water

His “kebari” matches such a way of fishing

If you use a long line this way of fishing is the best

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Thank you for the explanation. However, several things remain confusing.

Oh, I did not expect it to be a new method. Just new to me.

Digital translation often gives the incorrect phonetic for kanji. [ something I am used to]
I did not recognize that 空-合わせ & から合わせ , are the same, because google translate shows the kanji 空 as ( sora).

Earlier I was looking in the forum section - Japanese Language Fishing Terminology.
Wherein I was trying to understand the difference between Atari and Awase.
アタリ, Atari, is defined as a collision or overlap. What we might call a hit, a strike or a take (of the fly).

And 合わせ, awase. Implies some kind of contact. I have noticed if I look at an on-line shop, the link to contact the company also uses the word, 合わせ.

Anyway, you gave this reply. That awase ( 合わせ or あわせ) is a hook-set. Adding:
" There are various kinds hook set and awase.
聞合せ =kiki-awase = feel a reaction at the rod tip
空合わせ kara-awase = To finish the Drift and equal to hook set
気配で・合わせる = sixth sense hook set。"
Google won’t translate any of those kanji the way you did. But there it was, you had already listed - kara awase, as "to finish the drift and it equals hook-set.

This one - 気配で・合わせる = sixth sense hook set - also caught my attention. Besides tenkara for almost 30 years I have been interested, off and on, in taichi & qigong (chi-kung). So I recognized the first kanji. 気 , as the kanji for Qi, or in Japan Ki. The concept of - life force energy.
Sixth-sense hook-set, would be a good skill to have. Probably a lot of fishing time needed to develop it. :open_mouth:

This bit remains unclear to me.
I had thought that kara-awase, may have involved watching the tip of the rod. It sounds like that is incorrect. However, I don’t think I have ever experienced a hook set with no reaction on the rod tip and line. By “rhythmically moving the stick tip up and down” Do you mean the rod tip?

I can see from the author’s definition that kara-awase, involves timing and location of the fish.
Only I can not translate it clearly. He writes:

Kara awase tenkara fishing method is:
Cast the fly.
「というタイミングで合わせるのが」Adjust the timing of the hook-set (awase)
「ここらへん・で食いつくだろう」which seems to mean, hold the kebari at the proper location and the fish will eat it. Which agrees with your statement about - knowing the whereabouts of the fish. Maybe that requires. [ 気配で・合わせる = sixth sense hook set] :smiley:

I noticed he calls his kebari - 郡上テンカラ毛鉤 - Gujo tenkara kebari. Using Gujo beadheads. Here is a link to his kebair on an auctions website.

In many of his blog post he list his tackle set up. Usually a line the same length of the rod, 3.6m or 3.8m, plus up to 1.8m of tippet.

I tend to think of a long line as any line, not including tippet length, that is more than rod length + 1.5 m. I don’t like fishing with a line longer than that. For a 4m rod, any line longer than 5.5m.

Maybe not everyone defines a long line the same way.
Fujino-line makes their Soft tenkara lines. 3.3m to 5m. And their Soft tenkara Long type lines are 7m to 10m. They seem to think of long lines as starting at 7m length. :hushed:

Anyway, I have been trying to read through his book. He writes that he is a self proclaimed student of 片山悦二テンカラ名人, Tenkara master /expert Katayama Etsuji. It is slow going, but I am learning a lot. :thinking:

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mistake to stick tip ・・・ rod-tip

For better understanding

Underwater drift of kebari(This is useful if you sink the kebari)
Repeat a series of movements of drift, stop, drift, stop,drift, hook-set

For this case・・・
stop = 聞合せ
hook-set = 空合わせ
(Simply repeat the same action)

When the kebari and the fish move at the same speed, I do not feel the change of the rod tip and the line
(Even though it holds kebari in the mouth of fish)

When you familiarize yourself with “kara-awase” will be Sixth-sense hook-set


That description sounds a lot like テンカラ釣りの止め送り釣りテクニック (tenkara fishing stop feed fishing techniques. Or 止め送り ( tome okuri). Or stop-send.

What Daniel Galhardo has called - pause-drift. Or Paul & John at Discover Tenkara call, Slip & Slide.

Tracing small circles or ovals. With the rod tip, the rod held horizontal. To alternately pause the drift of the submerged kebari down stream, then feed in line to let the kebari drift farther down stream. Using a predictable rhythm.

Very similar to what the guy on the tenkara-beginner blog calls. Tan tan awase (タン・タンで合わせる) .
Adjusting the timing of the awase, with rhythm. Like the rhythm of music notes. Changing the atari + awase action in a steady rhythm.

And since the kanji 空 seems to imply emptiness. It seems to me that 空合わせ means having the fish take the kebari on a slack line, empty of tension. That is during the time feeding or sending the line. Which would also agree with the earlier description of 空合わせ : “There are very many hook-set where there is no reaction on the rod tip and line.”

However, maybe the best goal would be finding tips, & advice about how to develop - 気配で・合わせる = sixth sense hook set. :sweat_smile::thinking:


Ah, I suspect you may have discovered what I discovered several months back. It seems impossible to delete a post from this forum after you decide maybe you shouldn’t post it or decide you should have posted it in a different forum section. The post just becomes hidden when you try to delete it. :grimacing: :frowning_face:

Anyway, I don’t have a problem knocking the experts. :smiley:
At least not within my own thoughts about their opinions.
I take everything the experts say with a huge sack of salt. In every field of of inquiry. Nothing is off limits. And think that most of them are full of crap most of the time.

I have a rule, that I don’t apply 100% of the time, but almost. It’s the 80/20 rule:
20% of the experts might be right 80% of the time, and wrong 20% of the time. And 80% of the experts are only right 20% of the time and wrong 80% of the time. [it’s not a hard rule. In some fields if might be 70/30]

The problem is determining which of them are in the first group, with a higher probability of being right, and which are in the second group, with a lower probability of being right. The hardest task is determining when the first group is wrong, and the second group just happens to be correct. :thinking:

It worth spending time listening to or reading what the experts have to say, but make a judgement about whether they are right or wrong from either your own observations, or experiences or just from how high the BS detector number is when you listen to them.

I agree. Listen to what expert A says. Balance that with what expert B says, which is often almost 180˚ opposite of what expert A said. Then go out and try both and see if you can prove either one. And while you’re at it, make your own discoveries. Simple systems, like tenkara tackle, offer the greatest freedom of options to discover something new yourself. :smile:

Thanks for the advice from Rich Osthoff.

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@dwalker :confused::pensive: I’ve been trying to spend less time in the cyber world… and decided i ought to stay out of online discussions mostly as a matter of productivity


I dig your posts on this thread and in this forum.

This forum is my only window to the tenkara world.

I can see how these discussions may get tedious…but they are also very helpful to folks like me.


I second that @Gresham I may not participate in many of the discussions but I read them all avidly.
One thing I do like about fixed line fishing is that I can fish the rod left or right handed and either let the fly drift or ‘work’ it in any way you want. Even if you are not used to using a different arm for casting, give it a go as your arm soon gets ‘programmed’ and it opens a whole lot of new presentation techniques.


@Gressak thanks.

The internet is such a giant rabbit hole of distraction for the easily distracted (and undisciplined) like myself :flushed:

I get on to check for any replies to a forum post and 12 hrs later I’m watching videos of how to Travis pick rockabilly guitar rhythm parts …



Haha, that’s so true for all of us. My arch nemesis often includes (but isn’t limited to) YouTube, Wikipedia, and nearly anything related to tenkara or fly tying, oh and cooking.

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