Wind Resistance on a rod

I mentioned to a popular rod seller about wind resistance (drag through the air) on a tenkara rod.

He stated it wasn’t a factor and couldn’t notice.

I felt bad for him, I feel it on long rods…

It’s hard to notice on short thin rods.

Keiryu rods have it with their large butt sections tapering slowly on longer rods.

Anyone else?

Oh to me wind is the bane of tenkara,all my rods bend, it takes 4 x to feel a take, thicker casting lines… wind sucks. I feel it on all rods to one degree or another. Sometimes I have to lay the line in the water so I still get a good drag but it’s not how it’s suppose to be.


Could be wrong but i think Adam is referring to wind on tthe rod itself.

The longer the rod…the more surface area…the more wind resistence. This combines with tip heaviness and us unavoidable.

Add in a long line…even more resistence.

With smaller rods i cast low and side armed. This can be hard to impossible to do with a longer rod . Its just too heavy.

Anyway…yes wind resistence.

Try a 11 foot surfcasting rod in 45mph winds. Its a full body effort and need 4 oz of lead to cut through the wind.


Wind load is a quantitative measurement. Each rod has it and it can be calculated.

Engineers use it all the time. I’m just too lazy to calculate it on my long rods.



Ahhh yes, sorry for my ineptitude. Should have read closer.

Me too.

It’s a wicked thing though and sometimes more evident than others.

1 Like

Definitely a factor on longer rods. I don’t notice it on 4m rods, but on an 8m salmon rod there is very surprising amount of wind resistance. For shorter rods, it is there but I think most people would not notice it.


It’s odd, where I notice it most is in wind. It changes my stroke and my cast goes to nothing. I then adjust my cast in power and stroke back to where it should be.

The resistance on the rod can be felt in the rod, like weight on the tip, it fools me. But I learn to adjust.

Going back in my memory to when I experience it is fun but it’s a pain for sure.

The Oni Type I will throw 20ft of #2 fluoro level line +tippet and fly amazingly into or across the wind, a small diameter rod and line cuts through the wind better than anything else I’ve tried. The Nissin 380/390 Honryu rods cast smoothly and have a small diameter but being a more full flex rod they deflect more when pushed by the wind, which is the reason I sold them. When it comes to a fatter but stiffer (higher penny rating) rod I can make it work by gripping and ripping with the same light level lines making accurate fly first cast but it does take more effort too control the rod and I sometimes have to make in cast adjustments when the wind swirls. Rod length makes a difference also, 4m rods are the longest I’ll use, that is the maximum length I can comfortably cast all day while fighting the wind, rods shorter than that are not too much of a problem but you do fight the wind more with a fatter rod no matter the length.

I’ve been wringing out my 5m single hand rod quite a bit in my honryu tenkara on the Colorado. I fight fish in heavy flow. The line sings on many fish…

My casting arm has a old injury and is quite painful at times and my arms are not big he man arms. I’m by no means a body builder and the fact that I read, almost universally that American anglers don’t like heavy rods is perplexing.

The rods are made by experts in honryu in the country of origin. Japanese anglers are not big muscular dudes.

They fish these rods like they created them!

They did.

And they do.

With all due respect, I have learned zero from any American tenkara angler regularly fishing honryu.

I get my references from Japanese anglers that do not complain about long rods and long lines.

I create my own long lines.

I’m developing my own system for my own rivers.

It’s just best that way.

The short line goofy stuff I’m reading from Americans is just that.

No dig, it just does not jive. And although I have a ton of western fly rod experience at big river fishing, if I filter the American tenkara guys through that, it doesn’t jive either.

So I just upscale what my friends in Japan teach me and keep blinders on with anything American.

These big rods do have lots of resistance in the casting stroke and they are heavy feeling but it’s what you use to cast long lines.

It’s what we do.

And I’m starting to see myself further refine my equipment to more of the Japanese style.

More towards what works, they have it figured out and America is not in a fishing Twilight Zone if you choose not to fish in it.

So interesting, love honryu. This is going to be fun.


I have never met a Japanese tenkara fisherman, was going to the Oni School this year but we all understand what happened. Tenkara is simple, fun and super effective. I have only used kebari and level lines for several seasons now and can testify as to the effectiveness of this simple system. It seems to me that Honryu is something a little different from the videos I’ve watched and forums I’ve perused, it seems to involve longer heavier stiffer rods and complex tapered lines and different techniques, the dead drift appears to be the primary technique used. Is Honryu a tenkara technique or it’s own style of fixed line fishing, not really sure. I have watched videos of Oni fishing super long level lines on large streams with just his 4m rods, is this considered Honryu or just long line tenkara? No matter if its the west side or east side of the Cascades the wind is almost always an issue even on the smaller streams. Having taught myself to cast in the windy Columbia Gorge east of Portland, the birthplace of windsurfing, has helped me refine my form and technique. Watching youtube videos of Oni over and over again and about a half million cast with light level lines has taught me much, the biggest take away is use a relaxed grip on the rod and don’t overpower the cast, the fishing is the easy part. We have large streams up here in the PNW but I prefer to fish in the mountains on smaller tribs like most, that’s where the resident wild trout reside and I can find peace and quiet. If I wanted to fish big water I would grab my Steelhead gear and head west, might as well catch some really big trout if I have to put up with the crowds. Never fished the blue ribbon Yakima and probably never will it just doesn’t appeal to me, I can find nice trout on quieter waters. Have patiently waited while western guys have plied the water on a couple of my favorite streams with little success and caught some decent fish after they’re gone with just my simple gear. It most often involves large boulders or rock gardens, back eddies and using pulsing techniques to pull out nice Cutthroat and Rainbow, I often laugh out loud when it works just as planned. One more thing, there is a US company that has year in year out worked at refining its offerings, having owned over a hundred rods, many of which are from Japanese companies, and having refined my own casting with long light level lines I can say nice job Brent the new rod is fantastic, I like it better than many of the Japanese offerings.


With all due respect to Masami, there are more Japanese experts, lots more.

Honryu tenkara is “main flow tenkara”

I use level lines on 4-5m rods.

I used to watch his videos, now I just do it myself.

I’m not a headhunter although I catch larger trout in rivers consistently.

I’m thinking you probably have good water to practice creating your own style.

Have fun.


What’s your current setup for honryu fishing? I used my Oni 450 on the green river this year and it was a blast. I used what I felt was a long line, I really enjoyed being able to fish a huge amount of water around me. I didn’t like a long line if I was fishing weighted nymphs Czech style. Generally a shorter line worked better for me with high sticking it. When fishing streamers, Kebari or dry flies I favored the longer line. I also fished Henry’s fork with a similar setup. You always get the wth stares from other fisher people.


5m rod, 7-10m lines.


A lot of times I use a fairly short rod (330cm) because of the streams I fish on. I do notice the extra resistance when going to a 395cm. I am thinking of getting a longer rod for larger fish (steelhead) on Minnesota’s North Shore. I think it would be a lot of fun going with a longer rod and long line.

David, it is so much fun if you don’t compare it, it is just a different set of skills…

1 Like