Early Results From the 2020 Tenkara Angler Reader Survey

Before I get into the data, Jason, Matt, & I wanted to thank everybody that took the time out of their busy schedules to fill out our Tenkara Angler reader survey. It doesn’t matter if you are a traditional or progressive fixed line angler, we appreciate that so many people in this unified community are interested in helping to shape the future content that is presented on Tenkara Angler.

As of the time of writing this post, we’ve taken 76 responses, a very strong turnout for a survey with no specific incentive to complete. Most were very serious, although you could tell a few were made in jest. (If you haven’t answered the Tenkara Angler reader survey, we’ll probably leave it open for a few more weeks – so don’t be afraid to have your voice heard).

1. What Are Your Favorite Types of Posts to Read?

This question was guided multiple choice, with the ability to select multiple answers and write in a topic if not covered. So the percentages indicate how many people selected that topic. The results were pretty interesting.

  • 84.2% – Techniques/Skill Improvement
  • 72.4% – Gear – Rods, Fly Tying, Accessories, Industry News, etc…
  • 68.4% – “Traditional” Tenkara – trout in mountain streams
  • 50.0% – “Non-Traditional” Tenkara – aka fixed line fly fishing
  • 48.7% – Essays – Long form story telling
  • 40.8% – Destinations & Events
  • 39.5% – Conservation
  • 38.2% – Trip Reports
  • 6.6% – I Don’t Like to Read – Give me more videos

The write-ins sort of blended with the above, or subjects covered elsewhere in the survey, but two that were of note were, “articles about tenkara in other countries” and “dank memes.”

Tenkara With Ike

2. What Topics/Subjects Would You Like Explored In Future Tenkara Angler posts?

This was a open field answer, so it’s a little tough to recap similar to the first question, however there were some definite themes:

  • More backpacking/backcountry content
  • More Japanese content
  • Instructional Content with video
  • More warmwater content
  • More West Coast, Rocky Mountain, & Northeast stories (guess it depends where you live)
  • Rigging and Gear selection

Playing off that last bullet, one comment I thought was interesting was that somebody asked if the contributors could outline what gear they were using in their stories. I never really noticed, but I guess that isn’t always covered in the various essays we receive. There’s a popular magazine in Japan called Headwater that typically includes gear capsules with each article, particularly trip reports.

Tenkara Angler Reader Survey - Gear Capsule

3. Are There Any Tenkara/Fixed-Line Personalities would you like to read or hear more from?

Only 50 of the 76 people answered this question… and many of the ones who did actually answered “no”. So, I suppose tenkara “personalities” are already doing a good enough job of making themeselves heard. That said, these people received more than one mention.

  • Jason Klass (I hear he’s got a pretty popular blog, but always welcome here too)
  • Daniel Galhardo
  • Rob Worthing
  • Chris Stewart
  • “The Japanese Masters”
  • Jason Sparks – he was referred to as “The Storyteller” so that’s his new nickname as far as I’m concerned.

And whomever wrote, “Me. Never written for you…” Well, there’s an easy way to change that… just click the button.

4. What Gear Brands (Tenkara or General Fly Fishing) Would You Like To See Us Cover?

I won’t list them all. A lot of brands were mentioned, all of the ones you’d probably think of. Tenkara USA, Dragontail, and “Japanese Brands” were most noted most often.

A couple brand related notes included “gear reviews/comparisons”, “more affordable brands”, “anything new”, “local fly shops”, “repurposed gear,” and “short rods.”

5. How often would you like to read new posts from Tenkara Angler?

Tenkara Angler Reader Survey - Frequency

Noted, one or two posts a day is winning out, with a nod to us perhaps slowing down as opposed to increasing volume. We’ll definitely keep that in mind.

6. Would You Be Interested in Contests & Giveaways?

Tenkara Angler Reader Survey - Contests

So looks like people want to win free stuff. Particularly if they don’t necessarily need to do anything but enter their email into a giveaway form. We’ll have to reach out to the vendor community to see if they’d be willing to work on something with us. There’s a lot of fun ways this could go… and something we’ve never really done before.

So hey, industry folks… if you’re reading this and you’re interested in sponsoring a contest or giveaway, you know where to find us…

7. Would You Be Interested In Listening to a Tenkara Angler Podcast?

Tenkara Angler Reader Survey - Podcasts

I guess we need to get some audio recording gear out. 75% of you want to listen to some Tenkara Angler content… Yikes. We actually already have some ideas here, so stay tuned…

8. Do You Have Any Other General Feedback on Tenkara Angler? (Sorry, the print magazine is not coming back…)

Again, this was an open-ended write in question. 45 people took the time to write something thoughtful in here, mostly compliments, which are appreciated.

Readers seem to like the diverse subject matter and are enjoying the additions of Jason & Matt. In terms of presentation, a few like the new format, while a few miss the print magazine. Somebody also wanted to see if there could be a physical event in the future.

John Vetterli (who wanted to make it known it was him) said we should look into Zoom video conferences. John, we hear you, and have only been hesitant out of respect to Luong Tam who has been producing interactive Tanuki Fishing webinars. Definite food for thought…

Last but not least, one person wrote that a “free beer and weed giveaway would endear me to you forever!” I’m shocked, and frankly saddened, that more people didn’t share that sentiment.

Tenkara Angler Reader Survey - Beer Weed Tenkara

So there you have it. Those are the early results in the 2020 Tenkara Angler reader survey. While none of the answers were particularly surprising, there were a few that I was surprised were omitted. I thought for sure the lack of articles from women and/or people of color may have been mentioned. I also thought conservation might rank a little higher in the first question.

As previously mentioned, we’re going to leave the light on for this survey probably for another 2 or 3 weeks. Tenkara Angler is followed by about 1400 people on Facebook (tell your friends, let’s get to 2000!), so there are a lot of you out there that we haven’t heard from yet. If you didn’t complete a survey, and feel something has been missed or under-represented, we’d love to hear from you! Heck, even if you’d like to further reinforce something with good representation, it will help us better set our priorities.

Oh, and if you have a certain level of knowledge or expertise on any of the topics above, we’d love to hear from you. Community-sourced content is, and always will be the backbone of Tenkara Angler.

Do you have a story to tell? A photo to share? A fly recipe that’s too good to keep secret? If you would like to contribute content to Tenkara Angler, click HERE for more details.

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