Fixed-Line Fly Fishing Video Warmwater

Not Tenkara: A Bronzeback Flashback

Its cold outside. As a result I’m daydreaming of summer and fishing. This isn’t tenkara, but its some of the most fun I ever had fishing with a tenkara rod. It was a warm July evening in southwest Wisconsin. Accordingly, the local smallmouth were aggressively on the feed, chasing baitfish and hitting many of my casts with explosive takes within seconds of seeing the fly. These feisty bass fight as hard as trout twice their size!

Since they are savage fighters, Its tempting to up-gun to a “big fish” rod for smallmouth bass. On most water I don’t. A typical, 12 foot 6:4 action makes an exceptional smallmouth rod outside of strong current. I use the Tenkara Adventure Outfitters Classic rod being fished here to catch smallmouth up to 20 inches in slow/moderate currents. Consequently, it makes any size fish from medium on up feel like a knock-down, bare knuckle brawl! Rigging for fishing like this is simple. One rod length of floating line and 6-8 feet of 6-lb test mono. On this day, I was throwing size #6 Pass Lake streamers. I’ve found that similar sized foam hoppers and mini-poppers work great too.

I will always enjoy traditionally defined tenkara, but there is too much fun in using tenkara rods for other types of angling for me to ignore. Fixed line rods and smallmouth bass are a natural match. Until it warms up again, I’ll be daydreaming of hard fighting smallmouth!


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.

When you buy something using the retail links within our articles or Gear Shop, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Tenkara Angler does not accept money for editorial gear reviews. Read more about our policy.

6 comments

  1. Awesome video, Matt. I remember several smallmouth videos you and Mike put together. Smallmouth on tenkara is a blast.

    1. Thanks Shawn, Fixed line smallmouth is something everyone should give a try! We are lucky we have smallie fisheries to fish.

  2. Great article and video! Experiencing different species “outside the norm” is probably the favorite way of challenging myself. Not to mention that smallies in flowing water are some of the funnest fishing out there. Thanks for the equipment list and explanation.

  3. Thanks for the video, I too have been doing warm water Tenkara and Keiyru since 2011 and its had to pick up one of many of my fly rods, spinning or bait casting rods. I do a lot of warm water fishing with the 2 above rods and can usually out fish others around me. It gets a lot of attention.

Let's Discuss in the Comments:

%d bloggers like this: