Kebari & Fly Tying Tenkara

The Marvelous Bead Head Futsu Kebari

I love fishing unweighted kebari, be it sakasa, jun or futsu hackle styles. But sometimes I find that I need to get the fish’s attention more than what these patterns can offer. It’s at times like this that I often turn to bead head futsu patterns to get the job done.

There’s really nothing special about these patterns. They are basically futsu-style kebari with bead heads! That’s it. Take you favorite futsu-style kebari, add a bead (metal or glass) and voilà, you have a highly effective fish catching machine! I’ve used all pattern types, but three are standout patterns for my trout waters in Idaho.

BH Ishigaki, gold

It has been reported that when needed, Dr. Ishigaki will fish weighted bead head kebari. This pattern is after a style that he uses. Gold or silver beads work equally well. I even tie a few with glass beads, when I desire more “bling” but not more depth.

The Marvelous Bead Head Futsu Kebari - Tenkara Angler - Tom Davis - Beadhead Ishigaki

BH Peacock

This pattern could be tied with artificial peacock dubbing, but why, when peacock is so beautiful and fun to work with. That said, it’s best to reinforce the peacock or the first fish you catch will tear the fibers.

The Marvelous Bead Head Futsu Kebari - Tenkara Angler - Tom Davis - Beadhead Peacock
  • Hook: Moonlit 062, or your favorite.
  • Bead: Gold, brass or tungsten
  • Thread: Red. I use YLI silk.
  • Abdomen: Peacock herl, reinforced. I prefer to use a dubbing loop method.
  • Hackle: Grizzly, stiff dry fly.

BH Pink Squirrel (sans squirrel)

This pattern is a Driftless favorite, so I’m told. I tie my version after the manner shown by 10 Color Tenkara patron, Gressak. Spindrift yarn, Wren is substituted for squirrel fur. I’ve been using this pattern a lot lately, and I’ve been really impressed. Seems like my trout think they’re in the Driftless, because they love this fly!

The Marvelous Bead Head Futsu Kebari - Tenkara Angler - Tom Davis - Beadhead Pink Squirrel

So, there you have it, three of my favorite bead head futsu kebari patterns. If you’ve never tried this style of kebari, then I’d encourage you to do so. If you’ve already tried them, then you know — they work!

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.


  1. tom,
    thank you for the post. two questions:
    1. what is the size of the ML062 hook?
    2. what is the size of the beads, i.e. 2mm tungsten?

    1. I usually use size 10 hooks, but you can use the size that you think would work best for your waters. I usually use 2.8 mm beads, brass to sink less, tungsten to sink deeper.

Let's Discuss in the Comments:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: