So if you happen to be watching there is a debate raging about tenkara (a tempest in a teapot I guess in the grand scheme of things). No I’m not talking about the debate about whether or not you can use a tenkara rod in ways other than “traditional” and call it tenkara. But rather the question is whether you can use a rod not strictly marketed as a tenkara rod and call it tenkara fishing. There is much back and forth on twitter – which really kind of sucks for in depth conversation. So maybe I can offer a venue.
If I use my fixed-line, 7’8″ Soyokaze rod (which is not marketed as a tenkara rod) in a mountain stream for trout, casting a single unweighted traditional wet fly and utilizing tenkara techniques – am I tenkara fishing? I say yes.
What about if I use my TenkaraUSA Amago rod with bait and a float and fish for tanago – am I tanago fishing? It seems so.
Dr. Ishigaki ties flies using sewing thread – which is not intended or marketed for tying flies – so is he tying flies? Or is he doing something else? Seems like they are still flies and not a sewing project. Plenty of people are embracing knitting yarn for tenkara flies – are they then not tenkara flies?
It seems to me that the definition ought to follow from the function. I call this my Forrest Gump philosophy – that is “tenkara is as tenkara does”. There is no requirement, as far as I can see that you use the best equipment for the job. Maybe you are of the opinion that a rod marketed and intended for tenkara is “better” for the job – that may be true. But if I use a steak knife to butter my bread the bread still gets buttered. It is up to the user to determine what he/she wants, what’s best for him/her and what he/she is willing to sacrifice. I use a tool originally intended for electronics as hackle pliers – because I like the way they work – I am still tying flies, not doing electronics.
I’m not making a case for one tool over another – it doesn’t matter to me what you like to use for tenkara – I’m just laying out some abstracted talking points.
What are your thoughts?