Patagonia tenkara line review

IMG_7578When I was in Portland last winter I happened to be in the Patagonia store while my wife was buying a winter coat and was checking out their tenkara gear selection.  OK, calling it tenkara is a push in a way, the Patagonia gear to fit the “Simple Fly Fishing” title they give it.   The rods are 8, 10 and 11′ long and geared to being cast with a traditional western grip.  Their line as a thin level fly line, not a furled tenkara line or even a level flouro line like most tenkara anglers are using.   The even ship a regular 7.5′ tapered leader with the system instead of just using tippet material.   Anyway, I picked up the line & leader pack figuring I’d give it a try at some point this season.

It seemed to me that the line could be be good for swinging through big runs and that is why I picked it up.  I pulled it out the other evening to take a look since a few days ago I was having trouble reaching the far seam on a run with my 13′ line.  The line is a 35′ length of 0.27″ level fly line, evidently made by Cortland.  They recommend cutting this into a 20′ section, a 12′ section and leaving a 3′ section to extend the other sections.   I made the cuts and put a perfection loop on one one and a turl knot on the other end of the main lines and just perfection loops on the short 3′ remainder section.

Today I rigged up the 20′ line with their 7.5′ tapered leader just to get the full experience.  With the Sato the line casts very well, no problem unrolling all that line and leader at all.  It could spey cast or roll cast pretty well too since it was floating.   It worked well for swinging a fly, I could cast across stream, throw a mend and then swing the fly across currents mending if needed.   Yes, I caught trout and pulling them in on 27′ of line and leader was the most challenging thing about the line.   I did not try adding in the extra 3′ of line to the system, may try that on a larger river to see how it works.  I did not like the long leader though, I think next time I’ll just tie on a few feet of 5x and call it a day, I’m used to looking a few feet in back of my line for trout, 7.5′ in back is too far to look.

All in all, a good line for a specific purpose.  I’m not sure I’d use it for general tenkara fishing but for swinging or maybe dry fly action it is a pretty nice line.

Update 7/4/15 

I took this line set on a backpacking trip and I must say, it is perfect for backpacking.  On this trip I fished a small stream with the 12′ line and two lakes with the 20′ line.  I could also extend the 20′ line to 24′ using the extra piece of line.  I think this is now my backpacking line of choice.