Tenkara Level Line
The best tenkara level line: high visibility, little memory, the right stiffness and density for casting, and easy to keep off the water for drag-free drifts.
Benefits of tenkara level lines:
- Lighter weight, which allows anglers to keep the line off the water as the fly drifts on the other side of multiple currents. This provides for very good drifts.
- Versatility, where an angler can cut whatever length of line is desired or join lines together.
- Economics, A spool contains 65 feet (23m), and allows you to make 4 or 5 lines, for a lower cost per line.
Things to keep in mind: level lines require a slightly faster casting stroke, with very little pause on the back cast, and take more getting used to casting due to their light weight. Also, they do not have a pre-tied loop for girth-hitching to the rod tip. You can see how to setup a tenkara level line here.
Which level line weight should you choose?
The larger the number the heavier the level line. # 3.5 is our main recommendation for most conditions. #4.5 is the heaviest line, it performs better in windier conditions or with stiffer rods, and will be easier to cast but will sag a bit more under the rod tip. #2.5 is the lightest tenkara line we offer; it stays off the water beautifully for the best fly presentations, but it is harder to cast with, especially when there is wind or with stiff rods.
Note: the tenkara line weights we use are not in any way related to western fly-line weights, the numbers come from an old Japanese system and are not necessarily paired with a rod.
What length of tenkara line should I use?
That's up to you. As rules of thumb, your first and possibly main lines will be roughly the same length as the rod (plus 4-5 feet of tippet at the end). As you see a need for it, you can experiment with longer lines. While you can fish with lines that are twice the length of the rod (or more), we find that a more comfortable place is getting a line up to 1.5x the length of the rod (12ft rod, 18ft line for example - plus 4ft of tippet).
We typically carry a Keeper™ which accommodates two lines. On one side we will carry a "short" line, 12ft, and on the other a long line, 18ft for example. Experimenting and seeing what you find works well for you and your waters is a big part of the fun here.
1% of the sale value of this item will be donated to conservation efforts.
- How to choose a tenkara rod
- How to setup your tenkara rod
- Fixing a tenkara rod
- More how-to videos by Tenkara USA
- Podcast: The Tenkara Cast
- Tenkara Guide Network: Hire a guide
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