I have been playing around with several Tenkara rods for the last few weeks. Since there has not been much dry fly activity going on (at least not for me), my experiences with fishing Tenkara has mostly been a subsurface one. I'd like to share a few early observations:
Tenkara rods work well for several styles of nymphing. All of the nymphing I have done have been tight line methods meaning fishing without an indicator. Being an avid follower of European techniques over the last few years, the Czech or Polish style of nymphing was the first method I tried. This method works very well with Tenkara since you have little to no fly line past the rod tip wen fishing in this manner. My first concern was being able to handle two or three heavy flies on a rod with such a light tip. As it turns out, this poses no problem at all. In fact I think that ulta soft tip may actually help more than hurt by giving you that extra split second to react before the fish ejects the fly. The extra length that these rods provide is definitely a benefit. With a 11'-13' rod you can cover a lot of water. My experiences to date have shown this is a very effective method of nymph fishing with this type of set up.
One issue that you have to take into consideration is how to handle retrieving flies that become snagged on the bottom. I don't think you want to apply too much pressure or violent jerking with these rods, nor do you want to pull straight back on them. As long as you can grab your leader you can just break them off. But even 5X tippet resisted my efforts to break off by applying tension solely with the rod. Often you can collapse the rod to get a hand hold on you leader. A snag on a drift when the flies are on the bottom 13 feet away with deep angry water in between you and your leader is an interesting dilema.
I'll post more on this subject in the days to come. Next I'll talk about a typical leader set up for this style of fishing.
9 hours ago