What Is the Difference Between Tenkara and Fly Fishing?

Tenkara and Fly Fishing are two distinct styles of fishing that have been used for centuries, each with its own unique advantages and drawbacks. Tenkara is a traditional Japanese style of fishing that utilizes a single rod, line and lure. Fly Fishing, on the other hand, is an angling technique that involves casting artificial flies made from feathers or fur to entice fish.

Equipment Used: The biggest difference between Tenkara and Fly Fishing is the equipment used. Tenkara requires only a rod, line and three or four lures while Fly Fishing requires an additional reel, fly line, leader, tippet and flies. Additionally, Tenkara rods are generally longer than those used for Fly Fishing as they are designed to be fished in deeper waters.

Types of Fish Caught: The type of fish caught also differs between these two styles of fishing. Tenkara is typically used to Target small freshwater species such as trout and char while Fly Fishing can be used to catch a variety of both saltwater and freshwater species including bass, salmon and even larger species such as sharks.

Casting Techniques: The way in which each type of fishing is done also differs significantly. Tenkara relies on a simple overhead cast while Fly Fishing utilizes more complex casting techniques such as roll casts or double hauls.


In conclusion, Tenkara and Fly Fishing are two distinct styles of fishing with different equipment requirements, types of fish caught and casting techniques used. While both offer advantages for anglers depending on the situation at hand, it is important to understand the differences between them in order to maximize your success when out on the water.

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Michael Allen