Rick Zieger - Dec 02, 2013

It was a nice day, and it had not rained for a couple of days. The sun was out with some clouds in the sky. My better half asked if I was going to disappear, and it seemed like a good suggestion to follow.

I had received a private message asking me if I was ever going to compare my Tenarka rod to my 1 weight fly rod. I had never thought about it, but seemed like it might be fun to do so grabbed the Tenarka rod, 1 weight graphite and a 5 weight graphite before I left the house. I knew if I took a boo rod the others might not get used. I took a Goldie Jr in gold and silver, fur tailed mohair leeches and two other patterns with me. This way I could have the same patterns on each rod.

I hike into a pond as it is till to wet to try to drive. I put on a gold Goldie Jr on each rod. I tried the Tenarka first as it does not cast quite as far as the others. I caught a few two inch gills on this. Then I tried each of the graphite rods and caught some more small gills. I kept casting and finally got one decent gill. I decided to try another spot on the pond, and I moved to it and went through the same routine. I got lots of small gills, but nothing bigger. I switched to a silver Goldie Jr to see what would happen. For the most part it was about the same as with the gold colored fly. There were lots of small gills with a couple of decent ones. It was time to change flies again. I tied on a Gilly with a bead head, since I wondered if going deeper would help.

I moved to another spot to try this fly. On the first cast with the Tenarka rod I got a crappie. Then I went back to catching the small gills. I tried the one weight and cast out around where I know a tree was sunk. I quickly picked up two more crappies on this fly with all the small gills.

I decided to head to the west edge of the pond where there is a large broad flat there. I also changed to black fur tailed leech. Maybe this fly would work better. I tried the Tenarka rod first and caught about a dozen gills on this with two of them being decent. I switched to the 1 weight and tried again. I got a couple more decent gills on this among the many more small ones.

Then serendipity struck. Not everyone can tangle the line and make a big backlash as they are casting a fly rod. I tucked the fly rod under my arm and started undoing the mess. The fly was about 20 feet off shore. When I got the mess straightened up and started to retrieve the line I had a nice gill on the line. What works once is worth trying again. I cast out and let the fly drop again. After about 8 seconds the end of the line twitched and there was another nice gill on the line. Doing this about 20 to 25 feet off shore got me several nice gills. Then it was back to the very small gills.

I moved to another spot and tried this again. I picked up a few ice gills on the Tenarka rod as the fly was allowed to fall. I repeated the performance with the other rods, but after a few nice fish it was back to the small ones.

I moved to another spot and repeated this sequence. Not sure where the bigger fish were. The next place had shallower water and only the small gills seemed to be there. I will need to do more testing, especially when I can be in the canoe.

My first impressions are that the Tenarka rod is more fun to land fish on. The tip is thinner and the rod tip dances more than on the other rods. Still it is fun to catch fish on any of the rods.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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