Review of the DRAGONtail ShadowFire 365. Tenkara Fishing is new to me and not what I have done in regards to fly fishing for the past 20 years. The things that gets me is the no reel aspect of Tenkara but the simplicity of it is fantastic. I decided to jump into it and reached out to Brent at DRAGONtail Tenkara for some information and guidance. If you are looking for someone that is incredibly knowledgeable and willing to answer loads and loads of questions Brent is your guy to get in touch with. I couldn’t be happier.
The fishing we were doing was incredibly difficult in tiny streams with sometimes massive amounts of grass growing waist high and hanging over the stream itself. See the pictures of the stream I’m talking about and you will understand. When looking at the stream I knew there was absolutely no chance using a traditional casting technique but rather drop and drift. This is where the Tenkara excelled.
So backing up… when the Tenkara arrived it was nicely packaged and came with a great rod sock, rod tube and everything I needed to give Tenkara a shot. What I love about the Rod is that it collapses into itself and makes transport much easier than a traditional rod. You tie on a leader – furled was my choice and then some tippet. Once you are done fishing hook the fly into the small spool and start wrapping the tippet and then leader around. Once wrapped up slide the spoil down the rod and you are ready to go. Nothing to it.
When fishing this tiny stream (pictured) the strategy I used was utilize the 12’ length of the Shadowfire rod. The fish were very spooky and you needed to stay away from the edge of the stream and hidden. I was crawling in my knees and then when still far enough away I would use the 12’ rod to hold it above the water and gently lower the fly, tippet and leader gently into the stream. The current of the stream would take the fly the length of the leader and tippet and then once at the end I would lift and place again. Working with any other Rod wouldn’t have worked as I would have been too close to the water. The Shadowfire worked perfectly and I couldn’t be happier.
Back to the rod itself.. for a $99 rod setup it can’t be beat and especially for someone new to Tenkara fishing. How can you go wrong with a $99 investment into something totally new but still in the area of something you love – Fly Fishing. So with that being said. I can’t recommend Brent and DRAGONtail Tenkara enough. Great company, great products and great customer support from Brent. Guarantee you will be pleased with your purchase. Drop Brent a line and I’m sure he will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Also… Brent also is part of Moonlit Fly Fishing and happens to make some of the greatest Furled Leaders around. I have written a review of his furled leaders a week ago so check that review out as well.
Next up.. I need to pick up a 13’ DRAGONtail HELLbender Zoom Rod for those lake and pond fishing days chasing big large mouth bass !!