Nylon level line

No Anthony, these are not designed specifically as tenkara lines.

From my digging around, I was not able to find any; at least that I could get sent here. These three are all salt water fishing lines. I did get some advice as to what specifically to look for in nylon lines to make sure they’re like what are used by some of the Masters in Japan.

Although, I could be totally wrong on this, it’s my understanding that people in Japan use other nylon lines for this purpose (though not sure if exclusively these ones), not necessarily ones made for tenkara.

Thanks @Gressak and @Scott_T and @A_Naples for sharing your experiences thus far.

I have a couple of places I can go where wind is seldom a problem. Since it won’t arrive until next week, I’m curious to see what the weather for the weekend will be like and whether the hurricane impacts New England.

I’ve got spools of two different sizes of Amnesia in that intense red. I wonder how it would cast?

I had a Fujino 7M tapered line that I tried with my Nissin Sakon 36, and I think once with my Seiryu-X 45. I just could not make it work. I’m sure it was me, but I just didn’t know how to time the cast or work the angles with that much line.

Recent article by DT talks about different lines, including Nylon Level Line. The stuff some of the guys use in Japan has very specific properties. The nylon line part is all the way at the bottom, but doesn’t give specifics.


I fished with a size 4 Japanese nylon saltwater fishing line before I got my first hi-vis fluorocarbon line (2008). It cast just fine on a still da, but died trying to cast into even a slight beeeze. I stopped using it once I got the bright pink fluorocarbon (which has been discontinued so long i am sure most US tenkara anglers don’t remember it).

I spent a lot of time experimenting with the gold Stren and a little time with Sufix. I like the Stren much better. When I still had a Daiwa Sagiri my favorite line for it was a 14# gold Stren, which might have been equivalent to a size 3.5 but I don’t recall and I’m not home now to check.

Like the first nylon line I fished with, it casts just fine on a dead calm day but is nowhere nearly a nice as fluorocarbon in any breeze at all.

I have cast the bright green line that Paul Gaskell and John Pearson rave about (but not a 20’ length). It has been a long time since I cast the Stren so I can’t really compare them. A rod-length line, which is what I usually fish casts just fine.

I have thought about importing some Japanese nylon lines but haven’t decided whether to do it.

I was out casting about 12’ and 18’ of 8# nylon (approx #3.5 ) in the wind (slight breeze) yesterday - it went okay actually

It was Stren - and I think I’d have really preferred the Suffix (have to disagree on that point due to stiffness CM_Stewart)

At 12’ even with some breeze it was pretty easy - 18’ was trickier in the breeze - but messing about with casting stroke I found a sort of modified belgian style with a sidearm delivery worked pretty well - the belgian style keeps the line moving nicely and the sidearm deliver allowed me to see the line which seemed to help me

and a “standard” tenkara overhead worked too but timing was much trickier with the 18’

The key for me seemed to be just a faster cast overall - quicker pickup (which is always good) but a much quicker delivery than I’d normally do

When I got it right the line would unroll to the end very nicely even with a little breeze - but like I say I do not have the 18’ line down pat yet

12’ piece of cake though

My new lines arrived today, earlier than expected. I had the chance to run to the Post Office during my lunch break and pick them up. The colors are considerably brighter than I had anticipated them to be. It also looks like I may have a chance later this week to experiment fishing with them; I just hope the weather cooperates.

I got a short break from my long day at work before it got dark out to take some photos of the new line.

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looking forward to hearing how you like them

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You just got to love those nice opaque colors…

FYI, the brightly colored nylon lines I used in China were very low density, specifically so they’d float on the surface. You might find that to be the case with yours as well.

Yeah Scott, I believe that will be the case for one of the lines, as it specifically stated in the description that it would float. The other two said they were formulated to sink faster in the description on the manufacturer’s website. I keep all my line off the water as much as possible, so I don’t care about that. But like you say, it may affect how they cast.

It looks like the weather will cooperate and I have a day off tomorrow, so I should be able to test these out. Well, barring there’s no wind.

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I couldn’t wait until tomorrow. After work this evening I went to a stream in town for about an hour. I tried the pink Vermax VLS Iso line with my typical setup. For me that means a line the length of the rod plus 1m of tippet. This is what I use 95% or more of the time. I occasionally (a few times a season) will change the line length, but it’s rare.

Today, I paired it with a Suntech Tenkara Bum 40. So that meant I had 4m of line and 1m of Trouthunter 5.5x tippet and I tied on an Ishigaki style kebari; mostly because that’s what was easily at hand. It was a beautiful evening and I had plenty of opportunity too find out if I could see the line. There was direct and bright evening sun and I had no difficulty seeing the line. Additionally, there were plenty of places with full shade and again, I had no problems seeing the line. The only really difficult place to see it when it was directly against small stones. This steam was very low and plenty of the bed was showing. I could still see it against that background, but it was harder than all the others.

The line itself is moderately shiny and very pliable. More pliable than any of the tenkara level lines I already owned. It almost had this relaxed sense to it. There was no noticeable memory to the line when taking it off the manufacturer’s spool. One thing I did seem to notice was that it did not seem to hold knots very well; then again, I only played with it for about an hour. I’ll need to make more observations.

I thought that my casting had been gradually improving, particularly this year. Then there was today. Okay, that sounds a little extreme but, the first 20 minutes or so today, definitely showed that I have plenty of room for improvement in my casting.

The main thing I observed, was that I was trying to cast the line and wasn’t letting the rod cast the line. I’m not sure if this make sense or not. The first 15 minutes of being out, I was lucky if my kebari was landing 2-3m in front of me. So, I tried changing my casting stroke to let the rod momentum move the line and not try to move it with my arm and shoulder. After another 10-15 minutes of trying this, I had a beautiful cast. The line fully unfurled and my kebari dropped on the water within a short distance of where I had intended for it to hit the water.

The cast just felt right as it was happening, so I tried to replicate what it felt like. After another 20 minutes or more, seven or eight casts of ten would nicely unfurl with the kebari gently landing on the water within a dinner plate’s diameter of where I wanted it to land.

Once I started to understand what it felt like, I was able to get my kebari to land on the water with the most delicacy that I’ve ever been able to do. I certainly do not consider myself good at this, but I do agree that nylon line certainly does elucidate your flaws in casting. I was surprised at how subtle changes in how I held the rod, how my arm was positioned, and how tense I was all dramatically improved or degraded my casting. Next is to try one of the infamous #3 nylon lines and see how much more that accentuates areas in which I need to improve and get to learn. Until tomorrow.

you are GREAT :hugs:

casting nylon definitely improves your casting - this is a big advantage of working with nylon from time to time

A Japanese acquaintance of my actually recommended using yarn to do what you describe - that is finding how to use the rod rather than rely on the weight of the line

I went out for half a day today to a river I really like, but where fishing is rather difficult. Today was no different. This river is mostly comprised of pocket water and is overall quite fast compared to many rivers and streams around this area. The headwaters of this river are one of my favorite places with very few people, but due to work obligations I don’t have time to head that far into the mountains right now.

I arrived just as dawn was breaking and already had the pink Vermax VLS Iso line rigged up from yesterday evening. The air temperature was 48F (9C) and the water was 50F (10C). The air was perfectly still. As the bright sun started creeping over the mountains, the pink line quickly became very difficult to see against the rocks and boulders.

After losing several fish, I decided to change and try the green black snapper special. This line was very easy for me to see against all backgrounds. I like the opaque color of it better than my green Yamatoyo fluorocarbon line. It had some memory coils from being on the spool, but they quickly straightened out.

This line cast a little differently than the pink one. It was not any more difficult (though it was the infamous #3), it was just different. After about fifteen minutes, I figured out that I needed to let up right at the end of my cast in order for the end of the line and my tippet to turn over. After that, it was a lot of fun. I left that line on the rest of my time out.

The frustrating thing was that each pocket was a “one and done.” They would strike once and if you didn’t set the hook, that was your only chance. Even if you change fly/kebari or change presentation style, it didn’t matter. Either way, I caught some and lost a lot more. I didn’t get too many photos because I almost fell in twice trying to take them and gave up.

Sorry for the bad last photo. Most of what I was catching were wild browns today and this was the only photo I got.


Interview with Kura San about Nylon Level Line.

I had a conversation with Robert Worthing of the Tenkara Guides about Monofilament Level Lines in general (both nylon and FC). He’s tried a lot of different lines made for bass fishing, tenkara, salt water, and so on and he mentioned that the differences between nylon and FC are starting to blur and become more of a spectrum. Tournament bass fishing gets a lot of money in line technology, so they have Nylon lines with similar densities to a lot of FC lines and there are also FC lines that are just as supple and stretchy as nylon.

Whether it is Nylon or FC, I think the main point in all of this is having a dense, supple, monofilament line that has a small diameter (more aerodynamic) that allows you to cast with accuracy in a multitude of wind conditions, but is as light as possible to keep the line off the water and have the least amount of influence on drag.

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Well said Jay.

Thanks for the video too.

Nice discussion - I’m fascinated to see that you find the same “diagnostic tool” effect for your casting that light nylon level line seems to have in my (& JP’s) experience Peder.

I put a few more diagrams and a bit of explanatory text to the blog post I set up for Kura-san’s video. Link below in case it is useful/of interest:



I’m curious about why you say supple - I tend to prefer a stiffer line

I used to want supple but have gone the opposite - thinking about drape

I’m no physics major, but when it comes to drape I think a supple line would drape less. Line weight is our drape force, with water tension being our anti drape.

A supple line as it moves in the current would require less force/tension to straighten out. I think a stiff line would influence drag more as you tighten the line.

I doubt there’s enough difference to matter. The suppleness trait is more desired for casting for controlling loops. Specifically when doing more advanced casting than typical straight back, straight forward casts.

given the same density and with suppleness being the only difference a stiffer line ought to drape less - imagine the extreme - that being a totally rigid line

I reckon I always figure that it’s basically tippet in the water - so not sure about the moving with the current thing - but that may be just me not understanding what you mean

I never have the opportunity for a “typical” cast in my normal streams - but still prefer a stiffer line as a support mechanism for casting in tight conditions - within reason of course

Also I do like furled lines from time to time - and I always thought I liked the most supple - but over time realized that my casting and fishing was better with stiffer lines (and drape was less)

variety is the spice of life though and I prefer to hear different ways of fishing than see one way touted as the “best”

and I’m always open to revisions in my ideas - perhaps this is worth some serious side by sides next time out

though I often have the idea to do “serious” testing when in the stream and often never get around to it


My Tenkara is always evolving. I think it’s important to try new things to have a complete understanding of the gear we use. The gear doesn’t make us better, only how we use it knowing it’s strengths and weaknesses does.

I could be way off on my thoughts. It’s merely the current path I’m on. I came from the previous thought process that stiffer is better, but now I’m testing the other side of things.

Early on, I didn’t experiment much. I used a rod and level line and that was good enough for me. But I’m trying to branch out a little bit. Have some fun beyond just trying to catch fish.

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