Tenkara level lines are made of fluorocarbon. These lines have been selected based on their improved castability and good visibility. While Tenkara USA always recommends you try the traditional lines, tenkara level lines have the advantages of being less expensive, they may be cut to the desired length depending on river size and fishing conditions and are easier to cast against wind. Because they are so light, they can be kept off the water more easily, thus, only fly and tippet will touch the water.
Tenkara level lines come in a spool with 35 feet of line, which should be enough for two lines, one of the same length as the rod, another about 1.5 times longer. To the end of the line, simply add between 2 and 6 feet of tippet.
#3.5 or #4.5?
A #4.5 line is easier to cast and most appropriate for most fishing conditions. It is still light enough to be kept off the water, but not as light as a #3.5. Tenkara USA recommends the #4.5, and if you're looking for something more specific, add the 3.5 to your arsenal. The #3.5 line is slightly more challenging to cast, particularly with wind or larger flies, but it provides for more delicate presentations, and is more easily kept off the water at a longer distance. So, one may cast far and still keep his fly off currents.
What do these numbers mean?
Tenkara USA decided to switch from the "pound-test" classificationused in their first lines, to the original Japanese classification system. In the past they offered a 10lb and 15lb lines, now they offer what is roughly 12lb (#3.5) and 17lb (#4.5) test. Back in time, when anglers used silkworm gut (tegusu), and other fibers, lines were classified their actual weight, not the diameter (e.g. how much a certain amount of line weighed). In 1955, a standard was proposed where a #1 line was set to be 0.165mm and #10 line was set as 0.520mm. Today, line diameters are standardized, but not strictly so.
#3.5 0.320mm .0125"
#4.5 0.365mm .014"
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