The color is definitely black or at least a dark color. I was using a peacock #12 bugger with a beadhead. just count down to about 5 then slowly lift the tip till the end of the line is visible and pull the line slowly toward you. Watch for a twitch or feel heaviness on the line. It is subtle for sure. I thought I saw several strikes that weren’t just some moss or some chop. (It was windy) I am having some great luck with my Tenkara rod. I am still getting used to how to use it but what a great time learning. One thing I have noticed is that the length of the line (about 13′) is not a real limitation even on the ponds. I could add a few feet and I might yet but for now It is working great. Pretty much fishing about the same places I always fish anyhow.