I actually got a 3 day weekend! So in preparation for some fishing this weekend I stopped by the local fly shop to pick up some #22 hooks to tie up something for the winter challenge. Apparently my friend at the shop is not a fan of tenkara, and brought up a good point. Tenkara rods are in fact not designed for big fish. It was designed, originally, for small fish in mountain streams. Now having said that you can catch larger fish on these rods. I have caught largemouth bass up to 3lbs. Not necessarily on purpose but I have. I have seen people catching large carp on tenkara rods!? Look it up on youtube. More than likely these folks are using keiryu rods which are designed for larger fish, and look and , for the most part, cast like tenkara rods.
All this made me think about why someone would use a tenkara rod and what species they would fish for. I have no problem with fishing for small fish; in fact I enjoy it. Tanago, or micro-fishing is all about catching minnows/ small fish that would be considered bait generally speaking. Most fisherman I talk to have a really hard time getting excited about catching the small fish that tenkara is designed for. I look at a rod like a tool. Each tool is designed for a specific purpose. A screwdriver is not designed to be used as a chisel, but it works. A pair of pliers can be used a hammer in a pinch…. The point being a tenkara rod can be used for larger fish if the opportunity presents its self, but if you are specifically targeting larger fish with a tenkara rod you may be missing the point.
As to the species of fish well I will let your imagination lead you in what direction it will. Mainly I just enjoy fishing and will be tempting the local panfish with my offerings. Having said that I always have a few larger flys just in case a bass swims by.