Saturday, October 22, 2011

The RC Sakasa Kebari

Lately, I haven't been able to get out as much as I would like to or was used to during the last few months, so I started focusing on Tenkara "indoor" activity such as making lines (i.e. the horsehair line from the previous post) or tying flies.

I have been playing around with a few ideas for flies and one of them made it to the current Tenkara USA Swap V, this swap is themed Western Fly Tenkara Variants. After a lot of back and forth I decided to take shot at the Royal Coachman.

I tied a few prototypes before settling on the final design, my biggest challenges were how to incorporate the white wing and what material to use. I never tried to tie a wing to a sakasa kebari, and between wrapping the body with red silk, peacock herl collar and hackle it wasn't until a few flies later that I had the best tying sequence figured out (with help of my buddy Jason of Tenkara Talk).

For the wing, I tried calf tail (looks crappy), goose biots (even worse), traditional wet fly wing (meh) and antron (yeah, that's it). I realized that the key for tying in the wing is the ability to finish the fly under the wing, so I used a trick that I learned when tying the mercury RS2 with an antron wing: Tie tie a good length (i.e. 2"-3") of the wing material and fold it back over the hook eye and out of the way, when the fly is finished trim the wing to length.

May I introduce, the RC Sakasa Kebari:

What is your favorite Western fly and would you tie it Tenkara style?


  1. Great looking flies.
    Would be very tempting to a few brookies.

  2. Karel...nice job. I look forward to seeing them up close. The Royal Coachman wet fly was my inspiration for my royal sakasa kebari. I like your take on it. I think someone else is also doing a Royal Wulff inspired fly which I look forward to seeing. By the way, I just received a gift of a "Tenkara on the Fly" T-shirt from my wife. It will be with me on my next trip to the stream.

  3. good lookin fly - i too tied a fl that traditionally would have calf tail - but I just couldn't get the result (calf tail fibers were too large in diameter) that I wanted so I went to snowshoe hare foot fur and it worked out pretty good. What kind of hackle?

  4. Brk Trt - thanks, this is high praise from an accomplished tier like you!

    Kiwi & Anthony - thanks, I am looking forward to see your flies soon, I was almost finished with my batch when I realized that the three of us had somewhat the same idea. It will be interesting to compare each other's adaptations. The hackle I used is brown barred hen hackle I got a while back to tie collars for the Killer Kebari. I should have thought about snowshoe hare... I got some laying around somewhere!

    Kiwi - hope you enjoy the t-shirt and that it will bring you some luck!