For the TF39TA, choosing a line that will work in a variety of conditions, I'll use a #3.5 or a #4. Trying to fit a 5.5m line on a 3.3m rod in tight quarters just won't work so I'll take the liberty to use a couple of different length lines and I will use a couple of different gauge lines to figure out which line I like that works with the rod.
I fish wide open streams where a 4-5m class rod is fine and also in tunnel streams tight with vegetation, casting under the first limbs of pines where a 3.3m rod will seem long.
Details of Each Line
I’ll primarily use a #3.5 or a #4 at 5.5m most of the time for my 4-4.5m class streams. This is also useable in wind and will cast a variety of kebari and fly sizes. I like my lines slightly long to not crowd the tip when landing big fish. I also tend to stand back and it’s the sweet spot length at rod length plus 1.5m (or there about.)
For the rod at 3.9m length I’ll carry the following lines.
#4 at 5.5m on my primary spool, that’s the everyday “one line” for the “one rod” I will use another #4 at 5.5m as a back up and a #3.5 at 5m as I want to see if I can get away with a shorter and a little lighter line. For the short length I made the following line, a #3.5 at 3.3m for tight streams. I enjoy using lines over and over often for more than a season and I am working to get to the point where my whole kit is like this.
I use a slip knot at the lillian, double surgeons knot at the mainline to clear tip section that I add in and a 4 wrap clinch knot at the tippet ring to finish my mainline.
The material I use is fluorocarbon in pink and in clear for the spliced in tip on the end creating the mainline. I also use tippet rings to keep things uniform in length and as a weak link when protecting the rod on big fish fights or in fly in the tree break offs.
For tippet I use premium .8 which is equivalent to 5x I have not found the trout in the streams where I fish to be tippet shy when using premium fluorocarbon and I use the strongest I can all the time so I carry just one spool.
On each mainline I tie in a 50c length of #3 clear fluorocarbon. I then terminate that with a tippet ring. I do a lot of gauging with that clear tip in the water, the end of the pink line and knowing the length of the clear tip, the lighter tip loosens up the fly in a “stepped down” method and the extra length of the clear tip assists in stealth in clear shallow and still streams, this clear mainline tip helps me to catch more fish.
For all my knots, I use “Knotsense” to lock them, I cure the coated knots with a UV light.
This line configuration is strong, will handle wind and still drape well. The clear tip aids in stealth and the tippet ring keeps things uniform. I make my lines at home where I can take my time to create a line I want.
After all my lines are made, I wrap them on a card spool and stack them, locking them together and stuff them into the little bag I use to carry my kebari, flys, needle driver and bits I use for tenkara.
As I get better at tenkara, I use fewer things and at this point, many years later, my sub compact system reflects that. I’m learning by using what works, taking away what I don’t use, focusing on things that can serve double duty. I allow myself to use my knowledge in rigging to create a line system that will back itself up and enhance versatility in my choices.