Tenkara Presentations: The Sutebari Technique 

The What technique? Pronounced “soo te bar y”, it means false cast. The general idea of this presentation is to get the fish worked-up a bit and get his tummy grumbling for a tasty snack by teasing him with false casts made near him, but not to him. Sounds a little crazy but it works. The Sutebari Technique is a presentation to use when sight fishing, not for blind casting. You must be able to see your target.
To begin, spot your fish. Identify where you would ideally place your fly if, casting directly to it (just in front of the fish). Now, avoid this spot. Next, make several false casts landing your fly in the vicinity of the fish but not too close. Cast a few feet beside the fish – to the left and then to the right, several feet away from your mark. Do these 3 or 4 times. Your fly should be placed softly on the water, but still with a pronounced landing. You want the fish to believe that insects are landing on the water around him, and you want the fish to sense them, but you don’t want to spook him. You’re working the fish up to a hungry frenzy – you’re teasing him.
Finally, after several of these false casts, make one delicate cast directly in front of the fish. BAM! Your fish will hit your fly so hard it will blow your mind and just like that, he’s on it. Hard. So be prepared to set that hook. The Sutebari is a super fun technique if you enjoy the hunt, as much as the land. This works best with a short, tight line set-up on a Tenkara Level Line (Fluorocarbon) or an All Purpose/Floating Tenkara Line since both these lines are ultralight and delicate. Keep everything off the surface of the water except the fly itself, and you can absolutely drive a fish crazy with this presentation technique.
If you’re up for some fun and want to try something a little different, the Sutebari Technique might be just right for you. Not only is it fun to turn the table and drive the fish crazy that typically drive us crazy, but it’s effective and works! So, play a little and get out there and tease a fish.

Thanks to Anthony Naples of castingaround.com  and  Jason Klass of tenkaratalk.com for the image


  1. Hi Karin, that’s a most interesting post. Something to try, for sure, in the future! But for me personally, I am not too sure that my casting accuracy chops are up to the task. I see a need for improvement…Karl.

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