A few Tenkara links & a homemade rod

Dirt Cheap Tenkara …just love the attitude…by Gribley

Fitting out the cheap rod…crappy music, no instructions but pictures are useful. No need to have a lathe to make cork handles from wine corks…hand rasp and sandpaper will work just as well (albeit slower) …you can (if game) mount it in a fixed electrical drill (preferably variable speed, so you can use low speed) as a lathe alternative. A further alternative to the paracord and cork handles is to use the fuzzy side of velcro tape…by Fishing Hobby

Fitting out the the kit rod …also crappy music, simple text instructions and clear pictures. by Aaron Kaminski

I built a mini, non-telescoping, “Tenkara” rod from an old solid fibreglass rod, bought at the local recycling tip shop. This involved several hours of wet sanding the blank to achieve a slower action. Not something i would recommend to my worst enemy. First of all, you need to wet sand and to take all precautions (mask, ventilation, vacuuming) to avoid breathing in any fibreglass dust. Second, the process is very slow and laborious. Third, there is no guarantee that you can sand off enough material without destroying the integrity of the rod (i.e. breaks under load). On 1, I was prudent; on 2, pig-headed,; and on 3, lucky.

Here is the rod. It;’s about 7 foot long when assembled. I used Cortland running line as the casting line. It’s a little underpowered and I am thinking of trying out the back end of an old #6 fly line as an aletrnative.

I work on the principle that the ideal angle for a fixed line presentation is around 45 degrees with the rod-to-line angle being 90 degrees. On the 3-4-5 right angle triangle ratio, that gives a line length (excluding leader and tippet) of 1 and one third times the rod length. That gives an ideal distance just under twelve feet, which is more than ample in the tiny overgrown rivulet I have used it on. And when I say tiny, I mean less than 3 feet at its widest and runs and pools less than 6 feet long. In fact, you have to stand well back from likely pockets and pools.




The velcro handle, cable tie as a bottom point for wrapping line, kebari fly hooked into velcro, base of the rod is a wood dowel


The clothes peg hack, plastic electrician tape to protect the rod. This works as an upper wrapping point for the line. I used as loop-to-loop connection rather than the traditional knot


I whipped the upper loop onto the rod tip.


My next project (as soon as I can find some suitable diameter hollow fibreglass to make a ferrule) is to remove the handle and marry the top two sections to the bottom half of a 6 weight fly rod that I got at the same source. This will give me the option of fishing a shorter or longer rod (hopefully).


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A Simple Alternative to the Stripping Basket

This idea is so ridiculously simple I feel almost embarrassed revealing it. It’s so simple, that I felt someone else surely had done the same thing, but I couldn’t find anything on the net. {And wouldn’t you know it, when I went to upload my YouTube video, there’s one from a guy demonstrating the Orvis Coil Keeper. He also casts a lot better than I do!)

I forgot the stripping basket one trip. In the back of the wagon was a wire coat hanger. I thought if I bent it to shape it might just hold the line off the water for me.

Darn thing worked and has worked every time I have used it. Here’s some pics.

As you can see the “arms” are bent slightly upwards to allow the line to rest in the bend. The hook part of the coat hanger is closed up a little to hook over my wading belt.

It does take a little bit of getting used to. The main trick is not to drop the line at your feet, but rather to lay it down your side. Hopefully this little video will make it a bit clearer.

Yes, that is my yard in the background (a fisherman’s “lawn”). I could only cast a very limited distance in the space available, but the line holder has handled a lot more line than this, without tangling or getting hooked up. No guarantees in a wild wind, although I have used it in a stiff breeze without any issues.

I have a plastic coated coat hanger all ready and waiting for the deluxe and neater version, but, in the meantime, the old plain wire one is working fine.

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Simple Furled lines and a tapered leader

Too lazy to build a jig and too clumsy to twist furled leaders by hand, I used a simple rope making technique to make furled leader section about five feet long, which is about my arm span.

The rope making technique is fairly well described here . However I do a couple of things differently.

First, you need something like a hook on a wall or a bolt and hasp. Cut a piece of monofilament about two and a half to three times longer than you need (suggest three arm spans for starters). Loop the mono over the hook at about the half way point, knot the two ends together (single or double overhand knot is fine). Insert a piece of dowel, or ballpoint pen or pencil or anything similar at the knotted end. Walk backwards and gently stretch the mono.

Take the two strands in your left hand and pinch them close to the pencil. Wind the pencil around and around and around…putting a twist into the two strands. When you get to the point where you feel the mono pulling you towards the hook, stop twisting.

Holding the mono taut with one hand holding the pencil, grab the twisted mono at about the half way point and then take the pencil end to the hook. Hold both ends together and gradually release pressure on the folded part. The mono will now countertwist on itself.

Straighten out any kinks. keep holding the loose ends and remove the mono from the hook. Tie a triple surgeon’s loop in this end and cut off the excess mono. You will now a have a furled leader section with a surgeon’s loop at one end and a doubled-over loop at the other end.

For the leader in the photo, I made three sections (5 feet of 25 pound, 3 feet of 15 pound and two feet of 8 pound mono). These are joined folded loop (upper section) to surgeon’s loop (lower section). A single strand piece of mono (surgeon’s loops at both ends ) is added at the bottom for adding the tippet.


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DIY Wading Staff

Wading staff

Made from what was around the house.

Broom handle for the shaft. (I am thinking that I may want to “upgrade” at some point to something sturdier)

Cross piece from found burnt wood roughly sawn and whittled to shape, left rough because it fits nicely into my hand. Glued to the shaft by a vinyl sleeve. Why a cross piece? Inspired by Tom Davis at Teton Tenkara

This T-piece allows me to hold the top of the staff in deeper water. I also use it to quickly grab the tenkara line so to bring it to my rod hand. This has greatly decreased the amount of time in hand lining the fish in — particularly when the fish is larger or the current is fast. The T-piece also lets me grab overhead branches to retrieve my snagged fly.

Grip: bound with synthetic cord. (Paracord would have been better, but I didn’t have any)

Tip: Now I really wished I had kept the link for this idea, so I could give credit where credit is due. So my sincere apologies to whoever. Rubber furniture tip with the end cut off. This way the end can mushroom and fray, giving a better grip, but the integrity of the shaft is protected by the ring of rubber. There was no need to glue this on as the tip was just the right size.

Shaft and handle rubbed down with Joseph Lyddy Boot Goo, a beeswax based waterproofing for leather. I expect to rinse and dry the staff and then re-apply the coating after each outing.

For a lanyard, I used a spare kayak paddle leash attached to my belt.

Staff worked fine on its first trial in my local brook and made wading on the bowling balls much easier.

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Sunglasses Strap Holder, a ten minute or less DIY Fix-it

Needing to strap my sunglasses firmly to my noggin, so I could fall out of my kayak again, I had to make something quickly. Here’s what I did:

Step 1. Cut strip from dysfunctional wet suit.

Step 2. Punch a hole at either end

Step 3. Thread a rubber/elastic band through.



Step 4 Loop to loop


Step 5 Bring the loop over the end of the neoprene


Step 6 Insert the sunglass shaft and wind the rubber band around it to hold it on.


Step 7 Repeat on the other side AND VOILA!



Worked, too. Stayed on in spite of dunking!


Of course, smarter people than I have come up with better ways to do the same thing (even if they do take longer!).

Here’s one using paracord

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Soft Fly Wallet…No, Hard Case Fly box

As I mentioned a blog or two ago, I was looking at making a new fly wallet to go along with the re-organization and clear up of gear.

Alas I succumbed to simplicity, rather than DIY craftsmanship. At our local K-Mart, they were selling these solid waterproof cases for $6, which fitted perfectly into the belt bag I intended to use. They also had foam on one side already. All I needed to do was to glue some hard cell foam (dumpster-lifted carpet underlay) on the other side.

18aug 009

Perfect for my sea runner flies.

18aug 010

Now if it would only stop raining, the dams would stop spilling and the water clear up…

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New Attachment for DIY Landing Net & Fish Bag

As noted in my update to the DIY Landing Net and Fish Bag Post the method of connecting the straps to the bag by putting them through the hessian was starting to wear.

So I resorted to an idea I remembered from the Golden Book of Camping. I put a marble in each corner of the bag and used a cable tie to secure it. I then attached the straps to the tie. This should be a more permanent solution.

Bag sep 2013

The new improved fishing bag connection

bag close

A close up of the connection

“Soon after I embraced the sport of angling I became convinced that I should never be able to enjoy it if I had to rely on the cooperation of the fish.” Sparse Grey Hackle

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