April 18, 2015

Handmade Line Spools (shikake-maki – 仕掛け巻き) from Three Rivers Tenkara

Although tenkara doesn't involve a reel, it does require some sort of process or item to control the line when it's not being used. I personally use spool cards, as they are very thin and weigh next to nothing. But many folks like to use spools on which to wrap their line.

I just received a spool that is both beautiful and functional. It is a shikake-maki (仕掛け巻き) from Three Rivers Tenkara.  仕掛け巻き is translated as a winding widget or contrivance, in other words, a spool. Here is what Three Rivers Tenkara says regarding this wonderfully functional line spool: "Woodwork by British craftsmen Steve James and Seth Leach and unique design features, which have been very carefully thought out with the help of John Pearson of Discover Tenkara (discovertenkara.co.uk) make these shikake-maki a delight to own and a pleasure to use.
These shikake-maki are individually hand-crafted from selected pieces of seasoned hardwood, chosen for colour and or figure displayed within the wood thus giving each unit its own totally individual and unique character.

The oiling process, whilst rendering the shikake-maki completely waterproof, enhances the colours and natural features in the wood and also gives the unit a beautifully smooth finish making it a pleasure to use. Each unit, being approximately 70mm in diameter and only 10mm thick, has been designed so that the hook and line is stored and located away from the 25mm centre hole allowing the shikake-maki to be securely lodged on the rod handle during transit without fear of it sliding off the closed rod.
The feature insert (hook keeper) is hollowed out, providing complete protection for the hook point and allowing only the bend of the hook to make contact with the wood. The design of the unit is such that line is always wound in the same, one only direction and the six line slots, located on the back of the shikake maki, have been cut at an angle to facilitate quick and easy location of the line in any chosen slot."

I find my spool just as described above.

My spool is easy to use, holds the line well and fits onto my Nissin Zerosum handle perfectly. I must say, it's about as nice as a line spool can get!

While I don't routinely use line spools, I really like this one! It's a piece of functional art! If you use spools to control your tenkara lines, you might want to consider one or more of these beauties. They are a bit expensive at $34.00 USD plus tax, but boy are they pretty!

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