Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Magnificent Moose


Moose Antler Tenkara Line Holder
The moose is one of my favorite animals.  I have only seen one in the wild once but it left a lasting impression on me.  The sheer size and power of the moose is awesome and I have always been fascinated by it.  I have found it's hair useful in tying a number of fly tying patterns.  But long before I became obsessed with tenkara fly fishing and fly tying I had a number of other hobbies.  Among these hobbies were flintknapping (making stone arrowheads using traditional techniques), scrimshaw (using 20,000 year old mammoth ivory), and antler carving.  I especially loved carving with moose antler because of beauty and structural characteristics of it (the biology of antlers is a fascinating subject all by itself).  I have pretty much dropped these other hobbies in favor of fly tying and fishing.  However, I still have some moose antler and ivory left over and am always trying to find a use for them.  Lately, I have been playing around with the idea of creating some tenkara line holders.  Even though tenkara anglers do not use reels there is still a need for line management, specifically line storage.  So I thought why not try and create a line holder with one of my favorite materials.


Moose Antler Line Holder with a Royal Sakasa Kebari and TenkaraBum Hi-Vis Level Line
I think it came out OK.  I tried to add a few features to make it useful.  For example I added a little "nub" to hold the loop of fly line that attaches to the lillian on a tenkara rod.  There is also a hole to hold the fly.  The only drawback to it is it's size.  It's only about 2.25 inches in diameter, which is a little on the small side.  The problem is trying to find a slice of antler from the stem that has a large diameter but at the same time is made of dense and not spongy bone.


A "Loaded" Line Holder
In the end, whether it's used or not there is certain sense of satisfaction in creating your own fishing equipment.  I have definitely derived a lot of joy from tying my own flies.  I think I could get into making more than just flies.  Now if I could only find a good sized piece of that mammoth I have somewhere.  A 20,000 year old line holder would be really cool!

13 comments:

  1. Very creative, beauty in a simple form.
    I had some flies photographed by a friend years ago. For a background he used a whale bone that was cut on an angle.

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  2. The size isn't a drawback. That's the same diameter as the line holders I have. And I don't have to tell you that hand carved moose antler is in a whole 'nother league than blue plastic!

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  3. Way cool project. Great job.

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  4. Although I'm not a Tenkara angler... yet... I still find this really cool.

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  5. Brk Trt...Thanks! Whale bone sounds like it would make a cool holder as well. Unfortunately I think most all whales are on the CITES list.

    Chris...It's still functional as is but I personally would like it a little larger. I will probably never entirely give up the plastic holders.

    Todd...Thanks very much!

    Jay...Thanks. You should really take the tenkara plunge this year. Large largemouth bass can be a lot of fun with a tenkara rod.

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  6. Neat, very neat!
    Don't forget antler may have some angler-protecting properties too according to Japanese superstition.

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  7. Thanks Jason! I plan to make more and If I can get the right piece of mammoth ivory I will make them that way too.

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  8. That is an outstanding line holder. Gonna get a post up about it on MiddleRiverDispatch.com in the tenkara section. Wonderful craftsmanship!

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  9. Thanks very much Tom! I appreciate it.

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  10. Thanks to Tom, I found this great looking line holder. I love it!!!

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  11. This idea is incredible and very unique! How do I get my hands on one of these?

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  12. Sean...Thanks. I made a batch of them and sent them to Chris Stewart (www.tenkarabum.com) to sell for me. He would be happy to help you with one. If you have questions about them, please feel free to e-mail me.

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