If you’ve been following this blog, you might know that I’ve been playing around with some different methods of line management for Tenkara lines. I’ve tried more traditional gadgets such as aged bamboo line holders, cheaper solutions like foam spools, and even some outside-of-the-box ideas like adapting add-ons from the spinning and bait casting realm. They all have merit to some degree but I have recently decided that the “blue spools” from Tenkara USA are the most practical. Here’s why…
1. Unlike rectangular methods of storage, the Tenkara USA spools don’t create kinks in your line leaving them supple for less drag and reducing tangles. Round is the way to go in my opinion.
2. Tenkara USA spools float which is a huge advantage. This past weekend, I was careless and left the Velcro pocket open in my shirt. When I bent down to release a brook trout, my spool fell out. Luckily, it was caught in an eddy and I was able to retrieve it.
3. They’re more durable. For less than an ounce, you get a great line storage solution you can step on and knock around without consequence.
4. The foam center has many advantages. First, it allows your line to dry more quickly. Secondly, (in combination with well-placed notches incorporated into the design) it provides multiple secure points for both the butt end of the line and the tippet section with or without a fly. You can store your line without a fly and just secure the tippet against the foam or you can pre-rig your lines with your go-to flies by securing them in the notches. It’s a very versatile design.
5. Moving from spot to spot is easy. Collapse your rod, hook the fly into a notch, then wind the line on your spool and thread your Tenkara rod through the large center hole. It couldn’t be easier.
6. The diameter is larger than the spools the line comes with meaning you can wind it up faster, get to your next spot quicker, and get back to fishing quicker.
Since a lot of the places I hike, backpack, and fly fish might present a variety of different lake and stream opportunities, I prefer to carry two spools: one with a 10 ½ line and one with a 13 ft. line both rigged up and ready to go. I just mark them with a Sharpie marker. For the price, weight, and convenience of these spools, they are my solution moving forward. Have you tried them and if so, what do you think of them?
I use them, and I like them a lot. First, I generally use a level fluorocarbon line rather than the furled lines, and it kinks easily. Round is definitely better for fluorocarbon lines. Second, since I usually at least start out with the same “go-to” fly, and often stay with it all day, I can just store the line, tippet and fly at the end of the day and be ready to go for next time. Third, when I do fish multiple flies, I can pre-rig a couple leaders at home and not have to rebuild one on the stream if I lose a fly or two. It’s a design that has been well thought out serves it’s purpose well.
Thanks for the feedback Chris! I don’t do multiple flies but can see the advantage. I just like the fact that it stores my line and fly pretty easily (and floats).
Thanks Jason – Just got my spools today and I am very happy with the purchase!! I got two today but with three rods, I need to order at least one more so I can have a rig (line & tippet) set up for each and different lengths that I can interchange quickly. Thanks for the bonus sample also!! And finally thank you for all you do to promote this wonderful way to integrate backpacking and fishing! All other solutions are either heavy or inadequate…tenkara is real fishing using real gear and is real simple!!
Thanks Nick. I’m glad you like them. I find the spools get a little addictive–especially when you start imagining all the possible riggings you can do. Can I ask which other rods you have?