Like many aspects of life fishing is concerned by technical and technological evolutions and tenkara is no exception and it even seems to me that in the case that interests us today tenkara has a head start by proposing the first 3D printed fishing accessory.
Michael Hackney, the boss of The Eclectic Angler, has just released a 3D printed tenkara spool and I did not resist very long to the desire to own some of these innovative spools.
After a few days wait, they were here... Specifications are:
-Axial hole: 0.79"
-Weight: 0.28 oz
I am not interested in this accessory only because it is something new but for its super light weight and low diameter characteristics. As I have decided not to use a fly vest anymore I have to consider more carefully the volume of each element of my fishing tackle. An additional point for these spools is that they are made of cornstarch which is biodegradable. Don't be scared! You will not see your spool degrade within your chest pack.
The axial hole having a 0.79" diameter allows to "lock" the spool on the top of the rod's handle. This kind of spool was probably conceived for furled lines because the slots are rather wide but one can use these spools for level lines by crossing it between the slots. It works pretty well with a 3.5 level line.
Multiple holes on both sides of the spool allows you to fix your fly where ever you want to. This detail can be a plus in low light conditions, on the evening rise for example.
The offer includes a choice among 6 colors and 6 color combinations; there is something for everyone and it can help you to create a coding system for the storage of your lines. For example your #3 level lines on orange spools and #4 on green ones. Intermediate sizes will go on bicolor spools. For now Michael Hackney only offers one spool size but I think some new sizes will appear soon and so will do new products.
In any case it is a sign of good omen to see an ancestral fishing technique such as tenkara being combined in the future with the rich opportunities of cutting edge technologies like 3D printing.
You can purchase these spools on The Eclectic Angler site.