I have been having tons of fun searching for the appropriate branches and then embarking on the adventure of making my own tenkara tamo (tenkara nets). As stated, I have fallen in love with tenkara nets!
After spending a few weeks looking for the ideal branches, I was able to find a couple of branches, one from a manzanita bush, the other from the Jeffrey pine. After near a month in the making, I’m getting close to finishing them. The entire process was documented. Here are the semi-final results.
I loved working on something so simple and aesthetically pleasing. It’s not easy, but doable, and beautiful. The details were difficult, especially joining the two arms of the frame.
Though all nets are unique and one-of-a-kind, the manzanita will be more so because the manzanita does not have the symmetrical branches with the right diameters and angles for a net. The Jeffrey pine, on the other hand, has the ideal shapes and the wood is easier to work with.
I’ll venture to say this is the first manzanita net frame in the world built in this manner, and after studying the manzanita I think it may continue with that title since it was almost impossible to find the right branch for it. It’s my most rewarding project, the wood is absolutely gorgeous, and the outer layer of the stripped bark is red, giving it a beautiful natural color and providing for very interesting patterns on the places I needed to strip and sand. I needed to cut the end of the handle as it was curved in the wrong direction, and I figured I could follow the tenkara tradition of using deer antlers for protecting who uses it in the water. A tenkara enthusiast, who also gave me some great advice, offered to send me some deer antler, and one of them was a great match, having almost the same colors as the wood itself.
Stay tuned for the final pictures in a couple of weeks.