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One of the things that attracts people to tenkara is simpilicity. The monoMASTER is a simple solution to a problem that has existed for decades: what to do with your used tippet. Before the development of nylon, "tippet" was made from gut, and before that, horsehair. Gut and horsehair are biodegradable, but sadly, nylon isn't or at least it doesn't break down very quickly.


There is a big discrepancy in the nonscientific literature about how long it takes nylon mono to break down. The time that seems to get the most press is 600 years, but that is in a landfill where it is protected from sunlight. I have also read that nylon mono exposed to sunlight will lose up to 20% of its strength in the first 100 hours, and another 20% over the next 100-200 hours.

Nylon fishing line was first introduced in 1939. If it really took 600 years to degrade when left out in the open, every single piece of mono that any fishermen has ever dropped or discarded in the last 70 years would still be around. All of our streams would be completely clogged with mono.

I don't believe it takes 600 years for mono to degrade if it is out in the open and exposed to sunlight, but that's really not the point, is it? If you drop your used nylon mono tippet material, even accidentally, it will still be there when the next angler passes by and the one after him. It will still be there to trap wildlife, as happened to the Clark's Nutcracker that Daniel Galhardo rescued in Yellowstone Park after the Tenkara Summit.

Whether it takes 600 years or 6 years or 6 months, it's too long. The monoMASTER solves the problem and does it simply.

The monoMASTER was invented by a guy I know. A guy I've fished with. I've known of it since before it actually hit the market, but I've always felt I could wrap up my "used" tippet and keep it in my pocket until I got back home. You know, one less gadget to carry. Well, I hate to admit it, but there have been more than a couple times that the wrapped up mono fell out of my pocket as I pulled out a fly box or a new tippet spool and was taken by the current before I could retrieve it. I don't want that to ever happen again.

The way it works is really clever. Inside the plastic housing is a drum that you rotate by twisting the extended axle with your fingers. The drum is covered with a material somewhat similar to Velcro hooks. All you do is insert a loop of mono into the slot and rotate the axle. The little Velcro-like hooks grab the mono and as you twist it wraps the mono around the drum. When it gets full (perhaps after months - depends on how much tippet you use and how often you change it) you can open the housing, easily cut the mono with a pair of scissors and discard it safely since with one cut all the mono is then only about 1.5" long. It is a nice design, and yes, a patent is pending.

Fluorocarbon takes a lot longer to degrade than nylon, but fluorocarbon tenkara lines are not cut off and discarded. Fluorocarbon tippet material and nylon monofilament tippet material is, though, even if it is by accident. I think fly fishermen and tenkara anglers are generally pretty environmentally conscious and try to be considerate of the anglers who will follow them. The monoMASTER is a simple solution, and I really do think it would help if more anglers carried one.

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monoMASTER - $15.00


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Walk softly and carry a long stick. - Teddy Roosevelt (almost)

Tenkara has no strict rules. Enjoy tenkara in your own way.
- Eiji Yamakawa

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin


Varivas Tippet

Fluorocarbon Tenkara Level Line

Amnesia for "sighters."