Tenkara USA net mesh review
by Tom Davis
(Inkom, ID USA)
When I started Tenkara I decided that I would need a net. Although traditional Tenkara nets are pretty cool looking, very functional, and works of art in and of themselves, I decided to get a more traditional wood net yet it being in the Tenkara style. I bought an "American Tenkara" custom wood net from Sam Lacina from Nets that Honor the Fish.
The America Tenkara is a beautiful net of impeccable quality. Sam states on his website: I have admired Japanese design and their respect for hand craft, I hope this design reflects that aesthetic. I think it achieves these goals admirably. It has a 16 inch handle and a 10 inch loop. It has a brass pin on the end of the handle where you can attach a shock cord leash. I love this net.
Still, despite this being a beautiful as well as very functional net, I wanted to make it a little more "Tenkara-like".
So, with this in mind, I ordered a Tenkara USA Net Mesh replacement. I decided on black mesh and ordered size 24cm. It took about 3 weeks to get from Tenkara USA but it arrived safely carefully folded flat in a clear plastic bag. Tenkara USA says about the net mesh: These traditional hand-made mesh for Tenkara nets feature a very fine mesh, with 2mm holes (some of the finest available). The fine mesh cradles the fish and reduce harm caused to their skin. This is true. I have never seen such a fine mesh. It is very tightly woven from black nylon mono without any apparent defect. It is truly amazing.
The mesh has a clear nylon heavy mono cord running around the rim to help the mesh keep its shape. Tenkara USA recommends replacing this with brass wire, but not having any available I elected to keep the nylon cord in place.
I easily removed the original net mesh that was attached to the American Tenkara. Using 20lb yellow Cortland Dacron backing I attached the Tenkara USA net mesh to the inside surface of the 10 inch hoop. It was a perfect fit. Instead of attaching the mesh using the Tenkara method of attaching the mesh to the rim with half hitch knots, I used the holes in the rim and ran the Dacron in one long segment around the rim. This made the net attachment very clean and look as if it was original.
The net looks perfect and is very strong. I think in this application the brass wire is not needed.
To hold the net while fishing, I use a Smith Creek net holster. It is very well made and holds the American Tenkara securely centered on your back. Drawing and holstering the net are an easy one handed move, even with my left hand (I am right hand dominant so my right hnd holds my Tenkara rod). They perfectly compliment each other.
So, if you would like a western net that is sort of "Tenkara-ish", you should consider the America Tenkara by Sam Lacina. Replace the mesh with Tenkara USA net mesh and you are set!
I would like to thank Tenkara USA for making the net mesh available. Although it is designed for making traditional Tenkara nets, it is perfect for this application.
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