I have decided to no longer carry the Ti Tenkara Net. You can still order them from TrailLite Designs.
The Ti Tenkara Net from TrailLight Designs is an ultra light, ultra strong, ultra modern tenkara net. Not traditional you say? Neither are carbon rods nor fluorocarbon lines. We have a hi tech sport and hi tech performs!
I was skeptical myself at first. I'm not an ultralight backpacker more interested in losing base weight than keeping basic tradition. Hand made tamos are almost ethereally beautiful. However, the wooden commercial ones, while still very nice, just don't quite catch the feeling of the hand made tamos. So, as long as you are going to buy a commercial net, I have to tell you that the Ti Tenkara Net grows on you.
The design is functional and minimalist. With a 9.5" dameter titanium hoop and 12" carbon fiber handle, it weighs next to nothing. And if you should happen to slip on a steep streambank and fall on it, it is much more likely to survive unscathed than a wooden net would (if a wooden net could).
When I wrote that about the net surviving a fall, I did not realize that I would later suffer a nasty fall down a steep riverbank myself. Luckily I was completely unhurt (landed flat on my backpack).
My TiNet suffered a bent hoop and a very slight scratch on the handle. The photo above shows my bent net superimposed on a new one. Knowing how much pressure is required to bend the hoops (I receive them flat and bend the angle myself) I am absolutely certain that a wooden net would have been in pieces. I'm glad I had my Ti Net because I needed it later that day!
Most of the nets come with black net bags. the black bags look sharper, but the clear net bags may be preferred by keiryu anglers who gather nymphs from the streambed (check to make sure it is legal where you fish).
The weave in the carbon handle gives just the hint of texture to the grip so it is nonskid when wet. The grip is also pretty thin and it is very easy to carry the net with the grip just tucked under your belt. It will stay securely. However, I would highly recommend getting a Gear Keeper, which is a zinger-like tether so you can drop your net while unhooking a fish and not have the net float away.
In Japan, the home of not only tenkara, but also of the Kaya tree that is so highly prized for making tenkara nets, I received quite a bit of interest in the prototype net I had tucked in my belt. At first, they asked about the material of the grip, then they marveled at the extremely low weight.
And the weight truly is low. TrailLite Designs claims a weight of under 3 ounces. Of the five nets I received in my initial order, four weighed 2.4 ounces on my postal scale. One weighed 2.5 ounces. These are probably the lightest nets you'll ever find and they make it much more reasonable for even ultralight backpackers to take a net. I know for a fact that I have lost fish, nice fish, from not having a net with me. If I was back-packing and counting on (or even hoping for) fish for dinner, I'd bring a net.
The titanium and carbon that make up the design are light weight, but they are extremely strong. The net will easily hold up to any fish that will fit in it.
How you fit an 18 1/2" fish in a 9 1/2" net.
The net bag of Ti Net looks like it is made from very thin diameter mono that was knotted together to form a net. The mono is thin enough that a hook barb can get caught on it, but removing the fly is only difficult if you also have a fish flopping around in the net. The openings in the mesh are large enough that it is easy to remove any hook that doesn't come with an attached fish.
The knots are why I finally decided to stop carrying the nets. The net bags are rough because of the knots and I decided it was too hard on the fish.
|Have had a Ti Tenkara Net for years now. The first two years I used it every day of fishing season. It has been with me on local creeks and backpacking in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. The hoop is easily returned to original shape even after damage. The net is extremely durable, easily washed, and returns to original shape after hot water washing. The handle is nicely textured and mine shows no wear even though I’ve fallen on it multiple times. It holds much larger fish than you would think and its held a half dozen bound for the smoker without issue. It’s a great net, humble in appearance, hardworking, and looking as good as the day I received it.
Tim N, Washington