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I don't build more than 15 rods a year - that is a limit I set myself early on. This keeps me from chasing numbers, and keeps high quality of each rod that I make at it's highest. So, when the rods are done, and there is time, I try and learn a little more with every one I make ... my new passion ... curved Japanese stream nets!

 

You might have seen a net here and there on the site, or on my Facebook profile, but here is a little more burble on the nets, my views on them, and my approach to making them.

 

As with everything you make with your hands, there is a natural progression that takes place. My 1st nets were large, bulky, and a total overkill for what their intended purpose was. My good friend (and mentor) Stephen Boshoff always reminds me about form and function when I share my attempts with him. He always gives advice, nudges me in a direction, without truly telling me what to do. I think his philosophy is that it's something you have to find yourself. With every net you find something else to tweak. Shave a little off here, add a little bit there ... no two attempts are ever the same. After 30 nets though, I have found the "formula" that works for me, and best describes and interprets what I would like to see in a stream/release net.

 

The frame is constructed from 2 strips only. A single bamboo, and a single strip of complimenting wood. I have found a wonderul South American wood called Guajuvera. It is a wonderful wood to work with. It has rich a grain patterning, lovely dark and cream tones, and finishes extremely well. Despite it being quite a hard wood, it is surprisingly light, and the final product is the perfect blend of strength,  flexibility, delicacy and lightness that I envision a stream net should have. These are of course my own personal interpretations, and milage may vary ;-)

 

My handle inserts are ported internally to cut back in weight, and also aid in floating the net. The chambers should keep air trapped after the net is sealed with either varnish, or a special resin coating.

 

Below are some nets in early stages of becoming something that you can use on a stream. All of these have been lightly sanded and oiled with a single coating of Danish Oil. After 2-3 days the oil has penetrated and given the wood back some "life", they are ready for final shaping and sanding.

 

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The last of my 3-strip nets below a 2-strip construction.

 

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A 100% Guajuvera net. The aim if this piece was to try and make it look as if the net was made from a single piece of wood. Not totally achieved, but as mentioned, with every net made a lot of lessons are learnt!

 

 

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One of the recent completed rods resting on an unfinished smallstream teadrop release net. It is a 2-strip bamboo construction with a Guajuvera insert.

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