“Buy Local” they say… or perhaps it’s “Shop Small”. In the same vein, “support your local fly shop” is also a common refrain. But what do you do if you’re a tenkara rod angler and can’t find the flies, packs, or other fixed-line fly fishing accessories you’re looking for locally? Especially if you also want to support a small business? Try taking a peek at Etsy.
In this post I’m going to point out some of Etsy’s more notable tenkara suppliers (as of July 2020). But if you’d rather shop the category as a whole, this link to everything “tenkara” will get you there in one click.
Creekside Kebari + Fly Co.
Creekside Kebari ties some of the best flies you’ll find anywhere online. The trick? Top quality materials go into each and every one. But here’s the rub, you can’t just buy them whenever you’d like. Recently Creekside went to a model where instead of offering kebari a la carte on a daily basis, they tie up some assortments, put them up on Etsy, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. It’s a bit like winning the lottery, so you may want to subscribe to Creekside’s social media to see when the next assortment is for sale. Believe me, it’s worth it.
Yonah Packs has created a bit of a cult following around their minimalist packs. They typically offer two sizes. First, a smaller version that can be worn around your neck or on your belt, and a larger model that can be oriented as a sling or fanny pack. Much like Creekside, Yonah Packs release their products in batches, usually on the weekend. So if you happen to see one on Etsy, don’t wait to snap it up!
Ty Espinoza started his TYROAM storefront selling top quality hiking and wading staffs. Made of solid wood with comfort grip handles, they’re basically bombproof. Ty is also a talented fly tyer and offers an assortment of flies, including kebari and beadhead nymphs. If you want to learn more about Ty and his business, check out his interview in the Fall 2018 issue of Tenkara Angler.
Dennis Vander Houwen is also a friend of Tenkara Angler. You’ve probably read some of his articles in our magazine or on this website. He is also a magician with wood and handcrafts some of the nicest wooden line spools you’ll find anywhere at his Tenkara Path shop. In addition to his popular line spools, he has recently branched out (no pun intended) to selling wooden bobbin spools and furled tenkara lines.
Back of Beyond Bagworks
Back of Beyond Bagworks has been crafting quality tenkara and waist packs since 2018. While not as well known as Yonah Packs, the bags compare extremely favorably. For those looking for a product that is extremely durable with high customer satisfaction (5 star rating), these packs will be perfect. You can tell they know their stuff when it comes to tenkara as well, as some of their bag photos also include TenkaraBum rods as props.
I’m not going to lie, I don’t know much about Hoskins Nets. However, every time I search for tenkara on Etsy, I see their round “tenkara style” net and can’t help but take a peek. It’s really a gorgeous looking landing net, one I’m sure any angler would be proud to have in their possession.
There are many other suppliers on Etsy that offer tenkara, or tenkara congruent products. As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, a simple search of “tenkara” will lead to other small businesses such as QuinnGear, WyeTenkara, and Tenkara Rod Cases.
Additionally, another related search I like to make is for “gyotaku”, which is a form of art where fish imprints are made with ink on a canvas, using the fish itself as a sort of stamp. While it may sound odd, the results are beautiful; something perfect for the home office or fishing cave.
Shopping Small is a Choice
I hope you’ll take a minute to browse some of these items and choose to “shop small” on Etsy the next time you’re looking to pick up a few tenkara or fixed-line accessories. I’m certain each and every one of the proprietors will value your business and make sure you are satisfied.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on Etsy, don’t forget to check out our Tenkara Gear Shop. While it’s primarily home to the more familiar tenkara companies, none are huge corporations by any stretch. They’re usually just a handful of folks each (at most), looking to make your fixed-line fishing more enjoyable.
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