There are a few rod quivers available, and there are rod cases for travel, but a combination doesn't seem to exist. Tenkara USA is the closest with their new rod cases, but they aren't for sale yet. The TrailLite Designs Ibira and it's descendants look handy. This rod holder from Tenkara Center UK looks excellent for carrying a rod on the river but doesn't provide any protection. For travel there are some cheap and effective ideas from TenkaraBum.com, some pretty standard but cool looking rod tubes at Tenkara Rod Co. (That only come with the rod) and pretty pedestrian 3rd-party rod tubes on Amazon. There is even complete stylistic overkill from Dragontail Tenkara for those who need something for their mantle. None of these have what I wanted, something I could pack in my suitcase, take out and put on my belt and go fishing. So, I made what I wanted. The total cost was about five dollars plus some super glue and duct tape.
As I have previously discussed, I'm not the type to spend a bunch of money on fishing gear. I'm also inclined to tinkering side projects occasionally. These projects tend to jump into my head and dominate my time when I'm most busy, and when my son is at his mom's house leaving the house far too quiet. My current project had a pretty slow burn. I came up with the idea last year, just before I carved the rod cap for my current tenkara rod in another fit of procrastination. I finally made it last week in about two hours.
I found the squirt gun while driving through Royal City, WA with my son on a hot June day last year. Like Michelangelo I could see that the rod case hidden in the rough could be revealed with just a few cuts and a bit of super glue. Well, maybe a comparison to Michelangelo is a bit hasty. Still, I could see I could see the makings of a sweet rod case.
So, with too much to do and a night ripe for procrastination, I set out to uncover the rod case within the squirt gun. The result is pretty cool. It's very light and probably protects the rod a little too well even for the most zealous airline baggage handler. The rod stays in the case with a two-stage, friction-fit system that is extremely secure but easy to remove. The rod tip is held secure inside the case with foam. No rod rattle! It drains water and has both a belt loop to hook to my wading belt, or a loop to hook it to my vest.
Read on for the step-by-step directions with pictures and ideas for making it even smaller, more light-weight, and with classier materials on the outside.
When I saw this squirt gun I immediately saw that the yellow plunger rod was the same size as my tenkara rod, meaning the tube itself might be easily retrofitted into a rod tube.
Other stuff you'll need:
- A good knife or two (a saw would make quicker work of the tubes)
- Kitchen shears or utility scissors
- Super Glue
- A straw or similar small tube
- Duct tape
The first thing to do is to strip the foam from the tube beneath. Luckily the glue holding it on is pretty minimal. Once it's sliced open length-wise it peels right off.
Use the super glue to glue these two pieces together. Both the orange plastic and the clear tube take really well to super glue and will bond fast.
If you want a super lightweight rod carrier you could stop here, attach something to hook this to your vest or belt, and be done. You could even spray paint the tube whatever color you want.
I made a belt loop just below this to thread it onto my wading belt.
If you decide to make one of these feel free to send me pictures. I would love to see what you come up with. I will post pictures of them on here as well.