This is my solution for keeping my line organized on a Tenkara rod while walking (or in my case, paddling) from place to place. It is a simple solution but it is functional, looks nice and doesn't add very much weight to the rod.
Let's get started!
Step 1: Materials and Tools
I made my keepers out of stainless steel wire. I did an earlier experimental version out of a paperclip that you can watch here if you are interested in seeing that. Other materials included high quality polyester embroidery thread and epoxy.
The tools I used were pretty basic. Pliers of various types for bending, cutting and shaping the wire, something to mix and apply your epoxy with and scissors for cutting the thread. I did use a rotary tool to grind a taper onto the legs of the keepers but that can be done with a file or even sandpaper if you don't have a rotary tool. I also used a homemade rod guide wrapper. This isn't necessary, you can wrap the thread without a wrapping device and there are videos of various methods you can watch online and find what works for you. The wrapper just makes that process easier. Here is a page that shows an easy way to wrap guides using a book to tension the thread: Wrapping Guides
Where there is a will there is a way!
On to the work...
Step 2: Shaping Your Line Keepers
There are several ways you can bend the wire to a shape you want. I used pliers to bend mine. After you get the wire bent to the shape you want, taper the ends of the legs so that when you are wrapping the thread it can more easily transition from the fishing rod onto the keepers.
Step 3: Temporarily Fasten the Keepers to the Rod
I temporarily held the keepers to the rod using a very small drop of superglue. This will hold the keepers where I want them positioned until I can get them wrapped and epoxied permanently.
Step 4: Wrap Your Keepers Onto the Rod
I used a high quality polyester embroidery thread to wrap my keepers on the rod. To begin the wrap, tape the thread onto the rod blank on the side where you want your wrap to END. Next, wrap with wide gaps between wraps until you get to where you want your wrap to start on the rod blank. Now you will wrap tight wraps with no gaps back towards your end point. After about 5 to 10 tight wraps you can remove the tape from the blank and trim your tag end near where you are wrapping. just continue wrapping and cover the tag end until you start getting close to where you want to end your wrap. Leave enough space for 5 to 10 more wraps and wrap a loop made from another thread (a different color will make it easier to see) under your wraps until you have 5 to 10 wraps over your loop. Be careful to hold your thread securely to the rod and cut the thread you have been wrapping with and leave a tag end. Pass this tag end through the loop and (using the loop) pull the tag end tight against your wraps on the rod blank. This will hold the tag end securely so you can trim it close to the wraps and pull it under them. This will lock your thread into place until you can get the epoxy on it.
This is a difficult process to describe with words. Hopefully the pictures will help and you may also want to have a look at some videos online about wrapping fishing rod guides if you have never done this before. If this is your first time wrapping something on a fishing rod, practice on something like a dowel rod until you are comfortable enough to do it on your actual rod.
Step 5: Encapsulate Your Thread Wraps and Line Keeper With Epoxy
This is a tricky process if you have never done it before and one you will want to practice until you feel confident enough to do it on the actual rod. If you make a mistake, you can clean it all off fairly easily before it hardens with acetone and re-wrap your keepers and try again. I didn't take any pictures of this process because you have to work quickly and carefully and I can't do that and take pictures too. I would highly recommend watching some videos about epoxy finishing fishing rod wraps before trying this. Basically all your doing here is trying to encapsulate the threads in epoxy so they can't move. It sounds a lot easier than it is. I have done it a lot and I still make mistakes. I tape off the rod to try and keep my epoxy lines fairly straight around the blank. Just make sure to remove the tape while the epoxy is still wet so it doesn't get adhered to the rod.
I didn't use any sort of color preserver on my threads because I wanted them darker than they were to match the rod's logo a little better. It isn't a perfect match but it is close enough for me. If you want your threads to be closer to its natural color Mod Podge is a fairly decent substitute for a true color preserver made for building fishing rods. It will still darken a little but not as much as mine did.
There are many resources available on the internet if you want to find out more information about wrapping or finishing.
Step 6: You Are Done!!!
This is an inexpensive little project that looks nice, is very functional and it doesn't add much weight to the rod. There are other ways to do this but I wanted something permanent and always there when you need it.
Thanks for checking out my Instructable and if you have any questions just let me know!