An Unusual Fly Fishing Net- Banksia Pod handle with Inlaid Turquoise & Copper

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Project by Greg posted 06-08-2013 08:20 PM 6401 views 12 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been super busy as of late and unable to post for a while, but this is one of my latest nets. I love this unique net!

This net handle is made from an Australian Banksia Pod. You can see pics of it below. It’s much like our native pine cones here in North America, but denser. In recent years, the pod crop coming out of Australia has been comparatively small, and the size of the pods are small as well. This pod was purchased a few years back and was just barely large enough to make a net from. I vacuum stabilized this handle blank with an acrylic resin before gluing it up. This ensures a better water resistance and a stronger handle. The handle is inlaid in copper and Kingman Turquoise. The hoop is black Walnut & Curly Maple. All holes were left open per the client. The lanyard hole has a pressed in copper ferrule. All writing on the net is inlaid in copper to a depth of around 1/16”.

The female who commissioned this net, well, who told her fly fishing hubby she wanted it, is an avid fly fisher.

Cutting the pod on the bandsaw to get to the center.

Here is what the inside looks like….Just like the outside only flat!

Cutting away the riff raff. The seed pod is made up of tiny c 3/32” clumps of compressed straight-fiber balls. These Little tiny compressed fuzz balls get EVERYWHERE while sawing! They get tighter, and harder, the closer you get to the center. Near the center, it is as hard as oak.

The finished blank ready for stabilization.

The completed net with after 10 coats of a proprietary hand-mixed Danish Oil mixture. Seen at the peak of the hoop is a Latigo Leather magnetic net release I make. More close-ups of that below.

Here you can see the inlaid Kingman Turquoise & copper in the wood’s natural inclusions.

Since this is an heirloom net, I carve the writing into the hoop using a .020” spiral carbide router bit (which are VERY prone to breaking w/o a steady hand by the way) Then, the writing is inlaid with copper to provide permanent markings. Wenda happens to be the owner’s name.

Here you can see the hand-tied lanyard and the pressed-in copper ferrule.

You can see the “stem” of the pod here. It runs the length of the handle.

Hope ya’ll enjoyed.


-- You don't have a custom made heirloom fly fishing Net?

25 comments so far

View ondrej77's profile


21 posts in 2376 days

#1 posted 06-08-2013 08:41 PM

work of art!!! that inlay make it look like it came from different planet :)

View SteveW's profile


397 posts in 3420 days

#2 posted 06-08-2013 08:42 PM

Excellent work, thanks for sharing…you are an inspiration to all of us.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! SteveW

View Josh's profile


1234 posts in 3131 days

#3 posted 06-08-2013 08:44 PM

This is amazing stuff. The pics were great visuals! I was thinking heirloom before I even read you calling it that. Good stuff right there.

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1099 posts in 2874 days

#4 posted 06-08-2013 09:37 PM

Fantastic piece of work! Too nice to dip in the water, no matter how big the trout is!!

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2854 days

#5 posted 06-08-2013 09:56 PM

Beautiful work!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1332 posts in 2497 days

#6 posted 06-08-2013 11:31 PM

Awesome! What kind of acrylic resin do you use to stabilize?

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2386 days

#7 posted 06-08-2013 11:46 PM

Nice work for a beautiful looking fish net. I have seen Banksia pods used for so many different things in woodwork in Australia. You have made something a lot of people here take for granted as just a flower on a tree and then it dies. Woodworkers see the potential beauty in it’s after life.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Rockbuster's profile


499 posts in 3170 days

#8 posted 06-09-2013 12:35 AM

Sure is a Wendaful Net.

-- Rockbuster,Ft. Wayne,In It is far better to remain silent, and appear the fool, than it is to open ones mouth, and remove all doubt.

View fisherdoug09's profile


125 posts in 3236 days

#9 posted 06-09-2013 01:18 AM

Greg as usual a beautiful net, I still could not bring myself to use it though. The fishing here is getting great. Spring run off is over and it Salmon fly time.

View bondogaposis's profile


5570 posts in 2913 days

#10 posted 06-09-2013 02:45 AM

Absolutely stunning! As an avid fly fisherman myself I can really appreciate a fine net.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View waho6o9's profile


8800 posts in 3139 days

#11 posted 06-09-2013 02:51 AM

Beautiful work, thanks for posting the great pictures as well.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4262 posts in 3123 days

#12 posted 06-09-2013 03:19 AM

Wonderfully done.

I have never worked with Banksia pods before. Where do you get them and how much do they cost?


-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View sras's profile


5257 posts in 3691 days

#13 posted 06-09-2013 03:40 AM

Pure artistry! Love it!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View mmh's profile


3679 posts in 4284 days

#14 posted 06-09-2013 05:10 AM

I like working with Banksia Pods as it’s quite strong and unique. Nice job with this one!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View sgmdwk's profile


308 posts in 2434 days

#15 posted 06-09-2013 05:28 AM

That is a true museum piece. Thanks for sharing.

-- Dave K.

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