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

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Project by Greg posted 396 days ago 2350 views 12 times favorited 24 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?

24 comments so far

View ondrej77's profile


21 posts in 397 days

#1 posted 396 days ago

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

View SteveW's profile


352 posts in 1441 days

#2 posted 396 days ago

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


878 posts in 1152 days

#3 posted 396 days ago

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.

-- Josh; Former Pennsylvanian, current Coloradan

View JR45's profile


536 posts in 895 days

#4 posted 396 days ago

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


4249 posts in 875 days

#5 posted 396 days ago

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


558 posts in 518 days

#6 posted 396 days ago

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

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View aussiedave's profile


3014 posts in 407 days

#7 posted 396 days ago

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.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View Rockbuster's profile


282 posts in 1191 days

#8 posted 396 days ago

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


81 posts in 1257 days

#9 posted 396 days ago

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


2408 posts in 934 days

#10 posted 396 days ago

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

-- Bondo Gaposis

View waho6o9's profile


4688 posts in 1160 days

#11 posted 396 days ago

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

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

1760 posts in 1144 days

#12 posted 396 days ago

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


3770 posts in 1712 days

#13 posted 396 days ago

Pure artistry! Love it!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View mmh's profile


3304 posts in 2305 days

#14 posted 396 days ago

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


257 posts in 455 days

#15 posted 396 days ago

That is a true museum piece. Thanks for sharing.

-- Dave K.

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