How to Make DIY Tippet Spool Tenders

As anglers, there always comes a time when we go to grab a piece of tippet only to find that its been wound up into the spool…. This can be one of the most frustrating things to happen when out on the water. If only there was a way to have your tippet always ready and available…? You’re in luck! In this tips and tricks video of the week, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions demonstrates how to create DIY Tippet Spool Tenders.

How to Create DIY Tippet Spool Tenders

Materials Needed


  • 1/4″ stretch elastic braid.
  • Clear plastic tubing (available at most hardware stores). 3/16″ outside diameter with an 1/8″ inside diameter works perfectly.
  • Heat shrink tubing is also necessary for this task.

Step By Step Process


  1. Remove the current tender that comes with each tippet spool.
  2. Measure the circumference of the spool with the 1/4″ elastic braid.
  3. Cut the elastic off square.
  4. Measure the elastic and then cut however many segments you’d like to the same size for multiple tenders.
  5. Cut 1/4″ of heat shrink tubing next. Snipping multiple segments will save you time in the long run.
  6. You can use a lighter but a candle is perfect for keeping both hands free. Take one end of the clear plastic tubing and holding it under the candle flame.
  7. Press the tubing over the tapered end of your bodkin and with a pair of wire cutters, snip the tubing off square to abut 3/4″.
  8. Lightly melt the cut end in the flame to soften the edges.
  9. Plug in and warm up a hot glue gun.
  10. Lay out a segment of elastic and place one of the plastic tube segments on the end of your bodkin.
  11. Apply a small bead of hot glue to the top of the tubing and then secure the elastic to the tubing.
  12. Flip the tubing over and apply a bead of glue to the other side and fold the other end of the elastic to the other side of the tube.
  13. Pick up the folded end of the elastic and slide a heat shrink tube segments over it and slide it to the ends of the elastic.
  14. Very carefully heat only the heat shrink tubing over the flame to shrink the tubing tight.
  15. Allow for the glue to set and then remove the tender from the end of the bodkin.
  16. Run the tippet through the tubing and use permeant marker to mark the size of the tippet.

Now that all of the steps are completed, its time to load up the spools and hit the river! Tight lines!

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