(modern/lightweight) Creel options

I posted in the FB Tenkara Gear group about this…

I’ve had my eye on the zimmer/trail lite designs Tenkara Creel for a bit, but haven’t been able to pull the trigger since I almost never keep fish, and really don’t find myself in situations where it would be used that often. I know, it’s only 60 bucks, but that could get any number of other, more “useful” pieces of gear.

One dude replied and said he uses the Zimmer water bottle pack, which looks almost perfect for what I want, and it’s only $12.

I’ve got two old REI tent attic pouches which are similar to this, but a little shorter and a little wider (prob an inch shorter+wider), and only have one small clip up on the top loop to attach to whatever. I think one of those would work in a pinch, but not as well as the $12 zimmer option.

Any thoughts/suggestions or other things you guys have seen or done?
I’ve got an overnighter coming up on a stream that has a good population of (invasive) wild rainbows, and would love to keep some to supplement dinner.

regarding creels. I do not own one, but if in your situation, I would consider something like the below.

After looking at the zimmer bottle holder…you could just use a larger mesh bag as a creel.

Dive shops and rei sell something that would work.


or you can build a creel jug our of a jar. You could even pack it with ice before your outing.

below are instructions I wrote up to build an eel jug for surfcasting. It could work as a creel. Just drill in some holes…

If you do not have pop rivets…stainless bolts will work as well.

eel jug

This Freund container joint has a number of sizes shapes etc…and
they are HDPE. They are only a couple bucks a piece , but you need
to buy the lids separate. Under $3 plus shipping and you are good to

This is the link to the page and I bought the 84 oz and 1 gallon size.


the bottom of this link shows the lid options.

The 84 oz is the perfect size for eels. If they made a 1.5 gallon
size…it would be best for chunking. The 1 gallon is fine for chunkin
too but having a little more room would be helpful.

the cap sizes are listed in mm. The 84oz is the smallest container
that I found with a 120 mm cap. That measurement is outer
diameter which is roughly 4.75" and the inner diameter is about 4 3/8".

I rigged my jug that it can be either on a belt or shoulder strap. It is
built very similar to the articles that Toby has written on making
them. The only difference is that I used pop rivets to fasten the

This is the 84 oz next to the gallon. 84 oz is 0.65 gallons.
Notice how I threw in the surfcaster unit of measurement…ss dartah.

I tried an even smaller one…the one on the end of the pic below
…but the opening was too small. Just barely got a hand in…so it is
now shelved. I really like that smallest size. Holds a dozen eels
perfectly and was pretty small…belt mount.

Too bad about the opening on the mini version…but the 84 oz one
is not too much bigger and can haul an eel army.

These bigger 120mm openings are nearly perfect. Hands can go in
and out easily. I take a large glove. I can comfortably reach into the
container with an open hand. For those with bigger hands, the 120 mm
might start getting a bit more snug.

So…I use pop rivets to put these together…fast and easy. I use
webbing from old belts and straps.

  1. double strapping up with a D ring and/or double loop
    for a belt mount.
  2. Heat a nail the diameter of the pop rivet
  3. Make a hole through the webbing and the jug with the heated nail
    and quickly push the rivet in while the plastic is still soft.
  4. pop the rivet with a washer on the inside of the jug.
  5. drive a hole in the cap and use some elastic cord for the lid.
  6. Air holes in the lid if you want them.

The one in the picture I made tonight. The d rings are brass
coated…they rust… The loop is for a belt mount. The d-ring on the
top is for use with a shoulder strap and the d-ring on bottom is to clip
to a belt when shoulder strapped…to reduce swinging.

I made one last night from a thermarest bag lol. Melted some holes in the bottom with a soldering iron haha.
That REI one looks great though

I think the wicker basket creels are probably the ideal if left unattended as they would in theory keep the varmints off your fish.

Crayfish, other fish, snakes, mink, osprey, rats, etc…

Not sure if I fully understand the idea of a cloth or mesh creel over a stringer. I guess its similar to a stringer except you have a cloth barrier. I guess you could line a cloth bag with something to keep the fish wet and cool, but a rigid container would be optimal I think.

Let us know how it works out.

Saving 60 bucks is a good thing.

This will be for use while fishing/hiking in the wilderness, will be bouncing between stream and Trail