Mahogany Bait Box
Japanese wooden bait boxes (esa bako) are as beautiful as they are functional.
Traditional wooden bait boxes are worn around the neck. The cord runs through the lid so the lid can't be lost. The lid is held closed by a combination of gravity and friction.
A customer, Les Albjerg, got interested (and then excited) about keiryu fishing. As it happens, he is a woodworker who has learned the Japanese method of wood turning. He currently makes duck and goose calls, and tampers for espresso machines. He contacted me and offered to make traditional Japanese wooden bait boxes. It did not take me long to say "yes."
Les makes most of his boxes from myrtlewood, a hard, light colored wood with a subtle but very noticeable grain. This box is mahogany, though, which is a much darker wood with a very subtle grain pattern.
The inside of the box is finished with a clay pigment. The early Japanese wooden bait boxes were finished with a clay pigment before they started using lacquer. The outside of each box is finished with a urethane that will stand up to the elements.
Use the box for red wigglers, wax worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, nymphs taken from the streambed (where legal) and kept moist with damp moss, etc.
Please note: There is only one mahogany bait box in stock. They one you see is the one you'll get.