Introducing the ACW Silver Snake Hook Tender
New from Arcane Component Works, we’re pleased to offer Silver Snake™ Hook Tenders. Like so much of what we do at Golden Witch and Arcane Component Works, these tenders offer rodmakers a new twist on a trusty old component. Silver Snakes™ are crafted from solid nickel silver wire. They feature a loop akin to a modern snake guide, but rather than an open loop, it’s a closed loop, i.e., the heels of the feet touch, or nearly touch. The feet are traditional paddle feet – they’ll look great under translucent silk wraps! Please note: I didn’t personally make all these tenders – they were crafted in Germany using early “automated” equipment. This means they are pretty darn uniform from piece to piece. It also means you may need to touch up the feet just a little, like you would if you were using NOS vintage snake guides. A finely cut hand file, 400 or 600 grit paper, Green polishing paper, or even an emery board, will all make quick work of perfecting these feet. One of my goals in bringing these to market was to offer nice, nickel silver hook tenders at a price far below the custom tenders we’re making in the shop.
In some sense, these are like our Golden Witch Dickerson-Inspired, Twisted Hook Tenders, though with key differences. The Silver Snake ™ Hook Tenders have a loop which is set perpendicular to the feet, not in-line with the feet as on the Dickerson-Inspired tenders. Also, these are not soldered at the base of the loop, which offers you, the rodmaker, some serious flexibility….spread the feet and you both open the loop and drop it a little closer to the blank, or push the feet in and match them snugly on the centerline of the blank for a nice circular opening. Heck, you can even slide the feet ‘past’ snug, cross-legged if you will, and the loop will become very narrow and slightly taller. Play around. Using pliers padded with masking tape, you can make your own modified “Dickerson-style” tenders by twisting the loop so that it is half-way between perpendicular to the feet and in-line with the feet, a diagonal “loop the loop.” Unusual details like this help to set your rods apart from all the rest! You can also blue these yourself with Oxpho-Blue.
For the curious, these were NOT originally Nickel Silver snake guides. Nickel Silver snake guides are too soft and will groove relatively quickly, damaging both the guide and your flyline. These were, pre-WWII, originally made to frame grooved, porcelain, donuts. Perhaps due to the war, these never caught on as an alternative to wire snake guides. Now, by repurposing these tiny guide frames as hook tenders, we are recycling an otherwise outdated component, yet using them on the very rods they were intended for: flyrods. That’s historical revisionism I can live with.
Currently Silver Snake™ Hook Tenders are offered in three sizes, Medium, Small, and Extra-Small. As a starting point for line weights, try the Medium with 5-8 weight lines, the Small with 4-5 weight lines, and the Extra-Small with 2-4 weight lines. When the Arcane site goes live, ACW will only offer Silver Snakes™ in their natural, bright finish. On the Golden Witch website, you can also order them blued & clear coated.
Basing these measurements on a single, random, example of each size, the medium is 0.945” long and 0.250” ID; the Small is 0.880” long and 0.230” ID; the Extra-Small is 0.750” long and 0.210” ID. Limited to stock on hand, so get your stash while we’ve got them.