Note: When you purchase a Traditional Ring & Saddle Hook Tender on this page you’ll receive one piece of nickel silver strap material that is raw, i.e., flat, un-polished, and un-shaped, plus one ring of the size you select. It is your responsibility to form the strap, or to opt to use it un-formed.
Traditional Ring and Saddle Hook Tenders are available in six sizes, 9/64-14/64. Each highly polished nickel silver ring is attended by a short length of nickel silver strapping which can be trimmed to length and bent to shape in order to create the saddle.
Suggested line weights (and these are merely suggestions):
- 9/64 for 1&2
- 10/64 for 3&4
- 11/64 for 5&6
- 12/64 for 7&8
- 13/64 for 9&10
- 14/64 for 11&12
Education. Here’s where you get a little insight into using these particular hook tenders. Remember, when the parts arrive, the strap is un-formed. Some product photos show images of partially or wholly formed saddles, which is work you must do in your own shop. When I make the saddles for my own rods or restoration work, I start by polishing the flat strap material that will be formed into the saddle. Lay the Nickel Silver strap on a bench top and polish it firmly with all three polishing papers, Coarse through Fine, on both sides. To form the saddle itself, I use smooth-jawed, flat-nosed pliers; I use the slightly opened jaws to push the strapping material straight down over a small metal rod that is about 0.100” in diameter…vary the diameter based on the scale of your rod. The shafts of finishing nails make inexpensive forming mandrels for this step. You’ll create a tightly domed saddle with distinct legs on either side of the saddle top, and two feet roughly parallel with the top of your bench. Use your fingers to make sure the legs line up nicely with each other and that the flat feet are sitting on one plane; this can be finicky work, but it’s not difficult. I should mention, pliers with delrin or nylon jaws work best, forming the strap without marring it, but for years I used well lubed steel jawed pliers. If you go this route be sure to clean the lubricant off the saddle before you wrap or your whipping thread will stain. With the saddle formed, you can easily lay it on its side and polish the edges of the saddle through all three grades of polishing paper. Retentive, I know, but details matter. Next, trim the feet so that they’re the same length. Finally, nip the feet at an angle so they look sharp. This strapping material is so thin that you can usually wrap up onto the tender with no trouble, but if you’re concerned, you can always file or sand a gentle ramp across the angled toe of each foot. Always de-burr the nipped ends with coarse polishing paper. Have fun!