My recent article on Japanese imported fishing tackle was quite a hit, and I heard from a lot of collectors who like old Japanese fishing tackle. Below is a piece I had to cut for length reasons on Japanese eel fishing tackle. It's from the 1901 Congressional Report.
Sand-eel fishing gear.—In pursuing the fishery for sand eels a device attached to a hand line is used, a sample of which was exhibited (fig. 304). The object of this is to frighten the fish, and the wooden "scarer" is the chief feature of the gear. This is an oval-shaped piece of wood, 10 1/2" inches long by 3 14" inches wide, fastened to the line by a swivel hook. One side is painted black and the other is the natural color of the wood. It has a piece of abalone shell set into each side.
-- Dr. Todd