Creel is a word is of gaelic origin (Gaelic cliabh) which is used to describe baskets made for any purpose in those part of Scotland and Ireland where gaelic was spoken.
In modern times it has come to mean a range of types of wicker baskets used by anglers or commercial fishermen to hold fish or other prey. The word is also found in agriculture and for some domestic baskets.
In the North Sea herring industry of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the creel was a basket used to measure the volume of a catch. The standard measure were creel which were made in officially approved volumes of one half and one quarter cran. A cran (Gaelic kræn) was a unit of capacity used for measuring fresh herring, equal to 37.5 imperial gallons.
An anglers creel is designed to function as an evaporative cooler when lined with moss and dipped into the creek in order to keep the catch chilled. Caught fish are inserted through a slot in the top which is held in place by a small leather strap.
Creels in Ireland
Another type of creel is the turf creel. Traditionally used in the west of Ireland there are a variety of styles and sizes. These creels were commonly used for carrying peat fuel by hand and also by pony or donkey. In modern-day usage, creels also refer to high sides added to a towed trailer. This makes the trailer more suitable for carrying loose material, such as turf etc.
Creels in Scotland
The word creel is also used in Scotland (chiefly in the north) to refer to a device used to catch lobsters and other crustaceans. Made of woven netting (similar to that used in traditional fishing net) over a frame of plastic tubing and a slatted wooden base, this type of creel is analogous in function to a lobster pot. Several creels shot on one line can be referred to as a "leader".
- Woven Communities, Basketmaking Communities in Scotland, 2017 University of St Andrews and Scottish Basketmakers' Circle.Retrieved 2017-04-13.
- "Basket types | Woven Communities". wovencommunities.org. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
- "cran". The Free Dictionary.
- Granger, CS (2009) Fishing Kits and Equipment Page 94–95. BiblioBazaar, LLC. ISBN 978-1-113-43786-0