Make Your Own Fishing Gear


Materials (per rod):
Long, straight stick (green wood) OR bamboo cane.
18 gauge wire
Large thread spool (empty)
20 oz pop bottle (empty and clean)
Coat hanger (with cardboard dowel)
2 corks
Fishing line
Lure & hook materials (see suggestions below)
Wire cutters
Nail polish

Fishing Rod: Find a green twig (not an old dried out stick) which is a little taller than you are when your hands are raised over your head. The stick should be about 1" wide at one end, tapering to 1/4 " at the other. Smooth the stick by trimming off the small shoots with sandpaper or a file. If a green twig isn't available, you can use a bamboo stick.

Eyes: To keep your fishing line running straight all the way down the pole, put screw eyes along the rod, as follows.

Put one screw eye about two feet from the wide end of the pole. Keeping the screw eyes lined up on the same side of the pole, attach two or three more screw eyes at equal intervals along the fishing pole.

Or, you can make your own screw eyes. For each eye, cut a piece of wire (about 18 gauge) about 6" long, and form the wire into the looped shapes. Set the looped wire along the fishing rod. Wrap other pieces of wire around each end of the looped wire and rod. Twist the loop at the center, twisting it against the pole.

Reel: Insert a coat hanger wire through the hole of a large thread spool. Trim the wire so that 6" extends from one spool end and 1" extends from the other spool end. To hold the wire firmly in place, hammer thin dowels or sticks into the spool holes.

Using a 20 oz plastic pop bottle, remove the top and the bottom, leaving the flat center section intact. (you now have a cylinder of flat plastic) Cut into 2" wide rings, and then cut through the center of each ring to make a strip (each rod will need one strip of plastic). Round off the 4 edges so they are not sharp. Poke a hole into each side of the plastic so the spool is just below each side. Set the spool between the sides of the plastic so that the spool wires extend through the holes in the plastic.

Bend the longer wire into a crank. Slip a small spool or piece of cardboard roll from a coat hanger over the crank. Push a cork over the shorter wire to hold the reel in place on the rod.

Slip the rod through the reel, resting the rod on the bottom of the plastic piece. Turn the reel until it lines up with the eyes and is 4" from the wide end of the rod. Nail the plastic part of the reel to the rod at each side and bottom of the reel.

Beginning at the narrow end of the rod, thread fishing line through each eye, and tie a tight knot around the spool. Use the crank to wind the line around the spool. Leave enough line extending from the tip of the pole to tie a lure to the line.

Hooks: To make a simple hook, sharpen the ends of a small chicken bone into points by rubbing the tips on a sidewalk. Notch the middle by rubbing scissors blades around the center. Or, you can whittle a small piece of wood into a lure shape.

Lures: Instead of using live bait, you might want to make lures. The lures should shimmer and move in order to attract fish. Use beads, netting, small feathers, grass, tinsel, colored thread, pieces of plastic straws and colored stripes of cloth to create insect-like creatures sure to lure the fish out of the deep. Use brightly colored fingernail polish for detail.

Bobber: You can attach a bobber to the line using a cork with bright colored fingernail polish painted on it.

Attach the lure materials to the hook with wire or pipe cleaners, or tie or thread the lure to the hook. Keep the sharpened points of the hook exposed so that nothing will interfere with capturing your dinner.

With these a-lur-ing ideas for fishing gear, chances are you'll end up with a fine kettle of fish! And, even if you don't catch any fish, you'll have a lot of fun trying.

Note: information came from Pack-O-Fun, June-July 1977 issue

With modifications by N Berube on 5/23/99 and A Robert-Curry on 4/10/01

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