Todd Davis is an extreme athlete, host of Room Crashers on HGTV, jack-of-all-trades, author, and father. His newest book, Handy Dad in the Great Outdoors, features 30 projects and activities for dads and kids. For this week’s How-Tuesday post, he’ll show us how to make super portable fishing gear in honor of Father’s Day.
Imagine being able to fish on a backpacking trip without having to tote an ungainly fishing pole and tackle box. Imagine having a setup so compact that you barely notice it in your backpack. Not only is this fantasy rig a real possibility, but you can make it yourself. Here’s how.
Supplies You’ll Need:
3/4-inch MIP PVC plug
1 inch diameter schedule 40 PVC pipe (12-inch piece)
1 inch diameter PVC cap
18 inches black parachute cord
1 roll athletic tape
80 feet 3- to 10-pound-test fishing line
2 thick 1-inch-diameter rubber bands
3 of your favorite fishing lures
6 size-10 fishing hooks
8 size-5 split-shot weights
Black spray paint (optional)
Drill with 1/4-inch bit
1. If you’d like to have a stealthy black fishing pole, paint all of the PVC parts now. Let them dry near a heat source for an hour, or overnight at room temperature.
2. Insert the ¾ inch MIP PVC plug into one end of the PVC pipe.
3. Cut a ½-inch-long slit into one side of the cap. Make the slit twice as wide as the saw blade is thick.
4. Drill a ¼-inch hole through the top of the cap.
5. Tie the ends of the parachute cord in an overhand knot and thread the other end of the resulting loop through the hole in the cap.
6. At the open end, cut a ½ inch long slit into the side of the pipe.
7. Put the cap on the pipe. Starting ¼- inch from the base of the cap, wrap 4 inches of pipe with athletic tape.
8. Cut a 1⁄16 inch deep groove across the pipe 4 inches from the plugged end. Do not cut through to the inside of the pipe.
9. Tie a clinch knot into the end of the fishing line. (To tie this knot, pass the line around pipe, make a few wraps around the standing part of the line, and then pass the end of the line between the wraps and the pipe.) Make sure the line rests in the slit, and pull the knot tight.
10. Pull the fishing line toward the plugged end and wrap a 3-inch piece of tape around the pipe to cover the knot. This will not only hold the knot in place but also ensure that the line doesn’t snag on the knot when cast.
11. Wrap about 80 feet of fishing line around this piece of tape. Don’t cut the line yet. Just cover the wraps with the rubber band to hold them in place.
12. Using a clinch knot, tie your favorite lure to the end of the line. As a kid, I had lots of luck using a Luhr-Jensen Super Duper, so that’s what I attached.
13. The inside of the tube is now your tackle box. Fill it with extra hooks, split shot, lures, and bobbers. You can even put a pocketknife in there. There’s plenty of room.
14. Put your newly tied lure into the pipe as well. Capture the fishing line in the gap formed by the slits in the cap and pipe. This gap will prevent the line from getting kinked and weakened.
15. Now you have a highly portable rod and tackle box. Toss it in your backpack, or even in your back pocket, and hike to your favorite alpine lake.
16. Here’s how to use it: Take off the cap and pull out the tied lure. Replace the cap and remove the rubber band.
17. Pull 3 feet of line off the spool and hold the rest of it on with your thumb. Swing the lure over your head in a counterclockwise motion. When you’ve got it swinging as fast as you can, whip the lure toward the water and take your thumb off the spool.
18. Slowly wrap the line around the pipe to reel it in. When you feel the fish bite, give the line a quick jerk to set the hook and reel it in!
A big thank you to Todd Davis and Chronicle Books for sharing this project with us. For more super cool projects for dads and kids, check out Handy Dad in the Great Outdoors, available from Amazon or an independent bookstore near you.