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Common Mistakes with Improvised Fishing Rods

When you can’t be prepared materially, then you have to be prepared mentally. I don’t mean learning how to cope with failure, but knowing alternative solutions to unorthodox problems. Here are a few things to keep in mind, should you find yourself in a SHTF/off-grid scenario without a fishing pole.

This primarily consists of knowing what works and what doesn’t when creating makeshift components of a fishing pole. Being a relatively simple device, you only need to worry about the rod, the line, and the hook. If you have those, you can fish. Improvised rods are simple, get a stick. Bobbers are helpful, so we can explore that as well.


An unprepared individual might try to use whatever thread-like material they can to fish with. The reality isn’t so lenient. Sewing thread, while easily accessible, will prove too weak. Yarn is strong enough for a makeshift purpose, but the likely hood of access is low. Your best bets will be either copper electrical wires and weed wacker feed. Save yourself the trouble and keep an extra spool of fishing line stored away, it’s extremely useful outside of fishing.


People’s first instinct might be to create a makeshift hook from a paperclip. This is actually a fairly inefficient idea. The tips of the paperclip aren’t great at piercing, while the metal is too weak, and will likely bend before anything. The ideal hook would be carved from hard plastic, such as flashlight casings. They’re a soft enough material to be carvable, while hard enough to retain its shape when used in fishing. You can also try to bend a sewing needle into a hook shape, but you run the risk of the needle breaking, instead of bending. Then you’ve just wasted materials.


A good bobber will improve your fishing experience significantly. Aside from helping you tell when a fish bites, it also helps keep the line from sinking down to the bed of the water. Some good makeshift bobbers include a partially inflated balloon, hollow plastic toys, and lightweight nature items like certain pinecones. Just find something buoyant.

Happy fishing, preppers.

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