It's easy to get carried away at outdoor sports stores--after all, who couldn't use a $75 wahoo-sized lure for going after trophy fish? You know, just in case? But you can save money learning to make your own fishing gear and feel even greater satisfaction when you land the big ones. See if any of these following projects inspire you:
If you have room in your heart for another passion, and that passion is woodworking, you can craft a beautiful tackle box with custom compartments for all your go-to gear. Take the time to stain it, use brass hinges and fasteners, and distress it with sandpaper, and you'll get cash offers for it on the lake.
If you're a stranger to the circular saw, though, you can start with a mini tackle box that will come in surprisingly handy. You'll need:
- An (empty) Altoids box
- Popsicle sticks
- A used gift card
- A pair of heavy-duty scissors
- A hot glue gun
Cut off the corner of the gift card so you can make a life-out tray for the container. Use your scissors to cut the sticks into lengths to go around the edges of the card, lying horizontally on their edges. Cut other sticks to create the compartment sizes you like and go to town with the glue gun. You might end up using it so much that you make more to stash in your proper tackle box.
We recommend do-it-yourself rod-building kits--if only to get familiar with the construction and to customize it for your needs. But once you graduate from that, you can have a lot of fun improvising with your own materials. Start with a basic pole. Just find a branch about seven feet long and strip away the twigs and leaves. As long as it bends and doesn't break, you have the beginnings of a DIY rod.
You can work your way up to some bigger projects, like adapting a hunting bow into a bowfishing bow. Or you might prefer to continue making your own fishing gear using only "Survivor"-style materials--using vines as a fishing line and turning over rocks to find worms for bait. Will it work? Even toy fishing rods have had some big catches.
Fishing Rod Holders
We have two words for you: PVC pipes. Fair enough--one is an acronym--but the point is that these pipes are a godsend for any rod collector who's tired of tangled lines. If you have the room, you can use a hacksaw to cut the pipes to protect your rods full-length on car trips. Other anglers have cut the pipes shorter, lined up six or eight of them, and screwed them together as a makeshift stand (you can use the same concept for a wine rack.) You can also attach pipes horizontally to the ceiling of your garage and stash them away when you're not using them.