Survival fishing kit - line - Request for Comments

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Ascobis

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Nov 3, 2017
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The most important on any line is the knot. Different knots for mono and braid.
A bad knot can reduce the overall strength bu up to 70%. A perfect knot by maybe 15%.
So very true. As I rock-climbed, so do I fish. Note to self: do not pull so hard when tightening knots in 4lb line.
I have read that all modern hooks are made to dissolve in the fish's gut if the fish should break free.
 

C_Claycomb

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The Kevlar line was made by Stren, back in the mid 90s. There are enough articles still on the web from that era about those first super-braid lines to get a feel for what it was like.

I am not sure where you will have heard that "modern" hooks are somehow metallurgically different from those of the past, specifically so they dissolve when you lose a fish. Hooks can be made of various carbon steels, carbon steel plated with nickel or nickel/teflon, or from various kinds of stainless steel (stains less, not rust proof). Same as they have been for the last 30 years. Plain carbon steel will rust away, faster in salt water, but if you are using stainless, this will be greatly slowed. Stainless hooks left in fish are the greatest problem. Many do not swallow the hook (so fish gut isn't the issue) but are left with hooks in the throat or mouth.

I have fished for fun in a number of places and often caught nothing, despite using clear line and proper tackle. If I was going to rely upon fishing for food, I would want nothing less than the best I could get in the way of hooks and line. Compromising on hooks, or choosing line that can be used for other things, because I might want it for tying a shelter or making a snare would be a compromise too far for me. I think you would end up with something that might not do anything sufficiently well. There is a video of a guy trying to catch fish in a little US pond using one of those cards, it looks like he had to come back several times, over several days, to get one little bass to take. Pond bass are just about the lowest denominator for gullible, so I don't see that as a great recommendation.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Interesting about the Kevlar line, need to look into it.

I am going off topic somehow, but we are just as ‘lucky’ with our catch, no matter the type of line or colour.


My son hates braid, so he uses 0.80mm Mono. This year it is light blue.
I use a 0,020 inch, and it is a HiViz yellow colour.
I change lines after two or three fishing trips, depending on the estimated abuse.

We catch about the same amount of fish.
 

C_Claycomb

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That is interesting. I feel that I noticed a significant drop off in takes from large mouth bass when I used to fish in western Kentucky when I changed from 18lb mono (clear) to 30lb Spiderwire (gray). Trout fishing I have certainly had experience where thinner, less visible line has been important for the number of takes. I guess it stands to reason that fish that are sight feeders, in clear water, with time to look at food, or who are sensitive to danger from above water, would be put off by thicker and more visible line. Fish that are moving faster, or having to grab lures that are going to escape might be less likely to notice line. No one complains too much about pike being put off by wire traces, and plenty of fish in the ocean are caught with heavy shock tippets that would scare many fresh water fish into the next area code!

Maybe compromise, just have a few feet of mono for leader/tippet and have the rest of the line as braid in the kit?

Another thought...if I was building a survival kit, I would want stainless hooks. I would want them to survive even if my kit got wet and forgotten about (carbon hooks can rust if put away wet), and I would want to be able to leave set-lines in salt water without worrying that my hooks wouldn't hold up for more than a few days.
 
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Janne

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In fly fishing, the principle is how you describe. The leader is nice and thin, less visible, then you have the weighty very visible line you throw with. The backing is never seen by the fish.

I guess different fish have a different perception of danger or similar.
I find it very important that the hook is more or less totally hidden when Ifish in rivers and lakes.
In the sea, it does not matter, the hook is very, very visible.
I only use bait for Hallibut and flatfish, and the hooks are visible.
For Hallibut even the tip is exposed ( I use circle hooks there)

Lots of people see fishing as an art. In our case, it is luck.
We just came back to check our 7 crab boxes. One crab and one flounder.

For a survival fishing kit - S/s hooks, strong line. Absolutely.

When I served, many times we had to get food from nature.
We fished using explosives. About 50grams of plastic.
Reindeer were taken using mil full metal jackets, I used Remingtons Armour piercing .357 mag.

Survival or getting needed food = no laws apply.

I would NOT use the fishing line in the survival kit for anything else.
If it comes to the worst you want a full strength line.

Also, what I think many bushcrafters do wrong is this: hooks are way to big. If you stand on the shore of a lake (or sea) your target fish are tiny.
You can not cast out any great distances.

So you need a tiny hook.
To get the longest casting you need a streamlined float, not one of these classis pear shaped white and red jobbies.

In Sweden we use something called a ‘dubb’, it is a plastic float with inbuilt weights. Longer casting with a rod or by hand.
Not sure the english name.

Plus, the most important: practice, practice, practice!
Practice casting, practice baiting, practice finding bait. Practice cleaning the fish, practice cooking it.
Learn where the fish stand, learn eating habits.

Here in the Lofoten we see tourists renting (bloody expensive, 1000NOK daily) boats. Then fishing in the wrong places, using wrong equipment ( usually too light)
Usually they get nothing. If they catch a decent fish that is ethical to harvest, the rod tip breaks.
Seen it many times! I made the same misstake the first trip up here.
 

santaman2000

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I........I find it very important that the hook is more or less totally hidden when Ifish in rivers and lakes.
In the sea, it does not matter, the hook is very, very visible..........


.....Also, what I think many bushcrafters do wrong is this: hooks are way to big. If you stand on the shore of a lake (or sea) your target fish are tiny.
You can not cast out any great distances.

So you need a tiny hook..............
-A lot depends on what you're fishing for. Even in freshwater most panfish (bream, bluegill, perch, etc.) respond well to shiny gold colored hooks.

-Also I use at least 2/0 size hooks when fishing from the bank at night. Big catfish feed near the bank and will straighten out anything much smaller. It's the same size hooks I use when I drop a baited bushline or string a trotline and leave it over night. I want to know that 3 to 5 pound catfish will still be on it when I come back to check the lines at dawn. The OP might not want to set out lines like that (although it's probably the best tactic for survival fishing) but it gives a good indication of how big a fish feeds near the bank.
 

C_Claycomb

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True Janne (wels don't really count!), but in this rare case the original poster is posting from the US ;) So I am waiving my usual objections to a westwards drift of the conversations. :D

I tend to be rather scathing about folk in the UK making up "survival" fishing kits when they are not also making plans to travel overseas. There is no need or justification for "survival" fishing in the UK. The place is simply too dense with people, roads and settlements, not to mention strict fishing regulations. In the time needed to starve you could walk to a town and find a pub! One can practice some survival fishing techniques in the sea, but for fresh water its all licensed rod-and-line.

I know that there is far greater latitude for practising other kinds of fishing in the US, there is public land and public access to a lot of water and wilderness, and there are more kinds of predatory fish that are easier to catch.
 
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Madriverrob

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I use my poachers hand line when on holiday abroad , have always managed to catch fish from the rocks .
I'm off to Mexico on Monday and will have it packed in my suitcase , I've just been and bought some new 10lb monofilament having looked at the size of fish I've seen on Youtube.
 

santaman2000

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Jan 15, 2011
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True Janne (wels don't really count!), but in this rare case the original poster is posting from the US ;) So I am waiving my usual objections to a westwards drift of the conversations. :D

I tend to be rather scathing about folk in the UK making up "survival" fishing kits when they are not also making plans to travel overseas. There is no need or justification for "survival" fishing in the UK. The place is simply too dense with people, roads and settlements, not to mention strict fishing regulations. In the time needed to starve you could walk to a town and find a pub! One can practice some survival fishing techniques in the sea, but for fresh water its all licensed rod-and-line.

I know that there is far greater latitude for practising other kinds of fishing in the US, there is public land and public access to a lot of water and wilderness, and there are more kinds of predatory fish that are easier to catch.
To be honest my post was meant as an example only; I suspect there are also larger fish species most everywhere that feed close to the bank and/or don't shy from visible hooks. I was hoping somebody local there could and would point out what species would be appropriate for y'all (or wherever you might travel)

But if we're talking about survival fishing in the US I also want to mention freshwater mussels. Their population has been declining for over half a century and they're protected no but they're still available (at least in the Southeast) Just scratch around in the mud or sand bottoms in the shallows of rivers. Remember they're also filter feeders and freshwater is a bit nastier than saltwater so cook well before eating. Personally I've never had the courage to try the freshwater variety (there are dozens, if not hundreds, of different species here) but they were once a staple of the Native Choctaw Nation.

Ah, he is in the US!

Which fish and sizes are there in the US? ......
Depends largely of the US you're in. For freshwater alone you can find all manner of bass, panfish (Bream, crappie, bluegill, perch, etc.) catfish, eels www.floridagofishing.com Other parts of the country have different species but some type of catfish or bass or panfish is prevalent most everywhere.
 
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Ascobis

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Nov 3, 2017
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I tend to be rather scathing about folk in the UK making up "survival" fishing kits when they are not also making plans to travel overseas. There is no need or justification for "survival" fishing in the UK. The place is simply too dense with people, roads and settlements, not to mention strict fishing regulations. In the time needed to starve you could walk to a town and find a pub! One can practice some survival fishing techniques in the sea, but for fresh water its all licensed rod-and-line.
Scathe away. There are not many places in North America, south of 48 degrees or so, where survival food is an issue, for the reasons you mention. Water, oh, my goodness, yes. Food fishing, no. I hear that in Canada the fish fight each other to be the first on your hook.

Besides, most Norte Americanos could stand to lose a few kilos. (Self included.)

It is fun to make the kit, is it not?
 
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Ascobis

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Nov 3, 2017
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Wisconsin, USA
-A lot depends on what you're fishing for. Even in freshwater most panfish (bream, bluegill, perch, etc.) respond well to shiny gold colored hooks.

-Also I use at least 2/0 size hooks when fishing from the bank at night. Big catfish feed near the bank and will straighten out anything much smaller. It's the same size hooks I use when I drop a baited bushline or string a trotline and leave it over night. I want to know that 3 to 5 pound catfish will still be on it when I come back to check the lines at dawn. The OP might not want to set out lines like that (although it's probably the best tactic for survival fishing) but it gives a good indication of how big a fish feeds near the bank.
OP has a bankline kit...thanks for the reminder, will add it to the gear list.
 
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