Survival Skills: How to Make a Bow Reel

When you think about bow fishing, you might naturally jump to the idea of shooting harpoon-tipped arrows attached to a reel of line. Sure, that's how most folks do it, but there's another fish bow out there. This one isn't for arrows, but in fact, it's an improvised spool to store your fishing line.

To make a fish bow, you'll need several dozen yards of monofilament. This mono could be backed with something "uglier," such as a single strand from some gutted 550 cord, if you need to extend your fishing line supplies. You'll also need a bow shaped stick about 2 feet long. A curve to the bow is best. If there is a natural fork at one end, then half of your work will already be done. Carve or break out a notch from the other end of the bow, or both ends if there is no fork. Carve a slice in the wood or create a split in one end of the bow to insert your line when the bow is not in use. Tie the fishing line securely to either end of the bow; and wind the mono back and forth onto the bow. This is a great gizmo to straighten out your fishing line if it was all kinked up from being in a survival kit.

Now to join the ranks of survival fishermen, you just need some hooks and bait. With field-made bow like this, and bait caught on site, you'll only have to carry the monofilament and some hooks in your emergency kit to give yourself the building blocks to catch fish in a variety of waters.

Ever use a fish bow? How about a Hobo fishing reel? Tell us about it in the comments section.