Introduction: Emergency Fishhooks

About: I like to make things with my hands, I like all things outdoors, and I am a fan of Sherlock Holmes.

Fishhooks and fishing line are a common part of any survival kit. Having these allows you to catch fish and to have food for dinner. But what if you're stranded and you don't have any fishhooks? Well, I show here how you can make your own fishhook, all out of things you could find in a survival situation.

Step 1: Gather the Materials

What you will need:
-A section of thorny brush. The thorns from a bush or another type of plant will be the hook part of your fishhook. I used a section from a rose bush.
-A bit of thin cordage. The cordage will lash and keep your hook together. I used some basic thread for this. In a real survival situation you could make the cordage from dried nettle fibers.
-Some adhesive. The adhesive will aid in keeping the hook together. Some rubber cement will do, but in a survival situation where rubber cement isn't present, pine resin should be used. You can find out how to make pine resin here:
-A feather. The center of the feather will be used as the structure and for the eye of your hook. The feather needs to be big enough to be split by a knife, the bigger the core the easier it is to work with. I used a couple varieties I found at the beach.
-A knife. The feather will need to be shaved and split, so a knife is needed. I used a standard Swiss knife.
-*OPTIONAL* A roll of aluminum foil. Some parts of this can be messy, so the foil protects your surfaces.
-*OPTIONAL* A pair of scissors. Scissors can help with trimming and cutting the cordage. A knife could do all of the things scissors can, but some things a bit more difficult.
-*OPTIONAL* Some Q-Tips. Q-Tips make spreading the adhesive easier.

Step 2: Strip the Feather

Strip off the feather part of the feather, keeping the stem. Run your knife against the natural position of the blades. The blades will become lose and can be pulled off with your hands. Continue on the other side of the feather. You just need to strip off most of the blades; you won't be using the whole feather. This bladeless feather will eventually be worked into your fishhook.

Step 3: Create the Eye

The picture doesn't quite capture it, but what you are going to do is this:
-Slice the fat end of the feather in middle for about an inch to an inch and a half. It is easiest to start slicing by cutting off a bit of the end before.
-Break one of the sliced feather ends off, so that you have a thin strip of feather stem before a thicker part.
-Bend the thin strip of feather into the main feather. You should have a small hole now, if not, just lengthen the thin stem by slicing more.
-Apply some resin or rubber cement to the eye to prevent it from slipping.
Remember: The eye doesn't need to be too large, because the fishing wire or other cordage passing through it will be very thin.

Step 4: Attach the Thorns

To attach the thorns do this:
-Trim off three thorns about quarter-inch above the thorn and an inch below the thorn. If you cut off two thorns in one trim, it is your decision if you want to keep it. In my case, two times I cut off two thorns in one trim; I just broke off one of the thorns each time.
-Attach the first thorn by putting it in place and adding a bit of resin or cement to temporarily keep it there. Bind it with a good amount of thread or cordage to keep it in place. This binding is especially important when using slow-drying adhesives, such as rubber cement.
-Repeat this for the second and third thorns.

Step 5: Finish It!

Add some more bindings on the thorns, going above and below of the thorns. When you have added a nice amount of lashings, coat the hook in rubber cement or resin to seal it and to prevent fraying. Cut off the rest of the feather, but don't throw it away because it can be used again. The hooks are done!

Step 6: Fishing the Hooks

Thorn fishhooks work best with static line rigs such as these. You don't have to be monitoring it constantly; leave the rig to fish, but check every once and a while.