Introduction: Pocket-Sized Fishing Rod and Reel

About: Hello, my name is Toglefritz. That’s obviously not my real name; my real name is Scott, but on the Internet I use the nom de plume, Toglefritz. I like to make things and I like to share my work with others. I …
I love to go fishing, it is fun, and it can be very exciting; one can go fishing with a group of friends or the family. Whether you are camping, or just on a day trip, fishing is a great way to pass the time. As Doug Larson said, "If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles."
However, conventional fishing poles are long, fragile, and hard to carry, or otherwise transport. This Instructable will show you how to construct a fishing pole, complete with a reel, that will fit nicely in your pocket. You can keep it handy, and go fishing any time water is nearby.

Step 1: Materials

These are the materials you will need for your fishing pole:

  • A Telescoping Radio Antenna - This will be used for the pole part of the pole
  • A Pen - One of the cheap kind you get for free at hotels or wherever
  • A Small Binder Clip - The smallest one you can find that will clip over the barrel of the pen
  • Three Very Small Washers - Again, smaller is better
  • Some Thin Wire - The length is not important, this will be used just to attach stuff
  • One Thin Bolt - This should be as long as the distance between the handles on the binder clip and thin enough to fit through the holes in the...
  • Four Medium Sized Washers - Large enough to cover the round parts on the top of each binder clip handle
  • Two Nuts - Square nuts are better than hex nuts, but hex nuts will work fine. These must screw onto the bolt.
  • One Small Nail - Any short, fairly thick piece of metal will work, however
  • Super Glue - Obviously, this is used to attach things
  • Hot Melt Glue - This is used to attach parts to other parts as well
  • Fishing Line - A very critical part for any fishing pole
  • A Swivel - A small, rotating metal clip used to attach the hook
  • A Hook - Used to catch the fish
  • Optional: A Worm

If this list is a tiny bit confusing, take a look at the pictures , they are worth 1000 words each.

Step 2: Handle/Reel Mount

The pen will be used as the handle for your pole, and the reel will be attached to it as well. However, it is not necessary to write on the fish you will be catching, so remove the tip, ink tube and cap. Simply take off the cap and pull the tip until it pops out of the body of the pen. If it is a little stubborn, use a pliers. The only part we are interested in is the bigger tube.

Step 3: Attaching the Pole to the Handle

Now we are going to glue the antenna inside the body of the pen. First, stand the pen body vertically in a vice or clamp with the open end up. Second, inject some hot glue into the tube and quickly push the antenna into the tube. Next, put some additional hot glue at the opening of the tube to ensure that the antenna is securely held in place. Last, get rid of all those extremely annoying hot glue spider webs.

Step 4: Attaching the Line Guides

If you take a look at a regularly sized fishing pole, you should notice that the fishing line is guided from the reel at one end of the pole, to the opposite end, by several metal circles through which the line passes. The three very small washers will serve as these rings on our Pocket-sized Fishing Pole. This step is a bit tricky - you will wish you had significantly more than just two hands.
First, put a section of wire through the washer and fold the wire in half so that the washer is in the bottom of the V shape formed. Second, twist the wire tightly to hold the washer in place. Third, use the two straight ends of the wire to wrap around the antenna and the washer to hold the washer in place atop the pole. Finally, put some super glue on this joint to permanently attach the washer - Be very careful not to permanently attach yourself to anything. Repeat this step for the other two washers. Attach one washer to the end of each section of the antenna.

Step 5: Constructing the Reel

First of all, congratulations on making it this far. If you successfully completed that last step, it is all downhill from here.

I find that for most projects, it is good and highly beneficial to start with a big picture. Otherwise, building our Pocket-sized Fishing Reel would be a bit like doing a puzzle without the picture on the box. So, I have included a picture of the finished reel on each of the next few steps, so you will know what you are working towards.
First, get the binder clip and two of the medium washers. Lay one of the washers flat on a table and position the binder clip over it so that the hole in the washer is centered in the wider top part of the binder clip. Use either super glue or hot glue to attach these two pieces together. Once the glue has dried, repeat this procedure on the opposite side of the binder clip.

Step 6: Construction the Reel

Now, we will put the bolt into the reel, the bold will act as a spool for the fishing line. We will also use the remaining two medium washers to further guide the line. First, put the binder clip onto the pen body by squeezing the handles; this way, the two washers we attached in the last step are parallel. Put the bolt through the first attached washer, slide both of the unattached medium washers onto the bolt and push the bolt through the other side of the binder clip. Then, screw on one of the nuts to make sure all your hard work is not destroyed by gravity or sabotaged by fish.

Step 7: The Handle

This step is as easy. Bend the small nail in half. Use hot glue to attach one side to the second nut. Once the glue is dry, screw it on the bolt. That is it.

Step 8: Gluing

In this step you will attach various pieces together with glue:

  • Glue the binder clip handles to the black body of the clip so that the handles will not move. Either hot glue or super glue will work for this task.
  • Glue the two loose washers to the bolt so that neither touch the binder clip handles. Do not put them too close however, because the space between them will be used to wrap the fishing line around. I suggest applying super glue to the bold and sliding the washer onto the glue.
  • Apply some extra hot glue to the bent nail. This will both reinforce this important, and heavily tested, joint and fasten the two nuts together.
  • Glue the two nuts to the bolt so that they do not twist off while you are reeling in a giant fish.

Step 9: Rigging the Pole

A fishing pole is not much good without fishing line and a hook. Take out your fishing line and tie one end around the bold, between the inner two washers. There is no special knot for this, just tie a regular double knot. Pass the line under the bolt and out towards the pole end of the rod. Then, holding the line between your thumb and forefinger of one hand, use the other hand to spin the handle clockwise until there is a good amount of line on the reel.

Step 10: Rigging the Pole

Now that you have fishing line on the reel, pass the free end of the fishing line through all of the small washers and tie it to the swivel using a Palomar Knot. If you do not know how to tie a Palomar Knot, watch this video I made:
The song in the movie is Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin.
To the swivel, you can attach pretty much anything: snelled hooks, lures, spinners or even a fern if you so desire. With luck, a fish will subsequently attach itself to one of those objects.

Step 11: There, You Are Done

Congratulations on building your very own Pocket-sized Fishing Rod and Reel. Thank you for reading this Instructable. Now to fishing already!
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