Fisherman’s Walking Cane (Or, Retirement Gift)




This is a whimsical walking cane made from a simple wood cane and some old fishing equipment. I’ve given a couple of these away as retirement gifts, and they have gone over very well.

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Step 1: The Parts

I used a wood cane, a vintage fishing reel, the handle and three eyelets from an old fishing pole, old fishing line, a 3/8 X 3.5 inch bolt, and a fishing themed Christmas ornament.

Step 2: Remove the Old Varnish

The first thing I did was to sand the old stain and varnish off of the wood cane. I just think this gives a better finished appearance.

Step 3: Get the Handle Ready

The cork was removed from the grip area of the fishing rod handle, and the exposed shank was shortened to just over two inches. There was a small ridge on each side of the handle that was used to keep the cork from spinning. These were filed off so that shank would fit snugly into the hole that I would be drilling into the grip of the wood cane.

A 3/8 inch bolt has the same diameter as the original fiberglass part of the fishing pole. (Different handles use different sizes.) The head of the bolt was cut off. The remainder of the bolt will be glued into the bottom part of the wood cane, and this is how it will be attached to the old handle.

Step 4: Cut the Cane

The handle was used to determine where the wood cane would be cut. I needed to leave enough room for the shank of the handle below the curved grip of the cane.

Holes were then drilled into the grip and bottom parts of the cane. This is one of those times when I just did the job without stopping to take pictures… I used progressively larger drill bits, until the hole was just the right size. I marked the bits with tape to keep from drilling too far.

The transition from the vintage handle to the wood cane did not look good with a straight edge. So this was rounded off.

When the handle is inserted into the cane, you will have increased the overall length. So you may want to shorten the wood at this time.

Step 5: Add the Eyelets

Three eyelets from the old fishing rod were glued onto the bottom part of the wood cane. Before I glue them on, I temporarily connected the handle and spun the wood part several times to see how it looks best. No matter how careful I drill, the hole is never perfectly straight. So when I find the position that looks best, I use a piece of tape and a pencil to mark the line that I want the eyelets to be in.

I centered the middle eyelet on the wood cane. I placed the bottom eyelet just high enough to keep whatever decoration that I am putting on the fishing line off of the ground. (In this case the old Christmas ornament.)

I just place the top eyelet where I think it looks best.

I cut heavy black fishing line to about four foot lengths. These strings are then glued near the inside of the eyelets, one on each side of the hole.

The string was then hand-wound around the wood part of the cane, covering the area where the eyelet meets the wood. Once again, I just did this job without stopping to take a photo.

The line was then sealed with some of my beautiful wife’s clear fingernail polish. (Thanks Honey!)

Step 6: Seal the Wood

The wood parts were then hung by old clothes hangers and sprayed with four coats of clear acrylic.

Step 7: The Decoration

While the wood parts of the cane dried, I cut the red string off of the Christmas decoration, and replaced it with the shank from a fishhook.

Step 8: Glue It Together

Next the wood grip was glued to the vintage handle and the 3/8 inch bolt was glued into the wood part of the cane.

Step 9: Add the Finishing Touches

To bring it all together, I put the rubber tip on the bottom of the cane. I added some multicolored old line to the reel and attached it to the handle. I then threaded the line through the eyelets and tied on the old Christmas decoration.

These canes are real conversation starters… I’ve had more than a few people ask if I was catching anything, and I usually reply with something to the effect of, “You’re the third person I’ve reeled in so far.”

Thanks for looking!

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    10 Discussions


    4 years ago

    lol that's so cool(big fan of fishing)


    5 years ago

    Not being a fishing lover but really love the skill and effort looks really good


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Coming from a family of fishermen I will be making a few of these! Great Idea and Instructable!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I’m glad you liked this instructable! I did enter it into the “Vintage Contest”.


    5 years ago

    very nice. wish I had the time and energy to do this to one of mine. kewl idea.

    Very clever! I can think of a few people who would be thrilled with this as a gift - fishermen and those who like conversation starters!