Line Thrower




Attach a slingshot to a fishing rod and reel, and use it to put a rope into a tree just where you want it to go. Needed: The butt end of a two-piece casting rod and reel with monofilament line, a slingshot having wrist brace, four plastic zip ties, and lead fishing weights. I prefer 3/8-ounce teardrop-shaped weights.
Now and then I need to put a rope high up into a tall tree and over a certain part of a particular branch, for removing dead branches and pruning while working from the ground (how I do that work is another story). This is always done when the leaves are off the trees, so I can easily see where I want the rope to go.
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Step 1: Assembly and Use

Attach the slingshot to the fishing rod grip using two zip ties just below the slingshot's grip and two around the wrist brace, crossing the ties to make a firm attachment. Run the fishing line through the hoops under the rod and tie on the lead weight, taking care to use knot that will not slip loose.
CAUTIONS: Always wear complete eye protection, because if your line kinks, the weight might come back at you, and if your line breaks, it can whip back at you. Scout the area ahead of time and plan your shot so you do not harm anyone or damage property. This thing will throw the wieght hundreds of feet. Each time before using, practice in a large open field to get an idea of how far the weight will go with a certain amount of pull on the slingshot.
Plan your shot well. You should be able to put the weight where you want it to go within a foot circle or so, but it does no good to have it go through a lot of other trees and get tangled as you retrieve it. Find an angle that will drop the weight into open space and out of harm's way.
To shoot, you grip the slingshot grip with one hand, pull back the slingshot pocket with the lead weight in it with the other. Be sure to flip the metal loop on your reel to the correct position just before you pull back on the slingshot.
It will be hard to see the line once the weight has landed, find it by slowly reeling in the weight, raise the weight off the ground where you can see it, but not up into the tree. Once you see it, lock the reel, drop the rod and go to the weight. If the line did not go through the tree where you wanted it, cut the weight off the line, reel all the line back in and repeat the shot. Once the line is in the right place and you go to the weight, first tie the end of a long, strong light string to the line just above the weight, using a really good knot. Then cut the weight off the line. Go back and use the rod and reel to pull the string up into the tree and back down to you.
Next, detach the fishing line from the string and tie your rope to the string, use the string to pull the rope up into the tree and back down to the ground again. Detach the string from the rope, and you are in business.



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    17 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Just a question, when you say rope, do you mean fishing line? Also, if that isn't what you mean, do you think this would work with some kind of rope, say paracord or some other thin rope?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Coincidentally. I had a slingshot, fishing pole and small weights ready to go, but hadn't connected the pieces together as you did quite yet (i.e., tried to sling the weight from a propped-up pole). Your idea of attaching the slingshot directly onto the pole handle made a far easier job of sending lines up 80+ feet in order to take down dead branches from the latest storms. Thanks, this works quite well (almost too well - you do have to practice not sending the weight too far).


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    sharlston, I am not a fisherman, am not familiar with the terminology used on the sinkers, and the terms might be different on our respective opposite sides of the pond anyway. The lead weights I used are pear-shaped and came from an assortment sold in the sporting goods section of Wal-Mart. I chose the ones that seemed to have sufficient heft to carry monofilament line the required distance, and would fit into the pocket of the slingshot. I conducted tests first over an open field. I did not want a weight that would carry the line so far that I would need to worry about hitting a neighbor's house or have to take a hike to retrieve it. U.S.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    i attch a rope to an arrow and shoot it over a tree with my bow =) but this works too


    11 years ago on Step 1

    Heck of a good idea! But I'm a lousy shot with a slingshot.I'll still try it next time I need to get a line in a tree,even if it takes me several attempts.A lot of trees are virtually unclimbable, especially now that I'm in my 50's. So thanks for the idea!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Good article. I had heard of tree climbers using this method but never seen anyone actually use it. As you are a tree climber, you are probably aware of the commercially available version of this same device called a "Big Shot." I got mine at sherrill tree and it has been a godsend. I used to spend hours tossing a throwline and shotbag up a tree. With the Big Shot, I am up on rope and in the tree in minutes. I got the "Big Shot" here, but I think other arborist suppliers sell it as well.

    Joe Lombardo

    11 years ago on Introduction

    This is really interesting. It might be useful on camping trips when trying to hang a tarp.

    For attaching the rope to the fishing line, you may want to try the Albright Knot

    1 reply
    unclesamJoe Lombardo

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the link to the knot, Joe Lombardo. I am not a fisherperson, knew that there were knots designed to securely fasten monofilament line, and thanks to you, now we all know how to tie it.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Nice instructable! This is actually the way Ham radio operators have been hanging antennas for years. It is also helpful when hanging a bear bag but it's a bit much to pack along, normally just a roll of kite string or fishing line and a rope work.