Self-Retracting Fish Hook

About: Hi I'm Michael! I love all things Science, Engineering, & 3D Printing. If you've enjoyed my work then I've love to hear from you!

Have you ever been fishing, felt the tug briefly, and reel in your lure only to find no fish and no bait? What a pain! This happens because the fish doesnt always tug directly against your line very long or you dont react fast enough with a jerk of the line. Sometimes the fish will grab it and swim toward you.

This design was made specifically to solve this problem! It has a rubber band and a pen-click-retracting mechanism on it, so that when the fish gives the initial tug, it releases the hook so that it pulls the fish into a pincer hold. The device has nails so that after being triggered, the fish will be attached to the hook, and your line!
note-the nails are not as malicious as they may seem, i have heard fish cannot feel the area around their mouths, and this area is very tough anyway. It is meant to hold them tight.

For this particular instructable i felt that it would be easier on me to hand write the procedure on paper and transfer it to the computer. Hand drawing the design saved me from having to get creative with the paint program. SO lets get right into it!

Tools and materials listed on a close up photo below

Step 1: First 4 Steps

For all steps, refer to photo for detailed instructions.

step 1. disassembly of the back clickly part of a pen. By that i mean any pen with a button on the back that you can press to make it retract into the pen shaft or come out. I used a pen with a pencil sized diameter.

step 2. we use three components, a nail, hook, and the part that does the sliding inside the pen the male end. We need them to become 1 solid unit glued together very strongly.

step 3. Get out your cotter pin and diagnol pliers and cut it as shown in the picture.

step 4. Play with the clickly part of the pen. Note that the male end is not made to slide completely through the female end. We need it to be able to.
We are using the smallest drillbit you own and your drill or dremel; and sliding it along the path of the slider (the path that allows it to retract) . This shoudl allow it to move completely through. You may need to sand down the male end it if has a circle of plastic on it that also prevents is from sliding all the way through.

Step 2: Last Three Steps

step 5. We use the electrical tape to attach the cotter pin to the female end of the pen. Then use tape to attach three nails to the pen also, (the heads of the nails must be cut off)
note dont worry about the tape falling off in the water, step 7 should stop that.

step 6. Assembly. we slide the first part we made into the last part we made. The we attach a thick doubled up rubberband to the bent nail and the cotterpin. Make sure to bend the metal around the rubberband so that it wont fall off.

Attach your fishing line firmly to the same places as the big rubberband. This will prevent the fish from snapping the band and getting away.

step 7. Now use your thread to wrap up the exposed tape on the female end of the pen. I used blue. This holds down the tape and makes the hook look better.

Also, twist up the rubberband by twisting the hook in circles. This will create the torque needed to twist the male end when the fish pulls it out.

Step 3: Watch the Movie

i made this video to help explain how this works. My camera gives a better view of this device by using video. Hope this helps you guys get a better idea of how to build this baby.



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    11 Discussions

    steelins mommy

    5 years ago

    is there anyway you can put more pics up or a video because its not playing and I'm not fully understanding the hole thing. its a great idea though.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool. Love the idea of having much better chances of the fish staying on. Not sure if it is legal where I live, though. :(


    6 years ago on Introduction

    That is really cool. You should use a friends camera or your parents camera.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    If you camera doesn't have a macro option then you can hold a magnifying glass right up to the lens and take close up pictures with GREAT clarity.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    nice desighn but im confused with the male and female sliding pieces


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    i dont know much about fishing but Illinois will not allow anything other than a straight lure with open no-action hooks.

    i am limited by how good my camera is and my photography skills. I just uploaded a video that should be helpful, let me know if it doesnt work or if i should still put in some more pics.

    1 reply

    Post one one pic, but make sure that it is clear! It's fine even if you just hold the camera a couple feet away, but make sure that it is clear! Great design by the way!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This looks like it is really cool man! But the problem is the very blurry pictures. IF you can't use macro, zoom in with a camera If you uploaded just two new pics (set and triggered hook) I could build it.