Mini Fishing Reel From a 35 Mm Film Cartridge





Introduction: Mini Fishing Reel From a 35 Mm Film Cartridge

About: i am a photolab technician and an incurable packrat. i have made swords ,chainmail, crossbows.cameras,bike trailers,kayaks,guitars{slide and electric},knives,various film winders and vacum easels for the ph...

today we have a little winder made from a 35 mm film cartridge.
this could be used to store fishing line in a survival kit or to keep string clean and organized in a tool box. or as the reel in an ultralight fishing outfit.

Step 1: Materials and Tools


1 .film cartridges preferably the old type that have the removable end caps{check with people who had darkrooms years ago chances are they loaded their own film and may have saved some of the old cartridges}
most likely you will have to settle for the newer type {try your local one hour lab they may have them
to recycle or toss but they will be happy to give you some....maybe ask nicely]

2. some paper clips or small nails

3. fishing line or string.

1. hole punch {the one i use here is very strong i think its for ear tagging animals but i may be wrong}

2. pliers

3. drill or small pointy file

4. small file or sandpaper

Step 2: How to With Old Cartridge

if you are so fortunate as to get an old reloadable cassette from 10 or 15 years ago then heres what you have to do.
first test your cassette if you can twist the end cap around then it is the old style non crimped caps if you can twist it you can pop it off. if it cant and most wont then skip to the next step.{read this one anyway you might be able to figure out how to open a modern cassette}.

pop off one end cap

remove the reel
{if the reel inside has a slot in it then use it if not break open a newer fuji brand cartridge to use the reel from that you can still use the solid core if you want but you will have to tape your line onto it}.

tie or tape your line to the core

use your punch or a dremel to cut some windows through the main casing{sand the edges}
the reason for this is so you can see how much line is in your reel and whether its lined up evenly also to be able to load up a newer case if theres no film sticking out.

replace end cap then roll up the line move it from side to side as you wind to distribute the string evenly {if you dont do this it will all bunch up in one spot and you will only get 1/3 or so of what you can wind up with a little care}

Step 3: How Too With Newer Film

i expect most people will end up doing it this way.
when you get more modern film mag scraps from your local 1 hour lab you will notice short bit of film is usually hanging out.
this is good if you dont want to cut the window in the case and tie onto the reel[superior method}

use the punch to pop a hole through the film tie off the line to it then reel it in.
simple isnt it.
the problem with doing it this way is when your reeling out your line later and hit the end anything over a pound or two of force is gonna tear the string right out also if theres no window in the cassette you wont be able to see to get the maximum amount of line in there.
so take the dremel or a hacksaw and cut a bit out of the case and tie onto the reel inside its stronger.

Step 4: Making a Crank

now if you have tried this and filled up a reel with fishing line i bet you fingers are tired by now so rest em up and then come back and try putting a crank on it.
its pretty easy to do.

just take a small nail ,
bore a couple of holes through the end of the reel that sticks out of the case{i used a jewelers file for it but the nail itself will bore the hole try chucking it in you cordless drill}.
keep the holes level with each other.
pass the nail through and with pliers {more than one pair if you want to do it right} bend the nail up 90degrees then clip off the pointy bit {file the edges}.
if youre real good get out your miniature anvil and peen the end of the nail over a bead to form a spinning knob i dare ya.
and there you are a nice crank and if you bent it in the right place it will fold up tight against the case so the whole thing can fit in the plastic film can.

Step 5: Why the Hell Do We Wanna Do This Anyway?

heh heh i bet a few of you are asking that question.
well any survival kit should contain fishing line so heres a little reel than can hold 80 feet or more of it and keep it neat and keep it clean and function as a mini fishing reel if you want.
think of the funny looks you will get if you walk up to the local fishing hole with a small bit of bamboo with this little reel on the bottom of it. {think of the angry looks youll get when you hook fish with this but conversly dont let them blame it on your little reel if you dont catch any lol}
good for the lightweight backpacker who doesnt want to carry a full size fishing rod .
use some wire through the holes in the casing and lash it to a small stick make a couple of wire loops at the end and in the middle to guide the line and you have a fishing rod that will catch small brook trout{the most common kind around here].
and besides it offends me to throw out stuff that is usefull.
and i expect a lot of you are the same.
if you are write my missus and tell her it aint garbage please.

thanks for looking and have a great day
im entering this in the laser contest but i dont expect it to win hmmm i wonder if i put a hard drive magnet in it and stuck it to the fridge....err ahh nevermind



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    25 Discussions

    That is a hole punch for belts made of leather for both men and women

    3 replies

    actualy it turns out to be a punch press for putting eyelets or grommets into cloth
    i bought a new one last year at an obscure tool store.
    then i broke it lol.
    thanks for your input though :)

    what I previously said turns out to be what we are using it for here in egypt LOL

    whatever works my friend. i broke mine trying to put a grommet into a heavy duty rubber glove.

    Good idea and instructable......... I will make some....... thanks :)

    thanks for the kind comment the idea came from 24 years working as a photolab technician and as an outdoor enthusiast who always carries a small survival kit.{and as a person who hates waste{packrat} as you know strong string/fishing line is a must in any handy survival kit but bundles of string get tangled, exposed reels get dirty or frayed. this covers the string and lets you deploy it and keep it tidy

    if you know how do catch heavy fish you could definitely use this and it should work. now how to make a net

    Nice I had this same idea except I was thinking about using an old floss container. The film case looks much stronger.

    That is a great idea :)

    When I broke my rod on my last fishing trip, I wish I could have tied my abu garcia reel on a piece of wood lol! I ended up drinking while my buddies got huge trouts :(

    Thanks for the idea!

    Abu Garcia Fishing Reels

    Great Idea! I am always looking for new survival gizmos. I think I may be able to go to walgreens, CVS, or even walmart and ask for a few used film cartridgs. I bet you could silde a few hooks in there as well.

    1 more question, How do you cast it if the line is smushed in the lips of the fil cartrige?

    1 reply

    its not really made to cast just to store the line in a survival kit. the idea is you would use a willow switch or some other stick and tie the end on to it like an old fashioned bamboo fishing pole. i have caught trout with an alder branch and 5 feet of fishing line so a fancy fishing outfit isnt always needed

    i work in a photo lab and im an incurable pack rat. after 25 years it was bound to click together

    i think its a little big for a pill bottle. you could always strap it on the outside with a rubber band

    once I get to my house ill make one of these and ill make a new one with fishing hooks in a box on the side,is that ok.