As a backpacker, I’m always looking for new ways to experience the great outdoors. Recently, I discovered handline fishing and it has quickly become one of my favorite outdoor activities. In this article, I’ll share with you why I think handline fishing should be on every backpacker’s bucket list.
Introduction to Handline Fishing
Handline fishing is a simple and traditional method of fishing that dates back thousands of years. It involves using a single fishing line, a hook, and bait to catch fish. Unlike other forms of fishing, handline fishing does not require a reel or rod. Instead, the line is held in the hands and the fisherman uses his or her own strength to pull in the catch.
The Benefits of Handline Fishing for Backpackers
One of the biggest benefits of handline fishing for backpackers is that it is lightweight and portable. A traditional fishing rod and reel can be heavy and difficult to carry on long hikes or camping trips. With handline fishing, all you need is a spool of fishing line and a few hooks. This makes it an ideal activity for backpackers who want to travel light.
Another benefit is that it is a great way to connect with nature. When you’re out in the wilderness, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of catching your own dinner. Handline fishing allows you to experience the thrill of the catch in a way that other forms of fishing do not. You can use it to catch various types of fish, including trout, bluegill, perch, bass, catfish, and others!
The History of Handline Fishing
Handline fishing has been around for thousands of years and is a traditional method of fishing in many cultures around the world. In fact, it was one of the first methods of fishing ever used by humans. Native American tribes, for example, have been using handline-style fishing for centuries to catch fish in rivers and lakes.
The Basics of Handline Fishing – Equipment and Technique
To get started with handline fishing, all you need is a spool of fishing line, a hook, and bait. The technique is simple – you tie the hook onto the fishing line, attach the bait to the hook, and then cast the line into the water. You then wait for a fish to bite and use your own strength to reel it in.
One important thing to keep in mind when handlining is that you need to be patient. Unlike other forms of fishing, handline requires you to wait for the fish to come to you. This can take some time, but the payoff is worth it.
Best Handline Reels worth Investing In
The Ka-Bar Backpacker Caster
The Ka-Bar Backpacker Caster is a lightweight and portable handline fishing kit that is perfect for backpackers. It includes a spool of fishing line, a hook, and a compact handle that makes it easy to reel in your catch. The handle also doubles as a storage compartment for your bait.
I’ve been using the Ka-Bar Backpacker Caster on my backpacking trips and I’ve been impressed with its performance. It’s lightweight and easy to carry, so it doesn’t add any extra weight to my pack. The handle is comfortable to hold and the fishing line is durable enough to handle large fish.
The Daggerfish Handreel
The Daggerfish Handreel is another great option for backpackers who are interested in handlining. It’s a gorgeously made, compact and lightweight fishing kit that includes a spool of fishing line, a hook, and a handle.
I’ve used the Daggerfish Handreel on several fishing trips and I’ve been impressed with its performance. It’s easy to use and the fishing line is strong enough to handle even the biggest fish. The handle is comfortable to hold and the kit is small enough to fit in my backpack without taking up too much space. It’s a bit more expensive, but my personal favorite.
The Yoyito Hand Line Reel
The Yoyito Hand Line Reel is a popular handline fishing kit that is designed for backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts. It includes a spool of fishing line, a hook, and a handle that doubles as a storage compartment for your bait.
I’ve used the Yoyito Hand Line Reel on several fishing trips and while simple it’s the lightest and most compact of the other options. The handle is comfortable to hold, but I added a paracord strap to attach it to my wrist for more stability. The kit is also lightweight and portable, making it easy to carry on long hikes or camping trips.
The Exotac xREEL
The Exotac xREEL is a compact and lightweight handline fishing kit that is designed for backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts. It includes a spool of fishing line, a hook, and a handle that doubles as a storage compartment for your bait.
I’ve used the Exotac xREEL on a couple trips and it’s another great option worth mentioning. The handle is comfortable enough, and the kit is also small enough to fit in my pocket, making it easy to carry with me wherever I go.
Tips for Successful Handline Fishing
If you’re new to handlining, there are a few tips that can help you be more successful. First, make sure to use fresh bait where you can. Fish are more likely to be attracted to fresh bait than stale bait.
Second, pay attention to the weather and the time of day, as minimizing time fished to fish caught is even more important on the trail. Fish are more active in the early morning and late afternoon, so these are the best times to go fishing.
Finally, be patient. Handline fishing requires a lot of patience, but the payoff is worth it. Don’t give up if you don’t catch anything right away.
Conclusion – Why Handline Fishing Should be on Your Bucket List
Handline fishing is a simple and traditional method of fishing that is perfect for backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s lightweight, portable, and a great way to connect with nature. With the right equipment and a little bit of patience, anyone can enjoy the thrill of the catch. Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or a beginner, handline fishing is an activity that should be on your bucket list.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a spool of fishing line, a hook, and some bait, and head out into the great outdoors. You never know what you might catch!