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The pocket reel is an ultralight self contained fishing system that eliminates the need of a traditional fishing pole and tackle box.
428 backers pledged $12,340 to help bring this project to life.

About

Pocket Reel - An Ultralight Fishing Kit project video thumbnail
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$12,340

428

I'm an outdoorsman at heart, I love hiking around the forests, finding a remote place to camp and spending some quality time in the great outdoors. If there's water, you can bet I'll be in a canoe. And I always try and get some fishing in, no matter where or when. But when you're hiking, camping, canoeing, or any combination of the above, adding tackle and poles can be a difficult prospect. The equipment takes up room, adds weight to your gear, and is cumbersome to use "on the go." You have to unpack everything, assemble it, get some fishing in, then disassemble and repack it all when you're done.

I've always been a fan of fishing without a traditional pole and gear, utilizing other methods such as film-canister survival kits, wrapping line around a water bottle, or simply using a line and a hook. I wouldn't have to worry about the logistics of packing and transporting everything, and I avoided spending tons of money on exotic lightweight materials. But what I really wanted was an ultralight kit that I could carry in my pocket. It had to be easy to deploy, fun and easy to use, reliable, and above all it had to be self-contained with both line and tackle. After some research, development, and testing, the "Pocket Reel" was born. 

Early test models of the pocket reel.  These test kits are made from thin walled plastic tubes.  The final product uses a different tube, which is roughly the same size but twice as thick as the test model and virtually indestructible.
Early test models of the pocket reel. These test kits are made from thin walled plastic tubes. The final product uses a different tube, which is roughly the same size but twice as thick as the test model and virtually indestructible.
Final product in the new tube.  The original nylon thread from the test models and video has been replaced with a plastic spool holding an additional 45ft of 12lb big game fishing line.  endcaps have been changed to blue.  Lure color will vary.
Final product in the new tube. The original nylon thread from the test models and video has been replaced with a plastic spool holding an additional 45ft of 12lb big game fishing line. endcaps have been changed to blue. Lure color will vary.

The Final kit will contain;

  • 45' 12lb fishing line on the kit
  • 4x #8 fishing hooks
  • 4x 3/0 removable sinkers
  • 10x synthetic maggots 
  • 1x 3/4" bobber
  • 2x spinner lures
  • 1x 45' spool of 12lb big game fishing line
  • Knot guide with directions
  • **UPGRADE 1x Crappie/Panfish jig (see update 4 for pics)
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How I got the idea

I already had experience with a film canister fishing kit in the past. While I liked the concept, in actuality the kit was flawed in just about every way. The canister was too small, so holding onto it while casting proved to be difficult. The canister was too flimsy, so if I landed a fish (even a small one) the canister was almost sure to buckle while pulling it to shore. Lastly, the canister would get knocked around in my pack and open up, and removing hooks from various items got old quick. But it was a starting point.  

I went for something similar in shape but a little bigger, and found an old prescription pill container. I figured the childproof cap could stay on inside my pack, and the tube was pretty strong, so I didn't have to worry about it buckling when I had a fish on the line. But it was still too small and difficult to hold onto, so I started looking for something better.    

I searched my garage, the internet, and various hardware stores in my attempts to find anything tubular that could possibly meet my criteria, and soon ended up with a large stash of containers of varying shapes, sizes, and materials. After testing, one container stood out from the rest, completely surpassing both the film canister and prescription bottle in every aspect. It was large enough to grip comfortably, but small enough to fit into my pocket. It was virtually indestructible, I could probably run over it with a truck and not break it. And lastly, perhaps best of all, the screw cap meant no more fishing hooks everywhere.

Production

Now that I had my container, I moved on to the next problem. The polymer construction of the tube, while strong, meant it had nothing to allow the line to gain traction. Without traction, there'd be no way to reel in a fish. I solved this problem by adding a section of rubber to the end of the tube, providing the line with traction and allowing the user to reel in their catch. With that settled, I stuffed the inside with some hooks, sinkers, synthetic maggots, a 3/4" bobber, a couple spinner lures, and a bobbin of 12lb monofilament fishing line. Finally, for casting, I drilled a hole in the cap and added a lanyard and bead. The kit was ready for trials.

 
early concept tackle and kit contents.  Note: Since testing, the spool of thread here has been replaced by a spool of additional fishing line
early concept tackle and kit contents. Note: Since testing, the spool of thread here has been replaced by a spool of additional fishing line
The bead at the top of the kit is used to tighten the lanyard.  This prevents the lanyard from slipping off of your wrist.
The bead at the top of the kit is used to tighten the lanyard. This prevents the lanyard from slipping off of your wrist.
You will have your choice between either a "Skull" or "Smooth" bead.  SKULL beads will be available in either WHITE or PINK.  SMOOTH beads will be available in; WHITE, RED, BLACK, or PINK.
You will have your choice between either a "Skull" or "Smooth" bead. SKULL beads will be available in either WHITE or PINK. SMOOTH beads will be available in; WHITE, RED, BLACK, or PINK.

Testing the Pocket Reel

I tested it on a fishing trip with four friends. They all had poles and large tackle boxes; I had my fishing kit in the cargo pocket of my pants. When I took it out and showed it around, I was immediately laughed at (good friends, right?). They said, “There’s no way you’re going to catch anything with that.” 

I started off with a baited hook. I set up my line and cast her off, reeled her back in, recast, saw the tell-tale ripples around the bobber, saw it dip underneath the water, got excited and started to reel in the line. The bait was gone. I forgot to set the hook! I recast my line with fresh bait, saw ripples and the bobber went under. I pulled up on the line, set the hook, and reeled in my first catch of the day. 

It was a tiny bluegill—hardly a meal—but more importantly, the kit worked and I was the first one with a fish on. 

I got the nod of approval from my friends and one of them suggested I try a spinner lure. I reset my line with a spinner. The idea with this type of lure is to cast, reel in, and recast to the same area. The line needs to be reeled in with some speed in order to get the spinner to flash underwater. Seemed kind of hard to do without a reel. Boy, was I wrong. Holding the line and moving the kit in a circle with your other hand, the same motion you make when you operate a fishing reel, brought the line in as fast as any rod setup I’ve ever used. With a few practice casts I was able to hit the same spot with my spinner lure. 

Reeling end of the test model.
Reeling end of the test model.

On the fifth cast, I starting feeling the tell-tale nibble on the lure as it was coming in. The next cast, I landed a small bass, much larger than the bluegill from before. The kit worked wonderfully and it was a lot of fun to use. 

First bass!
First bass!

I was impressed. My friends were, too. So much so that one of them offered to buy my second spare kit on the spot. It was my first sale. The "Pocket Reel" weighs in at a 3.25oz. fully loaded so it’s very comfortable to carry. I added a knot guide and simple use directions with the kit so anyone can pick it up and fish anytime and anywhere.  

Knot guide and directions that are included in the Pocket Reel
Knot guide and directions that are included in the Pocket Reel

Directions for Use 

You simply pull out your favorite tackle from the kit, remove the elastic band covering the line, and tie on your lure. Slip your hand into the lanyard at the end, put your thumb on the line, and motion your arm like you are skipping a stone across a lake. When your hand is extended, release your thumb and the line will cast. You can do short casts by releasing your thumb and when the line is out as far as you like, point the kit upwards and the line will stop. 

 Website 

Some of the funds raised through kickstarter will help to fund the building of a website and store to sell the Pocket Reel and Accessories. 

Accessories 

Some accessories that will be made available through the website will be.

Spare spools of fishing line
Spare spools of fishing line
Extra hooks and sinkers
Extra hooks and sinkers
Additional bags of bait.
Additional bags of bait.

 Future Ideas for Accessories/Stretch Goals

Hook and Sinker containers that will fit inside the storage compartment of the pocket reel.
Hook and Sinker containers that will fit inside the storage compartment of the pocket reel.
 
An assortment of lures and tackle to upgrade your kit
An assortment of lures and tackle to upgrade your kit

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge will be working with new suppliers to obtain the materials needed to build the kits.

Suppliers have already been lined up but we always face the risk of an item being out of stock or backordered. We will work with our suppliers to keep a steady stream of materials flowing into production and will always be actively seeking new suppliers of raw materials.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Thank you for your support!

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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    1 Pocket Reel, shipped to your door.

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    Pledge US$ 18 or more About US$ 18

    1 pocket reel, 1 spare spool of fishing line, 1 spare bag of hooks/sinkers, and 1 spare bag of bait, shipped to your door.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    A pair of Pocket Reels, shipped to your door.

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    65 backers
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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    A pair of Pocket Reels, 2 spare spools of fishing line, 2 spare bags of hooks/sinkers, and 2 spare bags of bait shipped to your door.

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    113 backers
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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    A Three pack of Pocket Reels, shipped to your door.

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    10 backers
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    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    A Three pack of Pocket Reels, 3 spare spools of fishing line, 3 spare bags of hooks/sinkers, and 3 spare bags of bait shipped to your door.

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    15 backers
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    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    Family Pack of Pocket Reels. 4 Pocket Reels shipped to your door.

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    8 backers
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Family Pack of Pocket Reels. 4 Pocket Reels, 4 spare spools of fishing line, 4 spare bags of hooks/sinkers, and 4 spare bags of bait shipped to your door.

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    34 backers
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Funding period

- (29 days)