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.
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)
How I got the ideaI 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 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.
ProductionNow 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some accessories that will be made available through the website will be.
Future Ideas for Accessories/Stretch Goals
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)