Monday, September 12, 2011

Make a Fishing Can

Being fairly poor and having four little children to raise, my parents did not have it within their budget to buy us all fishing poles, reels, tackle and bait, even though it would put food on the table.
My mother had learned many frugal things from my grandparents and one of those was how to make a fishing can.

She used smaller coffee cans to fit our little hands better, but I am using the larger #10 size cans as I have a surplus of those,

 and where she used an old wooden broom stick for the handle I am using a wooden rod from a closet.
You could even use a small branch for the handle.

When using a regular can opener, the point where the lid last separates usually leaves a sharp burr.
On a hard surface, like concrete, hammer that burr down.
If it still feels sharp use a metal file.
Then take a nail and make a hole near the edge. Pound this over a piece of scrap wood.
This also makes a sharp edge that will need to be pounded and filed.
There it is.
Measure the inside of the can and mark the wooden rod just less than the can so that it can be cut and nailed inside the can like this...
Now all that is left is to tie your fishing line through the hole on the edge and wrap the line around the can. Put your hook or lure on it and you are set to go fishing, that is after you get some bait. Worms, grubs and crickets are great for catching pan fish.

To cast out, hold the line close to the bait or float, toss out underhand and point the bottom of the can in the direction the bait is going, this makes some of the line around the can unravel. To reel in just wrap it around the can.

I keep the plastic lid for the can so that when I am traveling to my fishing location I can put the hook inside the can and span the lid on so the line doesn't unravel.

We caught many pan fish with these. They are good for dock, boat or river fishing where you don't need to cast far to catch fish. I have even brought in a decent sized Northern Pike with this. The fight can be tricky at times as a big fish can snap your line if there is too much tension.

Another plus to the fishing can is that you can transport it very easy by car or have a smaller one for your back pack. You can keep some of your gear inside it as well or small containers of worms or crickets for bait.

I have seen people use pop or beer cans to fish but they don't have a handle or the other advantages of  this fishing can.

Where I live children under 16 don't need a fishing license so this is a great way to get them outside and they are so happy when they catch fish!
Remember to teach them to keep only what you will eat, to respect other people fishing near by and never leave garbage in or around your fishing spot. Leave it cleaner than how you found it. That can help hide a good fishing spot as well.  If it doesn't look like anyone has been there some people think there may be a reason no one fishes there.

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful.
If you do, please share it.

Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee


  1. not sure how you fish with this, does the fish go into the can? Not sure I can follow how to do this. thanks for sharing.

  2. You hold the handle inside the can with one hand. The can replaces a reel. I will try to post some demonstration pics soon.