Hobo Fishing With A Soda Can

Fishing is an age-old craft that can be done primitively or with high-tech equipment. There’s no substitute for experience and skill but we’re grateful for dumb luck when it happens.

I heard of a low-tech way to fish that I just had to try, it’s called “Hobo Fishing”. This method uses a conventional fishing line with assorted hooks, lures, weights, baits and bobbers but uses a stick or similar object for a spool and eliminates the need for a rod and reel. Indigenous people have used this technique for generations. In the present day this simple technique allows a greater latitude for improvising along with the benefits of easy storage and transport.

I began preparing my rig by measuring out a suitable length of fishing line then fastening it to an empty soda can using the pull tab as an anchor point. From there I wound the line around the can with successive loops heading toward the other end where upon I tied on the hook and bait.

To operate this rig, feed out about 1 foot of line and place your thumb on top of the can. Your thumb becomes your casting release. I find it easier to cast from the side and just after a cast or two it begins to feel natural and can be quite effective. On my third cast I caught the bass shown in the photo. What makes this type of fishing particularly exciting is that you literally have a direct line to the fish so you feel it’s every move. When the fish takes the bait you retrieve the line by grabbing it with alternate hand-holds much like the rhythm and motion when paddling a kayak. Landing the fish is pretty much the same as when using a rod.

You owe it to yourself to experience this method of fishing as you are able to feel a more direct connection with your catch and the satisfaction of your achievement.

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4 thoughts on “Hobo Fishing With A Soda Can

  1. Please do not use monofiliment line for any kind of hand fishing. This is the same line that is used in weed eaters and will inflict severe cuts. This is more likely as the fish get bigger and offer more resistance that stretches the line tight. I’ve seen fishermen end up in the ER from grabbing line that is snagged in an effort to save a lure.

  2. It also works well with a 5inch long 3/4 inch pvc pipe with the ends capped(not glued)you can store line, sinkers, and hooks in there as well!!!

  3. You can use a “Cuban Yo Yo” to avoid problems with the line cutting you on big fish. It’s a big enough roll/loop that you can wind it in if you have to. They cost $5 rigged and ready. Recycle the cans to get $5 and have better hardware.

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