Monday, January 31, 2022

Another Survival Gear #EpicFail + Good Alternatives

By Tim Gamble

 #EpicFail - The Emergency Fishing Kit

The Emergency Fishing Kit - a great idea in theory, but not so much in reality. 

The problem with MOST of these kits, particularly the ones small enough to fit in an Altoids tin or similar mini-kit, is that there is not nearly enough fishing line to really be useful. Plus, the gear included in many store-bought kits is often too small to be practical and of cheap quality. There are even several #FAIL videos on You Tube of folks trying unsuccessfully to fish with these mini kits. In one video, the guy took the line from a store-bought mini fishing kit and tied it to the end of a bamboo pole, then tried to fish off a river bank. The line was barely long enough to reach the water. 

After watching some of those videos, I tried out the gear I had in my old Altoids survival kit, and had the same problems as the folks in the videos. It just didn't work.

But the idea of having the ability to fish in a wilderness survival situation is still a good one, so I began to search for better alternatives. 

Good Alternatives: I now keep a Ronco Pocket Fisherman in both of my vehicles. You might remember the old TV commercials of the folding rod & reel with a small built in tackle box? I have one that is about 25 years old, and another that I bought only a few years ago. I have fished with both, and successfully caught my dinner, so I know they work.

The Pocket Fisherman is too big for a true mini-kit (it won't fit in your pocket), but at only about a pound, they can be carried in or on a bug-out bag. I can clip mine securely to the back of my pack.

Another alternative is a telescoping rod and reel combo, many of which come with compact carrying cases that can hold additional tackle. I also have one of those, but my particular brand is not available anymore. However, there are several other brands to choose from, many with carrying cases and even small tackle boxes. 

Again, these won't fit in your pocket, but are small and light-enough to carry in your vehicle and/or bug-out bag. Best of all, they actually work. 


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