14 Brilliant Fishing Hacks Every Angler Needs To Know
UPDATED 12 MAY 2021
by Robert Ceran
Fishing very often involves the need to change your tackle quickly in the heat of the moment, which can cost you valuable time when the fish are actively biting. On many days you don’t get any fish biting for endless hours, and then suddenly they are in a feeding frenzy, and you hook a fish on every cast.
Needless to say, you don’t want to waste any time while fish are in a biting mood. But unfortunately, it’s often necessary to change your lure, line, or even your fishing rod at exactly that moment, and if you aren’t well organized, you could end up missing the window of opportunity while you search for the right lure or hook.
Here we’ve compiled the top 14 hacks that will help you handle those situations with lightning speed, thus helping you to catch more fish.
14 Fishing Hacks That Will Help You Catch More Fish
1. Use a safety pin to organize your hooks by size
One of the challenges of fishing is changing your hooks quickly while you’re out fishing. If you can’t find the right size quickly, you may end up wasting time going through your whole tackle collection until you find the right hooks.
An easy fix for this is keeping all hooks of one size together, and a great way to do this is by threading them on to a safety pin, and then storing that in a specific compartment of your tackle box.
Of course, you can also use this hack to organize your swivels or jig heads according to size and type.
2. Use a cork to organize your hooks
Some hooks don’t have an eye, which means you can’t organize them with a safety pin. Also, an additional problem of having lots of hooks in your tackle box is that their sharp points are exposed, which can lead to injury, especially if you’re rummaging through your tackle box in a rush.
A nice hack to avoid this is to embed the points of the hooks into a cork. Similar to the safety pin hack, you can use this to organize them by size, and you can even label the corks with magic markers according to hook size and type.
3. Label your fishing rods with colored coded tape
If you have a large collection of fishing rods, and need to change to a different rod power and action quickly, it’s really helpful to be able to pick the right one instantly without having to check those details.
A nifty way to do this is by using color coded masking tape to label rods with different action and power, so you can recognize them instantly.
4. Use a line cutterz ring to cut fishing line quickly
As every angler knows, it’s necessary to cut and re-tie your fishing line many times on most fishing trips. And this task is made more challenging by the fact that you have to use both hands for something else at the same time that you need to cut the line. For many years I used my teeth to ‘cut’ the line, until I cracked one of my front teeth, and my dentist told me this is really, really bad for my teeth.
So now I wear a line cutterz ring while I’m fishing, which has a two sided blade that cuts any fishing line in seconds. And if you don’t want to wear a ring, they have other versions that you can bolt to your boat or fishing kayak.
5. Label your fishing reel with tape according to line size
It’s quite common that you need to change fishing line size while you’re out on the water fishing, and the fastest way to do this is by swapping out your reel with another one that has been spooled with a different pound test line. However, if you have more than two or three reels, it’s quite easy to forget what size line you have on each of them.
A great way to organize your fishing reels according to the line type and size spooled on to them is by labeling them with a piece of tape that has that information written on it. Of course, you could also combine this with a color coding system.
6. Use a safety pin to replace a damaged line guide on your fishing rod
If one of the line guides on your rod breaks, that usually means you can’t use that rod any more until you get the line guide replaced at a repair shop. But there’s a great hack that allows you to quickly replace it with a safety pin and duct tape and continue fishing right away. In order to do this, you need to bend the safety pin at a 90 degree angle, and then tape it to the rod with the eye of the safety pin sticking out:
If you use strong duct tape for this hack, the resulting makeshift line guide is strong enough to handle even strong fish. As you can see, safety pins come in very handy for several fishing hacks, so you should always keep several sizes in your tackle box. And it goes without saying that duct tape should always be part of your fishing gear.
7. Use zip-lock bags to organize your lures by size
If you have a large collection of fishing lures, it can be a challenge to change from one type or size to another one quickly, especially if they’re all tangled up together in your tackle box. That’s why it helps to sort them by type, and keep each lure type in a labelled zip-lock bag. For example, you could keep plastic worms or jigs of different sizes in different bags that are labelled according to size.
8. Save money on braid by turning your line around when it gets worn out
As you probably know, braid is a lot more expensive than monofilament, which is why many anglers use s monofilament backing when they spool a spinning reel. But most anglers discard their braid when it becomes worn out, and re-spool with a brand new braided line.
However, the end of the braid that’s tied to the monofilament backing hasn’t actually been used yet, and therefore isn’t worn out. So you just need to turn the line around and tie the worn out end to the mono backing, and then continue fishing with the fresh end (which essentially means you can use it twice as long).
In order to do this, tie the worn out end of the braid to a fence, and walk away from it with your reel until you reach the backing. Then cut the line and go back to the fence. Tie the worn out end to the backing, and re-spool the reel with the line turned around.
9. Use electrical tape to make your spinning reel spool ‘braid-ready’
Regular spinning reels can’t be spooled with braid directly, since braided line slips on the smooth aluminum of the spool, even if it’s tightly tied to it. And even if you manage to spool the braid specially it can end up rotating around the spool instead of being wound on to it, especially in cold and dry weather.
Many spinning reel manufacturers have started selling braid-ready spools, and use this as an additional feature to market their fishing reels. However, there’s a very simple hack to do this by putting some electrical tape on the spool of your reel before you put braid on it. Braided line doesn’t slip on the surface of the tape, which means you don’t need to add any backing to avoid slippage.
10. Learn how to tie the 3 most important fishing knots
An essential part of fishing is the ability to tie strong knots quickly and reliably under all conditions. The top three best fishing knots you need to know are as follows: uni knot, loop, knot and double uni knot. The first two knots are different options for attaching your fishing line to a lure, hook, or swivel, while the third knot is for tying two fishing lines together. If you know how to tie these knots, you’ve got 99% of all fishing applications covered.
You can learn these three knots in this video tutorial:
11. Use unconventional baits when fish aren’t biting
Often you’ll find that fish lose interest in the conventional baits. That’s when it’s time to try out the more exotic baits, which can include hot dogs, cat food, marshmallows, and many more. Especially when you’re fishing for catfish, it pays to use as many rods as possible, and to bait some of them with unconventional baits to see what works best on that day.
12. Learn how to get rid of baitcaster birds nest quickly
There’s nothing worse than getting serious baitcaster backlash at exactly the moment when the fish are biting like crazy, and you need to get your next cast in the water as fast as possible.
There’s a trick to get rid of birds nest in a few minutes: press down on the spool with your thumb, while rotating the handle for about half a turn. You’ll find that this helps to release the line from the birds nest. If necessary, repeat this several times until you’re done.
For more details on how to do this, check out our article on baitcaster birds nest, and how to get rid of it.
13. Use a gauze net to keep soft bait on your hook
If you’re using bait that’s relatively soft, it tends to fall off your hook, or even to “dissolve” in the water. It’s really annoying when you wait hours for a bite, only to reel in your hook and realise that all the bait is gone. Good examples of this are chicken liver or cat food, which are great catfish baits, but have a soft consistency.
In cases like that, a great hack to keep the bait on the hook is by wrapping a gauze net around it, and tying that down around the hook.
14. Use a nail file to sharpen your hooks
If you use a lure for a long time, it’s common for the points of the hooks to become blunt, which can result in losing fish, especially at the moment of hook-setting. When that happens, you can easily sharpen the hooks with a nail file, but be sure to use a diamond nail file that’s strong enough for the job.
This concludes our list of fishing hacks that will help you to catch more fish. If you know some additional hacks like this, we would love to hear from you.
See also: fishing license prices in all states