Fishing is one of those few hobbies where, with a bit of patience and some gear, you can land yourself some free food – but stocking up on fishing gear can be expensive. Instead of breaking the bank on rods, reels and tackle, here are some quick and easy tips.

Craft a Wooden Tackle Box

While you don’t necessarily need a tackle box when you head out fishing, it’s a lot nicer than digging in your bag or pockets for hooks, weights and other tackle. Plus, with a little bit of elbow grease, you can make one out of wood and customize it to meet all your storage needs. All you need is some wood, a few tools and a bit of design knowledge. Start by drawing up your design and figuring out the measurements you need. Then, you can cut the wood, assemble the exterior and design the interior storage shelves. It doesn’t have to be fancy with fold-out shelves and hidden compartments. Just focus on making something functional.

Choose Your Gear Type

What type of rod are you looking to fish with? There’s a big difference between spinning, casting and fly rods. Once you know what type of gear you’re looking to assemble, it’s a lot easier to gather the parts and pieces you’ll need to get the job done.

For all three types, you will need a rod blank, line guides, grips and handle parts. For casting and spinning rods, you will also need reel seats and the reel you’re planning to use. Most rod assembly kits will also come with the glue or epoxy you need to assemble everything.

Survival Fishing

Ever wish you were born a century earlier without all the expensive gear and fancy “must-have” items? Travel back in time and try to make your own fishing rods out of things you can find in the woods. Find a branch that’s about 7 feet long, then cut away all the twigs and leaves. Test to make sure it bends but doesn’t break. Then you can either go really old school and use vines as your line, or just use your normal fishing line.

You can also get extra creative and see what other things you can use to make a pole, such as a broom handle, PVC pipe, or a broken hockey stick. Just ignore the strange looks you might get… if it works, it works!

Other DIY Fishing Projects

Rods and tackle boxes aren’t the only fishing gear you can make at home. Consider making your flies and lures for fly fishing, or a carrying tube for your rods out of a piece of PVC pipe. You can even make a simple fishing line spooler out of little more than a thick bolt and some plywood you probably already have around the house. Use your imagination. You might be surprised what you can make instead of buying all your gear at the local fishing supply store.

Be Patient With Yourself

Building DIY fishing gear is a great way to save a little bit of money and find some additional satisfaction in your hobby, but if you’ve never built a fishing rod or tackle box before, there’s a bit of a learning curve. Don’t get discouraged if your first rod comes out crooked or your reel ends up tangled before you manage your first cast. Embrace the learning curve and learn from these mistakes. No one is perfect, especially on their first attempt. Be patient with yourself, and you’ll be creating top-of-the-line rods and gear in no time.

Go Fishing!

Now that you’ve finished crafting your gear, all that’s left is to plan your next fishing trip and be proud of the gear you’ve made. Use Fishidy to find the best spots near you.