The very first thing you’ll need is some super-sized clear milkshake drinking straws. These straws are much larger in diameter than your standard drinking straws allowing you to store larger components in them. You can find these types of straws online at retailers like Amazon.com.
Here are the exact straws we used to make these kits:
We recommend getting this bag of 100 straws because these straws are SO incredibly versatile to use for storing a variety of other survival items as well (See our Survival Drinking Straw page for more on this).
Next you are going to need a few other tools. You are going to need a pair of scissors to cut your straws to size and you are going to need either a multi-tool, needle nose pliers or a pair of hemostats to seal your straw ends and add segments to your straws. Our preferred tool is the hemostats because they heat up more quickly, they cool more quickly and they lock onto your straw until they have cooled down ensuring a better seal and allowing you to free up your hands more quickly.
You are also going to need a heat source of some kind. You can use a propane torch, a camping stove, or even just a candle. Continuous flame is better than using a lighter that you have to keep pressing the button down to keep it lit, but a lighter will work too.
The last thing you are going to need is the components of your fishing kit. These items are going to be based on personal preference and the type of fish common in your area, but the basics should look something like this:
- Fishing hooks (medium to small)
- Fishing line
- Sinkers/lead weights
- Small jigs, lures, spinners, flies, etc.
- Fishing floats/bobber
- Bobber stops
You can include other small items in your kit if you so choose, but these are typically the basics of any compact survival fishing kit.
Now that you have everything ready to go, take one of your super-sized straws and seal one end with your heated hemostats or pliers. Do a test “melt”, counting how many seconds it takes to get your tool hot enough to really seal the end of your straw but avoiding overheating it to the point that it completely melts through the straw so badly that it destroys it. Make a mental note of how long you held your tool over your heat source and make adjustments accordingly.
Remember… once you start this process, your tool may retain some heat as you keep using it. Factor this into your heat time. Don’t worry… you will get a feel for this. It’s really not hard. Aren’t you glad you ordered the pack of 100 straws now? 😉
Once you have gotten a feel for your timing and heat, go ahead and seal up the end of a brand new straw. I recommend doing this several times creating a series of side by side melts to give your straw a nice “tag” on the end about 1/2 an inch long. This will come in handy later on.
Once you have your first straw sealed nicely, it’s time to put your first fishing component in! I usually start with the fishing line because it is lighter. I typically wind fishing line around my three middle fingers (with a small gap between two of them so I can get my fingers out!) about 100 times. This gives me somewhere between 25 and 50 feet of line in my kit… potentially enough for two or three separate lines. Then I run the end of the line around the loops keeping them bound nicely and neatly.
Once I have done this, I push the line all the way down to the sealed end of the straw with a pencil. Once it is in place, seal the straw right next to (BE CAREFUL NOT TO MELT YOUR FISHING LINE) the fishing line creating our first segment!
Next I add my hooks. These drop in fairly easily. Then seal behind your hooks creating another segment.
Then add your sinkers and seal behind them as well.
Now you have just created the most basic version of this survival fishing kit!
Now that little tag end that we created as our first step? You can heat up a nail and drive it through this tag creating a hole to attach a keyring or “S-biner” for attaching to your keychain or dangle from a lanyard!
Now that you have a feel for making these types of little fishing kits, the sky is the limit as to what you put in them (well, the diameter of your straw is the limit, but you know what I mean). Hair jigs, leaders, swivels, soft plastics, and even “bio-baits” like Berkley Gulp or PowerBait can be put in these straws and sealed up!
Want to learn more about how to use such kits in a survival fishing scenario?
Check out Part 3: Survival Fishing Videos! for fantastic instructional videos about all kinds of relevant survival fishing topics!