Building the Perfect Survival Fishing Kit



Whenever there is some kind of serious emergency, whether it’s a natural disaster, or a national crisis, basic things can be scarce. In these times, you can rest easy, because you have the life skills of a true outdoor enthusiast. It’s not a bad idea to have a simple, portable fishing kit handy so you can grab dinner wherever you find water. Here’s some ideas for building the perfect survival fishing kit.

1. Tenkara Fly Rod – Simplest Fly Fishing

The simplest form of fly fishing there is.

Fly fishing is a very simple and effective way to fish for just about every fish species. The hardest part is learning the cast. Tenkara rods take that out of the equation. Instead of a reel, spooled with fly line, you have a length of line equal to the length of the rod, connected at the tip of the rod. This is the perfect setup for catching fish along a stream, or pond. In the kit, you get the rod, line tippet material and select flies. You also get the tube that the whole rod breaks down into. This is fly fishing in its simplest form. Getting the rod set up and ready to fish takes just a couple of minutes. We have one of these rods and love its simplicity and how fun it is.

Pros/Easiest way to cast fly line

Cons/You don’t have any extra line to play a fish, so you had better know what you’re catching

Bottom Line/Brook trout and bluegills are mighty tasty and this is a great way to catch some

2. Ugly Stik fishing combo – Toughest Rod & Reel

A classic that holds up well.

You can’t go wrong with a spinning rod and reel combo. It is an easy reel to master and Ugly Stik rods have attained legendary status as being nearly unbreakable. The reel is a simple, rugged 3 bearing unit with a 5.1:1 gear ratio, for a decent, steady retrieve. The rod breaks down for easy transport, so you can have it in the back of the truck, SUV or car, and get on some fish wherever you happen to be.

Pros/Great rod and reel for the price

Cons/The reel isn’t the smoothest

Bottom Line/A perfect all-around fishing combo that is good for any kind of fish

3. Plano Connectable Satchel Stowaway – Simple Tackle Storage

An eaasy way to hold enough tackle

You’re going to need some basic fishing tackle, and you’ll need a way to carry it. Plano’s Stowaway boxes are a great way to store tackle. The Satchel models have a handle for carrying ease, and the best part – You can stash one under the seat in your truck. You can configure the internal storage to fit your needs, and if you have two, they can be connected for easy carrying.

Pros/Easy, portable tackle storage that fits under the seat

Cons/It fills up fast so pick and choose your best tackle

Bottom Line/A simple and easy way to carry essential tackle for fishing anywhere

4. Gamakatsu Hooks – Best Hooks

These are sharp

While they’re not the cheapest hooks out there, they may be the best option for putting fish on the table. We’ve fished with these hooks for every fish species from panfish to salmon. They are ridiculously sharp, hold their point and the barbs keep the fish on the hook better than anything we’ve used. When you want fish for food, there is no better option.

Pros/Versatile, sharp and hold fish

Cons/A little more expensive than other brands

Bottom Line/When you’re fishing for survival, you want the best you can get – this is it

5. Thill Bobbers – See the Bite

Simple, balsa bobbers that show up

We like balsa wood floats for fishing. When it comes to balsa floats, the name to know is Thill. They have the widest assortment of floats going and they all work great. For survival situations, we recommend the spring attachment style versus the bobber-stop style. They’re easier to use.

Pros/Work best for all types of fishing and highly visible

Cons/Take up a little more space in the tackle box

Bottom Line/Work better for any type of fishing situation

6. Berkley Gulp! – Editor’s Pick

Better than Live Bait

You may not always have live bait available for fishing, and sometimes lures don’t work. Berkley Gulp! Bait often works as good or better than live bait. It has tons of scent in it and fish go crazy for it. The bait is edible and biodegradable, so you’re not using anything toxic. It comes in several types that mimics live baits. Have some in your tackle box.

Pros/Catches fish and can sit in your tackle box for months

Cons/Doesn’t have the movement of live bait

Bottom Line/You should always have some in your tackle box

What is the bare minimum needed to catch fish?

Fishing doesn’t have to be overly complicated. In fact, in a survival situation, you can get by with a hook, line and something for bait. That’s where the Gulp! products come in. This stuff has deeply impregnated scent and is 100% biodegradable. Fish can and will eat it, and it causes no harm. Plus, it lasts a long time in storage, so you can keep some handy for those times when you need to catch some dinner.

Where can I find fish to catch?

Virtually every natural body of water holds fish of some kind.  Panfish are the easiest to catch and most lakes and ponds hold some species and population. Rivers and creeks can have panfish, too, but trout, catfish and carp are more prevalent. Your best bet is to try. Yep, try it. See what happens. If it is a matter of not eating, try to catch a fish wherever you can.

About the Author

Derrek Sigler has been a professional outdoor writer for more than two decades since earning his Master’s Degree in creative writing with a thesis about fishing humor. But if you ask anyone that knows him, he’s been telling fishin’ stories since he was old enough to hold a pole. He has written for Cabela’s and served as editorial director for Gun Digest books. Over the years, he has also written for Petersen’s Hunting, North American Whitetail Magazine, Wildfowl, Grand View Media, and has worked with Bass Pro Shops, Hard Core Brands and Bone Collector. Successful Farming had him write for their magazine and he has appeared on their TV show to discuss hunting and ATVs on multiple occasions. He writes about the things he loves – hunting, fishing, camping, trucks, ATVs, boating, snowmobiles and the outdoor lifestyle he enjoys with his family in their home state of Michigan and more as they adventure around North America.

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