A fisherman’s view

It started as an interesting conversation.
A guy who was quietly fishing was discussing his tackle.
A typical UK freshwater fisherman, he had the largest tackle box in the world and his choice of bits and pieces would put a small tackle shop to shame. Yet to what purpose?
I suppose you’ll say it all depends on what he is catching and for sport you’d be right.

For example, here are some well know UK species.

Rudd. Weight: A few ounces to 1 lb. Hook size 20-12
Roach. Weight: 1 to 2 lbs. Hook size 20 – 12
Perch. Weight: 2 to 4 lbs, Hook size: 18 – 8
Bream. Weight: 2 to 7 lbs. Hook size 18 – 8
Tench. Weight: 3 to 5 lbs. Hook Size 16 – 8
Carp.  Weight:  10 to 20 lbs, Hook Size 24 – 18
Pike. Weight: 4 to 12 lbs, Hook Size TREBLES 8 – 6

With the exception of Pike, all use a standard design hook.
To give you an idea of size, here is a ‘likkle’ graphic to help you.
You’ll probably need to resize this.

All very nice but what’s it got to do with survival.
Regulars know that I’m a survivalist NOT a sports fisherman so they’ll probably understand when I said to the guy:

“Why all the different hooks when a small hook will catch a large fish but large hooks only catch large fish.”

The look I got was something akin to looking at a person with three heads BUT this demonstrates the complete difference between “normal thinking” and survivalist.

Hooks have multiple uses apart from fishing for example when survival trapping. Birds that snatch are one favored target BUT they can be used to snag almost anything. Especially when using the trebles!

So what to carry?
Toughie this one isn’t it?
Trebles are a no brainer and size 8 is the most versatile.
As for standard barbs? They don’t take up a lot of room so I do carry the whole range except size 20. That’s for a practical reason though, I can’t see to thread the line!

Monofilament line of around 15 lb is usually 0.35 mm in diameter.
With the stronger 30 lb mono being around 0.50 mm in diameter.
Although the actual size varies with manufacturers.

Fishing Line.
I find the idiot experts that talk about stripping 550 paracord to make fishing line very amusing. Genuine military paracord has 7 to 9 inner yarns each made up of 3 strands.

OK I’m going to use a bit of TP logic here but 9 yarns x 3 strands equals 27 strands. Divide that into the 550 lb figure, that’s about 20 lbs a strand. Sort of.

Bear in mind it’s not an easy thing to do (unlike what they claim) and threading the hook’s eye takes a bit of finesse (and that’s being polite). It’s not easy so I tend to ‘pre-trace’ i.e. put a length of fishing line onto the hooks prior to storing them. After all it’s a heck of a lot simpler to tie fishing line to paracord and KNOW the expected breaking strain than play at tree hugging.

If it grows its edible to a fish so think berries and grubs.
If it wiggles it’s an attraction few fish can resist.
As for bugs, the fatter the better.
When trapping keep the bits you don’t want to eat.
In nature all food is fair game.

Finally what to do when there is no bait.
Wearing a light color or can you find fur or feathers?
Just wrap a few threads it round the hook and leave tassels loose.
Like the feathers below it’s only too easy to knock up a set.


I’m not a fan of the traditional “bug out and run for the hills” mantra the experts spout YET I’m perfectly happy in the field. Only bear this in mind, trapping is NOT purely for those in the wild and there is plenty of two and four-legged food that wanders the streets and gardens of suburbia or townships.

This entry was posted in prepping and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to A fisherman’s view

  1. Richard W. Posner says:

    I couldn’t possibly, since I’m very ignorant on the subject of survival. And now I’m too old to worry much about it anyway. If I’m still kicking when the collapse comes, I’ll simply try to enjoy the show as long as I can. Meanwhile, though I may not have too much practical use for what I find here, it is extremely interesting and informative.

    • It’s all about what you cherish I suppose.

      Survival is me protecting my own. If they can walk away unscathed my task is complete. If we all walk way so much the better.

      • Richard W. Posner says:

        Right now, at 68, “protecting my own” is about me taking care of my father who is 92 and has progressive supranuclear palsy and trying to make Life a bit better for my wife, who suffers from incessant pain from spinal injuries inflicting by a driver whose needs were more important than those of anyone else.

        Although I knew what was coming, I did not prepare. That I shall suffer the consequences is of no particular concern. That my children and grandchildren will also suffer, thanks to my inability to make a difference, is a source of endless torment.

        I will follow your “blog” and “reblog” what you have taken the time and effort to learn. Perhaps, in some small way, this will make a amends.

  2. Richard W. Posner says:

    Reblogged this on The Rise and Fall of the Human Empire and commented:
    These are things we need to teach our children. NOW.

  3. gamegetterII says:

    I carry Fireline-it’s super strong,and the diameter of of 20# test Fireline is only .030mm.
    Toothy fish like pike can’t break the line like they can mono-I’ve had best luck with the smoke color-it’s what I used as a leader when I caught a 51″ muskie-don’t think you have them in UK-they’re like pike but bulkier.

    • I go to the local sports shop for whatever is on special in green mono-filament, round 20 kg, and a bag of cheap assorted hooks. Usually £7 ($10) for the two.

      After all why spend a lot on something that may be stolen or lost.

      Is it top notch stuff? No way in hell but it works well within the tasks I set and that’s my secret. To choose a trapping site carefully, set everything wisely, at twice the target weight.

      As for fish I long line. A paracord bearer with 4 foot traces along it’s length. Way I see it is to recover things early means you have to preserve it, to pull up what you need is perfectly adequate for me.

      • gamegetterII says:

        Your longline is what we all a trotline over here-one long line of something stronger than fishing line-paracord,rope,whatever,with line and hooks every 4-6 feet along the length.
        You’re right-you can just pull of a fish or two for dinner,and leave the rest-pull them up the next day and eat them then.

Comments are closed.