How To: Make a Fishing Pole

By MDC | July 1, 2021
From Xplor: July/August 2021

No Pole? No Problem. You don’t need fancy tackle to catch loads of fish.

Here’s what you need

  • A sturdy branch, preferably green and slightly bendy,
  • 5 to 8 feet long
  • Monofilament fishing line
  • Fishing hook (No. 6 is a good size for bluegill, bass, and catfish)
  • Bobber
  • Bait

Let’s Go Fishing!

Cast your line into the water and watch the bobber. If you see it start to jiggle, a fish is nibbling on the bait. When you see the bobber sink suddenly, lift the tip of the rod firmly — but don’t jerk too hard — to set the hook.

Here’s what you do

  1. Tie about 10 feet of fishing line to the end of the branch.

Pro tip: Instead of tying the line at the end of the branch, tie it to the part that you will use for a handle. Wrap the line around the branch until you get to the tip, then tie another knot and leave about 10 feet of line hanging off the end. This way, if a big fish snaps the branch, you can still pull in line using your hands.

  1. Tie a hook on the end of the fishing line.

Pro tip: We often recommend using a pair of pliers to flatten the barb on a hook. This makes it easy to remove the hook if you’re going to release a fish. But if you’re using live bait, leave the barb on! It keeps the bait from wiggling off the hook.

  1. Attach a bobber to the line about 3 feet up from the hook.

Pro tip: Sometimes the key to catching fish is figuring out how deep they are hanging out. You may need to move your bobber up or down the line to place your bait in front of a fish.

  1. Put some bait on your hook. Earthworms, grasshoppers, and minnows work well for a variety of fish.

Pro tip: Earthworms are usually easy to find. Look under layers of leaves in the woods. Or dig down into shady, damp soil. To keep worms wiggly — fish like them fresh — store them in a cool, dark container with a little moist soil.


No Pole? No Problem. You don’t need fancy tackle to catch loads of fish.

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