July Issue of Sportsman’s Workbench

This month's homemade fishing innovations

July 25, 2014
Homemade Fishing Spooler

Spooling Solo

Recently I developed a system for loading reels with new line after my newly serviced reels came back to me with the old drag washers. Cut a pair of PVC board or wood scraps, clamp them together, and drill a hole through the pair to accept a 3/8-inch dowel. Cut the dowel slightly longer than the width of the line spool plus the boards. Slide the dowel through one board, add a few drag washers, the spool of line, a few more drag washers, and the other board. Set the assembly into a large C-clamp that’s been mounted in a bench vise. ­Adjust the C-clamp to tension the spool so you can reel line onto your reels, and refill them under even tension. Al Loreto Shelter Island, New York
Fishing Clamp Homemade

Clamp It

I fish docks for sheepshead and redfish, and move often from dock to dock. The simple tool I call “the clampet” quickly secures to pilings, understructure or decking. It saves time when repositioning, and it doesn’t drag like an anchor. Screw two stainless screws into the jaws of a woodworking clamp so the points are exposed inside the jaws. Then drill holes in the handles, and loop a dock line through them. Grab a dock board with the clampet, and cleat the line off on your boat. The harder the boat pulls, the tighter the jaws lock. Phillip Wheat Orange Beach, Alabama
Filleting Fishing Tool


When I fillet fish, I like to remove the fillet from the carcass and then remove the skin. This has always been a slippery chore, until I came up with a simple solution: Bend the tines of a kitchen fork 45 degrees, and file them to chisel points. I use this tool to hold the fillet securely by the tail on the cutting surface as I remove the skin. George L. Riccucci Torrington, Connecticut

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