Sportsman's Workbench May Issue

Some fishing tips and inventions created by our readers from the May issue.

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Screw Fix

An old salt that had his boat stored next to mine at Newport Dunes Marina passed along this tip on how to fix a stripped-out screw in less than a minute. All you need is a screwdriver, a zip tie and a razor blade. First remove the screw, and stick one end of the zip tie in the hole. Replace the screw in the hole and tighten it, then cut off the remaining zip tie. It’s quick and easy, can be done with common materials, and lasts in the saltwater-environment. Of all the tips and tricks that I have ever learned, I use this more than any. Nathan Irby, Huntington Beach, California
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Super Clean

After a season of fishing, I use a simple rig made from a large, plastic mouthwash bottle to clean my braided line of accumulated salt and odors. Center-drill the cap, and install a 1⁄4- to 3⁄8-inch bolt, washers and nut in order to mount the bottle in a drill motor. Drill as many holes as you can in the wider sides of the bottle to aid in water flow and line drying. Secure the bottle in the drill and, at a moderate speed, remove the line from the reel. Submerge the bottle with line in a bucket of hot fresh water for 20 to 60 minutes, then let it dry. To respool the line, remove the bolt assembly from the cap, replace with a screwdriver that fits in the bottle neck, secure the shank in a vice with a little play for rotation, and then wind the line back on the reel. Mark Ciciulla, Melbourne, Florida
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Steam Straight

I make my own tube lures for barracuda. The surgical tubing I use — like store-bought lures — has a pronounced curve, but I prefer to use a straight lure. I insert a cooking skewer through the surgical rubber, place it on a kitchen tray and pour boiling water over it. After a five-minute soak, I carefully remove the lure with tongs and run it under cool water. -Remove the skewer, and the surgical tubing is perfectly straight and ready to fish. If you don’t have a skewer handy, a long thin screwdriver or a piece of coat hanger will also work. George R. Detrio, Miami, Florida