How to Make Fishing Line

How to Make Fishing Line
The fishing industry is highly competitive, and lines are rated for every possible weight and application. You can buy translucent fluorocarbon lines and high-visibility neon lines that glow in the dark. These options mean nothing if you're stuck in the middle of nowhere, without your gear. In a survival situation, you'll have to use what's on hand to get what you need. If you have fabric, you can weave a high-strength fishing line, and canvas is ideal for this purpose.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Turning Canvas Into Cordage

Things You’ll Need:
  • Square yard of canvas Scissors
  • Square yard of canvas
  • Scissors
Step 1
Cut the canvas. Follow the weave of the canvas as you cut a square yard of fabric with your scissors. This will make it easier to tear the canvas into separate fibers.
Step 2
Separate the fibers. Pull eight to 10 strands from the canvas you just cut, and line them up in a bundle. Hold this bundle, slightly off-center, between the thumb and index finger of each hand.
Step 3
Twist the strands together. With your hands several inches apart, twist the strands together with one hand, while keeping tension on them with the other hand, until they double over. Pinch the area that doubled over, to keep it together, and twist each group of eight strands that hang down from it in a clockwise direction, followed by the doubled-over section of 16 strands in a counterclockwise direction.

You can visualize this process by looking down at the fibers you are spinning between your thumbs and index fingers. The rotational direction of your right and left hands is away from you, but your hands are on opposite sides of the cordage, so a clockwise rotation on the right side becomes a counterclockwise rotation on the left.
Step 4
Feed in new strands. Continue your clockwise, clockwise, counterclockwise twisting action until some of the strands have almost run out. Lay new strands, along the ones that are running out, and twist them together by continuing the same clockwise, clockwise, counterclockwise rotation pattern. Do this whenever strands begin to run out, until you reach the desired length. Your newly created line will have a breaking point of more than 100 pounds.

Tips & Warnings

After separating the strands, moisten them to make the twisting process easier. The wet strands will stay together, even if you set them down and come back later.
When separating the strands, only use a dry piece of canvas. Wet cloth is more difficult to unravel.


Article Written By Dan Eash

Dan Eash began writing professionally in 1989, with articles in LaHabra's "Daily Star Progress" and the "Fullerton College Magazine." Since then, he's created scripts for doctor and dentist offices and published manuals, help files and a training video. His freelance efforts also include a book. Eash has a Fullerton College Associate of Arts in music/recording production and a Nova Institute multimedia production certificate.

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