15 Best DIY Fishing Hacks Every Angler Must Know

We’re often asked about the best fishing hacks to make fishing more pleasurable and effective. Fishing can turn into a waiting game, and your window of opportunity to make a big catch can be very short, so we’ve explored great DIY fishing hacks that can lead to the catch of a lifetime on your next fishing trip.

Tackle organization with these critical hacks below will make those quick switches very fast at the most important times, giving you a better chance of catching more fish. To help you become as organized as possible and boost those chances of making the most of the biting frenzy, we’ve compiled the best tips and hacks that will take your fishing to the next level! 

Best DIY Fishing Hacks, Tips, and Tricks

We explored DIY ideas that included safety pins, cod liver oil, a pool noodle, wine corks, fish odors, cotton swabs, table salt, and a dull hook to come up with this list. We also considered clever fishing rod hacks, fly fishing tweaks, and kayak fishing add-ons to make the next time you go fishing a considerable success. Whether fishing for redfish in Florida or ice fishing in Maine, you should find these fishing hacks handy.

Hack 1: Safety Pin to Organize Hooks

Keeping your hooks organized is one of the most important parts of fishing, as it can save you a lot of time if you don’t have to fumble about looking for them. One of the main reasons for wasting time with the hooks is finding the right size when you need it.

So a good trick is to organize all your fishing hooks by size. You can then thread them onto a safety pin so that they’re held in place, and you have ‘bundles’ of hooks for each size! 

safety pin to organize hooks best fishing hacks

Hack 2: Cork to Organize Hooks

If your hooks are the type that doesn’t have an eye, then you won’t be able to thread them onto a safety pin for organizational purposes, meaning you have to use a different trick. Instead of the safety pin, you can organize them using corks.

You simply stick the hook into the cork by embedding the sharp point, and you can organize them by size and keep them in place! And a great advantage of using a cork is that the pointy side of the hook is out of the way, so there’s less chance of you pricking yourself on it! 

cork to organize hooks best fishing hacks

Hack 3: Safety Pin for Damaged Line Guide

There is nothing worse than having your line guide break when you need it the most, and it renders the rod useless for the rest of the fishing trip until you’ve got it repaired properly. Experienced anglers, however, have a little hack for this specific situation!

You can use a safety pin in the place of the damaged line guide to keep using your rod. Bend it at a 90-degree angle and then tape it to the rod to use the safety pin.

Make sure the eye of the safety pin is the side sticking out, as that is what will serve as the new line guide. It’s not as good as the actual line guide, but it should hold pretty well if you use strong enough tape until you get it repaired. 

Hack 4: Electrical Tape to Ensure Spinning Reel Spool is Braid-ready

Usually, you can’t spool the braid directly onto regular spinning reels because the surface is too smooth for the braid, causing it to rotate instead of staying put.

You can buy a “braid-ready” spool adapted to stop the braid from slipping, but there’s an easier way to do that without purchasing specialized material. Use electrical tape!

Apply electrical tape to the spool before you attach the braid, and you’ll notice that the braid no longer slips, solving the entire issue for way cheaper.  

electrical tape best fishing hacks

Hack 5: Clean Up Baitcaster Birds Nest

Baitcaster birds nest and backlash can be a real hassle to deal with, and it can ruin your chances if it happens right when the fish are going into a biting frenzy, and it’s the perfect moment for actually catching them.

So here’s one of the best tricks. Press down on the spool with your thumb, and rotate the handle for half a turn. Repeat this if necessary, but it should release the line pretty fast so that the issue is solved and you can catch the fish. 

eliminate birds next fishing hack

Hack 6: Label Fishing Reels According to Line Size 

Sometimes, you will have to quickly switch from one fishing reel to another during fishing because you will need to use a differently sized fishing line. If you have a few, this is easy enough.

But when you have several fishing reels, it can waste some precious time to figure out which is which. An effective way and good trick to avoid any confusion are to label each reel with the line size to find the one you need instantly.

There are different ways to label, whether it’s by number, by words, or by colors! 

label reels fishing hack

Hack 7: Label Rods & Tackle with Color-coded Tape

Suppose you have different fishing rods that are good for different circumstances or needs. In that case, you might have to switch between one or the other in a matter of seconds, depending on how the fishing situation unfolds.

Unless the fishing rods are super different in appearance, you’re going to waste a few valuable seconds figuring out which one to pick up. You can color code the fishing rods by using colored tape to avoid this.

That way, you see the flash of red tape or blue tape, and you instantly know which rod is which. 

Hack 8: Use the 3 Most Essential Fishing Knots

Tying knots is a must amongst anglers. Knowing the best knots and being able to tie them fast and under all conditions is super important.

You should know the main three knots are the uni knot, the double uni knot, and the loop knot. With those three knots, you have everything covered. 

Uni knot

This is the universal knot, ideal for attaching the line to the hook and similar. It is by far one of the most used and most important of all fishing knots. 

Double uni knot

This knot is an adaptation of the basic uni knot but designed to provide a much stronger hold. Its primary use is joining two lines together to become one, and it’s strong enough to withstand the pull of a big fish. 

Loop knot

The loop knot is handy, and it is used to solve the main disadvantage of the uni knot: the fact that it restricts the movement of the hook. 

Hack 9: Reverse a Worn Out Line

Fishing equipment can get pretty expensive, so knowing how to get a couple of extra uses out of the material is super important. Braid, in particular, can get pretty pricey.

It’s why most anglers end up using monofilament backing when spooling a spinning reel. But here’s the thing: many anglers waste their braid by discarding it once it’s worn.

Instead, you can get a second use out of it by turning it around. The part of the braid tied to the mono backing won’t be worn, so by turning it around, you’re ensuring every last piece of it is used before it needs to be changed. 

Hack 10: Gauze Net for Soft Bait

Some of the best baits for catfish, such as cat food or chicken liver, can very easily fall off the hook or even dissolve away in the water. And it’s pretty frustrating to have been waiting for hours only to realize the bait is no longer there.

You can use a small gauze net to stop this from happening and wrap it around the bait, tying it to the hook. Add gauze to your fishing gear and the bait won’t go anywhere. 

gauze for bait fishing hack

Hack 11: Line Cutterz Ring 

You will usually have to cut and re-tie the fishing line many times during a fishing trip. Sometimes in the worst moments possible, like in the middle of a fish-biting frenzy!

To deal with this fast, a lot of anglers will cut the line with their teeth. However, this is not recommended at all, as it can seriously damage your teeth! Instead, get a cutterz ring.

It’s right there on your finger for when it’s needed, and it will have a two-sided blade that can instantly cut through a fishing line, making the task a lot easier. There are also plenty of designs for cutterz rings, so you’re guaranteed to find a comfortable fit! 

LINE CUTTERZ Patented Stainess Steel Ring Quick Fishing Line Cutter - Pink
  • Two-sided stainless steel blade cuts up to 100lb test braid,...
  • Stainless steel rivet and ABS plastic for ultimate...
  • Marine grade Velcro adjustable strap to fit all sizes. Wear...
  • Safe and Convenient. Can't cut yourself with the safe...
cutterz ring fishing hack

Hack 12: Nail File to Sharpen Hooks

Most accidents or injuries related to fishing have to do with the hooks, as they are incredibly sharp and dangerous. You have to keep them that way to ensure they are effective at catching the fish.

Over time, the hooks can become blunt, and it’s your job to sharpen them (carefully). The easiest way to do this is by using a diamond nail file

sharpen hook fishing hack

Hack 13: Unconventional Baits

There are plenty of different baits that you can use when fishing, and there are plenty of ‘special’ baits available in the market that are supposed to get you more fish.

But experienced anglers will tell you that when fish begin to lose interest in the bait, it’s time to start using the bizarre ones—things such as cat food, pieces of sausage, and candy. Something new and unconventional can spike the fish’s interest and get you the catch!

This is especially useful when trying to fish catfish, as they tend to go for the unconventional bait more. 

Hack 14: Zip-lock Bags to Organize Lures

As you might have noticed, most fishing hacks are about optimizing organization so that no precious time is lost when it comes to crucial moments. This last tip is no different. Keeping the lures organized is vital to accessing them quickly and knowing exactly where each type is.

Apart from using the different compartments of the tackle box, you can store the lures by type inside zip-lock bags. It will keep them well-stored and organized, and they’ll also be easier to transport. 

ziplock bags fishing hack

Hack 15: Add Hydrogen Peroxide to Your Bait Bucket

By adding hydrogen peroxide to your bait bucket you’ll increase the oxygen in the water and keep your bait lively for a longer period of time.

Summary of The Best Fishing Hacks and Tricks

Most of the best fishing hacks you can learn have to do with keeping the equipment well organized and on hand to be ready to switch set-ups or act fast when the fish start biting. After all, you don’t want to miss out on that window of opportunity! 

Things like labeling your rods, or keeping the lures packed in bags according to type, can save you a lot of time, as you won’t have to fumble about looking for the right things you need at a particular time. Some fishing hacks are also about getting by when something breaks or goes wrong and saving money with equipment. 

To sum it up, here are all the hacks that we went through: 

  1. Safety Pin to Organize Hooks
  2. Cork to Organize Hooks
  3. Safety Pin to Replace Line Guide
  4. Electrical Tape to Ensure Spool is Braid-ready
  5. Clean up Baitcaster Birds Nest
  6. Label Fishing Reels According to Line Size
  7. Label Fishing Rods with Color-coded Tape
  8. Use the 3 Most Essential Fishing Knots
  9. Reverse Line When Worn Out
  10. Gauze Net for Soft Bait
  11. Line Cutterz Ring
  12. Nail File to Sharpen Hooks
  13. Unconventional Baits
  14. Zip-lock Bags to Organize Lures
  15. Add Hydrogen Peroxide to Your Bait Bucket

There are plenty of other fishing techniques, tips, tricks, and important hacks when it comes to angling. But these hacks are some of the best that every single angler should be aware of that can be used on a charter boat or for recreational fishing. Further, please enjoy a couple more fishing hacks and tips in the YouTube video below.

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