Fish is a great food source, if you have the means to take advantage of it. For thousands of years, humans have utilized streams, lakes, ponds and other waterways in our search for a nutritious meal. Some days are successful and we eat our fill while on others we come up empty.

In the right places, fish can be an abundant, if not reliable, food source. But, just like hunting animals on land, catching a fish is not a sure thing and there is no guarantee that these elusive and slippery swimmers will grace your dinner table.

Today, however, modern innovations have helped to narrow the gap between a few nibbles on the line and a full stringer. In this month’s Gear Guide, we share some products that can help you put more fish on the fire and let you tell stories about the big one that didn’t get away.

First Line Survival Pocket Reel

Never underestimate simplicity. With benefits like ease-of-use, solid construction and a size that fits in your back pocket, less is definitely more with this ultralight fishing kit. If you’re focused on survival, you’ll enjoy the compact design that this item offers, while still including everything you need to put fish in the pan. Everything packs into a virtually indestructible polymer tube with a lanyard.

• Includes hooks, sinkers, spinners and a bobber
• 45 feet of fishing line and a knot guide
• Pocket size, 5 inches by 1 inch
• Weighs only 2.50 ounces

MSRP: $12.50

Tailored Tackle Bass Fishing Kit

Being successful at bass fishing is not a given. It takes time, patience and the correct lures. While the first two are on you, this useful kit handles the third perfectly. Consisting of such diverse lures as worms, frogs, football jigs, paddle tail swimbait and more, it’s almost assured that you’ll bag a big catch. Targeted for both smallmouth and largemouth bass, this focused assembly is your ammo on the water.

• Fully loaded tackle box specifically geared towards bass fishing
• Total of 78 pieces, enough for several anglers to share
• Includes 14-page bass fishing book with useful tips
• Designed by fishing guides to ensure the correct tackle
• Ideal for lakes and ponds

MSRP: $44.99

White River Knives Traditional 6-inch Fillet Knife

After a good day at the lake, you’ll need a sharp, robust knife to make quick work of your catch, and this knife doesn’t disappoint. Constructed of ultra-sharp 440C steel and your choice of either a cork (it floats) or Micarta handle, you’ll slice through your catch with rapid ease. No matter where you fish or what you intend to catch, this knife is a must-have anytime you’re near the water.

• Overall length: 9.75 inches
• Blade length: 6 inches
• Knife weight: Cork handle, 1.95 ounces; Micarta, 4.25 ounces
• Includes leather sheath

MSRP: $120

Yoyito Handline Reel

The Yoyito takes hand reels to the next level and well beyond your expectations of a compact fishing rig. Utilizing years of design and experimentation, the Yoyito features the best of a classic rod and reel yet it’s stripped down to the basics that are needed to land the big fish. At only 3.5 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick, this dinner-catcher can store nearly anywhere, and with its solid, top-quality construction, you’ll enjoy it year after successful year.

• Smooth front cone for casting far distances
• Snug finger holes for a secure grip
• Two rear holes for unattended slackline fishing
• Hex hole fits mounting base for attaching to piers and boats
• Kit includes everything needed to catch fish in any environment

MSRP: $59.95

Tailored Tackle Surf Fishing Tackle Kit

If you’re stranded on an island or when an emergency hits your beachfront home, surf fishing may be your primary means of sustenance, so this kit is an absolute must-have. Aim for reddrum, snook, striped bass, Pompano, Sea trout and many other species, and hook them with the variety of lures within this kit. No matter what rig is needed, this kit has one for you. All tackle works with surf fishing poles and saltwater fishing lines (not included).

• Perfect for surfcasting on the beach
• 82 pieces of saltwater-specific tackle
• Items selected by experienced fishing guides
• Quality products offer years of dependable use
• Includes 19-compartment tackle box

MSRP: $44.99

Uncle Flint’s Survival Fishing Kit II

Good things come in small packages, and when you’re in a survival situation, it’s good to have this kit nearby. Equipped with over five dozen freshwater fishing items such as line, jigs, lures, hooks, sinkers and more, you’ll be able to land dinner no matter what your situation. All items store easily within the included durable metal case when not in use. Fishing is a survival necessity, and this kit lends a helping hand.

• 64 total pieces
• Durable steel container with hinged lid
• 4.25 x 3.125 x 1-inch kit fits almost any pocket
• Weight: Approximately 5.5 ounces

MSRP: $29.95

EGO 100L Tactical Dry Gear Bag

Ideal for both boat enthusiasts and hardcore anglers, the EGO fishing roll-top dry bag ensures all your valuable gear, equipment and personal items stay dry under the harshest outdoor conditions. The bag, made with waterproof fabric, resists tears, rips and abrasions, and it features a Kryptek camo pattern. Integrated shoulder straps allow backpack-style carry for extended journeys or daylong treks.

• High-performance waterproof TPU fabric
• Contoured removable backpack strap system
• Extra strong welded seams
• Dimensions: 29 x 15 x 14 inches
• Weight: 4.55 pounds

MSRP: $199.99

EGO Fishing 30-liter Roller Cooler

You can’t fish all day without food and drinks to keep you at your peak; and this cooler can help with just that. With up to 72 hours of ice retention, this convenient cooler keeps your food safe and your favorite beverage cold all day no matter how hot it is outside. The cooler’s durable wheeled frame makes changing fishing locations a breeze and without excess hassle or fatigue. Perfect for dock, boat or pier-side use.

• Holds up to 36 12-ounce cans
• Built-in four-stage handle system with wheels
• Hard ABS plastic top and bottom
• Dimensions: 16×12.5×21 inches
• Weight: 8.65 pounds

MSRP: $229.99

EGO Fishing S2 Slider Large Rubber Net

Utilizing revolutionary S2 slider technology, you can extend your net’s reach with a simple push or pull, allowing you a greater advantage while fishing. Go from compact storage to up to 60 inches of reach in seconds during the capturing process. The S2 offers an innovative modular platform that allows interchangeable net heads, tools and handles that extend up to 108 inches.

• Lightweight non-tangle rubber mesh
• Large Hoop: 19×21 inches with 15-inch deep net
• Standard handle extends 29 to 60 inches
• Load capacity: retracted, 30 pounds; partial extension, 24 pounds; full extension, 20 pounds
• Weight: 3.35 pounds

MSRP: $109.99

B.O.S.S. Fishing and Hunting Kit

This amazing fishing and hunting mini-kit packs 127 items into a very small space. Keep one in your bug-out bag, emergency kit, or even the glove compartment of your vehicle so you always have one nearby. Its diverse gear includes more than 90 fishing items, such as a yo-yo reel, floats, swivels, jigs, weights and more. Added to the fishing gear are hunting aids such as a slingshot band, snare wire and zip ties.

• Durable resealable pouch
• Compact overall size: 8 x 5 x 3 inches
• 100 yards of 8-pound test line
• Survival information card
• Weight: 9.8 ounces

MSRP: $34.99

MINI B.O.S.S. Pocket Survival Fishing Kit

Sometimes you just can’t carry large volumes of fishing gear, especially when bugging out at the spur of the moment. That’s where this mini-kit comes in handy. Equipped with 120 total yards of line, floats, weights, lures, artificial grubs and eggs and, of course, hooks to snag dinner while you’re under survival or emergency conditions. All gear comes packed securely in a durable plastic pouch.

• Resealable, waterproof pouch
• 45 total components
• Mini-folding multi-tool included
• Weight: 3.2 ounces

MSRP: $14.99

Tailored Tackle Freshwater Fishing Kit

Fish are a vital source of life-sustaining protein calories while out in the wild or under survival conditions. It’s up to you to be prepared when it’s time to put fish on your dinner table, and this kit does the job. Consisting of a variety of freshwater fishing necessities such as worms, grubs, hooks, spinners, jigs, sinkers and more, this variety will help put the odds in your favor and fill your stomach.

• Versatile, 119-piece tackle for a variety of freshwater fish
• Classic and popular lures, rigs and tackle
• Organized in a secure see-through box
• Designed by experienced fishing guides
• Dimensions: 11 x 7 x 1.75 inches

MSRP: $42.99

Vigilant Trails Pocket Fishing Kit Stage 2

You and a partner can dramatically increase your chances during your time fishing with this amazing compact kit. Inside the flip-top tin is all you need to catch bait fish, as well as the big one to fill your bellies. Over two dozen items such as hooks, sinkers, floats and lures make up this incredible package.

• Two hand reels for two-person use
• Lures created for North American fish
• Lockback knife included for all-purpose use
• Fits in a shirt pocket and weighs just 5.1 ounces

MSRP: $27.98

The Fishing Caddy XL Model

With rod and cup holders, a padded seat and fish transporter rolled into one, this is truly a Swiss-army fishing caddy. Designed to make life a little bit easier for the angler, this multipurpose bucket should be part of everyone’s camping, fishing and outdoor gear supply. The dual bite-detection rod holder attachment can be upgraded with optional LEDs.

• Caddy base holds 30 pounds of water or sand for stability
• Padded seat for long-use comfort
• Quick-release water spigot
• Comfortable, padded handle

MSRP: Starting at $89.95

Vigilant Trails Pocket Fishing Kit Stage 1

Freshwater fishing under survival conditions is not always easy, but your chances can be improved by carrying this compact fishing kit. With an easy-to-cast hand reel, loaded with 125 feet of 10-pound line, various lures, hooks, floats and sinkers, this pocket-size kit can land a hearty catch, and that means a tasty dinner for you. Includes a handbook for reference and a resealable, waterproof pouch.

• Dozens of items for survival on U.S. freshwater fishing
• Includes lock-back knife for everyday fishing tasks
• Easy-to-cast hand reel
• Small, compact easy-to-store package

MSRP: $23.98

Vigilant Trails Pocket Fishing Kit Stage 3

Offering active and passive fishing options, this kit with its included automatic reel allows one person two chances to secure a fish. Add to that a large assortment of lures, hooks, sinkers and other fishing necessities, this loaded, albeit compact, kit is a must for anyone creating a survival kit or bug-out bag. This gear is also ideal for camping, outdoor or other back-to-nature outings.

• Includes a hand reel and an automatic reel
• Lures specifically for North American fish
• Compact, portable and extremely lightweight
• A great addition to any bug-out or emergency bag
• Ideal for survival and everyday fishing activities

MSRP: $29.88

CRKT Clark Fork Folding Fillet Knife

A necessity when breaking down fish for dinner, this fillet knife can handle your entire catch without breaking a sweat. This knife features a satin-finish blade that folds into the glass-reinforced nylon handle and the plastic insert that serves to lock the blade safely in the open and closed positions. Open-frame construction makes cleanup easy and quick.

• Overall length: 11.062 inches
• Blade length: 6.03 inches
• Blade steel: 5Cr13MoV
• Locking blade prevents accidents
• Includes reinforced nylon belt sheath

MSRP: $27.99


Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the February, 2020 print issue of American Survival Guide.

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