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How to Build Your Own DIY Survival Fishing Kit

When living off the land, something we have to seriously think about is where are we going to get our food if we are to be in the wilderness for an extended period of time (more than 72 hours). One possible answer is fish and should be your top food priority if you have sufficient resources in your area. Survival fishing is the answer in many areas for all your food needs, and our instructor Josh Hamlin survived on fish almost exclusively for over 2 years while surviving in the wilderness. Fish can be quite abundant in many streams, rivers and lakes out in the backcountry depending on your location. It is important to have the right skills and equipment with you to be able to take advantage of this valuable resource and the better your equipment is the higher your chances of success. You can always go with less and bushcraft what you need but a kit like this will make things way to easy. You’ll have more fish than you know what to do with if you employ the equipment with the proper tactics. In this article I’m going to be showing you how to put together you own survival fishing kit for INCH bags and long term self-reliance. I’ve got a lot to cover so let’s get started.

Container
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First of all, let’s begin with the container. When selecting a container, I always like to ensure that it meets the following criteria:

  • Fully Waterproof
  • Sturdy
  • Compact
  • Affordable
  • Small enough to fit into a cargo pants pocket

I would use a large, empty Altoids tin or the waterproof Adventurer Survival Kit box by Best Glide ASE to contain all you fishing bits and pieces. An alternative to a simple metal container would be a waterproof, plastic container with dividers inside for separating all your bits and pieces like this one here. And if I were you, I would wrap a couple of rubber bands or maybe a reasonable amount of paracord around the container for extra security.

Plastic Bags
Just because of who I am, I like to organise things into small zip lock style plastic bags. This makes sense as you don’t want your fishing gear all mixed up and you also want it to be easy to gain access to.

Fishing Line
Yes this fishing kit isn’t designed to be a minimalistic pocket sized kit but I like the idea of carrying a spool of a reasonable amount of commercial fishing line (60 – 100 m) just in case you’re unable to grab your hand reels or pack rods (which I’ll talk about later) for whatever reason or you might just lose one of your reels etc. Commercial fishing line is much stronger than standard fishing line and is great for survival purposes. In a sense, this kit has the ability to be self-contained in a pinch.

Assorted fishing hooks (24)
Always remember that small fish hooks can catch both small and large fish. The more hooks the better as they can get lost or swallowed by fish.

Swivels (12)
These are an essential component of your fishing rig and I suggest that you carry at least a dozen of these. They prevent line twist with spinning reels and will give you the ability to mix and match line sizes. Leaders are also a good option to add for larger fish with teeth and you will need both leaders/swivels for large teethed fish.

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Circle hooks (12)
Due to the clever design of these hooks, they are proven to catch more fish and are rarely swallowed. It is becoming increasingly popular with anglers today. I’ve caught fish all over the world with these and they can even be used in the ocean with great effectiveness.

Artificial Baits (6)
Essentially, lures are artificial bait and come in very handy as they are good at enticing fish into thinking that they will make a tasty snack. Usually lures come in the shape of a small fish and… remember that large fish like eating small fish. So… keep a good quantity of these on hand.

Plastic Floats/Bobbers (3)
These little floating devices are great to have on hand. You CAN do without them (I have) but it just makes your job of finding your line visually, a lot easier. I suggest that you carry at least three of these because they can get lost pretty easily (especially in cases when you’re forced to cut the line).
If you’re the sort of person that like to improvise, wine corks, earplugs and foam all make good improvised bobbers too, by the way.

Split-shot Sinkers (12)

Carry at least a dozen lead split – shot sinkers in a small zip lock bag. These can get lost quite easily too.

bld_srvvl_img3Small hand fishing reels (4)

From experience I know that these are actually quite effective in catching a wide range of small to medium sized fish. Its a good idea to pack at least four of these inside your main fishing kit pouch and ensure that they have a significant amount of line on them. It does take a lot of skill using fishing reels, but with a little patience and practice you can master the skill of using it. There is a good fishing reel made by Yo-Yo which is basically automatic and saves you from manually reeling in the line (SIGMA 3 recommends that you get this particular brand).

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON EMMRODS!

 

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Pack rods (1)
These are foldable rods that are robust and aren’t susceptible to breakage as easily (like most telescopic rods). I recommend that you get the Emmrod Pack Rod from SIGMA 3. Its virtually indestructible, half the price and packs down a lot smaller than comparable pack rods. SIGMA 3 has caught all sizes of fish with these rods, they are absolutely amazing. Rob Allen, the founder, actually caught a 150 lb tarpon on one of these setups. Enough can’t be said about how packable, lightweight, and durable these little fishing setups are. You will take some loss in casting distance with a shorter rod, but for survival fishing it is excellent.

Gill Net (1)
Something else I’d add to this kit is a small gill (similar to seine) net (like the Adventurer Survival Gill Net made by Best Glide ASE). These are very effective and can be useful for catching a variety of crabs, shrimps and small fish in greater quantities than several lines would. Basically you stretch this across a river, stream or other waterway and any fish that get caught inside will be trapped by their gills. Obviously crabs and other similar sized seafood will be trapped merely by their size and their inability to get through the netting. This gill net is light, doesn’t take up much space and can be folded up and placed in a small ziplock plastic pouch for easy, compact storage.

Yo Yo Fishing Traps

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These are super handy and you can set them up in no time. This is a must have for every kit and will insure you’re catching fish while working on other things. They are essentially automatic fishing reels that set the hook, wear the fish out, and will have him waiting for you right below where you hung it. These are not the best for large fish but work great for fish 5 lbs and under. SIGMA 3 instructors have literally provided all their meat needs with just this simple little tool and have caught more fish than they can eat. We always carry these in our kits for survival fishing and consider it a must have for any place with fish. It’s recommended that you carry at least 4 per person in your group. We have several videos on our youtube channel explaining how to use them.

Click HERE for more info on Yo Yo Traps

Basic Knots Card
Knots can be hard to remember especially if you don’t go fishing regularly. I suggest that you get a waterproof knots card like the one here to keep inside your kit. It all comes down to personal preference, but if there’s one knot that you should remember, I personally recommend the clinch knot.

Natural Bait
I think artificial bait is a waste of valuable storage space in your survival fishing kit. I would recommend that you learn where to find natural bait and learn what fish like what. Finding and knowing the appropriate bait for a wide variety of fish is an invaluable skill to have.
Look around and under rocks for small critters such as grasshoppers and worms etc. Remember that big fish feed on small fish, so you’ll want to consider this as your bait when fishing for larger fish. If you have a specific bug out location (BOL) planned, I highly recommend that you thoroughly scout out the area and determine what fish live there. Knowing the type of fish that you’ll be catching will help you decide the right bait for them and also the places where they are most abundant. I think it’s a good idea to pack a large freezer bag inside your fishing kit to store bait in whilst collecting.

A good multitool
A multitool such as a Leatherman Wave (heavier option) or a Leatherman Sidekick (lightweight option) can come in handy for removing hooks, cutting line, processing fish and a multitude of other tasks.

Last but not least… a survival knife
This survival knife can be used for gutting, preparing fish and many other uses to do with fishing. I won’t go into depth about selecting the right survival knife for your needs but you can check out our custom SIGMA 3 Survival knife, as it is our most recommended choice in bushcraft blades.

The SIGMORA! FULL TANG SCANDI GRIND Click Here

Ok, so there you have it! A compact, yet comprehensive survival fishing kit that allows you to be self-reliant when bugging out for any extended period of time. You can tailor the size of your fishing kit to where you are going and how long you’ll be gone. This is very modular and can be scaled up or down based on your survival fishing needs. I hope you enjoyed this article and found the information useful.

Testing Emmrod Survival Fishing Rods in Jungles of Nicaragua!

 

By Robert Allen

After almost two years of testing the Warbonnet Blackbird XLC hammock, we have come to the conclusion that this is the best hammock system on the market for the money. I personally bought one of these a couple of years ago and have tested it in almost every kind of weather imaginable. This hammock is just about as bomb-proof as you can get for a lightweight piece of sleep gear. Various SIGMA 3 instructors have also purchased it and used it all over the country, they have all come back with the same conclusion. Amazing!

We are proud to announce that we are the first company to ever offer their products outside of the direct manufacturer. Warbonnet is American Veteran owned and each product is hand made, so you can be assured that they are quality and not foreign junk. I was so impressed with the product after buying it at full retail price and testing for two years, that I contacted the owner and told him we had to sell them. He finally agreed to let us sell his Warbonnet Blackbird XLC to SIGMA 3 customers. As many of you know our store only sells products that our instructors own, have tested, and wholeheartedly believe in. I have to admit that I didn’t like the idea of hammocks at first because I’m a stomach and side sleeper, so I was hesitant to spend money on something I wasn’t sure I would be comfortable in. After years of using them though, I’m a total convert from tarp and tent camping. I almost never use any of my other shelter equipment anymore after using this system.

The Best Hammock

The Blackbird XLC is a larger up-graded version of the Blackbird.  It has all the same standard features as the Blackbird such as choice of suspension, built-in bug netting, shelf/footbox, but in addition the XLC is about 12″ longer having a hammock body roughly 132″x 63″ with an overall length(ridgeline length) of 111″ which gives you about 11 inches of tarp overlap at each end of the hammock if using an eleven foot tarp. The XLC is rated for a user up to 7’0″.  The netting is fully removable, you have the option to purchase an optional winter Topcover that can be used in place of the netting in winter time, the Topcover is a breathable fabric matching the hammock body, it will trap about 15 deg of heat compared to the outside air temps, so it is particularly useful for those that do lots of cold weather camping. Like the hammock fabric itself, the Topcover made of breathable fabric that has a DWR water “resistant” treatment, it will shed light moisture, but is not waterproof and is not a replacement for a tarp. The thing we probably best about this hammock is the convenient built in shelf you can put gear in out of your way. Watch the video for more details.

Color: Olive green
Weight capacity: 400 LBS
Item weight (webbing/buckles): 2 lb. 7oz.
Item weight (whoopies): 2 lb 4oz.
Fabric: 1.7oz/70D Nylon (x2)
Price: $200

The Best Hammock Tarp

I have probably owned 30 different tarps over the years as a survival instructor and I can honestly say that the warbonnet superfly tarp is my favorite. It weighs only 1 lb 3 oz and packs up to the size of a pop can. Even if you don’t like hammocks you’ll love this tarp if you like camping on the ground.The reason I like it so much is because it has doors that fold down on both sides and it makes it a 4 season tarp. It blocks out the wind, rain, and snow no matter what kind of weather conditions you find yourself in. When weather is nice I like to fold up one side to enjoy the views and when the weather is bad I batten down the hatches and close in all the sides. For the weight and pack-ability it can’t be beat. It is just like having a floor-less tent and still all the advantages of a tarp. There are certainly cheaper options available, but we guarantee that after you try a tarp with the doors you won’t want the smaller versions available. Warbonnet offers a tarp that is the same size and price as the ENO profly, but it doesn’t have the doors. In comparison with other tarp makers, they are about the same price as the rest. In fact, ENO offers a Housefly tarp that is the same as the superfly, but after testing we found it wasn’t near the same quality. You can see that in our video below when we tested them both in the snow. The ProFly tarp collapsed under snow weight and the superfly held up because of extra tie outs.

Item weight: 1 lb. 3 oz.
Ridgeline Length: 11’0”
Width: 10’0”
Fabric: 1.1oz/30D 2000mm NeverMist™ Silnylon
Price: $130

 

Other Brands:

There are numerous other brands and options available out there and we have tried almost all of them. I’ve personally owned the ENO hammocks, Hennessy, Grand Trunk, and Snugpak hammock. The blackbird xlc is by far and away a much better hammock system than all of them. Clark hammocks is also an option but they are substantially more expensive for a system that has a smaller tarp, no shelf, and doesn’t lay quite as flat.

BUY ONCE CRY ONCE!

You could certainly find cheaper hammocks, as there are numerous systems out there available but our philosophy is to buy the best and only spend the money once. We guarantee that if you like hammock camping, you will upgrade your system in the future and end up spending way more money in the long run. One of our main jobs as survival instructors is to test gear and we test a lot of it. We never put our name behind something that we don’t absolutely love and our reputation is the most important thing to us. You know that we are biased in this review because we are selling the hammock, but I can assure that this hammock is amazing and I give you my word you will love it.  After years of testing, I can assure you I have never had a better nights sleep in the woods. Thank you for supporting SIGMA 3 Survival School and I hope that one day you get to try out this amazing piece of gear and like it as much as I do!

To Purchase Click Here

SIGMA 3 has just launched our new Escape and Evasion kit for SERE. This kit includes all the low tech spy type gear you will need to get away from illegal detention. We as Americans are at huge risk of kidnapping by ISIS, the Cartels, and other threats globally. So because we are targets we must prepare by not only getting equipment but learning how to use this equipment.

 

SERE training is something that everyone who travels needs, especially women and people who are at higher risk for captures. This kit will enable you to get out of the most common restraints, pick locks, get out of handcuffs, and much more. The SIGMA 3 Escape and Evasion Kit includes:

  • Bogota Lockpicks Titanium
  • Covert Saw
  • Universal Handcuff Key
  • Diamond stick
  • Compass
  • Credit Card Multi Tool
  • Handcuff and Lock Shim
  • Kevlar Cord
  • Ranger Fire starter
  • P51 Can Opener
  • Convenient Pocket Carry Case

Cost: $115

Purchase the Urban SERE Kit

Other items that might be useful to add to your kit for further protection:

Boot Lace Handcuff Key

Road Spikes or Caltrops

Zipper Pull Handcuff Key

Tactical Pen

If you have plans to travel to any hostile countries or continents, then you need this kit for your safety. Watch this video below and I’ll explain the uses of all these items and why they are essential for kidnapping survival.

The best bushcraft knife for under $75 is by far and away the Mora Bushcraft knife. There are a lot of good blades on the market for the money and I have tried most of them. But I still keep coming back to this one knife. In fact, even though I have several high end custom survival knives, I still find myself carrying a Mora Bushcraft knife at many of our survival courses. It is always in my go bag as a backup knife to my main survival knife set as well. It’s just a handy setup to have around. Figuring out the best bushcraft knife can be a difficult task for the beginner and we are taking all the homework out of it for you. Trust us, we have beat the hell out of this knife in dozens of survival courses and we have yet to see one fail! They aren’t the toughest knife on the market, but they are the best wood cutter and best bushcraft knife for general uses.

For less than $75, you get the best bushcraft knife from Mora, a good firestarter, and a sharpening stone built right onto the blade. It’s an all in one survival kit on your side, because if you have a knife you can build anything else that you need with it in the wilderness. Survival and bushcraft is about improvising tools from the local landscape around you and the most important tool to do that is a good blade. Now many companies have tried to reinvent the wheel with all these fancy survival knives that have come out in recent years. But the simple truth about survival knives is that you don’t have to have a super steel, but you do need to have super good design. And the Bushcrafter fits the bill in all respects! The Mora is so good because of its comfortable handle design and a very well designed blade.

The Scandinavian style grind on the Mora is designed to fly through wood. It is a flat grind that is somewhat similar in its cutting efficiency to a chisel. It was simply designed to cut through wood easily and efficiently. This makes bushcrafting chores a breeze and time is money in the bush. Your knife should do the task quickly and should cut through the wood easily. That is the single most important thing a knife has to do when you have several bushcraft chores.

The best bushcraft knife is also a high carbon steel which is good for making fire with a flint and charred tinder. You always go with high carbon steel for survival and not stainless. Never get a stainless steel blade unless you plan to be in or around the water all the time. The high carbon blades just have to many advantages to not use them over the stainless versions. The knife also comes with a fixed belt loop and a swinging dangler belt loop for either type of carry. The belt loops detach quickly and a very secure in their construction. It comes with a great sheath, but there are also a lot of options to upgrade your sheath through custom kydex making companies such as Grizzly Kydex

The diamond sharpening steel does a great job on quickly putting an edge on the high carbon steel. And since it is conveniently located on the sheath, you will always be sure to have a sharpener when the task is needed. A dull blade is a dangerous blade, so always keep your tools sharp. And don’t forget knife safety when doing bushcrafting. The blade should never be cut towards any body part. Never carve on your legs or over the tops of your palms. You never know what could happen. I always say the best knife safety learning always comes from cutting yourself really bad one time, and you will never do it again. Don’t learn the hard way, practice safe methods. So be safe and get yourself a Mora knife for our survival classes today! As they are definitely the Best Bushcraft Blade for our courses. SEMPER PARATUS!

Here is an independent review on the Mora Bushcraft knife:

TheTruthAboutKnives.com

If your interested in purchasing one of these blades then make sure to check them out at our Survival Store

Buy Your Mora Bushcrafter Now!

 

 

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After a years worth of work and organizing, we have finally opened the online survival store. We have teamed up with a professional distributor to help us stream line completing sales and getting the product to our students and customers. SIGMA 3 instructors are not professional retailers so we wanted to team up with the right people to deliver the products in the most professional manner possible so our customers are as happy as possible. We wanted a system that was already streamlined. So the people we work with are extremely professional and your products will be delivered in a timely manner, consistent with your expectations. No mom and pop operation is running the store, it’s a company with a worldwide reputation for delivery and retail logistics. But most of the products on the store are SIGMA 3 tested and approved by our cadre. And we will be doing tons of testing videos on these items to show you what we think about them. No BS assessments on the quality of products via our youtube videos. We will let you know what your paying for!

 

Some of the new items we will be featuring:

Our Top knife pic for under $65:

Our favorite economical hammock:

The best stainless steel canteen on the market:

Upcoming items:
-More military and tactical gear
-Custom SIGMA 3 apparel including: T-shirts, patches, hats, SIGMA 3 dog tags, stickers, and much more! In other words, lots of swag to come.

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The store is not the end all and be all of survival gear yet, we are working to add new products everyday. But our goal is to have a line of survival gear that everyone can afford and can be proud to own. Quality comes first, and cost second. We will have a wide range of prices and quality of gear to give you the most options for your bushcraft budget! Not only will we have lower priced options on survival gear, but we will also be providing very high end options for the best of the best in survival gear! The equipment we sell is only equipment that SIGMA 3 believes in and we won’t sell an item we don’t feel is very good or worth putting our name behind. Our reputation for training is more important than selling the most survival gear. We want you to be assured that if you buy something from the SIGMA 3 Survival Store, that you will be satisfied with the product and that it is the quality that you can count your life on. For a reasonable price!

 

Thank you for supporting the school all these years and we look forward to servicing your survival gear needs. You can count on SIGMA 3! If you support SIGMA’s endeavor to spread self reliance all over the world, then please support our store. All the funds from the sale will go improving training and the distribution of free survival info via our blog and youtube channel. The more you support us, the more free info we can provide you.
If you have a product suggestion for us to add to the store, please contact us and let us know what it is.

Thanks,
Robert Allen
President
SIGMA 3 Survival School

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