In every prepper’s bag of tricks you’ll find certain items that although they may not seem like a big deal to everyone else to a prepper they are essential. These items like newspapers, WD-40, duct tape, and foil are important to prepping because they have multiple uses and don’t carry an expiration date like food or water. Another item that every prepper should have an abundance of is spools of fishing line.
Fishing line is normally used for, well, fishing. There are also a lot of benefits that come with having plenty of it on hand. Unlike wire, thread, or twine fishing line is built to withstand adverse conditions such as water, rough surfaces like trees or rocks, and is abrasion resistant.
It is also made out of several types of material which can be used depending on what you need it for. The most popular type is made out of nylon or monofilament/copolymer and this is what most fishermen use because it floats. This type of line also begins to break down when exposed to direct sunlight and needs to be changed every six months.
A braided fishing line adds more additional strength than the nylon kind and is often used by fishermen in choppy waters.
Micro-fiber nylon is known as fusion because it’s fused together. This type of line is used to catch the bigger and stronger fish and because of that the line is tougher to break.
The newest type of fishing line is called fluorocarbon and is made from a polymer of fluorine boned to carbon. This fishing line has some benefits to it as well. It’s invisible, lasts longer, doesn’t absorb water so it keeps its strength, and it doesn’t stretch a lot which allows it to keep its stiffness. It won’t break down when exposed to sunlight.
Fishing line is relatively cheap and you can find it for as little as $5.00. At Amazon.com you can purchase it for as low as $3.00. Buying fishing line by the case may save you even more money.
It’s catalogued by what is called the pound-test which means that it’s classified by how much pressure or weight it would take to break the line. You should have several different types that range from pound-tests of 4-12, but you should also have several spools that have a pound-test of 20+ because this is the strongest type of fishing line. Ideally you should have at least 6 spools of each type.
So what exactly can you use fishing line for?
Naturally you can use it for fishing. There will come a time where you’ll either want some fresh meat or you need to get more food. In Philadelphia there are spots for fishing: John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge located at 8601 Lindbergh Blvd., Pennypack Park located at 8500 Pine Road, and some people fish in the Schuylkill although because of pollution that may not be the best place to catch your meal unless you want it to be your last meal.
If you choose to fish in a Philly river go with the Delaware River because it’s home to bass, muskellunge, walleye, catfish, and northern pike. Just make sure that you don’t get into the water because the current is extremely strong.
Avoid lakes like the one located in FDR Park (The Lakes) on Pattison Avenue because any fish that were once there have been devoured by the Northern Snakehead fish also known as Frankenfish. They are edible and have a mild flavor, but they won’t go down without a massive fight. They also have teeth sharp enough to sever a finger or go through a boot.
You can use fishing line as floss for your teeth. The best kind to use is the 4 pound nylon/monofilament type. It’s cheaper than regular floss and you don’t have to worry about running out of it especially if you have a couple spools of it on hand.
If you get a splinter you can use fishing line to force it out. This technique would probably work better on a child than tweezers or a needle. You’ll still need to clean the area with some rubbing alcohol. It can also be used to remove a tick that’s attached itself to your skin. Just lasso the little bugger and gently pull.
You can use it in place of thread for sewing especially if you have to repair an area such as a seam. It’s also ideal for repairing a torn backpack or a rip in your boots. Fishing line is especially good for nylon, denim, or canvas. It’s also stronger than thread so it will withstand wear and tear.
If you like curing meats or drying fruits and vegetables use fishing line to hang the food up. This will help the food to cure or dry quicker and you don’t have to worry about animals or other hungry living beings trying to help themselves to a free meal.
In an emergency you can use it in place of suture thread to sew up an injury. You’ll still need to clean the wound and needle first. Suture thread is also expensive and can’t be purchased in any store like fishing line can.
Fishing line is ideal for added security around your property and can be made into a trip wire. You’ll want to use the 20 pound type that’s made of fluorocarbon. Just put some strong wooden posts or tent stakes into the corners of your property and attach the line to it. If you followed the urban prepper’s article on Home Security you may also want to attach the trip wire to the cow bells. If someone hits the wire the bell will ring.
After an emergency hits you’ll need to find activities for your kids to do so they don’t drive you crazy. Why not make them a kite? Kites can be made out of products you have at home such as plastic trash bags, newspapers or plastic window covering, some thin wooden sticks and fishing line. For directions on how to make a kite, please go to: kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/activities/crafts/kite-craft/.
Fishing line can also be used in your garden to tie plants up. This is especially good if you have minimal space and your garden grows up instead of out. This urban gardening method is called a vertical system. The line can be used to secure tomato plants and grape vines to fences or stakes.
There are hundreds of more uses for fishing line and you’re only limited by your imagination, but it is a must-have for any urban prepper.