Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thursday, December 29, 2011

DIY Spool Hands

Clean and tidy.

I'm pretty sure I first saw Spool Hands at All Seasons Sports Shop in Pulaski, NY. Definitely a great idea, the rubberbands that come with Maxima (and all other spools) are generally worthless. Mono unravels in your bag, they're impossible to position to prevent said unraveling, and the rot. This hack is about as easy as it comes. 3 materials, minimal construction, very cheap. Sure beats paying over a dollar per one and you can't even customize the size.

Artsy shot, should I submit it to theDrake?

Materials: 1/4 inch elastic band, some plastic beads, heat shrink tubing, and super glue. 

First you'll want to start by sizing your band. Just wrap the elastic around your spool. You'll want to make a cut and leave a 1/4" gap between the ends of the elastic to allow for shrinkage as you remove mono from your spool. 

Like so.
This works best if you do it assembly line style. I needed six total. So I measured 5 more bands against the first band.

Next acquire some beads. I got the elastic and the beads from Michaels. I'm sure you could find said materials at any craft store though. You might even be able to find the heat shrink there too.

Pick out some beads. I chose these ones because the length of the bead would give maximum adhesion to the elastic. Also, probably at this step you should check and make the the bead is indeed hollow all the way through. One of these ended up still being semi solid in the middle and I didn't realize until the very end. 

Next grab your superglue. I used Zap-a-Gap because I had it on my bench. You can use whatever superglue you have laying around. 

Glue one side of the bead then press the elastic against it until it sets, only a few seconds. Repeat for the other side, until how have something that looks like the above. Repeat for the remaining. 

Now grab your heat shrink tubing. For this, I was using 3/8'' tubing, but size will vary depending on the size of the bead you used. Rough cut these to size. I got a variety pack of shrink tubing from Harbor Freight a couple of year back when I was doing a lot of wiring. It couldn't have been very expensive, I got it from Harbor Freight. 

Grab your heat gun and shrink the tubing. Now if you don't already have a heat gun you can get one from Harbor Freight or Amazon for around $20. They're really useful, as is shrink tubing. If you really don't want to buy a heat gun a hair dryer will not do, but a careful application a lighter will. 

Finished product.


The nice thing about these, opposed to buying them, is that you can make them in a variety of sizes. You can make them for Maxima spools (as shown here), other mono/fluoro spools (such as Amnesia), or for tying wire so it can be bobbin mounted without unraveling. 

Note: although this will work for most spools, it will not work for all spools. When the inner diameter of the spool differs greatly from the the outer diameter, the elastic is unable to stretch to reach the outer diameter while being tight enough to be effective at the inner parts of the spool. I ran into this problem with a 25lbs. Amnesia spool. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

upcoming projects

So I thought I'd make a post of things to come. The first project will be a Spool Hands hack. 

The wire tinsel one is alright. I don't really feel the need to put my wire on a bobbin holder, but if you do, that's your thing. I'm more interested in the ones for Maxima sized spools of tippet because those rubber bands that come with the spools are generally worthless.

I'm thinking with the project, I can get the cost per unit to below 50 cents which according to J.Stockard (the only online retailer I can find, and they only sell the smaller sized ones) is about a 50% savings.

The second post I'll be doing will be a bugger box post. At over $50 dollars, it can be done for less than $20

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


As an engineering student, it's in my nature to tinker and build stuff. I guess you can say it always has been in my nature. Perhaps that's why my mom was pissed when I took the VCR apart when I was 10. Becoming an engineer was just a self fulfilling prophecy I suppose. 

So I love to fly fish. And holy shit, is the fly fishing industry filled with stuff. Gadgets and gizmos of all kinds, generally over priced. I've found a few solutions that make life easier and save money. So I hope to share those with you, as well so some fly patterns and maybe a few long term projects like a rod build and a reel build (from scratch, milled bar stock, like a boss).

It might not always be DIY or fly fishing, but it should be interesting.