Yoyo reels are an innovation that have given us new options for survival. When it comes to teaching survival, I do emphasize skills over gear. Gear costs money and can break when you need it most. However, skills are always there to help you out if you practice them on a regular basis. As newer and more complex gadgets come out for survival, I realize that one skill that survivalists need is knowing how to use this gear.
Food is one of the four pillars of survival and is needed within three weeks to survive. When you look at food options, protein is king. This means that fish and small game are often your best options. The odds of bagging a deer in the wild are not great. However, packing traps, a firearm and fishing gear can really weigh down your pack. The yoyo reel is a device that can potentially replace all of these items.
What is a Yoyo Reel?
A yoyo reel is a separate reel that is spring loaded so that it will automatically reel in the line once the trigger is released. All it takes is some outward pressure on the line, and it will release the trigger. Most versions come with a hook or loop on one end to attach them to something solid such as a tree, rock or stake in the ground. Most versions also have an adjustable trigger, so you can determine how much pressure it takes to release the trigger and reel in the line.
What is the Benefit for Fishing?
The yoyo reel is most commonly used to catch and reel in fish that might otherwise get loose from the line. With normal rod and reel fishing, there is one rod and reel with an angler on the watch. When a fish is hooked, the angler will reel in the fish and pull it out of the water before it has a chance to get loose. The downside is that most anglers can only manage this for one line at a time.
Another common way of fishing is more passive. An angler will set up camp and set several rods and reels in rod holders or stuck in the mud. Sometimes the angler will simply use tree branches or tie the line to a rock. He then, simply checks the lines every few hours to see if he has caught any fish. The downside is that, in those few hours, the fish he caught could get tangled or get loose.
A yoyo reel fixes problems for both of these types of fishing. It allows an angler to put several lines in the water at once. In addition, it automatically reels in the fish so that you can be sure it will not get away. This allows the fisherman to relax and check his reels periodically. You can also attach bells or sensors on the reel to alert you when a fish is being reeled in. It gives the fisherman the best of both worlds.
What about Survival?
If you pack a yoyo reel in your bug out bag, you can be sure it can help in a few different scenarios. The first and most obvious is catching fish. You will have lots of tasks to keep you busy over the course of the day. You do not need to sit by the stream cast after cast hoping that you catch a fish. You can set your yoyo reel up with a hook and bait, cast the line, attach it to a rock, tree or stake in the ground and forget about it. This will allow you to focus on other tasks like building your shelter, collecting and purifying water and working on a fire. It is the equivalent of a fish trap except that you know the fish will not get free. In addition, it will not take hours and hours to build. Just be sure that you check it often enough that other animals do not have time to eat your fish.
There are other survival uses for the yoyo reel. Trapping small game is very difficult. The two primary types of traps are snares and deadfalls. Snare trapping involves using cordage tied in a snare to place on a game trail and tighten around an animal as it walks by. The problem with snare trapping is that often the animal does not put enough pressure on the snare to tighten it around the leg or neck. Even traps that are spring loaded with a spring pole are often unsuccessful. They take some time to build, and it is difficult to get the trigger just right to release when your animal comes by.
A yoyo reel can often fix this problem. You can attach wire or cordage to the end of your line, tie a snare, place it on a trail, tie off your reel and forget about it. The true advantage to a yoyo reel trap is that you can set it for a hair trigger. This will ensure that any animal that walks into your snare will set it off and close the snare around the animal. For this type of trap, you can tie off your reel on the ground around a tree, rock or stake in the ground. You can also hang it from a branch above and then drop the snare down below. This would draw the animal upwards when it is caught, making it more difficult to get loose or chew through the line.
You face all kinds of challenges in a wilderness survival scenario. You are required to find water, purify it, start a fire, collect firewood, build a shelter and find food. Each of these tasks require your time and the calories that you expend on the task. If one tool in your bag can make finding food simple and give you time to work on other tasks, then why would you not take that tool?
A yoyo reel is one of the best ways to collect food in a wilderness survival scenario. You can set it, forget about it and come back later knowing that your animal was reeled in for you. You cannot imagine how valuable it is to have a fish or small animal to eat in a survival scenario. It not only provides you with nourishment, but also gives you a much-needed boost in morale. Yoyo reels are not expensive in most cases. I suggest that you purchase one and get some practice using it. Take it with you fishing, and set it on the shore or off the side of the boat. Take it with you camping and try to catch some dinner on a game trail. This will ensure that you are ready to use this tool when the time comes and it might save your life.