How do you keep fish alive while still fishing? You don’t want your fish going stale even before you finish fishing. In some States, there is a limit on the number of fish you can take home.
If that’s the case, a fish stringer keeps the fish you catch alive as you keep looking for a bigger catch. You can release small catches once you have a bigger catch.
You don’t want to place a small fish on the ice bucket and then end up with a big catch. You’ll end up carrying several small fish home. Instead, wait for the big catch and if it doesn’t come, select the best sizes of your catches and release the rest.
In this post, I’ll discuss the different types of fish stringers and how to make one. I’ll also share how to use and the benefits of fish stringers.
What Are the Different Types of Fish Stringer?
First, it is important to know what a fish stringer is. A fish stringer is fishing equipment that submerges fish underwater while fishing, keeping it alive.
A fish stringer can be a long rope or a chain of loops. They come in different types to suit different fish types. The exact fish stringer you choose depends on the type of fish you plan to catch, size and budget.
1. Chain Stringer
Chain fish stringers, just as the name describes,s is a chain with safety pins on the chain length. It features a long 2-4 inches foot chain with clips attached to hold the fish in place.
Once you catch a fish, you hook it into the clips and submerge it in water. When choosing a chain stringer, consider one with strong clips that will stay in place.
2. Rope Stringer
A rope stringer is the simplest fish stringer and a great DIY project for fishing enthusiasts. It is basically a rope with a sharp metal piece of clip to secure the fish.
There are different ways you can make a rope stringer. Usually, one end features a sharp metal piece while the other end features a metal ring.
A strong piece of metal is inserted into the fish’s mouth and pulled out at the gill plate. The stringing metal is then secured through the metal ring.
However, some angles just use a sharp metal piece and puncture the fish’s mouth on the bottom jaw to secure the fish.
3. Paracord Stringer
A paracord stringer is very similar to a rope stringer. However, instead of using a rope, it features a nylon-wrapped rope called a paracord. It is more durable than a rope stringer.
In addition, paracord stringers come in a variety of colors. Unlike metal stringers, rope stringers are silent. You can move your boat around without metal clanking that can scare fish away.
4. Hook -Style Stringer
A hook-style stringer, just as the name suggests, features a hook shape that suspends the fish into the water. It is another simple stringer that you can make at home.
You need to bend a straight wire at 90 degrees to catch the straight pointed end. You can pierce fish on the bottom jaw using the sharp point and suspend them in water.
A rope of a wire of a certain length is usually tied to the hooks and attached to the boat.
5. Heavy-duty fish stringers
Lastly, we have the heavy-duty stringers, which are bigger and stronger versions of the stringers above. They usually feature stronger and bigger rings designed to hold bigger fish species.
For example, heavy-duty rope stringers feature plastic tubing instead of connections and joints.
How to Make a Fish Stringer: Step by Step Guide
Making a fish stringer should not be a daunting project if you have the right materials. Some experienced anglers can make a fish stringer while on the boat.
How to make one depends on the specific stringer type you want to make. Of course, the easiest is the rope stringer.
Here are steps to make a rope/paracord fish stringer.
- Get a lightweight rope or paracord
- Get 6-8 inches of metal
- Drill a hole at one end of the metal piece. You can forgo this step if you don’t have a drill
- Bend the wire ends to create a straight loop. You might require a plier
- Twist the loops around a nail to secure the loop
- Feed a rope/paracord through the loop or drilled hole. Secure the rope with a uni knot. Make sure the rope holds tightly
- Using a surgeon’s rope, tie the rope tightly at the end to form a ring
- Your rope/paracord stringer is ready
- To use it, pass it through the fish’s mouth and out through the grills. I’ll cover more on how to use a fish stringer.
This is just one way of creating a fish stringer. Depending on the available materials, type of fish you intend to catch, and budget, you can make almost any type of fish stringer.
You can also make a fish stringer using a metal carabiner, large swivel clips, and a leader line.
Using a clinch knot, attach swivel clips to the lead line. Once a clip is in place, make a large surgeon’s knot at the end to ensure it stays in place.
With several lead lines ready, attach a carabiner to the boat. You can clip the grab handles or use a rope.
As you fill each lead line with fish, suspend it into the water. You don’t have to lift caught fish to string another one constantly.
How to Use Fish Stringer?
Whatever design of stringer you choose, using one is pretty simple and can keep your fish alive. The correct way to use a fish stringer is by passing it through the mouth and out through the thin bottom membrane.
Let the sharp stringer part get inside the fish’s mouth and pierce through the underside of the mouth. Make a perfect hole perforation at the bottom and not too close to the mouth.
This is the best way to use a stringer. It orients the fish vertically in the water and prevents damage to delicate gills.
In addition, this method of stringing ensures fish breathes better and stays alive for longer. However, you’ll still see some anglers pass the sharp end of the string through the gills.
Never pass the stringer through the gills, as this would kill the fish. I know this is a surprise as most anglers still pass the string through the kills. Unless you want dead fish, passing the stringer through the gills is a big NO.
What Are the Benefits of Using Fish Stringer?
The main benefit of using a fish stringer is to keep your fish alive until you decide to take it home or release it. Catching fish is one thing. But until you get the really big catch, you’re never satisfied.
In some places, there are regulations on the number and size of fish you can take home. A fish stringer can help you count and keep the tally while in the waters. It is a lot easier to count fish hanging by your boat than fish inside a bucket.
It also gives you options to return small fish into the waters for bigger catches later on. You don’t want to return a dead fish just to carry a big one home.
A fish stringer also helps save space on the boat for coolers and ice buckets. If you’re fishing from a small canoe or kayak, a stringer can create the much-needed space.
Fishing requires effort, patience, and motivation. Seeing a stringer hanging with many fishes gives anglers extra motivation to keep going.
You also get to save money on coolers and ice buckets. After all, fish stringers are pretty cheap and readily available. They are also easy to make using a few simple tools and materials.
Well, that’s it from me! I hope you enjoyed reading and can now make your fish stringer at home using readily available materials. There is no need to release caught fish until you’re sure of a big catch.
Instead, use a fish stringer to keep the fish alive until you’re done fishing. You can then decide which fish to let go of and which one to carry home for dinner.
You can also decide to purchase a ready-made fish stringer. The choices out there are endless. However, I recommended getting the necessary materials and making one. Furthermore, fishing is funnier and enjoyable with DIY fishing equipment.