Constructing Timber Handlines

For anglers who handles the fishing lines with bare hands.

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Nutter
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Constructing Timber Handlines

Post by Nutter » Sat Jul 15, 2006 10:26 am

Hi Guys

Im looking at constructing some timber handlines to take on the Australian Gamefish population. Help is requried in timber types, design and plans

Thanks Nutter

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Post by Peace » Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:26 am

Hi Nutter, I have no experience in making handreels but I supposed those that are sold in tackle shops are good enough for general use. But if you decide to make one your own, here's a few factors to consider:

  • The diameter and length of the line that you will be loading.
    This will determine the minimum size of your spool. The dimension of the spool should also be considered such that it is easy and comfortable to grip.
  • Do you need to cast?
    If yes, the groove of the spool must be wider, at least 1.5 inches. The groove need not be deep if you're not loading too much lines. Shallow groove are better for casting.
  • How often do you need to reel and how much line each time?
    This one is associated with the material because if you need to reel in often at great length, getting lighter material and bigger diameter spool will be easier on your hands. However, if there's a mechanism involved in reeling in, this shouldn't be a problem.
  • Material selection
    You may consider plastics as well. They're light and durable but don't last as long as timber. I'm not sure what types of wood is better. I suppose something of a balanced of weight and toughness is what we should be looking for. Teaks are very tough but they're extremely heavy, it won't be a pleasant experience to have one drop on your foot. Also, teaks are very harder to machine. Jelutong wood are light but not very tough. They are used on commercially sold ones as well. I have one that is supposedly made from the wood of a jackfruit tree, or so I was told.
So how are you constructing the handreel yourself or looking for someone to custom make one for you? Sorry I can't be of much help, but if you're looking for a commercially made one from singapore, you can go down to any local tackle shops and enquire from them. Good luck!

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Post by Guest » Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:46 am

Hi Guys

Looking at turning one myself on a lathe either from a solid piece of timber or laminating multiple pieces together. unsure which way to go.

You are right weight v strength is the big issue. There are some great Australian hardwoods but many weigh a lot.

Might have to look at designing one like a fly reel with lots of holes to keep the weight down.

Casting wont be a problem as most Gamefish will be caught trolling.

Thanks Nutter

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Post by Peace » Sat Jul 15, 2006 12:04 pm

I would choose to turn one from a single piece of timber to maximize the material's strength. I think they would look nicer as one uniform piece as well. I'm not sure about drilling holes into the wooden reel. I believe you must place the holes at the right position with proper interval or the reel may be weaken by them. More holes would also mean more surface exposure of the wood to the atmosphere which can accelerate the natural degradation of the material.

I don't have any gamefishing experience so I've no idea how much punishment the reel must take. But generally, most wood should last very long if we don't drop it. What other kinds of force is usually applied to the reel? Do you actually use the reel to hold the force of the fish?

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Post by Nutter » Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:04 pm

Hi Guys

Unsure of the style you guys use but for Gamefish or any fish above the line class you are using the reel is held at a slight angle and the thumb is used to apply drag pressure.

Therefore the reel is under a lot pressure depending on the line class you are using.

The diameter of the reel is crucial for effective line recovery. The diameter needs to be the distance of one reach of the line. This will change per individual.

Hence the need for custom made reels.

Nutter

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Post by Nutter » Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:57 pm

Sorry Guys

I meant length of line grab equals the reels circumference

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Post by Peace » Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:06 pm

Hmm, your style is indeed very different from what I imagine. So what you're saying is you're controlling the pressure from the line similar to thumbing a baitcaster reel, right? Is your handreel attached to some sort of a winch to aid line recovery or is everything handheld? If it is handheld and the reel is used to hold the line pressure, I can only imagine that the line recovery is a slow process even with a big handreel.

If that is the case, priority goes to strength of the handreel over its weight by a big margin. Remember that the reel is taking the force so you probably won't feel much of the effect of the reel's weight when fighting a fish.

This may not very relevant but I would like to share how I would do it from my limited experience in our style. When trolling, secure the handreel to the boat using a winch or something that can loose some line when there's a fish. When there is a fish on the line, you recover/fight the fish with hand holding the line. The handreel takes no pressure at all. Ofcourse you may need to wear a pair of gloves and another person to reel back the excess lines retrieved.
Here's visual example from another site of what it is like though it's not trolling...

Using the handreel to fight the fish has the advantage of power but I believe it lacks line control and you may not be able to retrieve the line fast enough should the fish swims towards you.

I'm sure there will be disagreement to what I've said but I'm open for discussion, this is a very interesting and enriching topic. :)

ps. Do pardon my ignorance if this sounds silly when applied to gamefishing.

edit: Just out of curiousity, why do you prefer to use handreels over rods and reel for trolling?

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Post by Nutter » Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:52 pm

Hi guys

The style we use in Australia is limited to rules (that because I’m chasing records) Only one person is allowed to touch the reel and line, the max trace length is just on 2m and a few other small rules. Check out ANSA under the handline section for rules and records

Therefore under these rules it is all hand to hand combat. Yes line recovery is slow but that what the challenge is about. Thats where the line reach equals circumference comes into play.

I’m looking at handline fishing as I have caught a lot of species on rod and reel so its time for a new challenge.

For the drag pressure the hand holding the reel has the thumb applying the pressure.
For right hand operators
line recovery
 The reel is held out on a straight arm (reel straight up and down) in the right hand
 Right hand is brought towards the body
 Left hand grabs the line and wraps around the spool

When the fish is swimming away
 Right hand holds reel straight up and down but at an angle pointed away from the body
 Right hand thumb places pressure on the spool lip. Line flicks off but under some form of pressure.
 Left hand ready for line recovery

Hope its not too confusing

Nutter

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Post by Peace » Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:59 am

Okay, now things are getting much clearer once you've explained the rules involved. Thanks for explaining the line recovery method too, I understand how the whole thing operates now. Still, I can't offer you any detailed advices in regards to constructing the hand reel other than what I've mentioned before.

I'd still emphasize alot on the material strength, with good ergonomic design in mind. A reel that fits perfectly in your palm will give you better grip/drag control and your hand won't grow fatigue holding it for a long period of time.

I wish I can be of more help but I guess all I can offer is my best wishes to you in catching a record breaking fish. Good luck mate! :beer::)

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Post by Nutter » Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:30 pm

Hi Guys

Got some Australian Ironbark timber coming soon so ill let you know how it goes. Ironbark is super strong and heavy so the fly reel style with hole will be used

Nutter

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