At the end of November of 2010 a buddy of mine and I went on a 3 day camping trip on the Angelina river close to Jasper, Texas. While we were camping, we took the boat and explorer some of the slews in the area.
As we were heading into the slew, there were some jug lines in the water. This got me to thinking, why couldn’t someone use jug lines for harvesting fish during a long term survival situation?
What do we need to make up some drop lines / jug lines?
- Spool of trot line string
- Swivels – optional
- Spool of monofilament line, something like 20# test
- Something that floats – 1 gallon plastic bottle, noodle from local china mart, something like that.
When I started working on this jug line project, I wanted the system to be modular. Meaning, all of the parts needed to be easily replaceable. To accomplish this, loops where used in the trot line string.
Tie a loop knot in the end of the trot line string. Make the loop maybe 1.5 – 2 inches long.
Back up maybe 18 inches from the end of the trot line string, and tie another loop knot maybe 1.5 inches long. This is where you can attach the swivel. Run the end of the end of loop through one end of the swivel, and over the opposite end. The swivel should now be attached to the drop line.
For added security, pull some slack through the eye of the swivel, then run the loop through the eye and over the end again. If you have done everything right, there should be 2 loops running through the eye of the swivel.
For The Jug Line Hooks
Cut a section of monofilament line around 18 inches long, run 1 end through the eye of the hook, and loop it back to the other end. Then tie a surgeons loop knot on the two ends.
The hook can then be threaded through the eye of the swivel, looped through itself, and your hook should be attached to the drop line.
If you want more then one swivel attached, back up 3 or 4 feet and tie in another one.
Over the past week I have leaned that these types of of rigs leave a lot to the imagination. I dont think there is a right or wrong way to setup a jug line, as long as you catch fish, and the fish does not get loose from the rig.
For example, nobody said the swivels “had” to be attached to the drop line. Tie a section of the monofilament line to the swivel and to the hook. When your ready to attach the swivel and hook, just loop the drop line over the swivel and hook. It sounds complicated, but its not.
How Do Jug Lines Apply To a Survival Situation?
While on the 3 day camping trip with my buddy, we had a good discussion about the uses for jug lines in a SHTF situation.
Lets say that some worldwide disaster happens, like what happened with the Black Death in 1348 – 1350 and food gets scarce. If someone lives close to a river or lake, maybe they can set out some jug lines in the morning, go about their daily activities, then pick up the lines in the evening. While the person is busy tending to the crops, or other duties, the drop lines / jug lines are busy catching fish.
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