Survival Automatic Fishing Yoyo

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by tacmotusn, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I came across an article on these devices some time ago, and when I started to seriously prepare for the worst, they were an item I wanted to have on hand. Below is a general write up on their use, a review on their use, and a couple of links to sources.

    Yo-Yo Fishing

    "Yo-yoing" is a high-tech method of limblining. A yo-yo is an automatic reel consisting of a stainless-steel spring
    encased in a sheet-metal disk (about the diameter of a doughnut). This device has a line attached to its topside for tying to a springy green limb, which suspends the yo-yo reel above the water's surface.

    Inside the yo-yo mechanism are several feet of strong nylon line wrapped around the spring. The end of this line dangles from the bottom of the yo-yo. A snap swivel is tied to the end. A 1/0 to 3/0 hook (attached to the line via the snap swivel) and one or two split-shot weights complete the rig.

    After the yo-yo is tied to a limb, the hook is baited and enough line is pulled off the reel to lower the bait two or three feet beneath the surface. As the line is pulled off the reel, the spring coils tighter. Once the desired length is extended, a small wire trigger on the side of the reel is set to keep the line in place. When a fish takes the bait it trips the trigger and the reel uncoils quickly to set the hook.

    The best strategy for yo-yos is to scatter two dozen or more along a tree- or brush-lined river or lakeshore. Set the devices at dusk, then run them periodically through the night or at first light in the morning.

    As is the case with limblines, yo-yos can be rigged with monofilament leaders and smaller hooks to catch bluegills and crappies-but be sure that it is a legal fishing method for those species in the state in which you fish. Bait with wigglers, catalpa worms or crickets fobluegills, and small live minnows for crappies.
    Contact: Mechanical Fisher Yo-Yo Company (870-422-7715; www.
    I ordered up a dozen of these things, having seen them before at Reelfoot lake. I took them with me on a fishing trip to Patoka lake, here in Indiana. Man, do these things work! The group I went with always has a fish fry on the last night of the trip. Depending on how well we do, but last year we had to go out to eat. This time, just as an insurance measure, I set out 10 of these (state limit). Each of them secured to a limb having a 3/0 circle hook installed. The bait used was either small bluegill or a few minnows. Since I was running the beer boat doing laps around the lake, I would check my "traps" to see if it worked. I got nine decent channel cats and a bass on the first circuit of bait! I did find one missing on morning two, but the whole limb was gone! I would liked to have seen whatever took that one! $3.25 each or $3 in quantity $29.97 for a dozen.

    They are also available at Cabelas and on ebay. It is my intent to obtain at least 2 dozen for my preps. These items are legal for use immediately in some states, and illegal in others. Check your local fish and game laws.
    chelloveck and Gator 45/70 like this.
  2. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I have seen a similar technique using roller blinds

    It uses a spring tensioned roller blind, that when the fish takes the bait and tugs on the line, activates the the spring which engages the hook in the fish's mouth. The tension on the spring acts like the drag on a conventional fishing rod. Something similar might be rigged with a retractible key holder.

    see the section entitled "Blind Roller For An Automatic Fisherman" at the following webpages.

    Graves' Bushcraft Books: 08. Snares & Traps

    Survival Fishing

    Incidentally, both webpages contain a wealth of information on survival trapping and fishing. Just be aware that some techniques may not be legal in some jurisdictions in less than life and death survival situations.
    VisuTrac and tacmotusn like this.
  3. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Excellent links. At $3 I think I would use some of the yoyo devices rather than cobble together something from a roller blind. Besides that, here in the USA roller blinds are becoming a rarity.
  4. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I don't disagree tac

  5. oth47

    oth47 Monkey+

    I've heard that the ones made in China don't work well and don't hold up,so go for the USA made ones.Memphis Net and Twine has a catalog with an extensive selection of trotlines,cast nets,everything needed for fishing,plus the US made yoyos.
  6. Marco Montana

    Marco Montana Monkey+

    I seen these and even though I think their great carrying extra weight in my already filled pack was questionable. I started looking around and found this awesome video very similar in technique called dead fall fishing...

    You basically make a trigger on the ground with some cordage wrapped around the top, then you route the other end over a high branch close by near the shoreline and tie a bundle of branches or a heavy log/rock as a counterweight.

    Throw the loos end in front of the trigger with a hook and some bait in the water, and wait.... when the fish grabs the bait and pulls it he dislodges the trigger and the weight of the log sets the hook and pulls the fish near shore waiting for you to return.

    I thought this was excitingly awesome!

    Heres the video Dead Fall Fish Trap - YouTube
    oth47 likes this.
  7. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I am reasonably sure these were usa manufacture, but I will doublecheck and report. I did link enough info in initial post anyone could verify. but, I will do so now.
    It appears these are exactly the same thing I have found at numerous other sources. I have an email out to the USA distributor, and will call later as well. Here is the Memphis net link.
  8. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I just got off the phone with Andy Anderson, the American Manufacturer who supplies these yoyo automatic fishing reels to Cheaper than Dirt, Cabelas, and Memphis Net and Twine. He could not rapidly confirm whether or not was selling his products because so many Survival sites were. Since I was taking up his time in a 5 man shop, (down from 19 prior to Chinese knockoff imports) I did not further push for info. He did offer that Bass Pro and H&H were now selling the Chinese copies. I would suggest that all who are interested in acquiring some of these devices speak directly with the seller before making the purchase, and make in crystal clear that you want the American made product, or nothing at all. jmho

    below is my email response from Andy Anderson.

    Subject: Re: yoyo fishers (if American made?)

    Mechanical Fisher and White's AutoFisher are made in the USA in Diamond City Arkansas. On Bull Shoals lake.

    We had 19 tax paying employees before the big box folks (so called discount stores) started going to China to get them made.
    We now have 5 including me. Our politicians just don't get it. Low tariffs on cheap imports causes loss of manufacturing jobs, causing loss of tax base and high unemployment & more unemployment benefits paid out. That money has to come from somewhere,,,, stick it to the employers who are providing the few remaining jobs ... sure that will work. Now more companies are going out of business. We are in a rapid spiral down the drain.
    The Wal-Mart mentality is ruining this country.

    (((Soap Box off))))

    Andy Anderson
    Mechanical Fisher
    Phone: 870-422-7715
    Fax: 870-422-7225
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2015
    oth47 likes this.
  9. oth47

    oth47 Monkey+

    I plan to get some of these and I'll make sure they come from the USA.China can kiss my USA a$$.
    tacmotusn likes this.
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