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Best Fishing Kit for Wilderness Survival

Sit back, drop a line, and wait for them to bite. Fishing may be better than therapy for some, but it's also a useful survival skill that only requires a little bit of gear and know-how. Any survival fishing kit can catch you a fish or two, but the best survival fishing kit will help you round out your emergency food plan with a steady stream of fresh catch-of-the-days. There are a few options to consider when it comes to survival fishing kits with different gear and approaches.

This is where we come in. We've researched the best survival fishing kits, tested each of them, and now the results are in: the overall best, a survival card option, and an auto reel option. If you need to land some fresh food on the table, one of our picks will help you make the catch.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

  • The Best Survival Fishing Kit
  • Survival Fishing Card
  • Automatic Fishing Reel
  • Everything We Recommend
  • The Kits We Compared
  • What to Look For
  • How to Use a Survival Fishing Kit
  • Who Needs a Fishing Kit?

The Best Survival Fishing Kit

Best Glide Survival Fishing Kit

Basic, Compact, and Lightweight

Comprehensive enough to have everything you need to cast a line but basic enough to be conveniently small and lightweight.

$15* from Amazon

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

This small tin of fishing essentials is everything you need and nothing you don't. Larger kits will have you lugging around more gear and weight than you could hope to use. This ‘basic version' kit includes:

  • 50 feet of 12-pound line
  • Metal tin container with a rubber seal, vinyl tape, and silica desiccant
  • 1 swirly tail grub jig
  • 1 tiny shad jig
  • 2 unpainted 1/16 round jig heads
  • Tube of salmon eggs
  • 1 size 10 1/8 fly
  • 2 #4 hooks
  • 2 #6 hooks
  • 2 #8 hooks
  • 1 wire wound leader
  • 3 BB Split Shots
  • 3 3/0 Split Shots
  • 2 Tooth Pick Float Bobbers

The wide variety of gear in a small, lightweight, and water-resistant container makes the Best Glide Survival Fishing Kit the best choice out of all of the competition.

Readyman Wilderness Survival Card

Survival Fishing Card

Readyman Wilderness Card

Thin, Portable, and Lightweight

Thin enough to go into your wallet like a credit card, Readyman helps you be able to fish with a moment's notice.

$15* at Amazon

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

READYMAN is the maker of the original wallet survival card with removable tools. Once you remove them, you can't put them back into the card form so they are essentially designed to be for EDC emergency single-use survival situations.

Their slim profile and low weight help them make sense in a wide variety of survival kits. This card includes:

  • 9x Fishhooks
  • 5x Arrows/Gigs
  • 4x Snare locks
  • 3x Saw blades
  • 2x Sewing needles
  • Tweezers
  • Awl

Pick up the original Readyman Wilderness Survival Card to be ready to fish anywhere, anytime, at a moment's notice.

Mechanical Fisher YoYo Reel

Automatic Fishing Reel

Mechanical Fisher's YoYo

Passive, Effective, and Easy

This fire-and-forget fishing method is one of the easiest ways to catch fish with no attention needed.

$7* from Amazon

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Not exactly a fishing kit, but an automatic reel can be a game changer for survival fishing. Typically, fishing requires skill and patience. An auto reel gets rid of all of that and can fish for you while you are off doing other things. It's like a limb line that can be set up anywhere with a strong, consistent pull to hook and tire out all kinds of fish.

It also doubles as a versatile snare or clothesline with its 9 feet of 60-pound nylon cord. You will still need the essentials (like hooks and fishing line) to go along with a yo-yo reel, but if you have room in your sustenance plan for an automatic reel you should definitely consider one.

The yo-yo reel is a unique piece of survival fishing equipment, so pick up a Mechanical Fisher's YoYo Reel to test out for yourself.

Everything We Recommend

Best Glide Basic Survival Fishing Kit

Best Glide Survival Fishing Kit

Comprehensive enough to have everything you need to cast a line but basic enough to be conveniently small and lightweight.

Where to Buy

$15* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Readyman Wilderness Survival Card

Readyman Wilderness Survival Card

Thin enough to go into your wallet like a credit card, Readyman helps you be able to fish with a moment's notice.

Where to Buy

$15* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Mechanical Fisher YoYo Reel

Mechanical Fisher's YoYo

This fire-and-forget fishing method is one of the easiest ways to catch fish with no attention needed.

Where to Buy

$7* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

The Kits We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to the several survival fishing kits that we tested: Best Glide, YoYo, READYMAN, SOL, Stealth Angel, Uncle Flint's, BCB, and more.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each.

We found that there are several kits that ‘pad the numbers' like you might see with first aid kits. Just because a survival fishing kit has 200 pieces, those pieces don't mean squat if 199 of them are all line weights. The reverse is what we ended up looking for: high-quality without too much clutter in the kit.

We're always looking for new and better equipment, so if you have a survival fishing kit that you swear by let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested gear annually, so we can always get it in the next roundup round and see if it makes the cut and we can see if it will beat out our top picks.

What to Look For

The best survival fishing kit has several important features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Functionality
  3. Durability
  4. Size & Weight
  5. Versatility

When you get the right blend of these, you can find a reliable kit that will let you fish anywhere. Below, we break down what each of these features means for dependable survival fishing.

Value: Cost vs. Benefit

The amount of money you spend on something like a niche survival fishing kit shouldn't blow out your entire budget. Don't go overspending or overdo it. Budget according to your risk and your needs rather than just spending lavishly.

On the flip side, you don't want to go too cheap or just plain get the wrong thing. If the kit is just full of junk, or the auto reel isn't reliable- you won't be able to rely on it in an emergency.

You never want to spend too much money on one resource, especially something like a specialized fishing kit. It's better to diversify your preparedness gear to make sure you are covered for a wide range of scenarios. There is a sweet spot where you get high value with not-to-high of a price, which is where our top pick sits.


A fishing kit's functionality is determined by one thing: how well does it catch fish?

That is, after all, the goal of fishing. Technically, you don't need any equipment to catch fish. People have used rocks, homemade gigs, and their hands to catch fish long before the fish hook was invented. We also got a slew of other methods- nets, traps, bow fishing, and even explosives.


You don't want to find out that your equipment is trash when you are in a survival situation and you are relying on your fishing gear. You'll need durable (or at least repairable) equipment that is not too complex.

Size & Weight

This is where a lot of quality kits get ruled out. Sure, having a cast net around is extremely helpful for catching fish until you have to lug it a few miles with all of your other gear. Fishing poles can obviously create some storage issues even if you break them down. Survival fishing kits are usually pretty good about considering these factors.

The lighter the better, especially if you carry it more often. So you'll see EDC options lighter than GHB, which are lighter than BOB, which is lighter than the survival fishing kit you keep at your home or Bug Out Location.

Definitely make sure you consider the right weight and profile for the type of kit you are including your survival fishing kit in.


Versatility is where you can use survival fishing kits for more than just survival.

You might just use the fishing line as twine (or vice versa) or any of the other gear with unlimited uses. With a basic fishing kit, you can get a lot done with some creative ingenuity. Our top pick really stood out here with the wide range of gear included.

How to Use a Survival Fishing Kit

Fishing usually requires some attention and patience, but we felt that it was important to highlight gear that allows you to fish with fire-and-forget methods. Trotlines, limb lines, and auto reels are some of the easiest passive ways to fish with hooks.

Most of them (besides the auto reel) can even use less equipment than traditional rod & reel fishing. All of these make them very attractive options for survival fishing.

One thing to keep in mind is that some (or most) of these may be restricted in your state or country. Check local regulations before you set up an untagged limb line or auto reel.

Earthling 1984 shows how easy it is to use our reel pick in this video in a little suburban pond:

Who Needs a Fishing Kit?

A fishing kit isn't necessary for any kit, since you can survive or improvise without it. But if you find a stocked pond, it's definitely worth the weight and cost to have around.

Most of the survival fishing kits we tested were very lightweight so there are not many drawbacks to getting one into your kits.

We suggest that you consider adding them to:

  • Home Survival Kit
  • Bug Out Bag
  • Get Home Bag
  • INCH Bag
  • Every Day Carry

Just be sure to have some available somewhere before you or someone in your family could use it.

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.

Sources and References

All of our experience and the testing we do to determine the best survival fishing kit is useless without listing our research sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our hands-on testing and practical military and prepping experience:

Leach, S. (2004). Fishing for the Best Line: Evaluating Polymers Used in Sport Fishing. ASEE 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. (Source)

Ogawa, K., et al. (2006). Strength Evaluation of Nylon Fishing Line. Journal of National Fisheries University (Japan). Volume 54. Issue 4. Pages 217 – 222. (Source)

Stasiak, A., et al. (1999). Knotted Fishing Line, Covalent Bonds, and Breaking Points. Science. Volume 286. Issue 5437. Page 43. (Source)

The Final Word

Keeping food on the table in an emergency can be a chore, but it doesn't have to be. All it takes is a little prior planning to have the right stuff on hand. Hopefully, we've helped you get a little more prepared today.

Here are a few related articles our readers have found helpful:

  • 13 Ways to Catch Fish for Survival
  • The Best Snare Wire Traps for Survival Trapping
  • INCH Bag Guide, Gear List, and Checklist

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our research and testing found the Best Glide Survival Fishing Kit to be the best option given its value, functionality, durability, size/weight, and versatility.

If you pick up one of our suggested survival fishing kits- make sure you know how to use it before you need it. A yoyo reel can be tricky, and all of the small pieces of the other kits can take a second to get used to. Try them out at your favorite spot before you depend on them for survival.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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The Best Survival Fishing Kit

The post Best Fishing Kit for Wilderness Survival appeared first on TruePrepper.


By: Rusty Collins
Title: Best Fishing Kit for Wilderness Survival
Sourced From:
Published Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2023 11:46:20 +0000

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