in: How To, Skills, Visual Guides

• Last updated: June 1, 2021

How to Make a Fishing Hook Out of a Can Tab

There are many ways to make an improvised fishing hook, from crafting one from organic materials like shards of bone or splinters of wood, to fashioning one from household materials like safety pins and paper clips. But perhaps none is as readily available, effective, and satisfyingly clever as jerry-rigging a hook from the pull tab of an aluminum can. Whether you’ve settled into a fishing spot only to realize you forgot to put hooks in your otherwise well-stocked tackle box, or find yourself in a survival situation where there are no manufactured hooks to be had, knowing this transformational trick can come in handy.

The most difficult part of this otherwise simple process is actually just removing the tab from the can without breaking off its “eyelet.” If yours does come off, all is not lost; you can still make a less elegant version of the hook this way. Do take care when twisting and folding the eyelet back as well; the aluminum is brittle and can break, and you also don’t want to cut your fingers on sharp bits.

Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

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