Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fishing Net

After assembling my fishing kit, I took to the River Dodder to try my luck.  Learning to fish a different kind of river with different species has been tough but enjoyable.  While I don't usually have too much luck on the fishing front along the Dodder, I always have fun.  I also always keep my eye out for any discarded trash worth collecting

One morning, a bright blue green streak caught my eye tangled in some thorny branches.  It was a severely damaged, unloved, and abandoned landing net.  The handle had broken off and much of the netting had torn away from the frame.  What was left was a tattered and torn piece hanging loosely on a bent wire frame.  I knew it could be mine and working again with some tender loving care.

A torn fishing net is partially repaired after being sewn up with fishing line in Dublin, Ireland
Sewing it up
I brought it home and sized up the situation more thoroughly.  I have to pick several dozen burrs from the netting, but the material of the net was strong and held up.  All of the tearing happened at the frame, there were no large holes in the scoop of the net.  I borrowed Sara's sewing kit, cut a long piece of fishing line from my reel, and got to work.

Fishing line is used for thread in sewing up a landing net in Dublin, Ireland
Tying off
I had never sewn anything in any capacity before.  My original plan was to sew up and tie off the individual tears.  I'm sure experienced sewers wish I had taken video of my attempt at this the first time.  I couldn't get correct tension, my thread length was much longer than my arms could pull with each stitch, and I was generally a mess.  Sara did help with some pointers, but I was determined to get this thing myself.

I abandoned the idea of sewing up the holes individually and decided to sew up around the entire frame, putting extra stitches in the damaged areas.  This was the ticket- for me, at least.  In the first photo, observe the fishing line stitches are doubled up and close together on the most damaged parts of the net.  On the rest, I made stitches about 1/2 inch apart, just to keep the line going.

When I had gone around the whole frame, I made my (thankfully only one) tie-off.  In the second photo, the tie-off is seen as the line wrapped tightly over and over around the frame and the standing line.  I finished it with several overhand knots, clipped the tag, and tucked the knot pile into the netting.  Beauty.

A landing net is repaired but the handle is still missing in Dublin, Ireland
Finished net
The handle is still missing, but I can hold on to the little nubbin of wire at the base to reach and lift out fish.  So far, it has stood up to the rigors of use in and out of water.  I am always proud when I can do something like this.  I accomplished so many different small things with just a few minutes of my time.  I removed a piece of litter from the riverbank (probably the most important part of this project), learned the basics of a new skill, and acquired a nice piece of optional fishing equipment- all without spending a cent.

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