Handline fishing is incredibly effective and is still used by millions of people around the world to feed themselves. The Cabuya Casting Handline is a new approach to an old practice and offers a tremendous advantage over basic fishing components carried in most survival kits. It keeps your fishing line stored and tangle free but ready to cast and retrieve just like a rod and reel.
The name “Cabuya” (ka Boo yah) comes from the Taino word for a thin line or string, often used for fishing. These lines, spun from natural fibers, were employed with hooks and lures made from bone and turtle shell to catch fish since time immemorial.
Fishing with a handline is a direct connection to the fish. Without the buffer of rod and reel, every twitch and every strike is communicated directly to your hands. There is no mechanical drag between you and the fight. This is the bare knuckle boxing of fishing. This is FUN!
Compact, rugged, and light weight, they are excellent for backpackers, pilots, paddlers, and children of all ages - even us older ones.
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How much line can it hold? It will comfortably hold up to 200 yards of 10lb and about 150 yards of 20lb monofilament line.
Can I use braided line? We would advise against it. In our experience braided line does not cast well and it can cut your fingers.
What if I want to use braided line anyways? Some pieces of bicycle inner tube slid over your fingers will help protect them against possible cuts.
Is this just a kite stringer? No, but they work in a very similar manner and would probably be decent with a kite. In Costa Rica people would often wind their line on a board or piece of plywood with a hole cut out for their fingers. The Cabuya was born from this practice but is much prettier, more comfortable, and shaped to cast much further.
How big of a fish can you catch? As large a fish as you have the skill to land. Though every fish on a handline feels like a monster, the key is to play and exhaust large fish.
What are your favorite fishing knots? I use two knots almost exclusively: the Palomar and the Uni knots.
I see a solid wood handline in some of your photos, how do I get one of those? Unfortunately you can't at this time. They kept breaking along the grain. The birch plywood has proven to be much stronger.