How to assemble your Knucklebone DIY Reel Kit


1. Cover your working area with newspaper or kraft paper and lay out the materials in your kit. To assemble each handreel, you’ll need 2 wooden handreel bodies, 4 hardwood dowels, sandpaper and glue, plus the fishing line, float, and tackle included in your kit.

2. Check the fit on the hardwood dowels, and sand the alignment holes if necessary. The dowels should fit snugly, but you shouldn’t have to force the two halves of the handreel together (which may cause them to crack). If the fit is too tight, sand the alignment holes slightly, using the roughest-grit sandpaper provided. It may be helpful to wrap the sandpaper around a pencil or pen.

3. With the etched logos on the handreels facing out, place the dowels in the alignment holes and run a thin layer of glue over the handreel. Be sure to put glue on the hook cutout area.

4. Working quickly, place the other handreel body (again, with the etched logo facing out) on top of the bottom handreel body and press down. Apply firm pressure across the entire handreel for 1 minute while the glue sets.

5. Once the glue is set, use the sandpaper to sand the edges and face of the handreel. Work up from the roughest grit to the finest, paying special attention to the edges where the line will wrap, and the area where your hand grips the handreel. Sand until these edges are smooth and the handreel feels comfortable in your hand.

6. Optionally, you can paint, stain, or finish your handreel at this point. These products aren’t included in your kit, but I recommend a natural oil finish like tung oil, linseed oil, or beeswax (cutting board conditioner works well). Lacquer or shellac is also a fine choice. If you don’t have a finishing product handy, you can apply one at any point in the future.

7. Use an arbor knot to tie the fishing line to one side of the reel, and then wind the line 50-100 times around the reel. Clip the line and use a clinch knot or other similar knot to tie a hook to your line.

8. Check out this guide to fishing knots for instructions on tying knots like these:

9. Your Knucklebone is complete! To store your handline, you can use this technique to keep your hook wrapped securely around your line:

10. Use the Daggerfish two-handed casting technique to cast your Knucklebone, and wind the line just like you would with a kite.

If you’re having trouble with the line catching as you cast, go back and further sand the area where the line comes in contact with the handreel, ensuring that the edges are rounded and smooth.

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