How To Use A Yo-Yo Hand Reel To Catch Inshore Fish [VIDEO]
It’s Yo-Yo fishing time!
Once upon a time… fisherman didn’t have to spend $400 on a fishing rod and reel to catch fish.
Even to this day, there are still tons of fishermen across the world that use one of the simplest, and cheapest, methods to catch fish, which is simply a plastic hand reel!
These are also known as Yo-Yo Hand Reels since they basically look like oversized yo-yo’s (aka the Cuban Yo-Yo).
These devices consist of a plastic “reel”, which is just a circular spool. You can put whatever size line on that you would like depending on what size fish you are targeting. Lure, hook, and leader sizes would also vary depending on what you may be going after.
They also sell these hand reels in smaller and larger sizes to accommodate your target species. Some individuals will go even simpler and just use a glass bottle or aluminum can as a spool for their line.
Let’s go over a cost break down of what you would need to use a hand reel:
- Plastic Hand Reel – $4
- 100 Yards of Monofilament – $6
- Hook and Sinker – $3
- Grand Total of $13!
Now let’s compare a typical inshore fishing rod and reel setup (average pricing):
- 7’6 Medium Heavy Action Rod – $100
- 3500 Size Spinning Reel – $80
- Spool of Braided Line For Your Reel – $15
- Grand Total of $195!
Of course, the majority of us would take a rod and reel over a hand reel any day, but a hand reel can be a very inexpensive way to try something new and challenge yourself.
Not to mention it can be an awesome way to teach your children or grandchildren how to fish!
Just about any fish can be caught using these reels.
You can easily catch yourself baitfish with this setup, and I have even seen videos of guys targeting sailfish and tarpon on the larger reels!
Now just because this is a simple device to catch fish, it doesn’t mean it is easy.
Especially when you get into your standard size gamefish or larger. You must be aware that you don’t have a rod, or a built-in drag system to put pressure on the fish without having your line snap.
It is also very difficult to control the direction of the fish without having a rod to help turn the fish if needed.
You are pretty much at the mercy of whatever may be hooked at the end of your line, but that is what makes it fun and challenging.
To challenge yourself even more, you can tie on an artificial to your hand reel.
The best way to catch fish on a hand reel using an artificial lure is by sight casting to them. You will have to position yourself perfectly to get a good cast on a fish that you may see.
Keep in mind you can’t cast very far using a hand reel, so stealth is key so that you can get as close to your target as possible without spooking them. Accuracy can also be tricky when sight casting to fish using this method. If you can get into a school of fish, you may have a better shot at hooking up with one.
If you are not into the artificial lure thing, or you are teaching a kid how to fish with one, setting out a live or cut bait on the hand reel is a great way to hook up to your first fish using this method.
All you have to do is attach a hook, weight, and your bait of choice.
I wouldn’t recommend setting the spool down with your bait in the water because if a fish takes it you will be swimming after it!
Your arm can easily fit through the hole in the spool if you don’t feel like holding it and to keep it secure.
Now that you have an idea about these hand reels, take a look at the video below and you will see exactly how I use one.
I cover everything from rigging, to casting, and bringing in a fish.
There is also some footage of me catching a nice over slot black drum using a hand reel with an artificial lure.
How To Use A Yo-Yo Fishing Hand Reel [Video]
Yo-Yo hand reels can certainly work, and if you are on a really tight budget, and really want to wet a line, it’s not a bad choice.
Of course, the downside is you can’t cast it very far, the “drag system” is your hand and body, and as you saw in the video, the black drum was really working me all over the place.
But with a little practice, you could get really good at catching fish using nothing but a yo-yo.
What do you think?
Have you ever tried fishing with a Cuban yo-yo?
Any tips we left out?
Let us know in the comments.
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