What Is A Fish Stringer?

By Charles •  7 min read
what is a fish stringer

The sport of spearfishing is not only great for experiencing the underwater world, but also for providing and harvesting delicious seafood to eat. The main methods used to harvest fish are: spearfishing, fishing on hook-and-line, netting, and trapping.

When harvesting different species of fish, you want to ensure that you’re following conservation guidelines and keeping it sustainable. Keeping it sustainable would mean that you do not keep every fish that you catch, and that you only spearfish the fish that you’re going to eat. When harvesting fish, you need to keep it fresh and there are several different ways to do so. The most common methods for keeping fish fresh are putting the fish on ice or using a fish stringer.

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What Is A Fish Stringer Used For?

A fish stringer is a firm line of chain or rope that helps you keep fish attached to you so they can be immersed back into the water to stay alive. Fish stringers are small and compact, you can easily fit them in any tackle box or backpack.

You can use a fish stringer in any method of fishing or spearfishing but when targeting larger gamefish, it will be best to keep the fish in a cooler. 

These stringers come in all shapes and sizes, and there are a few things to look out for in a quality stringer. Remember, you don’t want to get a fish stringer that will not meet its intended purpose. You want to keep your fish alive as you continue fishing, so get a type with the best features, which include:

  • Use of cut-resistant rope or string.
  • A four to six-inch metal tip that helps pass the rope or chain through the fish’s skin membrane and out of the mouth of the fish you catch. 
  • The best model should have a metal loop to pass the tip after tying the fish to the stringer.

Stringers vary in design, and you can opt for a simple or complex style. You can also pick based on your shape and size preferences. The fish stringer you choose should also be long enough to string different species. The highest rated fish stringers are:

  1. Poly or Rope Stringers 

This type of stringer is easy to use and long enough to string multiple fish at a time. They come with a ring on one end and a spike on the other. A rope stringer is useful for stringing different types of fish and is the most commonly used today. 

Make your poly stringer more useful by adding a float and lanyard. You will keep your fish fresh without any qualms. 

  1. Chain Stringer 

If you like fishing using a canoe or kayak, a chain stringer is a solid choice to go for. It comes with clips and provides top-notch security to your catch. The final clip, which is separated by a bit more chain, can be fastened directly to the canoe or kayak for increased security of the fish you’ve caught.

How Long Can A Fish Live On A Stringer?

If you decide to keep the fish you catch alive and fresh, a stringer is the best tool to use. You don’t want to kill the fish so make sure to be careful when inserting or passing the stringer through its gills. The purpose of your stringer is to keep your fish alive and as healthy/fresh as possible.

As you string your fish, make sure it’s free to swim and avoid any kind of harm. Don’t puncture the gills. A fish can survive for several hours while on a stringer. When used properly, a stringer will not deter the fish’s breathing very much.

However, make sure you don’t mishandle the fish or keep lifting them out of water. As you string more fish, always make sure you get the catch back into the water as quickly as possible. 

How Do You Make A Fish Stringer?

You can purchase a fishing stringer in any tackle or bait shop, but you can also save money by making one on your own.

Making your own fishing stringer can add fun to your fishing experience. You will go on with your day knowing that you are using a tool you designed for the task ahead and can test out how it works. You don’t need a lot of material to make your own fish stringer. Here is how to make one:

  • Cut a small pointed rod, perfect enough to string different types of fish.
  • You will attach your rope or line on the sharp stick. So make a small cut and ensure the rope or line is thick enough.
  • Make a knot in one end and with a loop. 
  • Then tightly fasten the other end to the stick and make sure the rope doesn’t slide when in use.
  • Practice how you will push the stick through a hole in the fish’s mouth and back via the loop in the other end. 
  • Your fish will be securely held on the stringer. You will have a perfectly made tool to bring home as many fish as you can catch in a day.

How Do You Put Fish On A Rope Stringer?

Using a stringer should not be a daunting task and keep your fish alive longer. However, how to use this fishing tool the right way can be a challenge if you are doing it for the first time. Whether you decide to use a poly or chain fish stringer, you should properly string your fish.

You don’t want to end up killing your fish when you are looking forward to bringing a fresh catch to the table. Make sure not to puncture the gills when putting your stringer through the fish’s gills.

Doing so will cause your fish to swim off balance, and this movement easily hurts the fish and causes additional stress. It also makes it difficult for the fish to breathe. So, how do you put a fish in a rope stringer? Have a look:

  • Pass the sharp end of the stringer into the fish’s mouth or lower lip, and down through its thin membrane and then out the bottom of its mouth.
  • Bring the rope through the loop and secure the fish. 
  • Once you slide the first fish through the rope stringer, you just need to slide more fish.
  • Secure the stringer on the small boat or canoe you are using and let the fish swim as you fish.
what is a fish stringer

What Is A Spearfishing Stringer?

Using a stringer when spearfishing is a great tool to have if your spearing when scuba diving. This type of stringer you use to secure your fish to yourself or to a float.

Spearfishing stringers vary in designs and sizes, and you should get a model that will satisfy your needs and preferences. The stringer model you pick should be convenient and made from durable materials and particularly stainless steel.

There are several different spearfishing stringers used in recreational and commercial spearfishing. The commercial spearfishing stringers are larger in size and are easier/quicker to use, as they’re designed to use with one hand.

Recreational spearfishing stringers are essentially like large paper clips that you can use to keep all the fish that you spear in one place, rather than leaving them around the place where you’re diving.

That will likely cause sharks, goliath grouper, or other fish to come and steal what you’ve worked so hard for. 

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Charles is a man who loves the outdoors. He moved to Wyoming specifically to spend more time in the mountains and wilderness. A hunter and fisherman, Charles knows how to enjoy nature and all that it has to offer. He is an outdoorsman through and through, and he wouldn't have it any other way. Charles is the President of Absaroka Enterprises, an company focuse on outdoor entertainment and endeavours. He's also an Editor for Alpha and Omega Outdoors, an online hunting, fishing, camping, trapping, and all around outdoors blog.

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