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How to Recycle Old Fishing Equipment

how to recycle old fishing tackle and gear

We all have boxes of old fishing equipment taking up space in garages and sheds. Some of these items have true sentimental value, and some we are just holding on to.

Looking to refresh your gear for an upcoming tournament, or just find it time for a change? Don't toss your old equipment, recycle it!

Below is a list of options for donating used fishing equipment, ways to dispose of it safely, and ideas for repurposing anything you can’t bear to part with.

9 Ways to Recycle Your Fishing Tackle

  1. Donate old rods, reels, and tackle to organizations that will refurbish them and give them to children who don’t already have such equipment. This is a great way to help those in need, reduce the amount of items taking up space in landfills, and encourage another generation of fishermen. Your donation should be tax deductible.
  2. Many Cub Scout packs take donations of lead lures for use in pine wood derby cars.
  3. Some states have a monofilament fishing line recycling program. If yours is one of them, look for recycling receptacles at your tackle shop. Or you can collect and send your line directly to the Berkley Pure Fishing Company to donate to their recycling program.
  4. old fish hooks on threadRemove the hooks from a favorite old lure and turn it into a key chain. You can attach it to a key chain you already have, or use a new one. Every time you see your keys, you’ll be reminded of good times and great catches.
  5. Create a shadow box of your favorite fishing trip or vacation memory. Start with an old fishing lure from the trip, add some photos (don’t forget a picture of your catch), a newspaper or brochure, and items that you used or picked up on the trip.
  6. Decorate the inside of a glass hurricane candle holder with sand, pieces of sea glass, or smooth stones. Add a few items such as old lures, swivels, and metal tackle around the inside of the candle. Make sure to use split ring pliers to remove all hooks from the lures first.
  7. Make a display out of an old fishing net and lures. First, clean an old net in warm soapy water and scrub it with a toothbrush. When dry, fasten the net to the wall. Add old lures and fishing tackle. (Remember to remove or crimp the hooks.)
  8. Create a charm from an old fishing lure. Remove the hooks from your favorite lure and add it to a charm necklace or bracelet. This will make a pretty and unique piece of jewelry that can also be a conversation starter. People will surely ask you about the lure, and you can regale them with the tale of your monster catch - or the one that got away.
  9. Responsibly dispose of anything you can’t recycle or repurpose. Safely put rusted hooks and jigs in an empty soda or sports drink bottle before you throw them away. Loop up old line and cut it into small pieces so that birds or turtles will not get tangled up if it ends up in the dump.

The good thing about recycling, donating, or properly disposing of your old fishing equipment is that you will have plenty of room for new gear!

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