We were at the park over the weekend and I spotted some very nice tree branches on the ground and decided it was time to make some fishing poles! The kids each picked out a stick and we carried them home.  I took my knife and whittled down the bumps, found some string, a couple of old wooden spools, wire, two magnets (stolen from the fridge), and made us a couple of poles.  They actually work quite well, and I even got the reels to work properly.  Then I hand embroidered three fish and made some wire hooks to attract the magnets on the end of the fishing line.

We have a small wall on the edge of our driveway that made a good fishing spot. They were totally having a blast. It took some skill and concentration to catch the fish, and when they’d get one, their faces would light up with excitement and pride. It was hard to get them to come inside the house once it started getting dark out. A sign of a good toy!


  1. Zwieback
    March 8, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Oh my little son will love it, I think. So I will make one for him, and his little friends for his birthday party.

    Greets, Manu

  2. Anonymous
    March 8, 2010 at 7:57 am

    What a need idea, again! Love your simple design, too! We have a inside-fishing-pole, but it misses the rolling-up feature, which certainly makes the difference.
    Your blog is a big inspiration! Thanks for sharing.
    Warm greetings, Bele

  3. oyo
    March 8, 2010 at 8:15 am

    I have to make a couple of poles too ! One for my daughter and one !, the Daddy's gonna be jealous.

  4. Amanda - Little Star Designs
    March 8, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Love it!

    Next.... :)

  5. Astrid
    March 8, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Just brilliant ( as usual).
    Keep the inspiration coming!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    That is such a nice idea. Your fishing rods are great. It is also nice to see some pictures with out all the snow we have had here in Denmark for more than two months.
    Have a nice day. Maria

  7. Christina
    March 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Found your blog a few days back and can't stop looking and soaking up all those great ideas.
    Love it

    Simply fun!
    What a great gift to kids.

  8. zoe
    March 8, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    you. are. brilliant.

  9. Lia
    March 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    These are fantastic.

  10. fannypb
    March 8, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Love it!!!Wahooooo

  11. Jenn
    March 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Dear Joel,

    Love your blog, but oh my lord, is there anything you can't do?! (That's a compliment.)


  12. Amy
    March 8, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Um...DO YOU SLEEP?

    j/k! Totally awesome, as usual. Love it to bits!

  13. MUS
    March 8, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    you rock :)

  14. jfidz
    March 8, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Absolutely fantastic.

  15. Christine
    March 8, 2010 at 8:53 pm


  16. Kickcan and Conkers
    March 8, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Brilliant - again, love, love, love your ideas and creativity :)

  17. Anonymous
    March 9, 2010 at 1:57 am

    You make me wish my kids were little again. I am so enjoying the activites you are creating for your children!!

  18. Anonymous
    March 9, 2010 at 8:26 am

    C'est un blog très beau, merci v "vintage pour Kid" Evelyne de Toulouse en France

  19. l i s e
    March 9, 2010 at 1:11 pm


  20. Di
    March 9, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    That looks like a lot of fun (and that a lot of concentration is required to catch that elusive fish!)

  21. Anonymous
    March 10, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Love your blog! All of my nieces and nephews - I think 16 in all, just love fishing of anykind, make believe to the pond. There's something about fishing! My husband loves it too, a little too much! Have a great day.

  22. Lisa
    March 10, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Your kids are lucky to have such a talented and brillant father!

  23. Tyler Hardie
    March 10, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Beautiful work, and great photography. What kind of camera do you use? Thanks for the inspiration!

  24. Joel Henriques
    March 10, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks everybody!

    Tyler - I use a Nikon D70 with a 50mm f/1.2 lens. I shoot in raw format and actually do most of my editing in iPhoto.

  25. liz stanley
    March 11, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    so creative! what a fun activity for your kids :)

  26. Claire - Craft Schmaft
    March 12, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Such a cool toy - genius!

  27. SarahD
    March 13, 2010 at 4:22 am

    I love reading about all your homemade toys and games for your kids :D They're lucky to have such an inventive daddy! Filing it all away for when my son is a little older. Thanks so much for sharing!

  28. Louise @ Illume Design
    March 18, 2010 at 5:22 am

    I just stumbled upon your blog ..this is a great idea.

  29. Mammagiramondo.
    April 8, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Oh Wow that's really wonderful!
    I really need to make some changes to our poles. Yours are too great!! I love it!
    Well, just in case you'd like to have a look to my fishing games we've made it for April's fools' day ;)
    Un mare di pesci per April's fool day

  30. Craziest Cottrell
    April 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Wow! I just stumbled upon your blog and am mesmerized by the details and ideas that you have. What an incredible mind! I will definitely buy a book by you!

  31. Tina
    June 1, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Wow, I just found your blog and I love everything you do! My llittle one said, that she would also like to have the fishing rod, while she already has the same cardigan like the child on the foto( with dots):)))!

  32. Jaja Oquinena
    December 2, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    making one and giving it out this christmas... will post on my blog soon!

  33. Rieko Warrens
    May 6, 2011 at 12:07 am

    I really enjoy your blog! And I really want to make this fishing pole. Do you have a drawing which I will be able to make it?

  34. Rieko Warrens
    May 6, 2011 at 12:09 am

    I am really enjoying reading your blog! And I would like to make this fishing pole! Do you have some drawing that I will be able to make it?

  35. Stephanie
    August 18, 2011 at 5:44 am

    I love the fish you made here and the simple reel function you came up with. The detail photo of the reel shows how simply beautiful your toys are. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  36. October 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    [...] leave you on your own to find the best fishing pole, but know that this gal and this gal made their own and they look terrific.  Share this:EmailTwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first [...]

  37. October 23, 2012 at 8:59 am

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  40. November 20, 2013 at 10:16 am

    [...] 4) Felt fish and stick fishing rod. Using a magnet on the end of your rod and wire coils attached to the fish, you can make a really cute rod which makes for a great game if you make a couple! You will need felt, a glue gun, two strong magnets, craft wire, two wooden cotton spools and some long straight sticks. Craft supplies such as wire can be found here. Cut out and stitch the fishes. You can embroider them and stick little buttons on them for eyes. Either could up a lot of wire inside them before stitching them up, or sew wire “hooks” to their mouths.  Use string wrapped round the sppol, and then attached to the rod with wire to make the line. You can also attach a wooden handle to make a real reel! [...]

  41. March 13, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    A fantastic idea. Took your concept, made my own variations and am super pleased with the results. Thank you - this truly is wonderful.

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