altoids fishing kit "catfisher"

by Cadfinger, published

altoids fishing kit "catfisher" by Cadfinger Mar 15, 2017

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3555Views 461Downloads Found in Sport & Outdoors


The Altoids Fishing Kit "catfisher" is my new ultra light fishing rig. I wanted to design another little fishing reel that is a bit more practical than my first one http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2002148. As the name suggests... you guessed it, the reel can be packed down into a standard Altoids tin and have some room to spare.

I added some metal hardware including nuts, bolts, and a 624 bearing so this one will not qualify as 100% printable. However, this should improve the usefulness and practicality of the design. With this new rig, mounting is simplified to use only one zip tie and there are fewer parts to print.

This reel is a basic hand crank spool with no drag or break for the drum (you need to use your thumb when casting) but I might upgrade that after I get a chance to do some more field testing. Due to the addition of the ball bearing this little reel can cast baits and lures that have a bit of weight so it should be well suited for back county catfish dinner on the open fire.

Use a 7" zip tie for the reel and 4” zip ties to fix the eye guides to a long flexible branch or piece river cane, and away you go!

Print Settings


prusa i3 custom






.3mm layers




Print 3 eyes, the base and the pin with no support. I had to design the base part with it's own built in support material because it has some unsupported mass but the slicer software was generating some really weird support material that was impossible to detach from the part (see pics for details).

Print the inside spool, outside spool and the hub with support material for best results.


Clean Up the Parts

Remove the support material and clean up any burrs from the plastic parts. To clean up the base part, snip the 4 connections to the bottom arm. (remember that this part is designed with the support material integrated into the model) and cut through the little diagonal fins that support the top arm (see pics below). remove the chunk of support material and sand all the connection points with a bit of sand paper or emery cloth.




Parts List

Printed Parts

1 - Base
1 - Hub
1 - outside spool
1 - inside spool
1 - pin
3 - eyes

all parts

Nuts and Bolts

1 - 4mm x 30mm bolt
1 - 4mm washer
1 - 4mm nylock nut
1 - 624 ball bearing (13mm diameter, 5mm wide, 4.5mm dia hole)
1 - 3mm x 30mm bolt
1 - 3mm x 20 mm bolt
3 - 3mm nuts
3 - 3mm washers

all hardware

Misc Supplies

1 - altiods tin
1 - 7" zip tie
3 - 4" zip ties

    • optional glue that will be compatible with you filament of choice

Assembly: step 1

Fit the ball bearing into the inside spool.

Assembly: step 1

Insert the hub into the outside spool.

Assembly: step 3

Using the 4mm hardware, bolt the assembly together loosely. this is the part when you could add a bit of glue to the spool halves to make sure they stay put when you get a little tension on the line.

Assembly: step 4

Add the crank bolt and washer stuff and snug up all the hardware to your taste.

Assembly: step 4 (mounting)

Take the left over 3mm hardware and install the little pin. Adjust the pin to suit the diameter your particular fishing stick of choice (I used a pencil in the pic) and use a zip tie to mount it.
Wind on a bit of fishing line and your ready to go.

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So, is the catfisher better than the sunfisher??

Will a 608 Bearing work? This looks really cool!

No a 608 bearing is about 22 mm in diameter the 624 bearing is only 13

I was able to find everything besides the ball bearing from HomeDepot. Got the bearing on Amazon. I am having a hard time assembling it though. Is the base suppose to be very tight on the 4mm bolt?

The hole in the base should have a fairly snug fit but you should be able to push the 4mm bolt in by hand. You may have to chase the holes with a drill bit to get just the right diameter. My printer seems to print a more accurate inner diameter in PLA than when I print in ABS. What material are you using?

Thanks for the tip! I think the drill will help a lot. Gonna try it later.

I'm using PLA actually... so might just need to spend a little more time cleaning up the parts before assembly. And thanks for the design! I'm really excited about this.

I can't seem to find all the parts could you put a link in

This time, I got all the parts for this from my local ace hardware store. The bearing I had from left over parts from when I built my custom prusa i3 though. I am almost certain I got a sleeve of them from ebay. I have ordered a lot of hardware from boltdepot.com in the past, they have a great selection of hardware but no ball bearings.