Dogbane is a fibrous plant that’s been used for thousands of years to make clothes, bags, and paper. It makes an ideal material for a fishing line because it’s stronger than cotton and retains its strength when wet.
First, Bill smashes the stalk, splitting it, and tries to separate it into four equal parts. Then, he takes the pith out by cracking it in small sections and wiggling them back and forth towards the middle to get them out. That way, he can keep the inner strands as long as possible.
Second, he takes the strands and splits them into two sections. Then he takes one set of strands and starts to twist away, essentially curling the strands over each other, and wraps the newly twisted section over the other set of untwisted strands. This process is repeated until the proper length of cordage has been produced.
Third, to make a fishing hook, he uses a small animal bone. He sharpens both ends of a small bone on a rock, getting it razor sharp. Then, he carves a small groove into the center of the bone where he will attach his fishing line.
Bill fashions a litter out of a Milkweed plant and uses a rock as a sinker.
Finally, he turns over some rocks on the river’s edge looking for bait. He finds Crayfish and baits his hook with it.
The skill of making a fishing line and hook in the wild is a critical wilderness hack and vital to outdoors survival.