The most portable, versatile fishing method I've come across for people who spend time in the woods. More 'primitive' cultures have been using them for centuries. The thought of dragging out my old fishing poles - even the collapsible ones- seems like a hassle after slipping one of these in my shoulder bag and hiking into the best fishing spots. No over-the-shoulder or out-to-the-side casting into branches. Hold the reel in your off hand and spin the line with hook using your strong hand in small circles - like a cowboy getting ready to throw a lasso. Let loose in the direction you want your hook to go, holding the open circle side of the reel towards that sweet spot and watch the line fly off the reel in a graceful spiral towards a perfect cast. Using braided 12 lbs test line and a 1/4 ounce cleo, I can cast approximately 75 feet. It does take a bit of practice to find what works best for you, but it is a short learning curve. I intend to make a youtube demonstration video on using and casting, I will post a link here when completed. I caught the trout (for the picture above) after just a few casts in the river behind our house but catfish, bluegill, and bass are just as eager to bite.
I carefully hand turn these reels on a wood lathe, it can be a tricky to get just the right angle of curve for successful casting. Usually I use cherry wood (the lightest color shown above upper right corner), mahogany (reddish wood in foreground of picture), and when I can get it - Black Walnut wood (darkest color, upper left corner) and finish the reels using tung oil. Approximate finished size of the reels : 6" diameter circle, 3" diameter hole in the middle, 1.5 - 2.0 inches height, 6.5 ounces with line & lure. They are made by hand, using the natural attributes of each piece of wood so some variation in size can be expected. I use the cork & tie (shown above) to secure the hook for hiking, and for fast & easy access if I see something jump in the water.
The base price for a 'naked' reel (bare wood, no line, hook, cork, tie, lure) is $50.00. If you would like a reel ready to fish with and 'Loaded' : braided 12 lbs test line, cleo lure, cork & tie down - it will cost an addition $20 = $70.00 total.