Powerline Fishing

I've been fishing on Chicago's lakefront since I was a very young child. There is a certain culture that arises from people that like to fish but don't have boats. I never picked up on this culture until I lurked several chicago fishing messageboards. Like any hobby, hobbyists are nerds which can't wait to tell you about something they built... and help you along in your own projects. I've always heard the rumor or urban legend about powerlining rigs. Powerlining is essentially launching a high test fishing line out with an anchor and several baited hooks. Pitching a line out with several other smaller lines allows you to achieve distances (and in turn depths) that would be hard to achieve using the traditional rod and reel.



There are three main ways to pitch this monster line out into the water:

  1. Throwing the anchor/weight by hand
  2. Using a water balloon sling shot
  3. Using the pressure of a CO2 tank (think potato gun)

Guess which one I'm interested in.... you guessed it... CO2 tank.


After perusing several messaging boards I've come up with the following bill of materials:

  1. CO2 Fire extinguisher
  2. 5ft of 1" pipe
  3. some sort of pipe adapter (I'll figure that out once at home depot)
  4. 12 oz 1" x 2.5" weight
  5. 70' of rubber band/cord
  6. A couple hundred yards of 10-12 lb test
  7. Reel
  8. two large swivels
  9. 10 smaller swivels
  10. hooks
  11. beads

Then my additonail ideas:

  1. Door stopper spring
  2. Dowel rod
  3. Bell
  4. Screweyes

The plan I'm working on... still need to add snelled hooks.


Tagged as chicago , powerline powerline fishing , powerlining
Written by Andrew Konkol on June 18th, 2009


Hi, I ran across this site and like your setup. Have my grandfather's old powerline. Wanted to get more bells with the springs and they are unavailable. Couple of questions, 1 . where do you fish? I used to fish at calumet park. Also would like to know more if you get this setup. would like to see it if your close by. nice details. Any info on where I can get the old bells that screw into a wooden tackle box would be appreciated also would like to know how your co2 fire extinguisher works. :D Paul Collins

August 29, 2009
where could I buy the co2 tank for fishing, powerline set up

February 11, 2010
Where can you purchase the rubber band materials? I powerline fished when I was a teenager back ib Chicago. Thanks, Dave

Dave Manarin
March 24, 2010
[...] these little (and sometimes big) guys can be done at least two ways: by regular ol’ rod and by power lining. Details about fishing with a pole probably aren’t necessary. Power lining, however, is something [...]

Gozamos » Urban Anglers
April 13, 2010
you can buy the rubberband at henrys bait shop at 31st and canel , by the white sox

george the fish
May 24, 2010
When is the start season for power line fishing?which month? and how long? thanks!

Jovan Loncar
November 10, 2010
I used both these rigs fishing off the piers for perch in Racine during the 1950's. Used half a brick for the weight on the power lines and hand tossed them into the lake. If I wanted to fish deeper, I would add a bell sinker onto the rubber/leader connector. The bell had a screw end that would screw into the top of a wooden clothes pin which then went over the edge of a bucket filled with water. This bucket could be the terminus for 2 or 3 lines. I still have the bells in my old gear collection. We used to get the rubber from the local hobby shop. Used for model airplanes....the larger ones.

Cory Aber
September 1, 2011
Would like to know if this actually works, I'm guessing it does. What are you fishing for?

December 10, 2011
Nice set up.... Good luck buddy!!! :)

March 8, 2012
Were can I fill the fire extinguisher with CO2 for power line fishing.

March 8, 2012
Eligio... You can refill your CO2 TANK at Accurate Fire Equipment Co Located at 6570 west Diversy Chicago IL

March 8, 2012
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