Below: 17th & 18th century Fishing poles with fixed lines.
You will note that these fixed lines were often very short, the pole being used to drop the line away from the bank.
Below: Hand lines tied on bush poles 19th century.
Below:18th Century hand lines.
Hand Line Fishing 17th & 18th Century.
ISLAND CARIB FISHING TECHNIQUES6 French observers of the 17th and 18th centuries, including some excellent anglers, unanimously admired the fishing skills of the Island Caribs. These Indians, who expertly sought out productive banks and deeps (Breton 1665: 131- 132 S.V. chbbi, 355 S.V. minroua), even had a word translatable only as ‘(reproach to a man who does not know how to fish” (Breton 1665: 59 S.V. miticati. oue). Island Caribs frequently fished with handlines from their dugout canoes.
As you can see from above, period paintings of inland fishing always show the use of fixed lines on poles. However, it is evident that there were hand lines in use in the 18th century & earlier, in fact this method is probably one of the oldest methods of fishing. Travellers are not likely to have carried poles with them, these poles with fixed lines were used by city & towns people. Travellers could either use a hand line as is, or they had the option of cutting a pole & tying the hand line to the end of the pole. Hand lines can also be used as fixed lines, hanging from a tree branch & left overnight.
Author's hand lines & spare hooks.