A Nearly Invisible Fishing Line Deer Fence – Abundant Mini Gardens

A Nearly Invisible Fishing Line Deer Fence

Have you eagerly planted your vegetable garden, spending hours of time and plenty of hard-earned money, only to lose many of your crops to pesky deer?

One of our Abundant Mini Gardens members, Gary Haga, has shared with me how he is successfully keeping deer out of his vegetable garden by using a simple fence made with fishing line! This is a particularly useful concept for gardens in the suburbs or cities where using electric fencing or 8 foot tall deer fencing is simply not practical.

Even though deer could force their way through this fence if they wanted to, the fishing line is almost invisible and they have a hard time seeing it. When they brush up against the fence, they become spooked and avoid the fence, because they can't tell what touched them.  They also won't jump a fence that they can't see.

There are a number of  different ways you can create this type of fence.

Gary strung his fishing line between t-posts spaced 16 feet apart or less. He drove the posts about 18 inches deep into the ground. He spaced the fishing line at 1 foot intervals going up the posts, up to about 5 feet high, and used a 30-pound test mono filament. The posts have knobs spaced at intervals. To maintain the proper spacing, he uses aluminum ties that are used for chain link fences. Cable ties or twine would work also.

Just be sure to NOT hang anything on the fence (like colored flags or aluminum pie pans), as that would help the deer to see where the fence is.

Here are photos of Gary's fishing line fence:

Gary is using t-posts to support the fishing line around his garden.  Other folks use narrow green garden posts.

Gary is using t-posts to support the fishing line around his garden. Other folks use narrow green garden posts.

A garden gate for a fishing line fence

The gate consists of a small piece of welded wire fabric. It is attached to one of the t-posts with cable ties. The other side is attached to a garden stake which is held closed with a piece of velcro.

Attaching the fishing line

This is how Gary is attaching the fishing lines to the posts.

If you would like to see a different version of a fishing line fence using narrow green garden stakes, check out this PDF report from the West Jersey Rose Society: An Almost Invisible Deer Fence – Easily Removable & Reusable

In addition, here is a YouTube video created by a wildlife control specialist, showing how he uses a fishing line fence to control deer in his own vegetable garden:

So, don't let the deer destroy all of your hard work! This fence is pretty simple and inexpensive to create. Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you.

  • Sandy Polin says:

    Great idea, im not having a problem with deer. How do i keep the cats out of my garden. i have many gardens all over the yard to use my back yard space. Its not like i can do just one tall fence. I have a fenced in back yard, but the cats don’t care, they find a way in. They jump up on the fence and into the yard. It’s a chain link fence. regular height.
    Thank You, Sandy

    • Debra says:

      Hi Sandy! That’s a tough problem. It’s hard to make a good suggestion for garden beds scattered all over. I know some people that successfully use motion sensor water sprinkler systems to keep cats out of their garden, but you would need a lot of them to cover different areas. Other people use bird netting or other screening over their beds to keep the cats out. Sorry I don’t have better suggestions for you!

  • Jim says:

    Very nice article and information, I had learned about using fishing line last year and used it successfully. I do have some trouble with smaller animals but not enough to worry about. I just wrote an article about my front yard garden and my deer fencing. Please read it and let me know what you think. https://theoutdoorreport.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/front-yard-garden/

    • Debra says:

      Jim, thanks for sharing your successful experience with your fishing line deer fence. We’re going to be installing this kind of fence in our own front yard this year, as the local deer have finally found us after 5 years.

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