How To Keep Deer Out Of Your Garden With Fishing Line

If you live anywhere with green spaces surrounding your garden, you might be familiar with the issue of four-legged visitors popping by. While deer are undoubtedly beautiful, amazing creatures, they often aren’t very welcome in our garden spaces because of the damage they can cause. In this article, we’re going to explain how to keep deer out of your garden with fishing line, and some of the issues you might run into.

Putting up proper wooden fencing is not an option for some people; fences are costly, sometimes unsightly, and can stop other wildlife such as hedgehogs from traveling freely. They also spoil the view of any surrounding woodland or fields, as deer can jump high and fences may need to be as much as 10 feet high to stop deer from jumping over them.

Fishing line is inexpensive and unobtrusive in a garden, and as deer can’t see the barrier, they’ll be reluctant to try jumping over it, increasing the chances that they will simply walk away and find something else to munch on.

Do Deer Fishing Line Fences Work?

This seems to be an area of some debate; some people swear that fishing line fences are effective, but others say that they haven’t had much success with them. It’s likely that it depends to some degree on just how determined your deer are. If they’re desperate to get into your garden, a fishing line fence may not be enough to stop them.

That said, this type of fence is more appealing than some of the other deterrents such as noise-makers, many of which are also ineffective in the long term, and can be quite annoying for both the garden-owner and their neighbors.

In short, a fishing line fence might work, and as it isn’t going to cost a fortune in terms of times or materials, it’s likely worth a shot!

What Will You Need To Set Up A Deer Fishing Line Fence?

The fences aren’t very complicated and don’t take massive amounts of material; you should be able to get everything you require at a good home supplies store, and you may even have some of it already.

  • Fence posts or some similar kind of stake, at least the height of a deer.
  • Strong, clear fishing wire, strong enough that it won’t easily snap if a deer leans on it.
  • A piece of PVC pipe which your stakes will slot into nice and snugly.

You’ll need to measure the area you want to fence, and buy your supplies accordingly. Stakes should be spaced around 15-20 feet apart, all around the perimeter you intend to protect, so bear this in mind when working out how many to purchase or you may find you end up short.

How Do You Set Up A Deer Fishing Line Fence?

Getting The Stakes In

Using a mallet, bang your stakes into the ground around the perimeter of the garden. Your stakes should be securely wedged in, with minimal wobble if you shake them. This will ensure the fence is sturdy. Keep one post aside for later use; it’s going to create a gate.

Remember to put the posts around 15-20 feet apart; much further, and they won’t hold the wire taut enough or offer enough support to create a secure fence.

Wiring Up The Fence

Tie the fishing line around the first fence post, approximately 14-18 inches from the ground. Make sure it is secure; you could use glue to fasten the knot in place if necessary.

Walk to the next post and wrap the line around it, allowing a little bit of slack to remain, but not enough that the line is loose and in danger of tangling around anything. Wrap the line around the post 3 times to ensure it is secure. Again, you could use glue to hold the line in place, but this may not be needed.

Move to the next post and repeat the process there; again, the line should be taut but not stretched, and you should wrap it around the post at least 3 times for maximum security.

Do this for each post, until you have gone right around the area. Once you have finished, repeat the process with a new strand, about 14-18 inches above the previous one. Keep doing this until you reach the top of the post, and remember that a higher fence will be more secure. If the ground behind your garden is high, account for this by making a higher fence.

When you’ve finished, you should have several rows of fishing line, ranging from quite low to the ground to at least head-height for a deer. You don’t want the deer to be able to feel that the fence ends, so the top layer is particularly important. Equally, you don’t want one ducking under it!

Making A Gate

Take your piece of PVC pipe and dig out a little hole a short distance from your first fence post. Drop the pipe in so that it sticks up about an inch above ground level, and then pack the soil around it, trying not to let any get inside.

Drop your final stake into the PVC pipe and tie fishing wire between it and your first fence post, and you have a little gate that you can easily open or close by simply lifting the post out of the pipe. This is particularly useful if you need to be able to cut through from the garden to the area behind.

What Are Some Problems To Watch Out For?

Animals Getting Tangled Up

As with any sort of barrier, there’s a danger to animals, particularly as they can’t see the fencing. Make sure you regularly check on the fence to spot any damage, and repair or replace bits promptly to avoid them becoming hazards to animals.

Remember also to pick up and remove any fragments of loose fishing line to ensure animals can’t eat it.

Not Aesthetically Wonderful

Although the line is invisible, the stakes will still show, and it isn’t the most beautiful solution. It looks a little cheap, and if it isn’t regularly maintained, it will definitely look a mess. Overall, a hedge might be a prettier solution.


Although we’ve included instructions to help you add a gate to it, this type of fencing gets in your way almost as much as it gets in a deer’s way. If you need regular access to the land behind your garden, you might find this fencing more trouble than it’s worth.


Keeping deer out of your garden isn’t easy, and a fishing line fence may not be the perfect solution, but many people have had success with it.

It won’t cost you a fortune in materials or labor; you can probably build it yourself in a couple of afternoons, so it’s worth a try. It may be enough to keep your plants safe from hungry mouths and crushing antlers, and if it isn’t, you can look into proper deer fencing later.

One of the best aspects is that it’s not permanent, so it’s easy to remove if you want to put something else up, and you may even be able to re-purpose the materials.


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