I also love to putter around in the shop making stuff! Ive made up some "pop" gear for trolling for Trout this winter but havnt tried them out yet!
What part of the country are you in? What are you fishing for?
I did a lot of shooting & have a lot of 45-70, 38-50 brass cases left over so will take a look at them to see what I can come up with. If you find a use for them let me know.
I am also working on a "Poor Mans" downrigger using a old Penn salt water reel & pole. This one will be for use with my Scotty downrigger but at a depth like 20 ft. It should be much easier to use.