For eight years, Eliel Santos has been using dental floss and mousetrap glue to reel in gold, jewelry, electronics and cash trapped beneath city sidewalk grates.
ver the years, Santos has perfected his gear. He ditched the string because it was too fragile, experimented with fishing line but found it too inflexible, and now uses dental floss exclusively — 120 yards worth of Aim brand. “It’s only $1.19.”
The line is MacGyvered with black electrician’s tape to differed sized weights — found metallic objects — to accommodate even the narrowest grate.
He changes the Blue-Touch mouse glue about three times a shift, which spans generally from 9 am to about 2 pm.
To snag cash, he uses a tiny fishing hook that he’s straightened out like a spear. Heavy objects are hauled in using two or more glue weights, and a traditional fish hook is also used on occasion to grab hard-to-snag earrings or chains.
Sometimes he uses a pair of binoculars and a flashlight, and he’ll wear purple rubber gloves on occasion.
“In case it’s in toxic water,” he explains.