New motorized reel expands fishing opportunities for disabled anglers
A new motorized reel and associated harness can provide greater fishing capabilities for certain disabled individuals.
Although numerous disabled anglers have learned to fish with one arm and hand, most are limited to the types of fishing they can enjoy.
There are several aids available to enable them, and now there is a new device that may further expand their opportunities to catch a variety of fish.
Through years of research and development and advice from such angling luminaries as Al Lindner, Dan Sura, Dave Csanda and Jeff Zernov, as well as input from anglers with physical limitations, the M-POW-R REEL® was developed.
The M-POW-R REEL is a motorized spinning reel which enables physic ally-challenged (especially one-handed) anglers to rediscover the joy of fishing.
Powerful and versatile, the reel is designed to fit virtually any spinning rod, ice rod or fly rod, thanks to an innovative new harness developed specifically for the reel to use with various rods.
The new product package includes the M-POW-R spinning reel, special harness, four-amp battery, battery charger, fanny pack, and a pulse width modulated speed control, which provides optimum torque throughout the motor’s power band.
Anglers operate the reel with a thumb-actuated button attached to the rod via the harness. A spare spool, backup reel handle and a power point adapter plug are also included.
Initiated by Dr. Roland “Doc” Kehr, former co-owner of the Lindy Little Joe Tackle Company, the M-POW-R reel was developed for Doc’s son Nathan, who has cerebral palsy and is unable to use his left arm and hand.
Nathan, growing up in the Brainerd Lakes area of Minnesota, has been an avid angler all his life, but his disability limited his enjoyment of the sport.
He could cast with his right arm and reel with his right hand, but he couldn’t do both simultaneously, impeding his ability to fight and land fish. He had to rely on his fishing partner, most often his father, to either hold the rod or operate the reel. Doc was determined to find a solution.
“We’re very excited about sharing this new technology with other disabled anglers,” said Dr. Kehr. “It’s enabled my son Nathan to fully experience the thrill of fighting and landing more and bigger fish, and we’re confident it will empower many more people facing physical challenges to truly appreciate and enjoy this great sport.”
Another angler to discover the versatility of the power reel and new harness is John Vandercook, a passionate and discerning angler who lost his left arm in a motorcycle accident.
“I can do anything any other angler can do, it just takes me longer,” said Vandercook. “But the reel and harness now allow me to retrieve the bait or fight a fish without pressing the reel handle against my ribs to reel.
For years I've focused on jig fishing and trolling, but the M-POW-R now makes it possible for me to fish bass, trout, whatever ... on the retrieve. As soon as that bait hits the water it's one push of the button and that bait is moving. In my experience, that's what gets strikes.”
Although he’s a fan of the 6’ 6” medium-action graphite M-POW-R rod, he champions the versatility the new harness affords, which allows him use of the reel on any rod he chooses.
“Depending on what, where and how I’m fishing, I may want to use a longer, shorter, or heavier or lighter action rod. As we know, not every rod is perfect for every situation.”
In addition to the new reel and harness fishing package, the company will continue to sell the original M-POW-R Reel® and Rod combo fishing package, which includes a two-piece medium action graphite rod to complement the reel and harness.
For more information, visit the company website: mpowrfishing.com to see all of the accessories included in both fishing packages.
(AUTHOR’S NOTE -- Like much specialty equipment for disabled individuals, the equipment is relatively expensive. However, it may be a valuable tool for certain individuals.)