2016 - Volume #40, Issue #4, Page #21[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Air-Powered Fishing Pole Helps Disabled Anglers
The retired Wisconsin mechanic has been a lifelong tinkerer and worked at several industries dealing with pneumatics, hydraulics and engineering. He has dealt with his own back issues and lifting limitations for about 12 years, and because he loves to fish, he decided to create a pole that does part of the work for him.
“I came up with a one hand control. I combined a Zebco pole and inexpensive drill to wind it in,” Lease says. The line is cast the same way as other poles, and pushing the drill switch reels the line back in. He notes that since the battery makes it heavier, he came up with a version with a cord that plugs into a battery pack.
For people with less mobility he built a 40-lb. aluminum unit with a small air compressor, battery and air cylinders that cast and release.
“After you build air pressure, you pull the joystick lever back and hold it until the pole goes back, then you let go. It’ll cast 20 to 30 yards. When you get a bite, you pull back on the joystick to reel it in,” Lease says, noting he also made a version that has a button to tug on the line when a fish bites. Another version has a motorized turntable so the pole can be cast from different angles.
“They sound complicated, but it’s basic mechanical motion,” Lease says.
Lease has taken the pneumatic poles to events for people with disabilities, and they have been a big hit. However, because of the cost of the parts ($300 to $500) they’re expensive to market to people on fixed incomes.
“They really work, and it’s a thrill to catch fish. I enjoy building them and just want to get them out there and have people enjoy them,” Lease says, noting he welcomes requests from people interested in covering his material costs.
The pneumatic pole is ideal for people who love to fish but need assistance, as well as organizations that take people with disabilities fishing.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Lease, 102 Bowman St., Brooklyn, Wis. 53521 (email@example.com).
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