Thursday, June 26, 2014

Electric Fishing Reels


July 22, 2015 -New Electric Reel on the market. Get info on the M-POW-R REEL

When dealing with the outdoors, your gear is especially critical in your success or failure.  Having the right tool for the right situation can be the difference between the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat.  In the world of fishing, your reel choice is one of those critical pieces.  I see fisherman who are extremely loyal to a certain brand name...why?  They believe that the product is going to give them that much needed edge to succeed.  It is confidence that so often can be the real difference. Whether it's belief in a certain type of lure, line, reel or rod, confidence is everything.

I had a friend who was not handicapped or disabled.  He loved to fish but did not fish the last 10-15 years of his life because arthritis in his hands caused him so much pain.  Enter the Electric Reel!  Had my friend had one of these babies, he could've continue to pursue his passions for much longer with a lot less pain and a lot more confidence.  Imagine what something like that could do for your loved one who is disabled or handicapped whether young or old?  For a long time, this was a fantasy - to put a powered, mechanized something-or-other on a reel to make it take in the line at the touch of a button.  Sci-fi has become reality and today's article is going to break this down for you.  At present, I am still using a rod and reel the old fashioned way of chunking and winding so I am hoping some of my blog readers can give some perspective in the comments if they have used any of the following reels.

Power Fish'n Pro
First Up - The Power Fish'n Pro Electric Reel made by Rock Island Equipment Company has a great tried and true solution for freshwater.  It is a basic set-up on a Shakespeare spinning reel with a motor that winds in your bait.  It is backed by a solid company that is manufacturing and guaranteeing it and will assist you with parts as necessary.  The reel is powered by 4 "AA" batteries and according to Jerry Wetzel, the Production Manager for Rock Island, will give you around 16-20 hours of fishing.  It is good to use re-chargeable batteries so you can pop fully charged ones in if the first set begins to wain. The website offers some excellent videos with fishing pro and Hall of Famer, Dan Galusha on how to use the reel to present different lures correctly as well as knots, how to's, etc.  Mr. Wetzel did mention that there are some who are using the reel in light saltwater and it works fine however he cautions that the real design of the reel was for freshwater and that saltwater air can cause corrosion of some of the components.  If you intend to use this reel near the coast for in-shore action, be sure to do due diligence to take care of the reel. Although I have never had the privilege of testing this reel, it seems to be more than adequate in providing a solution for someone who is losing or has lost the ability to reel the line in.  Price of the reel is $299 and can be ordered from the website link above.
Power Fish'n Pro Video

Elec-Tra-Mate
The next reel is made by Elec-Tra-Mate 450PTH.  It doesn't play around with a strong build and tough motor.  Crafted after Elec-Tra-Mate's deep water reels that tackle offshore monsters this is a fresh-water beast starting with a Penn 450SSG reel.  Penn makes great spinning reels so this reel can definitely handle freshwater or light saltwater environments.  It only weighs 18 oz but depending on the angler is still something to be considered.  An odd feature is the size and the bulk of the set up.  It's like you are carrying a 1980's cell phone with you...bag included.  (Yes, cell phones once came with a bag for the younger generation!)  Having a tether to a battery pack may prove arduous but looks can be deceiving.  The price of the reel is $409-$429 which is the highest in this article.  Don't get me wrong, you get what you pay for.  Penn reels are not cheap for a reason.  They are very dependable.  So if you are looking for that duel threat fresh/saltwater real, then this may be a good option for you.  Lastly, they do offer an electric Bait-Casting reel.  It seems to be tailored more for saltwater, but it can work for big bass, catfish and stripers.

Fish Winch Reel
If trolling and reef fishing is your thing then perk up and pay attention!  Fish Winch is a company that seems to be on top of this game and in some ways competes directly with Elec-Tra-Mate for deep-water drop down rigs and trolling.  I spoke with Ryan from Fish Winch who was very helpful in explaining their niche. They offer bait-casting style reels only and are comfortable in the solution that they provide which I like very much.  Ryan explained that their systems are really designed for two-handed warfare against game fish that you have to use large sinkers to get the bait to the fish or for those trolling environments when the fish hits and the boat doesn't stop.  The electric motor is powerful and quiet and makes easy work in aiding fishermen in not having to kill themselves to land the animal.  If you have ever been deep-water reef fishing, forget the animal...just reeling in the stinking weight can cause cramping.  These reels are designed to bring those weights up with ease.  Price is $299 and they offer a very wide selection of saltwater reels to choose from.  The weight is 2.9 lbs however if you are fishing with the rod in a holder or a fighting chair...it weighs nothing - hehe!  Ryan also mentioned that they have the longest warranty of anyone else in the electric reel market and for Joe consumer, that is nice!

Updated as of 2/14/16 - The reviews I have heard on the product below has been less than stellar.  Be careful and informed before purchasing this setup.  The design is amazing.  The performance is evidently still not perfected.  I wish Fishing Abilities all the success they deserve as they strive to make their product one of the best alternatives on the market.  I also respect my readers and want them to be informed of potential problems with this product in its current form.  

Freedom Fishr
The last reel is from a relatively new company - Fishing Abilities Inc.  It is called the Freedom Fishr and is based on a simple solution to the problem - give the fisherman a powered help.  I spoke with Dan Badur who is the President of Fishing Abilities.  They start with a Shimano reel that has been joined with a motor that simply cranks the mechanism where the handle used to be  which is powered by a 12 volt battery pack.  It is small for a mechanism which is a big advantage and only adds an additional 3-4 ounces to the reel.  Secondly, the switch that comes with the reel gives you a neat speed control function as to how fast you want the reel to take in line.  The switch that mounts to the rod has a rocker switch which gives you the function of two buttons.  One button will take in line as fast as the reel can go.  The other button however reels in line at the speed that you determine with a dial on the battery pack.  Depending on the bait of choice and how fast or slow you want to present that bait to the fish is up to you to adjust.  In the future, they hope to offer a "sip" and "puff" option for those fisherman who cannot use their arms in rigorous activity.  The company went through it's beta testing phase last year and is going public with the retail sale of it's product at the time that this article is written.   Dan said that the reel would well in both freshwater and saltwater environments.  I once watched a guy catch a 10-15 lb bull Red on a Zebco 33 so anything is possible right?  Price is $199 at the time of this article and can be ordered from the website provided above.

I hope this article helps all of those who may be in the need for some assistance to aid you in the adventure of staying on the waters edge or giving the gift of fishing to a needed loved one.  Remember that good upkeep of reels like these is a premium.  Always store them inside and away from the elements...even the ones that are meant for the harshest of environments.

- Scott Anderson
handicappedoutdoors@gmail.com

33 comments:

  1. Roger FankhauserJune 26, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    Fascinating - who knew?

    The Fish Winch caught my eye. I have no disabilities but last year I had the great opportunity to fish in Alaska. As a fairly healthy guy, I got wore out fishing the deep water for halibut. I caught a few but nothing huge (biggest was 35 pounds, give or take) but just about wore me out. I can;t imagine how it would work for someone who has some sort of limitations. This reel - at least on paper- looks like a winner!

    Thanks again, Scott for (a) interesting and unique article, and (b) a well-written article!

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    1. Fankhauser, you are a scholar and a gentleman and we need to have a nice meal and a cold drink very soon!

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  2. This Electric Fishing Reels seems to me sound like very easy to controlling during fishing time. I hope buy it in the next month though I am still not sure that how much it will cost. Please let me know. Thanks

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    1. Sorry so late on the reply. Helllllooooo Australia! My wife and I want to spend about 6 months touring your lovely land. The reels will vary in price. The best way to know is to contact each of the manufacturers or suppliers and inquire directly. Some of the reels that would be great for Charter fishing vary in size, line quantity, etc and thus their prices will also vary. Hope it helps mate!

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  3. Thanks, Added Something new to my knowledge.

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    1. Most welcome Christina. I will be releasing an article later this month that should aid you even further in the hunt for an electric reel. A new reel has just come to market and I cannot wait to share it with my audience!

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  4. Actually I read it yesterday but I had some thoughts about it and today I wanted to read it again because it is very well written. daytona shark fishing charters

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    1. Ned, thanks for the kind words. An electric reel would be a great asset for even an average angler while Shark fishing. My wife and I landed a Black-Tip once on very light gear. We fought it for 35 minutes. We felt like we had been in a car wreck the next morning - LOL! An electric reel would've been nice.

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  5. Hello,
    Your writing article on Electric Fishing Reels is really very nice and fantastic. I read and got very necessary information on fishing. You have described the matter with a easy way. Thanks for your nice sharing.

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    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed the article my friend! Keep coming back for mote great information on hunting, fishing, travel, etc.

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  6. Hi guys,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful article! Here we all can learn a lot of useful things and this is not only my opinion!
    Even BLNCK corp. and http://www.bestbaitcastingreels.com/ confirmed it!

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  7. Thank you for taking some time to write this post. Finding the best fishing reel is not as easy as it might seem, especially if you are a beginner in the world of fishing and fishing equipment. Many reels look alike and have similar or the exact same features at first sight, so you have two choices. See more http://survival-mastery.com/skills/scouting/best-fishing-reels.html

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  8. Very informative blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing. largemouth bass smallmouth

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a ton Brenda for the kind words. We always have some things in the works so keep checking back with us and spreading the word about Handicapped Outdoors.

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  9. In August of 2012, Nathan and I were testing four motors of various speeds on a prototype spinning reel . The motorized reel that Nate had used for close to 28 years had no real power to retrieve lures or land fish. Nate would raise his spinning rod to the 12 o’clock position, press and hold down the power button on the rod handle and at the same time lower the rod to the 3 o’clock position as the motor retrieved the line to the reel spool. Most of his fishing was vertical jigging or casting short distances with a float and jig combination.

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    Replies
    1. Shoot me a picture of the reel amigo! handicappedoutdoors@gmail.com

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  10. I am a big fan of outdoor adventures, especially camping and river/lake fishing. However, my success or failure is always dependent on the gear I carry, something I have learnt whenever I go fishing. I do use a traditional fishing reel, but I am considering a more advanced model. So far, the power fish’n pro electric reel seems to be the best choice after reading your review. Similarly, I found more reels here: http://wildernessmastery.com/fishing/best-fishing-reels.html

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