Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Adding Leverage for the Handicapped Angler

One of the fun things you get to do when hosting your very own outdoor blog is test stuff out.  I am constantly scouring the Internet to try and find the neatest things that might be able to help someone get back into the field or on the water. Last fall, I ran across a unique concept and wanted to try it out from a handicapped/disabled perspective.  The results have been amazing!

Fishing Arm Anchor
Arm Anchor
The Fishing Arm Anchor was invented by Trent Oldham.  It was originally devised to aid tournament fisherman.  Kevin Van Dam makes about two casts per minute during an 8-hour competition day.  This equals roughly 28,800 cast in a typical year for KVD.  We haven't even begun to add in practice days, bait testing, etc.  You can imagine the fatigue a pro goes through.  The Fishing Arm Anchor helps a fisherman to remain fresh throughout the day by adding some leverage onto their rod and taking some of the stress and fatigue off their arms and hands.

It's a simple design and can be configured for either the right or left hand.  It also is made to fit any style rod whether baitcasting or spinning.  In fact, I was using it completely backwards to the instructions at one point this spring just because it felt better to me.

What's the advantage?  I thought you'd never ask.  I was able to do something with this little addition to my rod that I haven't been able to do in many years.  After setting the hook, I was able to bring the rod tip to a 12 o'clock position...repeatedly.

Courtesy of Stephen Walcott
Courtesy of Stephen Walcott
The little arm extends out from your rod at a 90 degree angle and allows you to catch your forearm or elbow to give you greater control and strength to raise the rod into a much better fighting position.  In all of my years watching professional fisherman set the hook, no one does it better than Bill Dance.  Sitting in his chair, just like many of us, he generates a lot of kinetic energy.  Much of that is due to his rod position and hand placement.  He always brings his hands to his chest with the rod tip up creating enormous leverage on the fish.

The rod tip being up also helps fight a fish that decides to run directly at you.  By bringing the rod tip to the 12 o'clock position, you can chew up precious feet of line to keep a fish on that might shake loose if your rod is pointing at the horizon.

Frankly, this position has become increasingly more difficult for me to achieve due to muscle loss over the years.  However, this spring, the Fishing Arm Anchor enabled me to produce glorious hook sets and achieve this coveted rod position.  I even had one fish do the nasty move of running toward me.  For the first time in many years, I caught myself naturally bringing the rod tip up, negating the fishes surge and keeping him firmly on the line.

On a different note, I want to give a great big shout out to two new sponsors.  BassPro Shops and Long Range Alley have graciously partnered with Handicapped Outdoors and are aiding the cause of getting the handicapped and disabled back into the field and on the water!  Thanks a ton for your support!

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