3 Great Ideas

While they don’t belong on the list of “Inventions That Changed The World,” they’re certainly ideas whose time should have come long ago.

A lot of great ideas get left on the roadside simply because no one made the effort to make them happen. I think I’ve even had a couple of winners along the way, but rather than pursuing them probably decided to just go fishing instead.

Cruising the aisles at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades in Orlando last week, I found a number of things that just made perfect sense; a couple of them are so simple, in fact, you can file them under “why hasn’t someone come up with this before.”

Line Memo Indicator
This one is so simple, yet so clever. A spring-loaded dial (shown above) on the rod butt allows you to easily lock in the test-strength of the line you just spooled. No more tape and felt-tip marker. No more sticky mess on the rod handle. No more color-coded rubber bands. And if you abandoned those practices, no more trying to remember, or figure out, exactly what’s running through the guides.

According to the folks at Quantum, pro bassman Gerald Swindle came up with the idea and they incorporated it into their Smoke PT line of rods. There are 14 rods in the series, with an MSRP of $139. As for the Line Memo Indicator, I can only say, “Thank you, Mr. Swindle.”

Yeti Hopper
I hate to think of how many coolers—foam, metal and plastic—I’ve owned in my lifetime. Still have a number of them, in various states of repair, residing in the shed or garage. Some of them are in fine working condition, while others have been relegated to storage-tub duty.

Things changed when the premium coolers came along. Yes, they’re spendy, but still a lot less than the total cost of the collection I’ve bought over the years. Plus, they keep a block of ice for multiple days. Weight is the only drawback. They make great boat coolers, but I’m not going to carry one through the brush to my favorite trout creek.

Now comes Yeti’s new Hopper, a portable cooler with closed-cell foam insulation that’ll keep ice from melting for days. A rugged hide and EVA foam bottom are darn near puncture proof, and the zipper is the type used on dry suits so liquid can’t escape.

Retail is $299.99, but that’s not too bothersome as I figure it would replace every collapsible cooler I’d need to buy for the next 20 years.

Shakespeare Bank Stik
Shakespeare’s Bank Stik (MSRP $29.99, rod only; $39.99 as a combo) features a rod holder that slides inside the rod blank from the butt end when not in use.

Having spent countless hours of my life fishing from riverbanks and shorelines, I really appreciate this ingenious idea. Since most of my shore-fishing adventures occur after dark, it’s often a pain to hunt up a suitable Y-branch on which to rest the rod. Likewise, the few spike-type holders I’ve picked up at the local tackle shop or big-box store seldom survived 2 or 3 trips—having been lost or left behind in the dark.

The holder is made of fiberglass, so there’s slim chance I could break it, plus the smart storage idea means you’ll always have a holder at hand, and it’s one less thing to carry.

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