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Ever felt the pain in your wrist and forearm after fishing with your favorite spinning rod? Whether casting, trolling or jigging, the traditional spinning rod forces you to rotate your wrist and hand downward producing undo stress and strain in your forearm. If you suffer from tennis elbow (see Dec/Jan 1997 issue of the In-Fisherman for more information), fishing with a spinning rod can be a painful experience. So what is an angler to do to relieve this stress?

A new ergonomically designed spinning rod and reel combination from WristSaver Rods, Inc. out of Prior Lake, Minnesota, may have the solution to wrist fatigue and forearm/elbow pain. The newly designed angled handle and reel foot (patented ®1999) shown in the photo positions the angler's hand in the natural pistol grip position. The wrist is straight, allowing for hours of stress-free fishing.

The angled butt-end handle allows for smooth, long and accurate two handed casts. Your wrist remains in the natural position during the entire casting motion, keeping you from stressing your forearm. Trolling is also a breeze with the new angled handle as your wrist is kept straight. The longer fore grip above the reel can be used for jigging while standing in your boat, or one can assume the pistol grip position while seated. In any application, you will feel more leverage while fighting fish.

Sensitivity is not lost with this new rod as the blank goes to the reel seat attaching to a lightweight, but strong, aluminum handle core. The rod/reel is perfectly balanced above the reel for maximum sensitivity for those light strikes.

The inventors of the WristSaver Rod, Neil and Kathie Michels, developed the idea in their boat near the end of a day of fishing. Neil suffers from tennis elbow and Kathie's arms were just plain hurting after hours of casting. They both agreed that the problem came from the way the wrist is rotated to hold the handle of the traditional rod and thought "there must be a better way". They built a few prototypes, altered a commercially available reel to fit the new handle design and took it out for extensive testing.

A five day, guided fishing trip to northwestern Manitoba put the new rod to the test. The Michels fished for 7 to 8 hours a day, casting, trolling and jigging. Alternating days between a traditional rod and their new WristSaver Rod. They found they could fish pain-free all day with the new rod, while the pain and fatigue came right back when they switched back to the traditional rod. By the end of the first hour with the traditional rod, my elbow would really hurt. I would switch to the new rod and within minutes the pain was virtually eliminated," Neil reports. Kathie described it this way. "I found that my forearm wasn't strong enough to make repeated long distance, accurate casts without wrist fatigue. The new rod provides the leverage to fish the way I want, making accurate two-handed casts all day without pain."

The Michels' guide, Kip Feroce of Fishing Expeditions International, tried the new WristSaver rod. When the Michels arrived, Kip had complained that his arm was so sore from catching 75 fish the day before. After trying the WristSaver rod, he said he could fish all day with it and not wear out his arm. He caught a nice 10 pound northern with his first cast. He thought the rod allowed him new leverage to fight such a fish. He wanted one as soon as they were available.

Now used by two time walleye champion Steve Fellegy out of Aitkin, Minnesota, WristSaver rods are turning heads across North America. Fellegy guides on Mille Lacs using the new rod and competes in tournaments with it as well. Fellegy feels its the best rigging stick he’s ever used. “Fish with this new rod for one hour and then pick up your old rod. The old rod won’t feel right anymore. The transformation is truly amazing!” says Fellegy.

To put their rod to the test, the Michels sent rods across the US by using the North American Fishing Club’s field testing program. The reports are in and they have earned the North American Fishing Club’s Seal of Approval. The field testers loved the rods, agreeing with Fellegy that after an hour or two of use, they felt the new rod was everything it was advertised. Comfortable, ultra-sensitive, great hook set, tremendous leverage for fighting fish, and really did reduce the stress and strain in the forearms after fishing all day.

The Michels decided it was time to introduce their revolutionary product to the world by presenting it at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades held in Las Vegas mid-July. This is a show only open to people in the industry. It showcases all the new products by all the major and not so major manufacturers of fishing related products. WristSaver Rods went up against the companies such as Shakespeare, Diawa, Shimano, and Penn. Major names in the industry. A judging team of sports writers from around the world took hours to look at each of the new products showcased. The result? The WristSaver Rod and Reel was judged the best new product in the rods/reels category in the world! They said this was the most revolutionary new change in the rod business they’ve seen in many years. Many told the Michels it was the best new product they saw at the entire convention.


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