Like many anglers Fred Meilak has suffered numerous cuts and burns from using his thumb to control the spool when casting â€“ but heâ€™s come up with a â€˜reelyâ€™ good idea to prevent this.
Fred has, with the help and support of the Wales Innovators Network (WIN) which is funded and run by the Welsh Assembly Government, come up with the Multiplier Fishing Reel Spool Controller.
His invention is ingenious in its simplicity. The device made from a plastic and nylon compound snaps onto the butt of the rod and a lever that protrudes over the spool is pressed by the thumb and acts as the brake.
The device not only protects the thumb but also provides anglers with a better grip said Fred who is an avid sea fisherman.
He is heading to London later this month to join hundreds of other inventors from around the world to promote his simple but effective thumb guard at the British Invention Show.
He will be exhibiting on the WIN stand and hopes his invention will catch the eye of potential manufacturers and is looking for licensing, marketing and distribution opportunities.
Sixty two year old Fred, who lives in New Quay, explained that thumb injuries tend to be an occupational hazard when using a multiplier reel.
â€œThe multiplier reel is a free spinner- so when you cast, the spool starts spinning and the line plays out – but once the lead hits the water you have to stop the spool.The only effective way to do this is to press down on the spool with your thumb.
â€œThe cast can be quite fierce and the spool spins incredibly fast which can cause a nasty burn if you use your thumb as a brake. Thereâ€™s nothing on the market to protect your thumb despite the fact that millions of people fish and suffer from these injuries regularly.â€
His device has been patented with a funding contribution being provided by WIN to support the initial costs, Fred hopes to catch the interest of fellow anglers.
Ieuan Wyn Jones, Minister for the Economy and Transport, said the Wales Innovators Network is a unique initiative providing professional advice and support for individuals across Wales to help them develop their concepts into commercial products.
â€œInnovation is the lifeblood of a healthy economy and WIN plays an important role in actively encouraging and promoting inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs.
â€œOver the past year 350 individuals have been helped with the development of their ideas and Wales has done exceptionally well over the past few years winning a raft of top awards at the key exhibitions in Europe.â€