A spinal cord injury like quadriplegia affects arm and hand function. Fishing with a regular fishing rod and reel is difficult to use. One alternative is a battery fishing rod. Roef’s battery powered fishing rod has been specially designed to assist disabled people with limited hand or arm function.

Battery powered disability fishing rod switch
Battery powered disability fishing rod switch

Roef’s battery fishing rod is designed for lightweight estuary fishing from a pier, bridge or boat with disability in mind. A great idea in infancy stages, like many powered fishing rods, Reof’s lacks an automatic bait casting mechanism. Quadriplegics may find it difficult to flip the wire pick up over to cast. And release line from the spool. It’s possible to reverse wind but not ideal with an egg beater style fishing reel. Most often it will result in line twist and inevitably tangles.

The disability fishing rod’s manual winding arm has been replaced with a 12 volt 60 rpm battery powered electric motor. All other functions of the reel are the same. The lightweight power rod can lift it’s own weight of 1 kg (2.2 pounds) vertically. 12 volt rechargeable batteries are sealed in the butt of the rod. A 240 volt trickle recharger plugs in for overnight charge.

Roef’s disability fishing rod is Australian made and retails for $295.00 AU plus postage and handling. It gives 2-4 hours of general use before running flat. You can have your own favourite fishing rod converted if possible. The manufacturers offer a transformer switch and cables to run off a standard 12 volt car or power wheelchair battery. Additional backup battery packs and a rod holder for manual chairs are also available.

Disability fishing rod motor motor
Disability fishing rod motor motor

While useful for lightweight disability fishing we found Roef’s Power Rod struggles to land decent sized fighting fish. The egg beater reel cheap metal components are prone to fatigue and breakage. We experienced a great deal of line twist even with the use of a swivel. Once the battery runs flat there is no over-riding manual winding arm. For a quadriplegic wheelchair user perhaps the largest drawback however is no self-casting mechanism. An inability to cast means you are restricted to fishing from a boat or jetty unless you have someone cast for you (which can be done with a standard fishing rod).

Overall Roef’s battery powered disability fishing rod is handy for lightweight river or estuary fishing. Low level quadriplegics with some hand function and high level paraplegics may find it handy. Call or write to Roef’s address below for a brochure on their battery powered disability fishing rod.

We would like to see further development creating a more robust, more powerful, self casting version. If for no other reason a battery powered disability fishing rod is a great reason to spend a day by the water.

Where: Roef’s Engineering, P.O. Box 568, Pakenham 3810. Victoria. Australia.
Cost: $295.00 + postage, Phone ( 03 ) 5941 3525.
Intensity: 2 star rating Needs more torque. Not self casting.

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