adaptive fisherman

    Does anyone out there have a disability? Would adaptive fishing equipment help you? Are you letting your disability disrupt your life unnecessarily? Please, don't.

    I started this web site with the sole idea of giving advice and recommendations on adaptive fishing equipment to assist the handicapped/disabled angler to enjoy the sport of fishing.

    I did this from a unique perspective. I have am adaptive disability. There, I've said it. Now I feel better.

    I am a diabetic. As a consequence of this disease, I have retinopathy, which means a loss of vision to the point where seeing the bobber or strike indicator at any sort of distance is really difficult. I also have a heck of a time tying on tippets and flies.

Another consequence of my diabetes is neuropathy, or the loss of feeling in certain parts of the body. In my case, I have a 95% loss of sensation from the knees down. This does not inhibit my motor nerves (for movement) but I just don't feel the ground underneath my shoes. I know it's there because I feel the pressure. But I could step on a sharp object and not know that I did so until I see the blood.

Compared to other disabilities, mine is rather inconsequential. I live with it and cope.

The good news is that since I've done my research, research, research, I have found great new unique and/or unusual products to make fishing expeditions much more enjoyable.

Having a disability is not going to stop me from surf fishing, trout fishing, carp fishing, bass fishing, salmon fishing, etc. Due in great part to modern adaptive technology, new adaptive devices are coming out almost daily.

I am writing to let you know what new adaptive fishing equipment is out there; which equipment and gear Fly Fishing will be carrying in inventory; why we recommend a particular item; and advice on how to make standard products perform better for the adaptive angler.

Adaptive Friendly Products

Quoting Winston Churchill, "Never, never, never give up". You can LEARN TO FLY CAST, You can learn to read the water. You can overcome your disabilities. You can enjoy life and have fun. Yes, you can!!!

Now I would like to introduce you to some adaptive fishing equipment that I've researched recently which I believe can be a "godsend" to people with disabilities:

dropper fly rigsdropper fly rigsreel combo systemsdropper fly rigs

Reel Combo Systems™ has 2 fantastic fly fishing products that will increase your fly fishing time, increase the number of fish you catch per hour and revolutionize the way fly fishermen of all skill levels fish...the Dual Fly Combo System and the Nymph Dropper System. It's dual because experts agree fish prefer to see two flies instead of one. It's easier and much faster because you can add flies to your line in a matter of seconds -- not minutes! Don't waste precious minutes fooling around trying to add and/or replace flies on your fishing line. Now you can change and add flies in a matter of seconds.

I have used this system in Colorado and expect to use it again in Tennessee in July. It takes me just about 60 seconds (as advertised) to tie on the rig, even with hands that are mildly insensitive to feel due to diabetic neuropathy.

Magnetic Tippet Threader

20/20 Magnetic Tip Threader

No more squinting. Adapted for those who can hardly see the eye of a hook, let alone thread it. Tie one on even in the dark. It's that easy.

This handy little threader can help you when your hands are just too cold to easily thread your tippets through the eyes of those tiny flies. It is magnetic, and the hook automatically gets pulled into place for easy threading. Simply point the end of your tippet into the groove that directs it right through the eye. Heck, why wait until your hands are cold? After you try this, you won't want to thread flies any other way. This gizmo is a bargain!

Habervision Sunglasses

HaberVision Kenai Bi-Focal HaberVision Velocity Interchangeable Lenses HaberVision Bellagio - copper rose glass  lenses HaberVision Nice

Sunglasses are an absolute necessity. We all are born with 5 senses (touch, taste, hearing, smell, and sight). From someone who has lost partial vision, I can't state this too strongly -- don't risk your eyesight by using inferior products.

Sunglasses for fishing should be adaptive to the conditions. They should have a strong frame but light in weight; they should have built in magnifiers; they should be able to accommodate several colored lenses for use with various water colors and clarity; and they should wrap-around for utmost sun protection and glare avoidance.

There are many manufacturers making good glasses, but only a few who meet the standards above. I can recommend without any reservation, Habervision sunglasses. They are really a quality product. If you have any vision problems and can't quite see the fish the way you'd like to, I suggest buying sunglasses with the copper rose colored lenses. Haber makes them in either polyurethane or glass. I personally like the glass lenses for utmost clarity. The following is from Haber:

Bellagio - The Bellagio is a classic wrap-around shape sunglass that eliminates glare from penetrating around the sides, top and bottom of the glass. With Corelex™ light adjusting photochromatic polarized lenses it's the perfect blend of form and function to keep you performing at your peak.

Nice - Choose Corelex™ light adjusting photochromatic polarized glass when visual optimization is mission critical. The Nice is a classic rectangular shape in a wrap style. 8-base lens geometry allows little in the way of peripheral light to disturb you. Anti-reflective and hydro repellant coatings make for unrivaled performance..

Trim - Choose Corelex™ light adjusting photochromatic polarized lenses when visual optimization is mission critical. The Trim is a new style rectangular shape with wide flowing temples and subtle wrap shape. Anti reflective and Hydro repellant coatings enhance the performance aspects and increase perception.

So, why do I consider Haber sunglasses as a piece of essential adaptive fishing equipment? I have retinopathy and neuropathy. I want a pair of sunglasses that are nearly unbreakable; that float; that have bifocals built into them; that have interchangeable lenses. Does one pair of glasses do the trick? Well, no not really. There is no perfect all-in-one solution, but Haber comes very close.



Thingamabobber (WestWater Products) makes a strike indicator that is amazingly light, bright, easy to cast and easily seen by those with certain vision problems such as cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. Other features: trapped air technology; easy to attach and adjust; does not slide up and down on your line; and it never sinks so you don't need floatant.

Jason Reep of East Tennessee Fly Fishing put me on to this extraordinary adaptive aid. Many thanks, Jason.

Grabber foot warmers Grabber warmers Grabber hand warmers MPI hat sox

Hand, Toe, Foot, & Mega Warmers:

When you're outdoors, the cold can really get to you. Your feet get cold, your hands get cold… and before you know it, you've caught a chill and your trip is ruined. When you're fishing, you're also wet, which only adds to your misery. If you have a health condition on top of that, like neuropathy from diabetes or arthritis that is aggravated by the cold, well… I'm sure you can imagine just how miserable you'll end up being. But how do you still enjoy your outdoor pastimes like fishing, hunting or climbing?

For more details on these products, click here.
To purchase Hand, Toe, Foot, or Mega Warmers click here.

Korkers Cross Current Boots Korkers soles for mud and rocks Korkeers  sole for rivers Korkers sole for steams Korkeers with studded soles

Adaptive fishing equipment excels with Korkers. They make boots with interchangeable soles. So now you don't have to spend money on multiple pairs of footware. Just change soles depending whether you are wading in slippery, muddy, or gravel bottom streams and rivers.

adaptive rod holder adaptive rod holder adaptive rod holder

The RECEIVE-ALL is an adaptive device that can give new possibilities to some people, or less pain and fatigue for others.

The RECEIVE-ALL system consists of an Arm Brace and an Adapter. You simply attach an adapter to the item you wish to hold; fishing rod, garden tool, the possibilities are endless! That item can now be attached to the Arm Brace that is secured to your forearm and hand, giving you control of that item. Only one Arm Brace is needed to be able to use an unlimited number of items. Items can be left in the Adapters and ready for use.

Common uses for the Receive-All include fishing, gardening, painting, kitchen tools, hand tools, etc

The Receive-All is a well thought out piece of adaptive fishing equipment. I really like this product and definitely recommend it.

To purchase the Receive All click here.

adaptive rod holder

Here's a new adaptive fishing equipment product that looks promising. The motto of this company is "With Driftmaster, You Fight The Fish, Not The Rod Holder."

... the harder a fish pulls, the tighter the rod is held. There is never any slack line ... just remove the rod from the holder by lifting the rod tip ... the hook is set instantly and automatically. Because of the effortless hook-set, you will catch more fish with Driftmaster!

Driftmaster's Lean Mean rod holder is made with 3/8"-diameter threaded stems and holds rods at a 20° angle.

Interested? Go to for more information.

There are tons of adaptive fishing equipment products on the market. Some of them really shine. So grab your fishing rod, your camping equipment, your wife, kids, friends, etc. and go have a good time.

We will be keeping you up to date on more adaptive fishing equipment in future updates by linking new pages to this one shortly.

Please join our blog and stay informed. Always do your due diligence -- Research, Research, Research.

For further information on adaptive fishing equipment please CONTACT US or visit our ONLINE FLY SHOP

Please tell us what type of adaptive gear you'd like and we'll do the research.

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