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The Problem

For years, I did what many other shore fishermen did when fishing in streams and lakes for trout and other species. As the first day of trout season approached in early spring, excitement would build. In preparation, we purchased our license, checked the condition of our rod, reel and line, and took inventory of sinkers, bobbers, hooks and favorite lures. And, if we remembered, we also checked to make sure our boots were leak-proof!

On the first morning we’d rise and (possibly) shine very early, load up our equipment and head out in the dark for our favorite fishing area, hoping to position ourselves at exactly the right spot. The thought of someone beating us to “our place” on the stream where we’ve fished for years is something we don’t even want to think about. If we have to brave the cold and sometimes snow flurries in the Northeast, we’ll do it just so we can secure our special spot hours before the appointed hour that kicks off the new season. Of course watches vary in keeping time so it’s a little interesting to see how the season ‘officially’ starts! I think you know what I mean!

As the time draws near to the first cast, we make sure our bait and lures are readily available. We’re excited and ready to go even if we don’t show it. But just before we cast, we realize there’s an excellent chance we will catch at least one fish and hopefully, our limit. So we take out our stringer and look for something to attach it to so the fish we catch can be kept alive in the water. We look around for a stick to push into the ground to secure our stringer and rest our rod. But where are these sticks to be found as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder just moments from the first cast? And we could be standing on a rock pile! So we start to scour the shore for a stick and possibly dodge Dept. of Environmental Resources (DER) personnel if we decide to whack off a live tree branch.

The Solution

It was time to invent something durable, light-weight and inexpensive to solve this problem. Although there were other rod holders out there, I wanted a product that could address multiple issues:

  1. A tool that could secure a stringer so the fish caught would stay alive in water 
  2. A way to measure fish (each state has minimum size restrictions for fish taken) 
  3. A place to rest a rod
  4. A bright, reflective color that stands out by the stream
  5. A way to easily push the tool into the ground or between rocks

Over many months I worked to simplify the design, learn about plastics, molds, packaging, and manufacturing. The result? Stick-in-the-Mud®!

— Frank T. Koe, avid fisherman and inventor of Stick-in-the-Mud