A Mustang man says he is just chasing dreams with the latest fishing gadgets he has invented.
Two years ago, Jason Nelson of Mustang invented a gadget called Strikelight, a bite indicator on the end of a fishing pole that lights up when a fish strikes.
Now, operating as Kreabaur Tackle in Oklahoma City, Nelson and his partner, Darren Steele, have two new products they will be displaying at the Oklahoma Tackle, Hunting and Boat Show this weekend.
The three-day show opens Friday in the Travel and Transportation Building on the state fairgrounds.
The new products are called Glowstrike and Snappy Stringer. Glowstrike is similar to the Strikelight, except Strikelight is a true bite indicator made for fishing in the dark.
A motion sensor is attached inside of the Strikelight and is connected to two LED bulbs. It clamps to the end of a fishing pole and when a fish bites, the bulbs light up.
Instead of using a single exposed bulb like other similar devices on the market, Nelson designed a light chamber for Strikelight that encapsulates the light and concentrates it into the tip of the device.
As a result, Nelson's invention uses two LED bulbs that are protected and shine brighter.
“Instead of just the bulb lighting up, it has a cap on the bulb so the whole tip of the StrikeLight lights up,” Nelson said. “It's really easy to see if you are away from your fishing rod or not paying attention.”
The most difficult part of creating a bite indicator light was ensuring that it would not be triggered by wind or waves. It will only shine when there is actually a fish on the line, Nelson said.
Nelson built four prototypes to adjust the sensor before it would perform as he wanted so boat movement or wind vibrations would not trigger the light.
It's also much easier to change the batteries on StrikeLight than other similar products. Anglers simply unscrew a cap on the back, like a flashlight, and replace two watch batteries.
Glowstrike is their newest product. It's a glow-in-the-dark attachment on the tip of a pole that can be charged with a light source like a flashlight or lantern.
It will glow for 20 for 30 minutes before needing a flashlight shined on it again to recharge.
“We wanted to come up with something that was very affordable and that you didn't have to buy refills,” Steele said.
Nelson is a computer programmer and software developer and the self-proclaimed “nerd in the back room” of Kreabaur Tackle. Steele, who formerly worked at Academy, is the sales and marketing head of the team.
They met and became friends at First Baptist Church in Mustang, where they both attend.
The Snappy Stringer is a detachable stringer for fishing vests. Nelson, a fly fisherman, always found it difficult trying to hold a flyrod and net while attempting to untie a stringer to put a trout on at the same time.
“I was trying to create something you could pretty much use with one hand because you only got two out there in the river,” he said.
So, he designed a stringer to make that chore easier. Now, with one hand, he can push a button and release the stringer and then snap it back in place without having to untie and retie.
The Snappy Stringer is made from a polyurethane-coated cable, so the fish easily glide on and off the stringer. The fish spread out well and do not get bunched on the stringer in the water, he said.
“I have been dreaming about that forever, so I am glad it's out there,” Nelson said.
The Snappy Stringer was a popular stocking-stuffer item at the Affair of the Heart show before Christmas. The stringers are also made locally by the Keco Company of Oklahoma City.The Snappy Stringer sells for $19.95, the Strikelight for $14.95 and the Glowstrike for $4.95.
Neither Nelson nor Steele is making enough income on their fishing gadgets to quit their day jobs, but both are enjoying their new roles as fishing entrepreneurs.
“This is just me chasing dreams,” Nelson said. “If we get to sell a bunch of 'em, that's just a bonus. If they can take off and fund the next project, great. If not, we will just have fun.”