If you are disasbled, does that mean the end of the road for fishing for you? Not necessarily. This detailed guide to adaptive fishing equipment will have you back with a fishing rod in hand in no time!
Fishing is an activity enjoyed by many. There is no reason someone should give up fishing just because they are disabled. With the help of adaptive fishing equipment, people with disabilities can enjoy fishing like they used to.
About 61 million adults in the USA have some form of disability; that is almost every one in four adults living in the USA. However, for disabled people to enjoy fishing, they have to first get a fishing license from their state’s department of natural resources or any other equivalent department.
Apart from some states like California, most of the others require a fishing license, but if you can prove your residency to the state, you will be able to get some discounts on the license fee.
Government Support for Disabled Hunting/Fishing
With understanding the need of disabled people to hunt and fish, governments have been doing their part in supporting them. For most states, it is mandatory to have a fishing license to go fishing.
However, many state governments offer free fishing licenses to disabled people or at a discounted rate. Many of the popular fishing sites also have wheelchair-accessible special ramps, which also help promote fishing among disabled people.
License Requirements For Adaptive Hunting/Fishing
For a disabled person to go hunting or fishing, they need to acquire a fishing or hunting license. While not all the states in the United States require a hunting or fishing license for a disabled person, most of them do.
California is one such state which does not require a fishing license for a disabled person, and many other states are changing their laws regarding this. However, most states still require a disabled person to buy a fishing license.
Most disabled people often require help from another person. It is not necessary for the person helping a disabled person to own a fishing license. If the disabled person holds a license, then a person with no license can help them with fishing.
Disabled Veteran Hunting/Fishing
A disabled veteran who has lost their foot or leg or has more than 50 % of disability can get a disabled veteran hunting or fishing license for free. Most states offer free licenses to the veterans, and even if they do have to pay, the amount is minimal compared to the actual price.
To get your disabled veteran hunting or fishing license, you need to fill out the application form with your file number of USDVA. Then send your application form and payment to the local head office of the department responsible for handling the hunting/fishing license.
Different Kinds Of Adaptive Equipment For Hunting/Fishing
Hunting and fishing are two activities that people enjoy, irrespective of their age. However, sometimes due to some physical disabilities, people cannot enjoy these activities.
With the help of the right equipment, it is possible for people with disabilities to enjoy hunting and fishing. There is a huge range of adaptive equipment which allows disabled people to go fishing and hunting. Some of the adaptive equipment includes.
Strong Arm Rod Holder
The Active Hands Strong Arm fishing rod holder is a type of adaptive fishing equipment which allows people with disabilities to go fishing independently.
The rod holder is in a cuff design that goes around your arm. This rod holder fits well with its buckle closure and remains in place even with holding the fishing rod.
This rod holder is great for people with lower upper body strength as they can do fishing hands-free without worrying about keeping the rod at the optimum angle. It is made with high-quality leather, which feels soft against your hands.
Freedom Fisher Power Assist Reel
The freedom fisher power assist reel makes fishing best for people with disabilities by adding the motor’s power to the traditional fishing equipment. Instead of handling the crank manually, the freedom fisher power assist reel comes with a 12-volt motor that does the job. While anyone can use this fishing equipment, people with disabilities benefit greatly from it. People with disabilities often have trouble manually cranking with lower or no body strength.
Ty-All Knot Tier
This Ty-All knot tier is a piece of adaptive fishing equipment that helps tie knots without using both hands. It helps disabled angles to tie and secure knots within a few seconds. The knots tied by this device hold and lure fish.
Electric Fishing Reels
Electric fishing reels are a lifesaver when fishing for disabled people. It bears all the features of a traditional fishing reel but with a few additional features that make fishing easier. It comes with sensors, detectors, indicators, and LCDs. These features help set the depth accurately. All these features make fishing easy for disabled people.
Rock Island Power Fishin’ Pro
The Rock Island PowerFish’n Pro is another adaptive fishing equipment. It is a type of hybrid reel which aids disabled people in fishing. It comes with a spinning reel accompanied by an electric motor that simplifies the process of cranking.
There is an option for manually and automatically cranking with just a switch with a hybrid fishing reel. Disabled people can use this reel for fishing with ease without needing help from anyone.
A pontoon boat is not adaptive fishing equipment per se, but it is very beneficial for disabled people to go fishing. A pontoon boat is big enough to accommodate a wheelchair for a disabled person to sit comfortably. The boat is big enough to fish from either the deck or the sides. You can take out the pontoon boat anywhere on the water.
Fish Winch Electric Reel Drives
The Fish Winch adaptive fishing reel drive comes with two different speeds for retrieving the line without any physical effort. You can use this spinning reel for fishing in freshwater and light saltwater fishing. This adaptive fishing reel is suitable for people having low to no upper body strength.
An arm brace is a piece of adaptive fishing equipment that you can use to keep your hand stable while holding the fishing rod. Arm braces will contain a pocket of sorts in which you can stick the end of the fishing rod to keep it stable and in place.
Fishing Arm Cuff Reel Deal
This fishing arm cuff reel deal is a cuff that goes over any of your two fingers that you are most comfortable with. You can secure the cuff around your wrist using the velcro strap. There is also a velcro patch at the palm of the cuff. The reel deal also comes with a velcro portion. You need to press your hand against the reel deal to start your fishing.
Limited Mobility Fishing Mount
The limited mobility fishing mount also aims to help a disabled person hold the fishing rod. It comes with two handles which you can keep at whatever position you like depending on your comfort.
One of the handles has an armrest that allows the people fishing to keep their hand on it. This is great for people having lower upper body strength.
Power Drive For Penn Spinning Reel
Again this power drive for Penn spinning reel is used to offer assistance in reeling the line-up and down. It has motor assistance to reel the line-up or down.
Little Helper Rod Holder
This adaptive rod holder that you can fix on your belt around your waist helps support your fishing rod when you need help holding it. The rod holder is mounted on a bet which you can adjust according to your comfort.
Not just disabled people, this rod holder helps lend a hand to anyone who needs help holding their fishing rod while changing lures, flies, hooks, or baits. You don’t need to put your fishing rod on the ground.
You can keep fly rods, casting, or spinning rods in this rod holder. It is excellent for people who have lower upper body strength. You can also use this fishing rod holder to keep your extra hooks and flies.
Ableware Fishing Pole Holder
This adaptive fishing pole holder is great for people having upper body disabilities. This pole holder comes with a clamp that holds the fishing pole securely and keeps it stable. A disabled person can manage the reel with a single hand with this pole holder. The fishing pole can quickly get in and out of the pole holder.
Evolution Of Adaptive Hunting/Fishing Equipment
Hunting and fishing equipment have evolved a lot in the past few years. There is a vast range of adaptive fishing equipment available nowadays.
There are fishing rod mounts and harnesses that aid in keeping the fishing rod stable without needing any finger or upper body strength. The reel cranks and electric reels help lower down the line and retrieve it. Also, there are power-operated electric reels with motor power which eliminates the need to ask someone to pull the line-up.
Not just equipment, the environment where a disabled person goes fishing has also been modified a lot. Now in most popular fishing spots, there is a wheelchair-friendly ramp that makes it convenient for disabled people to reach the spot.
Disabled Sports In The Olympics
There are several sports for the disabled in the Olympics. Unlike the Olympics, the Paralympics are divided into two different events, summer games, and winter games. Bothe these paralympic games happen alternatively, once every two years.
Cross-country skiing, Alpine skiing, and biathlon are the sports for winter Paralympics whereas Archery, Cycling, and swimming are the sports for summer Paralympics. The equipment used in these sports can undergo modification to suit the disability of the participant.
People Also Ask
Where Do Disabled Individuals Fish?
While there is no restriction on where a disabled individual fish, there are a few things to keep in mind. The location where a disabled individual goes fishing should have a proper wheelchair-accessible ramp so that people having lower body disabilities can go there quickly.
Some of the fishing sites have uneven surfaces and are hard to reach. A disabled person should avoid such locations.
Also, some states need a fishing license for a disabled person to go fishing, so it would be better to get one first before fishing to avoid any penalties.
How is fishing different if you have a disability?
Fishing is an activity enjoyed by many, but it can be difficult for people with disabilities. Everything requires physical effort, from carrying your gears to cranking down the line. Depending on their disability, people may have low to no upper or lower body strength, which can hamper their fishing.
People having no upper body strength will have trouble holding the fishing rod or cranking the line-up or down. Similarly, people with no lower body strength will have difficulty traveling to the fishing spot or carrying their equipment there.
Adaptive fishing equipment helps overcome these issues and lets a disabled person enjoy fishing.
If you are disabled, do you need a fishing license?
If you are disabled, you do need a fishing license for fishing. However, you don’t have to pay to acquire a fishing license in some states. States like California, Connecticut, Hawaii, South Carolina, Ohio, and Texas have exempted any fees on getting a fishing license for the disabled.
Including all these, 21 states have exempted fishing licenses for the disabled. Six states, including Arizona, Maryland, New Jersey, and others, offer exemption only for blind people. 16 of the states, like Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, and others, offer discounts on fishing license fees. There are seven states like Alaska, Delaware, and others that do not provide any discount on fishing licenses.
What equipment is available for disabled anglers?
Disabled people have difficulty holding fishing rods for a long time. There are several adaptive equipment available for disabled anglers. Fishing rod mounts and harnesses help with keeping the fishing rod in place. Electric reels and reel cranks help with cranking the line down and retrieving it back up without needing any physical effort from you. A strong arm rod holder is one such piece of equipment that helps keep the fishing rod holder in place without any upper body strength.
This brings us to an end to our adaptive fishing guide. We hope we covered a lot of ground and this article will give you a feel of how and where to start if you are disabled and looking to restart fishing, or start anew. Thank you for reading, and do send us your comments and suggestions in the box below.