PrrvsrcALLY CTTar-rn,NGED ANcrPns - M-POW-R Fishing - M

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PrrvsrcALLY CTTar-rn,NGED ANcrPns
li f,r
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've been friends with Ro-
land "Doc" Kehr for over
oftime
with him. I(/e even man-
dawned on me that Doc's son, Nathan,
might be able to use them. Nathan
aged to fish together a few
times, including
a
loved to fish, but was hampered by
cerebral palsy that allorved him to use
really memorable
spring trip to the Missouri River in
South Dakota,
*hin *.
only one hand for fishing. So I passed
the reels on to Doc and Nathan,litde
realizing the effect they would have.
absolutely
loaded the boat with bigpike.
Spend time in the boat with some-
one, and you learn a lot about them.
I tend to be fairly quiet, while Doc is
one of those enthusiastic personalities
who tends to dominate the conversation.'$7hen heb excited about something, he recalls, relates and retells every detail in, well, extreme detail.
Second, Doc is also my dentist, so
most of our conversations over the
pa$ three decades have featured him
telling me about all the geat fishing
trips he's been on recendy, with me responding, "Uh-huh, uhi while seated
in fie dental chair, as Doc probed my
gums or picked bits of monofilament
fishingline out from between my incisors. So when I say it's often hard to get
awordin edgewise with Doc, it's really
because he's only doing his job...
The origins of this particular story
began back in the mid-'80s, when I
wrote several magazine articles feasuriry a portable electric fishing reel
iii"':1-... rr':Inade
by the Royal Bee Company
,1:ir,,,'',.r luf 6gr1roma. Royal Bee was a small
mxer on a mission to Provide
iii$L
proved
difficult at best. Royal Bee eventually
succumbed to the pressure and went
out of business, a victim of trying to
introduce and sell a semi-elpensive
product into what was tlen perceived
as a some$,hat "limited' market'
Afterward, the sample reels sat
idle in my garage, undl it eventually
IICSANDA
30years. Spent alot
in the fishing industry
Nathan Kehr, who has cerebral
is the inspiration for the
new M-POW-R reel developed
by his dad, Roland Kehr. Even the
model number-f1s NK-lOO is
named after Nathan Kehr.
palsy,
physically challenged and elderly anglers the capabiliry of retrieving lures
and fighting fish one-handed. Royal
Barton, who invented the Royal Bee,
firnished me with a few models for
Fast-forward a quarter century,
and Natlan was still using them to
catch fish, all across North America!
They made such a difference in Nathan's ability to enjoy the sport that
Doc frequently stated that, once he
"got out of the fishing businessl' he
seriously considered re-inuoducing a
similarproduct to fill the need for the
upcoming generation of anglers.
Tlansforming good ideas into realiry takes a combination ofpersistence,
acdon, smarts, luck and timing. Thatt
where the intriguing coincidence
testing and evaluation.
ln a numhell, Royal Bees were standard spinning and casting reels modi-
comes in. Because all those years, Doc
was also one of the behin&the-scenes
fied by addiry a small, lighrweight
headquartered here in Brainerd. So he
not only understood the fishing busi-
electric motor, powered by a portable
12-voh battery and operated via an
on-off push-button and an adjustable
rheostat speed conuol.
They not only worked; rhey worked
remarkablywell. So much so, that Royal
Bee began to cawe ouc a niche markeq
even gaining caalog space at Cabelat.
Yet even back then, a litde guy
ff1nng
to play hardball with the big
O',U,rPOOR TRADlTIONS
principals at Lindy Thckle, formerly
but knew other experienced individuals who could someday helP hfun
get his reel project up and running.
ness,
Call it fate. Call it destiny. But
when the time was finally right and
the planets began to align, good things
were poised to happen.
A few years back, as his denml career began to wind down, Doc found
Pushing
th
:
,
reel retrieves the
Let it go and the reel
stops. A successionr,dfi#
on and off pulses on-,ffiiff
button and the reel
pulse modulator au
prevents overheating and:,.:
maintains torque at low spt*
*
Steve Kohls
more time to follow his dream, and
began shifting some of his boundless
energy into his electric reel concept.
\Working together
wi$ leff Zernov, who pioneered and marketed
the Aqua-Vu Underwater Camera
and numerous other angling accessories, the new product began to take
shape.Jeffcaried ideas and specs wirh
him during frequenr business uips to
China, returning with a succession of
prototype components for testing and
evaluation. Eventually, dre pieces literally came together, and the M-PO\7-
R model NIG100 electric spinning
with the NK designadon in
reel
-
honor of Nathan Kehr
was ready
for assembly atZernov'sfacility in the
Burlington Nordrern complex here in
Brainerd.
The M-POIV-R NK-100Up Close and Personal
\X&ile electric reels have been
around awhile, they have rypically
been large, healy, expensive winch-like
models targeting the salrwarer trolling
::,:i:::l:f::ili
market. The
challenge here was ro
keep things lighr and portable, allowing anglers to not only uoll baits and
lures and to fight hooked 6sh back to
the boat, but to cast and retrieve lures
as well. And to do it all at a price that
didnt break the bank.
The NK-100 incorporates a trigger spinning reel with one-hand
bail activation, adding a lightweight
electric motor assemblyto power the
motor and spin rhe reel. It is powered by a l}-volt, 4-amp rechargeable bamery (charger included) like
you use with apomable depth finder
for ice fishing. You strap the battery
to your belt, connecting it ro the reel
with alighmeight cord.
(Or, simplypluginto and run the
reel offyour boat's 12-volt electrical
system, using a supplied cigareme
lighter adaptor cord. Your choice.)
lasts depends upon
ra
rhere's
any doubt, you can always bring
along another battery as backup. In
a pinch, the reel also comes wirh a
spare reel handle for manual operation.
The system is reverse-polarity
protected, just in case you hook up
the two wires incorrectly. Hint: In
l}-voh parlance, red is always positive, and black, negative. If youre
color blind, either ask for a second
opinion, or take your chances.
The NK-100 incorporates a sensitive on-offbutton mounted on the
rod, in perfect position for easy leftor-right thumb operarion. Touch
the button, and the motor turns the
reel. Let go, and it shuts off. A succession of on-off touches feathers
the current and slows reel operarion.
How long rhe portable battery
www.b
ho* yoo rlr.
it, casting versus trolling. If
i
nerdoutdoors.com
2,1
To 6ne tune constant
retrieve
speed, an adjustable pulse modula-
tor dial sends just the right amount
ofjuice to the motor, whether you're
slow-swimming a Rapala Minnow
back to the boat, or buzzing a spinnerbait just below the surface. You
dlal in the right rerrieve speed for
the lure and conditions. The pulse
modulator automatically prevents
overheating while maintaining
torque at low speed.
\7hen you hook a fish, things get
'W'ith smaller fish like
inreresting.
bluegills and crappies, chances are
you can simply wind them right in.
\7ith larger fish like bass, walleyes
and pike, however, you need to actually play the fish with the rod, just
like you do with a t1'picai rod-reel
setuP.
Pump the rod upward to bring
the fish closer, then press the button as you lower the rod tip to wind
line onto the reel spool. Pump again,
press and lower to take up slack. If
the fish is too big or stubborn to
move...wait until it tires. If it runs,
let the adjustable rear drag on the
reel r,vear the fish down until you're
able to gain ground again.
The beauty of the system is that
itt light yet powerful, adjustable, yet
definitely not a cumbersome winch.
You 6sh with it. You don't simply
wind wirh it.
The first NK-100s to hit rhe market this spring will come teamed
widr a 6 /z-foot, two-piece, medium- action, medium-power spinning
rod, which is a balanced outfit for
catching any of the species previously mentioned. Total cost for the
entire setup will be around $600,
OUTDOOR TRADI']TIONS
which is admitredly slighdy on the
spendy side. But think abouf it. A really good graphiteipinning
rod and reel combo could easily run
you $300 to more like $400 or more.
Adding the ele cuonic componentry
to the setup allows anglers who really need it ro 6sh comfortably, gffectively and enjoyably for a relatively
modest investment.
\7hich is really what it is
- an
investment in all the future hours
and days, weeks, months and years
spent in a lifedme of fishing. Thatt
peanuts over the long haul.
In the future, M-PO\M-R
series
reels are targeted to be sold separateas well as in rod
and reel combos. And to provide
ly for use on any rod,
Continued on page 31
Continued from page 22
baitcasting reels for use with heavier
,
lines, to handle rougher condidons
and larger fish like pike or muskie. If
thelrcome upwith one drat canbtzz
alarge muskie bucktail at high spe ed
all day,I might be in the market for
one myself, In the meanrime, the
NK-100 can bridge the gap berween
wandngto 6sh but not being able ro,
and 6shing.
If you rhink the target market
for these reels is small, consider who
might benefit from their use. Obviously, folks with physical challenges
rank high on the list. So do seniors
whose ability ro use traditional rod
& reel combos has diminished.
Then add in returning service members who've been injured overseas-pardcularly those who love the outdoors but must face new challenges
in pursuing that passion.
All told, the M-PO\7-R NK100 is being built for people who
have the desire, and simply need
a hand-or more correctly,
one-
handed operation. And there are a
lot more of them our rhere than you
might originally rhink.
Several NK-100s
will be in
use
around the Brainerd area rhis year,
including on the local Lett Go Fish-
ing pontoon for use by folks from
local senior facilities. The reels will
be put through the paces, and the
results will help shape the evolution
offuture models. Ifyou ger a chance
to use one, let the M-PO\7-R crew
know what you think. And if you
see someone who looks like they're
wired for fishing, chances
rhm
indeed they are.
The
"r.
firstNK-100s should bepop,
communicatorffV co-host who
work at Lindner'sAngling
Television in Baxter.
Edge
ping up locally somewhere in May,
around the time of the upcoming
2014 Governort Opener on nearby
Gull Lake. I think thatt more than
a happy coincidence, particularly
since they're being built downrown
in our hometown. Brainerd has long
been known as a hub of fishing innoyation, education and communication. ht nice to see rhar uadition
continue.
And finally, ro Doc, I'm glad that
all those "uh-huh" words of encouragement I gave you over the years
helped spur you on to fulfill your
dream. Good to know you were paying attention. I certainly was.
Initially, M-PO\7-R
batteryassisted reel and rod combos will be
available through e-commerce and
at select retailers. For more infor-
mation, contact: dockehr@mpowrfishing.com; 21 8-820-8 I 13; www.
mpowrfishing.com. *
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