Gadgets

Anglr is Fitbit for fishing


As an avid non-fisher it’s hard for me to quite grasp the depths of depravity associated with a fishing trip. Waking up at 4am? Swinging a pole at some water? Drinking beers all morning in a hot boat? Catching and eating a squirming live thing? Not for me.

The folks at Anglr want to change my mind. Their product, the Anglr Tracker, is an activity tracker for fishing. You attach it to your rod and it senses your casts, catches, and position. Found a good place to grab a few elusive slime eels? Anglr will send you back to that spot. Were the stink bass biting at Old Man Johnson’s Manure Sinkhole? Anglr will remind you exactly when to head over and start pulling those pitiable creatures out of the water.

Created by Nic Wilson, Landon Bloomer, and TJ Corbett, the project is actually nicely made. It’s surprisingly compact and the team has already reacted $1 million in seed from Bluetree Allied Angels in Pittsburgh to build out the hardware.

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The team first launched an app with some of the basic features and they’ve seen 6,000 users in a month. They’re also seeing good traction from retailers Cabela’s and Field & Stream and they’ll be ready to help folks fish better when the device ships in November.

The team got the idea while fishing the Allegheny near Oil City last summer. They wanted to quantify their fishing trip and so attached an Android phone to their rods to gather data. One thing led to another and they started Anglr to tell fishermen how many wart-encrusted worm piñatas anglers pulled from the murky depths.

“Any fisherman you talk to will tell you they’re interested in the data from their past trips. Problem is, nobody wants to use the manual logs that are available today to document that information. With sensors, we’re automating the collection of this information in a way that doesn’t alter normal fishing behaviors,” said Wilson. The team is working with a manufacturer in Pennsylvania for prototyping, tooling, and production, which means your tracker will be American-made.

Wilson notes that the fishing is quite popular despite what I think.

“Sport-Fishing is 3X the size of golf and tennis combined in the United States – about 46 million annual licenses sold,” said Wilson. “Rather than trying to reach the entire market, we’re targeting bass fishermen – ‘bassblasters.’ These are 12 million domestic fishermen who take upwards of 20 trips per year spending over $10 billion annually on fishing accessories and equipment.”

“Just when everyone has a Fitbit, the fishermen are looking for something to put on their rod,” he said.


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