6:00 P.M. A few buddies headed out for the 20-mile journey offshore to try and tackle some of the elusive swordfish that run off the beautiful Florida coast. There was a full moon and the forecast called for a 4-6 foot chop with a NE wind of around 15-20 knots. This was not your typical trip and being prepared was the main concern. As they made the trip out the seas were very choppy giving the equipment the usual beating. Once they made it out to the grounds it was time to drop lines and start fishing.
8:00 P.M. Handling the 80 wides in the choppy seas was a hassle to say the least, but the bigger challenge throughout the night was trying not to ruin the rod or boat while moving them from rod holder to rod holder.
Watch the rod butt!
was the saying of the night as each mate nailed, scarred, nicked, and scratched the rods and boat with every relocation to the neighboring rod holder. Frustrated with the damage occurring to the rods, one of the crewmembers asked for the “mushroom cap looking thing” but that was useless, as it serves no purpose once the rod leaves the retail store.
2:15 A.M. Deeper into the night one of the rods went screaming. Everyone watched and waited patiently as the first mate locked up on a potential swordfish.
As the rod went tight we went ahead and locked up the mate to the rod belt and the fight was on! While clearing lines the rods banged into who knows how many surfaces on the boat.
After about 45 minutes the mates finally saw the sword light and they knew they were getting close to winning the fight. After a few more treacherous hits, they finally landed the sword that weighed in at just over 200 pounds, not the biggest fish but a well-deserved fish.
5:07 A.M. On the trip back after all the smiles and photos, the owner of the boat began to think about the equipment, especially the rods and reels and the pounding they not only took, but also gave to the boat and crew.
“I am always weary to see the sun come up and get a good look at the damage and the scarring the boat has taken from the rods and equipment.
6:45 A.M. The sun had barely risen but the dim light was enough to make the devastation endured through the night of the fishing visible. Every rod holder had been badly nicked and the gunnels surroundings the rod holders scarred significantly.
“After docking and steaking out the sword I started adding up in my head all the money it was going to cost to fix my gear and brand new boat.
After my fiberglass guy came down and finally fixed my gunnels and deck he collected a check for just under $1,500.00. I sat on the boat for a few minutes after and started to think of a way to stop the rod from ruining my deck and every one else’s deck! I finally thought of an idea of covering the rod holder and the surrounding area during fishing trips, but that wouldn’t look good and that would be too difficult to even try to make. Through some heavy thinking and Google searching “fishing rod gimbals covers” but to my dismay, mushroom caps were the only products I found. From my personal experience, I know that these are nice at the store but do nothing for the fisherman as they do not allow the rod to lock into the rod holder or even fit depending on the model. Not to mention how inconvenient it is to try to constantly put it on and take it off while you are at sea.
I also found nylon and plastic gimbals but they do nothing as these aren’t strong enough for salt-water fishing and I would be investing in a part that would jeopardize my reels.
I started to try and figure out a way to protect the rod, the angler, and the boat in a simple and affordable yet durable fashion. I understood that the ocean was a harsh place and it puts a fisherman’s gear through the harshest tests.
A light bulb went off in my head and I went into the garage to produce what would be the beginning of Salt Armour’s product line.
I quickly grabbed 10 candles and my heat gun and started to melt the wax into a cup. I used a few of the different rod butts and started to dip the gimbals into the wax multiple times allowing them to cure into a thick surface so I could easily form them to my liking. As I started to build I saw that the rod gimbals would have to use their original design to lock into the rod holder pin and the cover I was making could not interfere with the rod holder in any way while pulling it from the rod holder and or locking it in. I also understood that the rod holder would have to withstand abuse such as dropping, banging, sliding against materials such as teak, fiberglass, concrete and other harsh surfaces. While shaping the wax with a straight edge, I designed four finger-like appendages that allowed the rod to effectively lock into the rod holder using the gimbal’s natural process while still protecting the rod and EVERYTHING it comes into contact with.
While analyzing and developing my original wax design I visited some of my favorite local tackle shops to see what other experienced fishermen thought of the idea. Ray’s Offshore and LMR Tackle were the two tackle shops that helped the most. Both owners Andy at LMR and Ray at Ray’s Offshore believed in my product and felt that it should be taken to the next level. With some positive and negative feedback I went back to the drawing board and started to thoroughly analyze my potential product through. I came to the conclusion that in order for this product to be effective and useful for other fishermen like myself it would have to be extremely durable, protective, frictionless, light-weight, and simple.
A few months later I found myself patenting my design as it proved to be more than capable of protecting every type of deck, rod holder and rod it was put into contact with.
Commercial charter boat captains continue to use them as our gimbal covers prevent the ill experienced tourists from ruining the decks of their boats. Tournament fishermen and recreational fishermen alike are now worry-free from damage to their boat caused by the damaging butt end, allowing them to focus more on fishing, and less on protecting the boat and gear.
Months of grueling tests in all conditions, extreme fishing, transportation, and storage have proved that whether it is a recreational day at sea or a high stakes tournament, Salt Armour products will help protect your boat and equipment while trolling for dolphin, kite fishing for sailfish, speed trolling for Wahoo, or any other activity that has to do with a fishing rod.
Full 60 Day Manufacturers Warranty.
2 Weeks To Return Upon Delivery.