This one falls into that category of something that seems great when you first hear of it, but the more you think about it, the less practical it becomes. What if I told you that I was producing a fishing rod that had a built-in temperature gauge. Sounds cool, but apparently it must not have caught on.
The company was Shakespeare, the year was 1987, and the line of rods was called MONITOR RODS. From the ad;
“But, we didn’t stop there. We placed a temperature probe in the tip-top and an LCD digital display in the rear grip. Simply turn the switch on, submerge the rod tip, and read the display. The MONITOR ROD tells you instantly whether or not you’re in productive water, with accurate readings to 1/10 of a degree.”
The rods featured 98% graphite blanks, cork grips, graphite filled reel seats, and aluminum oxide guides. I’d have to believe that the first time you forgot you had that fancy digital readout in the butt of your rod, you’d set that thing down on concrete or in dirt and totally ruin it. Plus there was no mention of battery life, what happens when the batteries do die, can the unit be accidently bumped “ON” due to handling and shuffling, and is this whole thing waterproof? What happens the minute the dial face fogs up…and like many things we’ve seen, who wants to stop fishing to take water temperatures at every spot they fish?
Anyway, I chalk this one up to a great idea on paper, but probably not so in real life. So now who wants to fess up and admit to owning one of these rods?