Motorized reel designed to empower disabled anglers

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 24, 2014 - 8:59 PM

A dentist was inspired to make a reel to help his son.

The smallmouth bass hit Todd Kemery’s lure with a vengeance.

“It fought like a monster; I was afraid I was going to lose it because it kept going under the boat,” said Kemery, a quadriplegic Marine veteran who normally has difficulty holding a rod and reeling in a fish.

But not this day.

Kemery boated the big bass recently with the push of a button from a new motorized reel developed by a Brainerd man.

“It’s amazing. I was very impressed,” said Kemery, sports director for Minnesota Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Which pleases Dr. Roland “Doc” Kehr, the 70-year-old Brainerd dentist who developed and is selling the M-POW-R fishing reel as an aid to disabled anglers. His slogan: “Battery powered reels that empower the disabled.”

Kehr (pronounced “care”) has a son, Nathan, with cerebral palsy who is unable to use his left arm and hand.

“He can cast with his right arm and reel with his right hand, but he can’t do both simultaneously,” said Kehr. For years Nathan fished using a motorized reel built by a company that long ago went out of business. It worked, but it couldn’t bring in anything much heavier than the lure, Kehr said.

Kehr, who was part-owner of the Lindy-Little Joe Fishing Tackle Co. for 28 years and developed two lures for the company, figured that with the technological developments in batteries and motors, he could improve upon the design.

So 2½ years ago, Kehr began working on a motorized reel, tapping the knowledge and advice of local friends, anglers and entrepreneurs Al Lindner, Dan Sura, Dave Csanda and Jeff Zernov.

“One of the four motors we tested had enough power and torque for Nathan to pull in 19- and 23-inch walleyes,” Kehr said. “That changed my whole perspective of what we were going to do.”

Kehr’s M-POW-R device is a spinning reel-graphite rod combination that includes 10-amp motor, 4-amp rechargeable battery, charger and speed control. It also can be plugged into a boat’s power system. The package sells for $599.99.

He’s developing a harness kit that will allow anglers to mount the power reel on any fishing rod, including a fly rod or ice-fishing rod.

Kehr believes he’s built the better mousetrap.

“It’s light and it’s balanced. And it works,” he said.

The battery should last four to six hours of retrieving a crankbait or spinnerbait, less if the angler is reeling in lots of fish. The reel will haul in smaller fish with a push of the button; anglers can pump the rod and use the reel to take up the slack for larger fish.

Kehr believes a variety of people will find the device helpful.

“The potential is astounding,” he said. “There are 34 million people with hand-arm disabilities,” ranging from disabled veterans to those with arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • related content

  • Dr. Roland Kehr, a Brainerd dentist, developed his M-POW-R motorized reel for his son, Nathan, who has cerebral palsy and is unable to use his left arm and hand.

  • Kehr shows how his M-POW-R motorized reel works. A push button on the rod (near his right thumb) activates the motor, which is powered by a battery pack attached to Keh’r waist. A controller adjusts the speed of the retrieve. Kehr developed the device to help disabled anglers fish. “It works,’’ he said.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Gophers head coach?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close