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NWTC students develop adaptive fishing pole called Easy Cast

The Easy Cast fishing pole, April 11, 2018 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WLUK) -- Trying to build a better fishing pole for those of all abilities: A team from Green Bay's Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is trying to do just that.

The student project will also be entered in a national science competition.

From the sturdy gray reel to the triple set of eyes, the Easy Cast apparatus is one high-tech fishing pole.

"You can use it anywhere. Like you can use it on a pontoon boat," said Patrick Konyn, NWTC Manufacturing and Engineering Student.

Konyn explained how the system works Wednesday morning.

"He would fire the bobber out into an open body of water. And then once he catches the fish, he will disengage the clutch, and then he will push the reel control panel, and it will reel in a fish," he said.

Students say during testing, the air-powered launcher fired a lure across the basketball court at the school.

"You can change the angle. You can also change the amount of air pressure that's being shot at a time," said Dexter Wyckoff, NWTC Manufacturing and Engineering Student.

How well will the Easy Cast system works will soon be put to the test.

The National Science Foundation chose the project as one of 10 finalists. In June, the five-student team will present the plan during the Community College Innovation Challenge in Washington, D.C.

The students were inspired by the story of a disabled veteran, who wanted to continue the sport of fishing. Student Zack Sobieck says he has a lot of family members in the military, and the Easy Cast could be an easy choice.

"That helps me keep in mind the fact that people get disabled, and it doesn't change who they are. It just changes how they do things. So, for them to be able to do the same stuff they used to is difficult. So this provides a way to do it," said Zack Sobieck, NWTC Manufacturing and Engineering Student.

Students say the competition offers a cash prize, but win or lose, plans are ready to send the Easy Cast into production.

If an angler would want to buy an Easy Cast, the estimated cost of the high-tech fishing pole is just under $500.

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