An Adapted Fishing Rod for Arm Amputees


When an arm amputee wishes to use his prosthesis as an assistive device in handling a fishing rod, he has two basic options: he can hold the rod in his terminal device and wind the reel with his good hand; or he can hold the rod in his good hand and wind the reel with his hook. In helping our amputees exercise the first option we have developed a simple device to connect the rod directly to the wrist unit of the prosthesis. This attachment provides a more secure hold on the rod than can be obtained by the patient's hook. It is more applicable for below-elbow than above-elbow amputees but the latter can use the attachment unit for plug fishing.

Description of Attachment Device

A hollow shaft, approximately 3 1/2 in. long by 3/4 in. in diameter, is threaded at one end to fit into a knurled sleeve. To the other end of the shaft is attached a 1/2 in. x 20 threaded stud which screws into the wrist unit of the prosthesis. A rubber washer, inserted at the wrist unit, permits the shaft to be rotated (like a terminal device) after it has been screwed in snugly ( Fig. 1-A and Fig. 1-B ).

To the grip of the rod is attached proximal to distal-a knurled ring, a threaded section, approximately 2-2 l/2 in. long by 1 1/2 in. in diameter, and a rod (threaded distally) which fits into the shaft and is secured by the knurled sleeve ( Fig. 2-A and Fig. 2-B ).* The patient can insert the rodded section into the wrist-unit shaft attachment with one hand, and can tighten the threaded sleeve to secure it one-handed also. Fig. 3. shows the complete fishing rod-prosthesis assembly.

*The rod shown in the illustrations is a Garcia Conolon #21-40-DL with a Johnson Citation Model 110-B reel.