Fishing Reel Crank Adapter:
It was not long after I made the Fishing Pole Holder that I realized I was not going to be able to use the crank handle to reel in a fish. My left hand is weaker, has less grip strength and range of motion than my right hand. Quickly, I realized the reel would need some kind of adaptation on the crank, if I was going to be able to use it successfully.
As I began to brainstorm for a solution it seemed the answer was in making the grip portion of the crank longer and larger. I had a piece of 3/4” aluminum pipe which at first I thought I could use, but the more I thought about it a 3/4" piece of PVC pipe would be heavier and stronger. I drew up some rough plans of what I wanted to do. A 5’ length of PVC pipe was placed in a vise and I cut a section of pipe approximately 4” long. After cutting the pipe, I marked the middle of the piece with a magic marker. The short pipe was then placed in a vise so it stood straight up. Holding my hack saw at a very steep angle I made a cut down to the mark. The steep angle is maintained so the opposite side of the pipe is not cut. Approximately a quarter of an inch from the first cut, I made a second cut parallel to the first. I then drilled a hole between the two cuts, thus weakening the section between them so it could easily be removed, making a quarter inch channel, halfway down the pipe. When that was done I slid the piece of pipe halfway down the handle on the reel crank.
In order to finish it up, my wife wrapped the entire piece of PVC pipe with friction tape, crossing the handle shaft with an "X" in order to bind the adapter and handle together strengthening the PVC. The friction tape would help with the grip-ability and also close the channel hole. The picture below shows the handle before the friction tape was applied. On the right you can see the PVC after the friction tape.
My adaptation worked fine but even with it my left hand is still too weak to be dependable reeling in a spirited fish. When I placed the rod so the crank was on my right side I was able to use my right hand to reel the line in easily. So, I have ordered a Spincast Reel which can have the crank handle moved to the right side. Take a look at A Better Crank Adaption and Casting Catch with my fishing video.