TOMAH, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- The Wisconsin Historical Society says the fishing industry was among the first commercial enterprises to achieve some level of success in Wisconsin.
Along with licenses revenue, fishing merchandise and equipment help boost the economy too. The Swish-Rod is a jig pole that is manufactured in the Coulee Region.
It not only benefits ice fisherman, but also helps people with disabilities.
"Fishing is a strong tradition in Wisconsin. I fished ever since I was a little kid with my dad and grandpa. My boys love to fish. My wife loves to fish. We do it as a family, " said Tomah resident, Steve Clark.
"We are out on Lake Tomah fishing for bluegills. We have had great luck. They just dredged this a few years ago and it is just starting to come back," said Ryan Tichenor.
Scott Clark and Ryan Tichenor are jigging with wax worms.
They are fishing in shallow water over weeds beds which is often a hotspot for bluegills in the winter.
The Wisconsin DNR's daily bag limit for panfish is 25.
As this duo works toward their limit, they attribute success in part thanks to the Swish-Rod.
This jig pole has been around since the 1970s.
It originated in Delavan, Wisconsin at Swish Tech.
The Swish-Rod II was developed for shallow water use. It features the same quality construction as the original Swish-Rod.
It has a 4 3/4 inch reel and is excellent for shallow water fishing.
Some of the other benefits are:
Depth Setting Device
Line Ice Wiper
Drag & Brake Control
Optional Tip Up Flag
Standard Spring Bobber
It is now manufactured in Tomah at Handishop Industries Inc.
Handishop Industries Inc. is a private non profit organization geared towards creating job opportunities and improving personal development for people with disabilities.
"It is not just production based, we want our employees to improve their social skills and individual goals," said Tichenor.
The Swish-Rod is making a difference both in the community and out on the ice.
If you would like to purchase a pole, head to www.swishrod.com.
The jig poles are sold in seven states at some sporting good stores.