Way back in August last year, I came across a Twitter message about a funky new tool for tying hooks to line. The product in question was looking for financial backing through Kickstarter, a website where anyone with an idea for a product, game, piece of music, film or artwork can showcase their project in an attempt to raise funding and ultimately see it come to life. You can find out a lot more about Kickstarter on their ‘Seven things to know about Kickstarter’ page. Whilst you’re there, take a look at some of the current projects, there really is some cool things on there.
The tool was called Minke, and advertised itself as a Fishing Multi-Tool. Not only did it help with the tying of knots, it also has line snips and a pointy thing to get rid of all the extra varnish I seem to fill the eye of the hook with. All that packaged in a rather cool looking neon blue (no loosing that in the grass!) ergonomic design.
The way most Kickstarter projects work, is for there to be different tiers available for potential backers. For Minke the starting ‘bid’ was just £1. That doesn’t get you the actual product, but it did get you listed on their site as a backer. It wasn’t until you got to the £15 tier you actually received the tool (and a name check on their site). Once the project met it’s funding goal of £4900 they would have enough to commit to a full production run and the tools would be built and shipped.
I couldn’t have been the only one who thought this was too good an opportunity to miss, they hit their goal in just two weeks and went on to raise a whopping £10137.
After several email updates from the guys at Meso Design (the team behind the Minke Tool) and a couple of months for them to get their tooling in place and the first test run out of the way, the finished items were rolling of the production line.
Just prior to Christmas I came home to find a ‘We couldn’t deliver your parcel so you’re going to have to come get it’ note from the Post Office – my Minke was here (sort of). A day later and I had it – and what a smashing bit of packaging it was too.
The tool was set in an foam surround, all housed in a perspex fronted sliver alloy case. If I’d been buying it as a gift it’d have been perfect! After only seeing the pictures on the website, I thought it would be bigger than it is, but the fact that it’s smaller than I’d expected is a good thing – I was worried it wouldn’t be too big to hang off a fishing vest – that’s not the case at all.
To give you some idea of it’s size, the picture below shows the Minke tool sat on top of an iPhone 4.
The next worry I had is in it’s ability to deal with small hooks, especially those with a hackle close to the eye. Up to now, with my aversion to cold weather, I’ve not been out on the river to give it a try – so this concern has not been fully put to bed. If it does struggle to deal with size 20 hooks and smaller, it’d certainly be great for reservoir and lake lures and the like.
Once I do get to the river, I’ll put another post on here with a review of the tool and how successful it was for me. Right now I can honestly say I’ve been very impressed with the Kickstarter experience (it was my first time backing a project), the communication from Meso during the fundraising and tooling process and the quality of the finished product. Time will tell if it works with the types and sizes of fly I use.
The Youtube video below from Meso will give you a far better idea of how the tool works than I could ever explain in words – give it a look, it’s quite ingenious and very straight forward.
Meso introduction to Minke Tool – Youtube