Las Vegas, Nev. — If you've ever had occasion to visit a sports training room, you probably recognize the brand name Mueller. The company began in late 1950s and claims to have coined the term "sports medicine."
Mueller makes everything from ankle braces to eye glare-reducing strips. It's products are sold in over 50 countries around the world.
But this year's ICAST show signals Mueller's entry into the fishing world. After hooking up with fishing personality Fish Fishburne, Mueller rented booth space at ICAST to promote a basic line of lumbar, wrist, elbow and ankle support products.
Jeff Endres, a national sales manager for Mueller, recalled his first conversation with Fishburne about the need for Mueller products in the industry. Fishburne said that after an angler spends four or five hours on the water - bouncing in his boat over a choppy lake, then standing on the deck handling a rod-and-reel, "If he tells you he's not hurting, he's lying to you."
Arkansas angler Larry Nixon, still one of the all-time leading money winners on the Bassmaster circuit, was sidelined a few years ago by an increasing painful "tennis elbow" condition. And it's common to see anglers wearing some form of lumbar support these days.
Previously you'd find Mueller products in general sporting goods stores, but not those associated primarily with fishing.
"This is our first (ICAST) fishing show," said Endres. "I really think it will be the first of many."
Aching anglers will probably ensure that.