RALEIGH — Passersby had to stop and look and ask. Some took photographs. The two-wheeled contraption with padded seat and high-end fishing rod holders drew smiles. And buyers.
That’s what Travis Holt and Steve Odom hoped. With their wives, the men are partners in Past Tyme Designs and the Water’s Edge Caddy, which debuted this past weekend amid other North Carolina-made products from fishhooks to powerboats at the Bass and Saltwater Fishing Expo at the State Fairgrounds.
“That sign is two days old,” Holt, who resides in Thomasville, said, pointing to the blue banner that dominated the rear wall of the booth to demonstrate how new the company’s product is.
The caddy is the result of Holt’s desire to have a sturdy, affordable carryall that could be wheeled to the edge of a pond, lake, river or ocean or to a favorite hunting spot. Strap a small cooler onto the seat or the powder-coated metal frame, put rods in the Driftmaster holders and drinks in the cupholders, lift the handle behind the seat, and roll the caddy on its two wide rubber tires. A camouflage sportsman model has a gun rack instead of rod holders, and a shooting table is an option.
“It’s so simple it was hard to come up with,” Odom, from Lexington, said of the caddy, which when five linchpins are removed, breaks down to fit into a car trunk.
Potential customers eagerly tried out the $379.95 caddy, which comes in a variety of finishes.
When 6-foot-8 Eric Williams, 22, of Goldsboro walked up, Holt and Odom seemed to hold their breath. Would the former Mount Olive basketball player fit?
“These are awesome,” Williams said as he stepped over the crossbar and settled into the seat, with plenty of room between his kneecaps and the rod holders.
By the end of their second day as sellers, Holt and Odom already were considering potential new markets. An avid sportsman who uses a wheelchair suggested a couple of modifications that would enable him to safely access the caddy’s higher seat.
Holt, a former law-enforcement officer who developed the Kickstop restraint for law-enforcement use, was grateful for the interest in the caddy.
“This is a gamble,” he said. “I don’t want to look back 15 or 20 years from now and say, ‘What if … ’ ”
Learn more about the caddy at www.facebook.com/watersedgecaddy.
Coming up: Boat show season is under way. Next up is the Raleigh Convention Center Boat Show being held Feb. 7-10 downtown (www.raleighconvention.com/boatshow2013).
Boating safely: The Cary Flotilla of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer a one-day About Boating Safely course on Jan. 26 and Feb. 23 at the Nationwide Insurance Center, Raleigh. The fee is $35.
Also, the Cary Flotilla will offer its Boating Skills and Seamanship course starting Jan. 28 at Bond Park Community Center. The fee is $55.
For information, call 919-781-5917, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send your boating, fishing, hunting and other outdoors news to email@example.com.