Product Review and Field Test by Terry Chia
Finally, a product designed for the float tube fanatic. Any fly rodder who has ever spent a few hours floating a cold-water lake in his float tube may come to appreciate a product such as the Gladder Bladder.
Mark Olson, owner and President of Field Sport Solutions, Inc. has introduced a product that caters specifically to the float tube fisherman. The Gladder Bladder is a unique and concealable personal urination device, designed to be worn underneath the waders, to enable pro-longed fishing time. As any float tuber will personally attest to, cold waters, morning coffee, and float tubes do not mix well, especially when the fishing is hot or if youíre too far away from a shoreline to make it back safely. Holding back the call of Mother Nature while fishing often reminds me of my old college days of beer guzzling and having to wait in line to use the menís room.
The device is simple, so simple that Iím surprised there are no other products like it on the market. The kit consists of a condom type catheter (3 sizes), a flow tube, and a plastic reservoir to collect 26 oz. of fluid (urine). Prior to the first use, it is important to read the instructions carefully and do some light assembly. Getting the right fit and setup on the initial use is probably best done in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
On a recent trip, I had planned to use the Gladder Bladder, but made the mistake of not reading the instructions at home. Instead, I packed the box in my gear bag and opened it up just prior to donning my waders. The directions were clear and concise, but I could not bring myself to try the unit on for size and make adjustments in a parking lot where families were preparing their fishing gear. Taking a few minutes to do this at home would have made it much easier for me to accomplish this task while gearing up.
On my next trip, I was prepared and was fortunate enough to be the first one in the parking lot, which allowed me the opportunity to properly put the Gladder Bladder on. I have to admit, it felt awkward at first, but by the time I starting kicking water around, I quit thinking about it and began concentrating on fishing, rather than what I was wearing underneath my fleece pants. As usual, after only about 30 minutes in the cold water, I already felt the need to relieve myself. Naturally, I held it until I got to the point where I either had to get out, or try the product. After several minutes of worrying about leakage, my ďstage-frightĒ succumbed to natureís call and I concentrated on trying to do what we have been trained not to do all our lives.
Relief! After all was said and done, I felt relieved from my morning coffee and Gatorade. I am also glad to say that I also felt relief that I did not have a warm right sock. My only concern at this point was that I wanted to know how much of the plastic reservoir had filled up. The quick 30 seconds that it took felt like an eternity! In fact, I was so worried about it, that I made a trip to the shoreline to empty the reservoir out so I could safely use it again. I was happy to find out that it was only half-full and that the product is safe for more than one use if you donít drink excess fluids. Each time I used it, I moved to the next level of comfort and confidence in the Gladder Bladder.
Is this a product that I would use again? Definitely. Although I know I will probably feel pretty reserved each time I use it, it is something that will feel less awkward each time out. Urinating in your waders while sitting in a float tube is something that will be hard to force yourself to do, but once the first scare of the initial experience is in the past, the next occurrences will become much easier. Setting the unit up for use will be easier and more comfortable if you have some privacy.
One aspect that may affect your comfort level is the type of waders you are wearing. In general, the baggier your waders are around your ankle, the more comfortable the reservoir will feel strapped to your leg. My breathables are close fitting and donít have much slack space below the knees, so I did feel the constant pressure of the plastic reservoir against my leg while I was kicking. However, my previous pair of breathables were much more loose-fitting and would have been much more better suited for this ingenious product.
Until someone invents a pair of waders with a ziplock type zipper, the Gladder Bladder is a great alternative to the inconvenience and discomfort involved with having to relieve yourself while fishing from a float tube.
The Gladder Bladder retails for $24.99 and can be purchased directly from Field Sports Solutions, Inc., from their website at www.gladderbladder.com.
For further information, contact :
Mark Olsen - firstname.lastname@example.org
7415 S 700 E
Midvale, UT 84047