Summertime and the fishin is...greener. Whether you fish as a hobby, a sport, or a profession, you know how many of those soft, easily-lost lures you go through when trying to catch your prize. Many of those lures end up on the bottoms of lakes and rivers. Since they are made of polyvinyl chloride (aka PVC), a synthetic material that has come under much scrutiny lately due to its possible impacts on human health and the environment (you may recall PVC was banned in children's toys in CA in 2009), they have become a major contaminant in aquatic ecosystems. Wisconsin fisher and inventor Ben Hobbins has figured out a way to save fishermen money, reduce waste lures, and reduce the impact of the lures on the environment. Hobbins partnered with University of Wisconsin-Madison business and engineering faculty and students to prototype a new lure material that doesn't break off the hook as easily which in turn reduces the need to constantly buy new lures and the millions of lures that end up on lake and river beds releasing the PVC phthalates and other synthetic petrochemicals. The new technology is essentially a micro polyester fiber that strengthens the lure material. Yes, polyester still has issues of its own but the fact that the IronClads won't break loose is a HUGE first step. To that end, Hobbins and the UW-Madison partners continue to look for ways to make the lure materials even more sustainable. Brings a whole new meaning to the fishing term, 'greenies'.
>> Article in June 2009 Popular Science
>> UW-Madison College of Engineering news article