A Hull fishing enthusiast and inventor has formed his own tackle company to bring a new piece of angling equipment to market.
Paul Jessop was helped in the Sodafloat initiative by joining in a series of “Ignition” workshops presented by Hull-based community interest company, For Entrepreneurs Only (FEO).
Ignition sees FEO members offering free, practical help and guidance to new start-ups and any budding entrepreneurs in the region.
Mr Jessop, of Compass Road, north Hull, said: “It was about two or three years ago when I attended the FEO programme with this idea; now I have it patented.
Watch Paul Jessop demonstrating his new Sodafloat invention
“My background is as an industrial chemist, not an engineer.
“I was put in touch with a guy who was a fisherman too, as well as working at injection moulding company S&S Plastics, and they are doing the Sodafloat mould for me.”
The idea for Sodafloat (the Soda part stands for self-opening displacement action) came to Mr Jessop, who works as a shift team leader for Nippon Gohsei in Saltend, during a fishing match at Lambwath Lakes, in Aldbrough.
“The carp were milling about in the middle of the lake near a central rope about 30m away, but I couldn’t catapult my pellets accurately enough around the rope to concentrate the fish,” he said.
“After struggling to catch a few fish, I packed up after the match but subsequently had a sleepless night thinking about what I could have done differently.”
A week of tinkering in his garage resulted in Mr Jessop producing a prototype from some items he had lying about – a knitting needle, a shampoo bottle and a ping-pong ball, among other things.
“The Sodafloat enables you to fish and feed any bait at any distance you can cast,” said Mr Jessop.
“If the bait fits into the Sodafloat, without packing it tightly, you can now fish with it and know that your hook bait is surrounded by a tempting cloud of bait.”
The patented design has a built-in time delay, which releases the loose feed after a few seconds. This allows the angler’s hook bait to drift under the float to resemble one of the free offerings.
Sodafloat will be launched at the UK’s largest consumer tackle show, The Big One, in Farnborough next month, with Mr Jessop believing it fills a gap in the market.
“The people I have already demonstrated it to say it’s a great idea,” said Mr Jessop.
“One said he would have 10,000 of them off me, but I couldn’t do it at the price he wanted.”
Mr Jessop’s garage continues to be the place for his inventions and there are now several products in the development pipeline for Peejay Tackle.
“It is our intention to bring new products to market – to innovate not imitate,” said Mr Jessop.
Jan Brumby, chief executive of FEO, said: “We first met Paul in 2014. He then came on our Ignition programme and was able to meet and learn from many of our members.
“It’s been great to see Paul’s tenacity, drive and focus during the development stages of his unique product.
“Everyone at FEO wishes him success as his Sodafloat launches and hope that the peer support he has received from FEO will stand him in good stead for the next chapter in his entrepreneurial story.”
The latest Spring FEO Ignition seven-week programme is under way and being held at the Sewell Studios in Hull.
Visit Peejay Tackle for more information.