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Innovators and Entrepreneurs: Think Tank’s Products Make the Outdoors Greater

Brainstorming to help fellow outdoorsmen enjoy creation or save a boat motor or even their fingers is what John B. Smith and his team does daily. And they are not just dreamers.

Smith, Wade Atchley and Rusty Sharman have taken several products to market, including the Blackfin, a replacement skeg that can be purchased at the Bass Pro Shops in Prattville.

The Blackfin can either support or replace a boat’s existing skeg, which is attached to the motor and is positioned behind the propeller to help protect the valuable engine piece.

The patented Blackfin also improves a boat’s performance, Smith said. The product was the first and best-selling of three the entrepreneurial team now has on the market. And Smith is always eyeing the next innovation that will lead to an improved hunt or day on the water. He’s now working on an alligator catching pole with attached lasso on the end to clamp shut the beast’s mouth and protect fingers and hands. He used his own makeshift device this August while hunting gators.

The trio helped form Regarding The Outdoors, a company that sells the skeg, an innovative trailer hitch and a light that comes open when a tackle box, or other type of box, is opened. The Hitch Away can be moved to the side and rest under a back bumper, eliminating possible accidents resulting from a protruding hitch. The box light includes motion sensors that are triggered by movement as well as the angles at which they rest. The hitch and box light are for sale mostly online, Smith said.

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