Not all dreams come true. But one former River Falls High School graduate has staked everything on making sure his dream does.
1995 RFHS grad Vance Zahorski spent all he had – even selling his house -- to finance his dream.
“I gave up a six-figure job in Arizona, sold my house and literally put everything I had into this, so it’s been extremely stressful,” Zahorski said. “I think I have got a shot at this working out in our favor. I’m really excited to get the rings here and start selling them.”
It all started with an idea Zahorski, now a Texas resident, had after a near-accident while fishing on a Florida beach.
A shark swallowed the hook and Zahorski had to run about 10 yards back to his tackle box for his knife. It had fallen off the top of the box, and Zahorski nearly stepped on it.
“This big filet knife almost literally sliced my foot open,” Zahorski said. “At that moment, I was like, there’s got to be a better way.”
That idea stuck with Zahorski. On the long drive home, he brainstormed ideas for a way to cut line that could be kept on his person, even if he didn’t have pockets, and without risk of dropping it.
“I just thought about all the logical places you could put something to cut fishing line. I thought you know, why not just put it on your finger?,” Zahorski said. “That’s when the light bulb went off.”
So, Zahorski went to the hardware store and bought some welding putty. He also broke apart a dental floss container. He made a ring with the welding putty and pressed the floss-cutting device into it.
Then, he tried it out on some fishing line. It worked.
After serious thought, and conversations with his family and friends, including his sister-in-law who studied engineering, Zahorski decided to hire a design firm in California to design him a prototype.
What they created Zahorski called “Line Cutterz,” an adjustable ring with an attachment for cutting just about any weight of fishing line, or similar material from sewing thread to braided line – one of the strongest fishing lines made, Zahorski said.
Zahorski said Line Cutterz can be used for any type of fishing, from kayak fishing, to fishing on a dock, trout fishing. He said Line Cutterz is also useful for nighttime fishing.
Line Cutterz mean anglers can fish without worrying about finding a place to carry knives or scissors, or dropping them, losing them, or stepping on them.
To help pay for the production of the first batch of Line Cutterz rings, Zahorski started a Kickstarter campaign - an online fundraising campaign. He started the campaign Oct. 15. It will finish Nov. 22.
As of Tuesday, Zahorski had collected $12,506 in pledges. His goal was $12,000 to pay for his first order of Line Cutterz.
As he has reached his goal, rings can now be pre-purchased for $11.99 on Kickstarter.
Zahorski said his family, including his parents, Roger and LeRae Zahorski, and wife Jennifer have also been very supportive of his venture.
Roger and LeRae live in the town of Troy, in the River Falls School District. LeRay worked for the UWRF English Department; Roger worked for 3M in the Twin Cities.
Zahorski said it was not an easy decision to put everything at stake for his dream, but so far, the risk has been worth it.
“Despite the added gray hairs I have in my goatee,” he said, “it’s been worth it so far. I’ve learned a lot.”
For more information, visit www.Line Cutterz.com.