Tailin’ Toads Fishing Gloves are designed for comfort, utility and most importantly, sun protection. Like so many other innovative products, this one has a story behind it, a story of love, devotion and healing.
Following the loss of her mother, Pam Stanley, a world-renowned watercolor artist, Manny Altman was in search of a new direction in life. The year was 2012. “My loss was tragic,” says Manny. “I needed to find an outlet to grieve.”
Manny grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas crabbing and fishing the beach on Padre Island from age 3. “I have always been an angler at heart. As I aged, my passion for fishing grew with me. I did not use sun protection as a child or teen, since it was ‘cool’ to be as tan as one could get.”
Like many anglers, Manny and her competitive fishing partner and husband Chandler, discovered that sun protection was not a choice, but a necessity. “Chandler and I get skin checks once a year, and have had many biopsies done in the last few years. We feel that by taking care of ourselves and protecting our skin, we will be able to spend plenty of time with each other, doing what we love.
It was the loss of her mom and her passion for fishing that lead Manny to dedicate new efforts towards a love and a cause. “I decided to pour my heart, grief, and love of fishing, into sun protection.” In a very short period of time her labor of love resulted in the birth of her company, Tailin’ Toads.
It is not unusual to see anglers wearing gloves and it is not unusual for angers that don’t wear gloves to reach for the hand lotion at the end of the day. Unprotected hands will become dry, red and cracked from being exposed to the sun all day.
So-called fingerless gloves were available on the market, but they were really half-finger gloves, not fingerless. Manny Altman had been wearing the available fingerless gloves, but had a better idea.
“I was wearing the gloves with the cut off fingers. I couldn't stand the smell or the seams between my fingers.” Necessity being the mother of invention, Manny decided to make her own glove that would give her more comfort and allow her fingers to be completely free. “I wanted to be able to tie lures, land fish, rinse off the slime and still have the 50 UVP protection anglers need.”
With an eye towards quality control, her next step was the fabric. The fabric used for production is a stretch poly spandex that is UV 50 SPF. “After I found the fabric I wanted, I decided to catch my own fish or use fish caught by friends to make a sublimated print on the fabric for the gloves. All the sublimation is done in the United States, and I have a hand in all production.”
Manny, her husband and some of their tournament-fishing friends tested the prototype that Manny developed. The response was overwhelming. Manny knew she had created a product than anglers liked.
Each pair of gloves is hand sewn by Manny and the benefits reach far beyond the success of the gloves. “I have healed tremendously through this journey.” She attributes part of her healing to feedback received from anglers that use her product. “The joy I have gotten from the positive responses from anglers in such places as Australia and Canada and all over the world has been awesome.” She even created a custom order for a man that lost three fingers on one hand but wanted the gloves. “They fit him perfectly...so definitely an amazing experience!” It has been an amazing journey so far, and I know Mom is proud.”
She describes the primary benefit of using Tailin’ Toads Fingerless Fishing Gloves as the protection from harmful UV rays and the prevention of skin cancer. The secondary, but important, benefit to anglers is the complete freedom of movement allowed for the fingers. Threading line through rod guides, tying knots, handling fish and every other angling function is easier with the fingerless gloves. “I wanted them to be functional and look good to,” says Manny.
“My target audience has primarily been anglers,” says Manny, “but I have sold many gloves to hunters, gardeners, and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.” Anyone that spends considerable time in the sun and needs the full use of their fingers would benefit from a pair of Tailin’ Toads.
Continuing the theme of sun protection she created a matching hand woven face shield made from the same fabric. The product line has now expanded to include the original fingerless glove, a face shield, rod/reel covers, paddle covers, microfiber hats and performance clothing.
The full line of products can be viewed at www.tailintoads.com.
Sidebar: The name Tailin’ Toads came to Manny early one morning. In fact, it was 3 o’clock the morning following her mom’s celebration of life. She started thinking about tournament fishing and redfish in particular. “I thought since redfish eat on the bottom, and their tails stick out of the water, Tailin' was the perfect first name. When we catch a slot redfish, we call it a Toad. I put the two together, and Tailin' Toads just fit.” And the rest, as they say, is history.