Now that spring has arrived, it’s time to plan to go fishing. Fishing is a great activity, like treasure hunting, grouse hunting, and visiting used book stores — you never know what you’ll find, and the thrill of the chase is the main thing.
Here are some inventions from the patentECO Extraction & Harvesting Index, which includes technologies that increase the efficiency of resource extraction (e.g., minerals, liquids, gases) or harvesting (e.g., forest products), reduce pollution from these activities, and support waste minimization and reuse, that you might consider as you prepare for the 2012 fishin’ season.
If you didn’t properly clean and dry your fishing equipment after last season, you might need Patent No. 5,906,215, “Fishing reel cleaning solution.” Invented by Alan P. Conroy, St. Petersburg, FL, and assigned to Reel Clean Corp., Palm Harbor, FL, the patent issued on May 25, 1999 and is classified as 134/22.1, for cleaning and liquid contact with solids, featuring cleaning of hollow containers or internal surfaces. The object of the invention is to provide “. . . an aqueous cleaning solution that specifically is useful for removing rust, salt and old oil or grease from fishing reels. This solution is non-toxic and environmentally friendly.”
We’ve all had fishing line break. Mine usually breaks from the size and strength of the fish (“Hey, Louie, what was the biggest fish you ever caught?” “14 inches. Between the eyes.”). However, abrasion on rocks, underwater limbs, overhead limbs, and exposure to the UV in sunlight also can significantly weaken the line. We’ve probably also seen rats nests of fishing line discarded in the water or onshore. Jeffrey C. and Beverly Annabel were awarded Patent Number 6,102,319 for a “Device for removing fishing line from fishing reels” on August 15, 2000. The object of their invention “. . . is to provide a device and method for safely and efficiently removing fishing line from fishing reels and arranging the fishing line into neat and compact bundles that allow for recycling of the fishing line for efficient and safe disposal.” It uses conical shaped spools to capture used fishing line, forming a neat, donut-shaped bundle. Classified as USPC 242/362, it is found with other winding, tensioning, or guiding inventions that use a rotatably driven loop collector.
Some fishermen prefer to use barbless hooks (and in some areas or for some types of fishing they may be required) to lessen potential injuries to fish and fishermen. Joseph M. Ivey, Panama City, FL, developed a “Fishing loop method of fishing” “that employs a fishing loop as the terminal tackle article that holds bait and interoperates with fish attractants.” Awarded Patent Number 7,673,414 on March 9, 2010, his invention is intended to increase catch efficiency (catch per unit effort, or CPUE, in the parlance of fisheries scientists) of barbless tackle, reduce potential injuries to fish and angler, and improve survival for fish that are caught and released. His emphasis on increased harvest efficiency and improved survival for released fish move this invention into the realm of clean technologies. Classified as 43/4.5 for methods of fishing found within broader fishing, trapping, and vermin destroying technologies, the ‘414 patent is a recent ones in more than 260 patents in this subclass stretching back to a fish hook patent issued in 1855.
Use of non-toxic replacements for lead fishing weights has been in vogue in recent years. Brian Kevin Rayner, Balboa Island, CA, addresses this in Patent Number 6,851,217, issued on February 8, 2005, which provides a “Fishing line weight that detaches from line.” His first claim states:
A line weight which detaches from said line upon water contact comprising: a) two halves such that when said two halves are joined together said weight is formed with a hole to allow said line to be passed through said weight, b) a water soluble binding layer encircling said weight in a manner that holds said weight together, whereby said line is attached to said weight though said hole in said weight until water contact.
His preferred embodiment of the invention uses a clay, or other negatively buoyant, non-toxic, environmentally-harmless material, two-part weight body. This invention is found in 43/43.12, another fishing, trapping, and vermin destroying invention that uses line-attached bodies, hooks, and rigs releasable from the line, e.g., casting weights.
As we’ve seen with patents in other patentECO Indexes, those within the Extraction & Harvesting Index may overlap technologies found in other Indexes. For example, inventions found in 134/22.1 (the ‘215 patent, above) might also be found in the Industrial Index, as might those in 242/362 (the ‘319 patent). The ‘414 and ‘217 patents, both within USPC Class 43, are in the Extraction & Harvesting Index. The common themes through all the patents highlighted here are greater harvest efficiency, recycling and waste minimization, or reduced use of toxic materials pertaining to resource harvesting.
Catch a big one.