US 3444643 A
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R. M. DOBBS CONTROLLING AND SENSING DEVICE FOR PLURAL TROLLING RODS Filed Sept. 20, 1967 M ATTORNEYS United. States Patent O US. Cl. 4317 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A bracket supporting a vertical post is mounted on a trolling vessel gunnel, transom, or the like. A generally horizontal arm is pivotally received on the post, cantilever fashion, so that it is free to pivot about the vertical post axis and a first indicator is adjustably mounted on the post below the arm. Two angularly adjustable sockets for receiving trolling rods are mounted along the arm and are adjusted, when in use, at approximately opposite 45 degree angles from the long axis of the vessel. Trolling rods mounted in the holders tend to rotate the arm in opposite directions with equal torque and the arm remains in a datum position transverse to the long axis of the vessel. A second indicator is mounted on the arm and when the arm is in its datum position, the first and second indicators are in vertical alignment. Uneven stress on one of the trolling lines causes rotation of the arm and misalignment of the indicators.
Background of the invention This invention relates to trolling and more particularly to apparatus for mounting and controlling a plurality of trolling rods on a vessel to prevent entanglement of the lines.
Summary of the invention In contrast to merely supporting one or more trolling rods, objectives of the present invention include provision of means for (a) Enabling a fisherman to fish two trolling rods from the same side of a boat, maintaining approximately the same selected distance between the lines, even while making turns in excess of 75 degrees with the boat;
(b) Keeping the two trolling lines clear of the boat motor and each other, even while making turns in excess of 95 degrees, to prevent cutting or fraying of the lines;
(c) Keeping the two trolling lines approximately the same distance apart during even smaller radius turns than are ordinarily made while vfishing with only one line;
(d) Keeping approximately equal tension, or drag, on both lines, even while making turns in excess of 75 degrees;
(e) Allowing close surveillance of both rod tips at the same time;
(f) Making both rods readily accessible from the control station of the boat, of importance for lone fishermen;
(g) Reducing the chance of breakage of a rod tip should the lure become hung in an object while the boat is in a turn; and
(h) Increasing the detectability of tangled lines due to defectively running lure, and of lure: bumping bottom, hanging in floating debris, running defectively, surfacing, hanging in a secured object or having hooked a fish.
The controlling and sensing device of the invention preferably includes a bracket mountable on the side of a trolling boat. A vertical post is mounted on the bracket. Part way down on the upwardly projecting post a first normally fixed, though adjustable, indicator or pointer is mounted on the post. Above the first indicator, a generally horizontal arm is pivotally received on the post, canti- 3,444,643 Patented May 20, 1969 lever fashion, so that it is free to pivot about a vertical axis, the post axis. Two sockets for receiving trolling rods are mounted along the cantilevered arm. Though angularly adjustable about vertical axes, the sockets are fixed, when in use, at approximately opposite 45 degree angles from the lOng axis of the vessel. Thus trolling rods mounted in the holders normally tend to rotate the arm in opposite directions with equal torque and the arm remains in a datum position, generally, transverse to the longitudinal axis of the vessel, allowing one man to easily tend two trolling rods. A second indicator is mounted on the arm. When the arm is in its datum position, the first and second indicators are in vertical alignment. Uneven stress on one of the trolling lines, such as when turning the vessel, when one lure is running improperly, is snagged or has hooked a fish, causes rotation of the arm and an indication sensible through visual inspection of the spread of th two indicators.
The principles of the invention will be further hereinafter discussed with reference to the drawing wherein a preferred embodiment is shown. The specifics illustrated in the drawing are intended to exemplify rather than limit aspects of the invention.
Brief description of the drawing FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the control and sensing unit shown mounted on a boat and mounting two trolling rod units;
FIGURE 2 is a front elevation view of the control and sensing unit, i.e. viewed from a point forward of the unit; and
FIGURE 3 is a starboard side elevation view of the unit of FIGURE 2.
Description of the preferred embodiment The starboard gunnel of a boat 12 is indicated at 14 in FIGURES 1-3 having a trolling rod controlling and sensing device 10 mounted thereon. The mount for the device 10 includes a bracket 16 secured to the boat as an attachment, although a suitable mount could be built into the boat, for instance by recessing a socket in the gunnel during fabrication of the boat. The bracket 16 includes a first plate 18 on the outboard side of the gunnel, a second plate 20 on the inboard side of the gunnel; longitudinally spaced nut-and-bolt assemblies 22, 24 passing through the plates and gunnel, securing the two plates 18, 2.0 in place, and a block 26 secured centrally on the inboard side of the plate 20, for instance by nut-and-bolt assemblies 28 installed before the plate 20 is applied to the gunnel.
The block 26 has a hole or bore 30 formed vertically therethrough. Midway down the inboard face of the block 26, a threaded opening 32 laterally intersects the bore 30. An advanceable-retractable element, for instance a threaded thumb screw 34 is received in the threaded opening 32 for constricting and deconstricting the bore 30. In the example, the bore 30 has a diameter of 0.75 inch.
A cylindrical upright post 36 is received in the bore 30 and secured therein by advancement of the thumbscrew 34. The post 36, by way of example, is twelve inches long and is engaged by the thumbscrew 34 near the post lower end 38. The height of the upper end 40 of the post can be adjusted by loosening the screw 34, sliding the post longitudinally in the bore 30 and retightening the screw 34. Loosening of the screw 34 also permits easy removal of the post 36 and the parts mounted thereon for storage when not in use.
The post 36 is shown having an outwardly opening, circumferential groove or recess 42 therein, for instance 0.25 inch axially wide, 0.0625 inch radially deep and having its upper extent 0.5 inch'below the upper end 40 of the ost.
p A cantilevered arm 44 is mounted on the upper end of the post 36 for pivotal movement about the longitudinal axis of the post 36.
As seen best in FIGURE 3, the arm 44 of the example includes a member of L-shaped transverse cross section, for instance 3 inches by 3 inches, 0.125 inch thick and about two feet long, the length dimension, especially, being largely a matter of preference. The vertical web 46 of the arm is shown constituting its front and the horizontal web 48 its top. Two lower, horizontally spaced holes 50 and one upper hole 50, all formed through the web 46 near its outboard end, receive nut-and-bolt assemblies 52 to mount a block 54 on the web 46 immediately under the web 48. Corresponding openings 56, 58 through the block receive the nut-and-bolt assemblies 52. The block 54 also has a vertical hole or bore 60 therethrough of, for instance, 0.75 inch diameter. The openings 56 in the example are 1.0 inch apart and spaced laterally from the bore 60, but the opening 58, though nearly in vertical alignment with the inboard one of the openings 56, is actually 0.1875 inch closer to the axis of the bore 60 and, in fact, intersects the bore. Thus, the bolt 52 received in the opening 58 passes through the groove 42 in the post 36 to retain the arm 44 on the post, yet leave the arm 44 free to rotate, since the OD. of the post 36, through nominally 0.75 inch, is actually slightly smaller than the diameter of the bore 60. In the example, the post 36 and bore 60 provide a sleeve bearing for the arm 44, and the post upper end 40 and undersurface of the arm web '48 provides a thrust bearing therefor.
It will now be noticed that a pointer or indicator assembly 62 is mounted on the post 36 just below the arm 44. As shown, the assembly 62 includes a collar 64 of generally square horizontal cross-sectional shape and having a vertical longitudinal bore 66 via which the collar is slidingly received on the post 36. A thumb screw 68 threadably received in a lateral threaded opening in the collar intermediate the axial extent of the collar is advanceable into engagement with the post to retain the assembly 62 at a desired normally fixed, though adjustable axial and angular location on the post, preferably the position shown.
An indicator or pointer 70 is provided including a horizontally directed arrow-shaped portion 72 tapering toward its outer end 74, and a transversely bent, integral base flange 76, shown proceeding vertically downwardly. Two laterally spaced openings 78 through the base flange 76 receive bolt-and-nut assemblies 80 fastened horizontally through the collar, to retain the first indicator 70 against the collar face 72, for instance on the opposite side of the collar from the thumbscrew 68. An identical second indicator or pointer 70' is provided having its base flange 76' directed upwardly and secured against the front of the arm web 46 by the two lower bolt-and-nut assemblies 52, so that in the null condition depicted in FIGURES 2 and 3, the second pointer tapering region 72 vertically coincides with the first pointer tapering region 72. The two pointers are advantageously provided with upper surfaces 74, 76 of highly contrasting color, such as red and yellow in order to heighten visibility of any angular spread from coincidence.
The control and sensing device .10 is completed by the provision of two trolling rod holders 78, 80 mounted on the upper, horizontal web 48 of the arm 44. The particular holders 78, 80 are of conventional design, i.e. they each generally include an arcuate cradle 82 having a central longitudinally elongated slot 84, a ring 86 at the rearward end of the cradle and an upwardly directed two pronged fork 88 at the forward end of the cradle. In use the end E of the trolling rod T rear hand grip G is inserted, from the front, back through the ring 86 until the reel R lies beside the cradle 82, whereupon the forward hand grip F is rested in the fork 88 of the cradle.
In the embodiment shown, two holes 90, 92 are provided through the web 48, for instance about 1.5 feet apart along a line parallel to the longitudinal axis of the arm 44.
The holders 7 8, are mounted at the openings 90, 92 by fastening nut-and-bolt assemblies 94 through the respective cradle slots 84 and openings 90, 92. As shown an annular bushing 96 is provided between the cradles and openings 90, 92. The upper head 98 on each nut and bolt assembly 94 is of greater width than the respective slot 84. Accordingly, upon loosening the nut-and-bolt assemblies 94, the cradles may be slid longitudinally, the slots 84 moving along the assemblies 94, in order to increase and decrease the tilt of the supported trolling rods from the vertical, and the cradles may be pivoted angularly about the assemblies to vary the angle of departure of the supported trolling rods from the longitudinal axis of the boat. Such adjustment is usually initially made by the individual fisherman; then, upon tightening of the assemblies 94, the holders are prevented from tilting or rotating and are held in the selected position.
Normally, the holders are so adjusted that the trolling rods T are tipped up at an angle of about 30 degrees. In using the device of the invention, the trolling rod holders are so adjusted and then secured that the moments tending to rotate the arm 44 clockwise are balanced by the moments tending to rotate the arm counter-clockwise and the arm normally remains in a null position athwart the craft. Of course if two different kinds of lures and/ or rods are used, the angles of divergence of the two holders may be different from one another and different from that needed when other rods or lures were used. The step of readjustment of the angular position of the holders is easy and should now be obvious. It is suggested that an initial trial disposition of the holders be: both 30 degrees from the horizontal and each 45 degrees oppositely diverging from the longitudinal axis of the craft; minor adjustments may then be made from this initial setting, as necessary, in order to achieve a desired null. Of course a null point other than with the arm exactly athwart the craft could be chosen, the collar 64 loosened, angularly moved until its pointer exactly underlies the pointer on the arm 44, then retightened. It should also be obvious that the post 36 could be similarly mounted on the port side of the boat, on the transom, or on any stable object in or part of the boat.
The device 10 is preferably entirely made of aluminum alloys conventionally used in the fabrication of marine acecssories, although substitute materials will occur to those skilled in the field of technology which includes the present invention.
The following examples illustrate the use of the device 10.
EXAMPLE 1 The device 10 was mounted on the right side of a pontoon boat, with the rod holders mounted at 45 angles on the arm of the device, the inboard rod having of the leverage thereby making it the controlling or master rod. When the boat was put in motion the drag of the lure of the inboard overpowered the drag of the lure of the outboard rod bringing the outboard rod to a position off the right side of the boat and causing the inboard rod tip to be within 10 of a streamlined position with the pivot of the unit. Steering the boat to the right or left caused the unit to pivot. Using two lures and lines of the same length on each rod:
A. Turns were made to the right and left in excess of 75, the lures and lines remained approximately the same distance apart.
B. Turns were made to the right and left in excess of and the lines remained clear of the boat and motor at all times.
C. The lines and lures remained approximately the same distance apart while making smaller radius turns than those ordinarily made while fishing one line.
D. The tension remained approximately the same on both lines while in turns in excess of 75.
E. Both rod tips were visible at the same time.
F. Both rods were readily accessible without leaving the control station since both rods were mounted within a distance of eighteen inches apart and, with the device, were located near the control station of the boat.
G. The rods being mounted on a pivoting bar reduced the chance of a rod tip breaking when the lure hung while in a turn.
H. A lure bumping the bottom set up an oscillation of the bar which was easily detected by observation of the indicator.
I. A small piece of bark from a branch became hung on a lure which upset the action of the lure and caused a reduced drag by the lure, thereby giving an indication on the indicator.
J. One of the lures which had bumped the bottom became defective and ill-running thereby changing the force upon the bar and giving an indication on the indicator.
K. A defective lure surfaced while running in very rough water. The surfacing action was detectable on the.
indicator while the lure was not visible from the boat.
L. The lure hung on a secured object and immediately an indication was given by the indicator. The bar pivoting action reduced the shock, and the possibility of line breakage. The timely indication also made possible an immediate power cut-off.
M. The pulling links were bent on each lure in order to develop an ill-running effect and line entanglement. This action was detectable on the indicator.
N. A hooked fish set up an oscillation of the bar and after dragging for a short distance on top of the water, the power was reduced to give slack in the line and allow the fish to disengage'the lure. After the fish disengaged the lure, and lure obtained normal running depth, the in dicator returned to normal. All changes of force were obvious on the indicator.
EXAMPLE 2 This test was conducted using various types of shallow and deep running lures with heavy and light drag and lines of approximately the same length. By using a heavy drag lure on the inboard (control) rod and lines of approximately the same length the actions of the device were the same as in Example 1. Use of shallow (light drag) lures on both lines caused the arm with its indicator :to return more slowly to a null condition after coming out of turns While the other functions were the same as in Example 1.
EXAMPLE 3 This test was conducted using the device 10 and two lures, running the inboard lure approximately 60 yards out and the outboard lure approximately 100 yards out. It was possible make small radius turns up to 90 in a zigzag manner letting the lines cross back and forth without entanglement of the lines. This was due to both lines having approximately the same tension at all times with the 60 yard lure following more closely the direction of the boat, while the direction of the 100 yard lure did not change as radically.
It should now be apparent that the trolling rod controlling and sensing device including holders for plural trolling rods as described hereinabove possesses each of the attributes set forth in the specification under the heading Summary of the Invention hereinbefore. The trolling rod controlling and sensing device including holders for plural trolling rods of the invention can be modified to some extent without departing from the principles of the invention as they have been outlined and explained in this specification.
What is claimed is:
1. A trolling rod controlling and sensing device comprising: an upright post mountable upon a fishing craft; a generally horizontally extending arm; bearing means on said arm near one end thereof, said bearing means being mounted on said post for pivotal mobility of the arm about the post clockwise and counterclockwise of the post about a vertical axis; a first trolling rod holder and a second trolling rod holder; normally fixed securement means mounting said trolling rod holders on said arm spaced from one another longitudinally of the arm, said normally fixed securement means being adjustable for changing the angular relationship of the trolling rod holders to the longitudinal direction respecting the fishing craft.
2. The device of claim 1 further including: a first generally laterally directed pointer mounted on said post vertically adjacent said arm one end; and a second generally laterally directed pointer mounted on said arm near said arm one end, said first and second pointers being vertically aligned when said arm occupies a preselected angular ori entation about the post and being angularly divergent when said arm deviates from said preselected angular orientation about the post.
3. The device of claim 2 wherein the first pointer includes an annular collar slidingly received on the post, adjustable securement means on the collar and engageable with the post to angularly and axially immobilize the collar with respect to the post and a horizontally directed element having a base portion secured to the collar, said element tapering as said element extends away from said post.
4. In combination: a fishing craft; support means mounted on said craft and providing a generally vertical pivot axis; a generally horizontally elongated arm; bearing means on said arm near one end thereof journalling said arm on said support means for rotation of said arm about said generally vertical pivot axis; a first trolling rod holder mounted on said arm near said one end; a first trolling rod mounted on said first trolling rod holder; a trolling line and lure connected to said first trolling rod; a second trolling rod holder mounted on said arm near the opposite end thereof from said one end; a second trolling rod mounted on said second trolling rod holder; a trolling line and lure connected to said second trolling rod; said trolling rod holders diverging rearwardly of said craft sufiiciently to substantially balance angular moments about said pivot axis, whereby said arm normally occupies a preselected null angular position respecting said pivot axis.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 952,812 3/1910 Jorgensen 4321.2 2,314,747 3/1943 White 432l.2 2,542,253 2/ 1951 King 4321.2 2,704,412 3/1955 Davis 43-21.2 3,060,614 10/1962 Prince 43-212 X WARNER H. CAMP, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R. 43-21.2