FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to the general field of fly-fishing and is particularly concerned with a fly fishing rod having a detachable reel seat and waist holder therefore. More specifically, the invention concerns a device for holding a reel and reel seat assembly on a fisherman garment.
BACKGROUND OF THE ART
During most sport fishing activities such as fly casting, spin casting, bait casting and the like, an artificial lure or a live bait having a fishing line attached thereto is projected or cast into fish filled waters in hope that a fish will take the bait. Since most fishes are quite easily scared away by human presence, it is often desirable to cast the bait far away from the fisherman.
Typically, the energy which propels both the lure and the fishing line is stored and subsequently released by the fishing pole which conventionally consists of a thin elongated flexible rod. When the rod releases the potential energy contained therein, this energy is transformed into kinetic energy which is transmitted to the fishing lure and propels the latter over the surface of water away from the fisherman.
During both bait and spin casting activities, the lure or bait being relatively heavy, this causes the fishing rod to flex as the fisherman from the back cast starts the forward cast, thereby storing energy in the rod. At the end of the forward cast, as the rod straightens out, the line is released and allowed to move freely across the water away from the fisherman.
Conversely, in fly casting the artificial lures or flies used are very light weight and not capable of causing the rod to flex. In fact, the lures are so light weight that the resistance due to air friction cannot be overcome unless the fly is attached to a heavier object. Hence, a fly fisherman is really casting the fly line rather than the fly itself. A great deal of efforts has thus been extended on designing fly lines and tailoring casting methods to efficiently propel the line through the air.
Parallel to the search for fly-casting efficiency, other efforts have been made to lighten the fishing rod and reel as much as possible for the fisherman. This search for overall lightness in the fishing gear handled by the fisherman stems from the fact that each cast made to propel the lure the right distance requires constant and always well-controlled muscular efforts.
First, with each cast, the fisherman's arm has to transmit to the rod the energy required to send the line the required distance. That means the fisherman must either make many false throws in sequence to allow the line to go progressively farther or pull back the part of the line that is already in the water in a single sharp movement and then recast in another movement right after it has been pulled back. This effort is required each time the fisherman wants to return the lure to the surface of the water. Therefore a fisherman who casts his line twice a minute during a fishing day lasting eight hours will end up making close to 1,000 casts, all of them different. Furthermore, for each cast, the fisherman must have precise and firm control of the movement of the rod, which has to move through a well-defined axis to get the required propulsion.
Through years of refinement, fly casters have learned to control the loop created in the line by the casting motion. It is well known that this loop is one of the most important parameters for fly casters to control. Thus, fly casters must make subtle movement adjustments to maintain the line loop as small as possible. This is, in part, accomplished by keeping the rod tip in a substantially vertical plane with respect to the ground. These subtle movement adjustments in a somewhat non-ergonomic position may quickly lead to muscle fatigue which, in turn, may deter the overall enjoyment of the fly fishing casting activity. Furthermore, as the infrequently solicited muscles of the hand, wrist and arm become tired, the efficiency of the casting stroke will be lessened.
Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide a fly fishing rod that is lighter in weight than conventional fishing rods so as to lessen the risk of muscle fatigue. The prior art has recognized this need and, hence, has notably proposed various types of fishing equipment made out of lightweight material. Regarding the construction of the rod itself, the use of lighter and lighter materials, for example, graphite and graphite composites, has allowed for significant improvements. The same trend holds for reels, which are being made with ever-lighter metal alloys and with simpler and simpler mechanisms. But progress in this latter area has become less and less a factor in the search for lightness; in the end, it has provided limited improvement since a great portion of the weight resides in the reel and associated reel seat. Nowadays the fishing rods are somehow ⅓ to ⅕ the weight of the total combination of their reel and attachment.
Also, some rod holders have been proposed in order to reduce the fisherman's efforts. But rod holders have heretofore been designed for general-purpose rods almost exclusively. Prior art rod holders have been utterly unamenable to use with a fly rod, instead being configured to accommodate general-purpose rod and reel.
However, the general-purpose rod and reel is proportioned differently from a fly rod. The reel mounted on a general purpose rod is usually located some distance from the end of the rod most proximate to the reel, that is, the reel is farther up the rod, more towards the eyelets of the rod and farther from the end of the rod held in the fisherman's hand.
The fly rod and reel is proportioned quite differently. On a fly rod, the mounting for the reel is located very near the end of the pole where it would be held if it was a general-purpose rod. In fact, the fly rod is actually held by the fisherman in a different way than the general-purpose rod. When using a fly rod, the rod is griped above the reel, the hand of the fisherman being placed between the reel and the rod eyelets. Consequently, the handle end of the fly rod does not extend very far past the mounted fly rod. Essentially, the reel of a fly rod is mounted nearly at the end of the rod, while the general-purpose rod has its reel mounted about one third of the way up the rod towards the eyelets.
The prior art rod holders are constructed so that the end of the rod most proximate to the reel is inserted into the holder. These holders are usually tubular in construction, a configuration most suitable for holding the cylindrical fishing rod. This sort of holder will not work when used with a fly rod. As noted above, the fly rod has little to no handle extending below the reel. Hence, the prior art rod holder simply will not work satisfactorily with a fly rod. Furthermore, the idea of inserting the rod into a holder to take some weight off the fisherman does not work for fly fishing rods. Indeed, once the rod is in its holder, it becomes practically immobile, which is hardly compatible with a fishing style that involves repeated casts.
In order to reduce the weight of the fishing rod the prior art shows attempts at temporarily removing the fishing reel from the fishing rod. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,556,365, George Nulan inventor, issued Jan. 19, 1971, discloses a spinning reel transfer mechanism in which a mechanical holder for spinning reel is supported on a frame shaped to fit the contour of the fisherman's body and is attached to a belt for being buckled around the body of the fisherman. From a lower end of the support frame, there is a belt which is disposed for being connected with the belt at the rear of the person wearing it. It does provide means by which a reel is placed on an extension to the mechanical holder leaving the rod free in one hand to facilitate casting.
Although offering the advantage of reducing the overall weight of the fishing rod, the invention disclosed in the hereinabove mentioned patent, suffers from numerous drawbacks. One of the main disadvantages associated with this invention resided in that only the reel is separable from the rod. The intended user thus needs a reel seat which remains attached to the rod and a second reel seat attached to the belt. The intended user must therefore attach the reel to either one of the reel seat. This operation can prove to be both tedious and time consuming.
Accordingly, there exists a need for an improved fly fishing rod having a detachable reel seat and waist holder therefore.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention presented here comes within the perspective of the previous research in the sense that it seeks to enable the fisherman to cast with the lightest possible rod. However, it achieves this objective in a different way. It allows the fisherman to use a rod wherein he can choose, at any time, to detach the reel seat and, more importantly, the reel.
The invention is based on two important observations concerning the function of the reel in fly-fishing. First, practice has shown that the reel plays a secondary role in the casting and retrieval of the lure, since, with each cast, the line that has been cast does not have to be rewound onto the reel. Often, the fisherman does not reel any of it. If he does, he takes in only a small portion of it. Whatever the length of line he does reel in, he only winds up in his hand or lets fall around his feet or in the water this length of line. Doing so allows him to recast freely and rapidly, which he could not do if the line was rewound onto the reel.
Second, the reel, including the part of thereof that stays on the reel after a cast (often 30% to 50% of the line's entire length), is the heaviest part of the rod. The reel can easily be three times heavier than a rod of the highest quality. The technique that allows a person to fish without the reel attached to the rod means a lightening of equipment greater than what has been achieved to date by other inventions.
The fly fishing rod proposed by the present invention has a detachable reel seat which can be readily detached and attached from and to a conventional fly fishing rod through a set of simple ergonomic steps without requiring special tooling or manual dexterity. The attachment and detachment to and from the fly fishing rod can be accomplished quickly even in an harsh environment when manual skills are lessened by cold, humidity or the like.
The idea presented here of a rod with a detachable reel seat is applicable to a new rod specifically designed for that purpose and is equally applicable to all other existing rods. Indeed, the invention makes it possible to design a rod with a reel seat that can be detached from the rod handle instead of having to stay attached, as it is the case with all existing rods on the market. The invention also makes it possible for all existing rods to use a device for holding an additional and movable reel seat used to hold the reel.
In both cases, the reel seat is moved from the rod to a waist holder attached to the fisherman's belt. Reel seats, being somewhat of a more standard nature than the varying reels which are adapted to the user and the environment, can be quickly and ergonomically mounted on a relatively standard waist holder therefore. The proposed waist holder associated with the present invention is specifically adapted to receive a reel and reel seat assembly. The proposed waist holder is specifically designed so as to ergonomically position the reel and reel seat assembly (a right-handed will be using the right model as shown in FIG. 4 and will preferably install it on his right waist). It is also provide with a line positioning means, a guiding eyelet, which further increases ergonometric of the casting procedure.
An intended user of the proposed invention can thus use the fly fishing rod either with the reel and reel seat assembly attached thereto or detached therefrom depending on the particular setting. When desired or needed, the chosen option can be easily modified through simple ergonomic steps. The rod design with a detachable reel seat preserves all the advantages of the traditional rod equipped with its own fixed reel seat and, at the same time, allows the fisherman, whenever he wishes, to take advantages of all the benefits of a rod free from the weight of its reel.
Another advantage of the present invention resides in that the proposed fly fishing rod and associated waist holder is specifically designed so as to be manufacturable using conventional forms of manufacturing thus providing a fly fishing rod and associated waist holder which will be economically feasible, long lasting and relatively trouble free in operation.