Chamberlain Downrigger Release

My invention was conceived in the spring of 1994.

It is a device used to release fishing line while trolling with a downrigger. This line release can be adjusted to sense even the slightest resistance.  At the same time, the fishing rod maintains its downward pressure. A fish as small as six inches will activate this release.

After being introduced to fishing with a downrigger, I fished in a local lake that had just been stocked with a new batch of ten-inch trout. The release I was using was adjustable, but even on the lowest setting, the line still would not release when a small fish was hooked. The line would also release prematurely from the rocking of the boat or the resistance of the water against the line. I spent the whole season frustrated because I was forever wondering if there was a small fish on my line. Therefore I wasted a lot of time checking my line to be sure a small fish had not been hooked.

After trying several different releases and talking with fisherman who experienced similar outcomes, I knew there was not a release made that would end my frustration.
I came up with the original prototype after looking at a mousetrap.

Since my old farmhouse was inhabited with so many mice, I had lots of experience with a mousetrap. One day, after the morning ritual with the traps I thought, “I bet I could use the same technology to build a line release.”

So, to satisfy my curiosity I built my first prototype that day. You can see the evolutionary development of what is now the Chamberlain Release in the image below.