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Simpleton - Quick On and Off Fishing Sinkers

Product Description:

The Simpleton Fishing Weight’s unique quick-on, quick-off line routing design lets you make changes without ever cutting the line or tying knots. Unlike old-fashioned weights and sinkers, they can be rigged in both sliding and fixed (pegged) positions. Simpletons are available in eight popular sizes and Worm Weight and Torpedo Sinker styles. Contracted by "Great American Royalty Group" and, U.S. Tackle, a Cincinnati based start-up. U.S. Tackle, Milford OH. 1992.

Design Objectives:

Devise a fishing sinker (weight) that can be
attached to a fishing line between a fishing rod
and the lure and hook.

*The weight must be attached quickly, without
tools, cutting the line, or tying knots.

*The sinker weight should, at the option of the
user, be able to either slide freely along the line
or be fixed to the line.

*The device should be attached to the line in
such a way that it cannot become detached

*Its shape should prevent snagging on rocks or
other obstacles.

*The weight is to be molded from metal or
other dense materials in a variety of sizes and

The Solution:

The design approach chosen was to develop a
weight that combined the advantages of the two
basic types of commercially available weights
into one design. The resulting invention
provided an improved alternative to both types
of weights, the "Slip Shot", and "Split Shot".

The "Slip Shot" type requires the co-axial
threading of a cut line through the weight's
inside diameter, can not be removed from the
line without cutting, and requires the user to
jam a toothpick into one end to accomplish the
fixed (pegged) relationship.

The "Split Shot" weight requires the user to
place the weight onto the line and carefully
crimp the device onto the line with pliers. The
degree to which it is crimped determines it's
fixed or sliding relationship to the line. A
common problem with the Split Shot weight is
that the portion that is bent to install and later
remove the weight from the line becomes
fatigued with repeated use and breaks. Many
times the broken weight falls from the line and
into the water where it can over time
contaminate the water and be ingested by
water fowl. The weight which is made from lead
is an environmental concern as well as an
inconvenience for the fisherman.

A number of concepts were considered before
deciding to concentrate on designs that involved
forming a "U" in the line and inserting it into
some variation of longitudinal slot along the

Solving the problem in abstract form:

As is the case with any design challenges that
are difficult to visualize because of their
complexity or miniature size, I constructed an
abstract, re-configurable model to experiment
with various line routing configurations. This is
an approach I have found effective many times
to simplify visualization and creative thinking.
By extracting the extraneous details and
cosmetic appearance from the equation, a
problem is distilled down to its simplest form.

Though the model and related sketches bore
little resemblance to the cylindrical bullet's size
or shape that I knew would be required, it
proved indispensable in visualizing the most
difficult design problem; i.e. attaching an object
co-axially to a flexible line without cutting the
line and threading it through, or crimping it with

The wooden model seen here in the photo
anticipated the physical limitations of any
molded design taking into consideration the
extraction of the part from the tool cavity. Using
ordinary electrical cord to simulate the fishing
line routing, I discovered several procedures
that allowed the line to slide freely in one
configuration or be fixed in another.

With the line routing problem solved, the design
approach was converted back to actual scale,
drawn up, and masters were machined from
aluminum to form silicone rubber molds.
Prototypes were cast in lead in a variety of
sizes and weights. The client was successful in
obtaining a U.S Utility Patent.

Quick On and Off Fishing Sinkers
An abstract, re-configurable model was constructed to
experiment with various line routing configurations.
Using ordinary electrical cord to simulate the fishing line,
several line routing configurations were discovered that
allowed the line to slide freely using one routing method or
be fixed in another.
Sectional drawing shows one of several line routing options.
U.S. Tackle brochure. See enlarged image below.
The brochure and patent show the various embodiments of the invention and alternative materials.
Prototypes were cast in lead, in a variety of sizes and
weights. Three design variations are shown here.
"By extracting the
extraneous details and
cosmetic appearance
from the equation, a
problem is distilled
down to its simplest
© Copyright 2005-2008 Fore-thought Designs™ All Rights Reserved.
"Problems and their
solutions become
most visible when
viewed abstractly".
- Devon S. McTibet
"Sponges grow in the
ocean. That just kills
me. I wonder how
much deeper the
ocean would be if
that didn't happen".
- Steven Wright

U.S Patent
Click on picture to view U.S. Patent.
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