Yes I knew Dave Bottino “back in the day.” Dave was a great guy and I remember well a day we spent at Birdlings Flat testing some of his line-climbers. The line climbers were also tremendous fun to take down to the park with the kids. We would make miniature parachutists and load them into the sinker bucket. The kids would take great delight in running to catch them as they floated towards the ground. These devices, though a bit unusual, work surprisingly well for surfcasting – though obviously the wind needs to be offshore. Three of four surfcasters can fish with just one kite. The climber looks complicated but the design was excellent being both strong and yet light weight. Dave’s gear was well made because 20 years later it still functions perfectly. I was told that Dave returned to Italy to live many years ago.
[b:14h5nll7]How the Line Climber Works[/b:14h5nll7]
For those who have never seen one of these before it works as follows: You first send your delta kite up into the sky as usual. Then the line-climber is attached to the kite line. The device is “armed” by bending the thin yellow fibreglass rod and clipping the swivel into the “trigger.” Next you place the sinker from your surfcasting rod, with your three baited hooks dangling in the air, into the “bucket” with the green tape around it. Then open the bail arm on your surfcasting reel. Now you release the line climber and the wind blows it up the kite line until it hits a knot which “pulls” the trigger causing the “spring loaded rod” to straighten tipping the sinker bucket upside down and your sinker falls into the sea several hundred metres offshore – depending on how far you let the kite out. The really good thing about it is that the line-climber once triggered no longer catches the wind and so slides back to you on the beach ready to be loaded and re-armed again and again without the need to bring the kite back in.