September 2016
This is the final report for the Kellian line setter sea trials and replaces all previous and preliminary reports for it.

This is the final report for the Kellian line setter sea trials and replaces all previous and preliminary reports for it. 


Kellian line setter
Kelian Line Setter

The Kellian Line Setter is an underwater setting device developed by Dave Kellian, a fisherman from Leigh, New Zealand. It is a towed device that involves running the mainline through the setter when it is towed behind the vessel at depth. An initial prototype (the KLS1) had been developed by Dave Kellian and ran through a series of at-sea trials which were conducted during 2011. These trials had been encouraging but the issue of gear fouling had been identified as needing resolution before further testing should be considered. In 2012 we refined the initial prototype at the Australian Maritime College (AMC), using the engineering expertise of staff at the Circulating Water Channel (flume tank) facility of the College. This permitted critical examination of the hydrodynamic characteristics of the device, and re-design to eliminate operational impediments (line fouling) that were inhibiting proof of concept and the potential for uptake of the device by industry.This led to the development of a new prototype, the KLS 2 design.

In early 2014 we conducted initial performance testing of the KLS 2, near Tauranga, New Zealand. We encountered stability issues and reviewed the design, leading to the conclusion that the asymmetrical design of the KLS2 device, originally considered necessary to minimise gear-fouling issues during setting, was likely to continue to generate stability issues under differing sea conditions. As a result we have designed two new prototypes, the KLS3 and the KLS4.

The KLS 3 is a refined version of the KLS 2, symmetrical in design with a single roller and simple cowling to guide weights, hooks and floats under the roller. There are two paravanes shown on the unit, with the potential for positioning a dorsal fin to improve tracking if required.This device was not constructed but remains an option for future work.

The KLS4 design removed the pulleys, and attempted to minimise drag and simplify the design to the greatest extent possible. It aims to set the longline under a weighted U shaped guide, with swept-back legs to smooth the passage of snoods and weights and to help with tracking. This device was tested and refined, as necessary, in a series of sea trials conducted during 2015-16. The trials have led to a prototype (KLS4.4) which shows great promise and now warrants further testing under normal fishing conditions. The device functions reliably at a setting depth of 4 to 7m but operating the setter below 8 m is likely to result in an unacceptable degree of bait loss. This prototype warrants further testing under normal fishing conditions, to refine the setting parameters detailed and determine an effective operational window.

Publication information

Baker, G.B., Goad, D., Kiddie, B. & Frost, R. 2016. Kellian Line Setter Sea Trials, Refinement of design and subsequent developments. Report prepared by Latitude 42 Environmental Consultants Pty Ltd. for the New Zealand Department of Conservation, Wellington. 23p.  


Conservation Services Programme
Department of Conservation
PO Box 10-420
Wellington 6143


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