1. n. [Drilling]
A general term for special mechanical devices used to aid the recovery of equipment lost downhole. These devices generally fall into four classes: diagnostic, inside grappling, outside grappling, and force intensifiers or jars. Diagnostic devices may range from a simple impression block made in a soft metal, usually lead, that is dropped rapidly onto the top of the fish so that upon inspection at the surface, the fisherman may be able to custom design a tool to facilitate attachment to and removal of the fish. Other diagnostic tools may include electronic instruments and even downhole sonic or visual-bandwidth cameras. Inside grappling devices, usually called spears, generally have a tapered and threaded profile, enabling the fisherman to first guide the tool into the top of the fish, and then thread the fishing tool into the top of the fish so that recovery may be attempted. Outside grappling devices, usually called overshots, are fitted with threads or another shape that "swallows" the fish and does not release it as it is pulled out of the hole. Overshots are also fitted with a crude drilling surface at the bottom, so that the overshot may be lightly drilled over the fish, sometimes to remove rock or metallic junk that may be part of the sticking mechanism. Jars are mechanical downhole hammers, which enable the fisherman to deliver high-impact loads to the fish, far in excess of what could be applied in a quasi-static pull from the surface.