One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1In power transmission: the gearing selection which produces the lowest top speed in proportion to that of the motor.
Fishing. Equipment designed for use in bottom fishing, especially gear which operates by making contact with the bottom of the body of water.
Mid 19th century (in an earlier sense). From bottom + gear.
bottom gear/ˌbɒtəm ˈɡɪə/
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