The Original Chum retainer was created in 1983 by Colorado River guide Mike Taggett and his friends, who sought a simple, comfortable way to keep their expensive sunglasses out of the river. The first prototype was fashioned from shoelaces and foam rubber, but it never made it to market. A few years and several dozen prototypes later, the right design was found, and fellow guides were enlisted to field test Chums and provide feedback.