3-D Printed Saltwater Fishing Lure

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Project Name: 3-D Printed Saltwater Fishing Lure
Client: R&D
Year: 2014
Timeline: < 1 week
Role: Digital Fabrication, 3-D Printing, Arts & Crafts
Project Type: Prototyping
At the time of this project, I had only seen a couple of unconvincing examples of 3-D printed fishing lures. I decided to see how much effort and time it would take to construct a functional prototype of a real fishing lure that was actually usable, and that might actually catch fish.

I decided to make a version of a popular saltwater lure to catch Striped Bass. This is typically a floating lure that "pops" on the water to attract fish, and have them strike at it from underneath while it's on the surface.

The lure is composed of a 3-D printed white base made on my MakerBot Replicator 2 (FDM) out of PLA plastic. I modeled the base in Solidworks.

It also has stainless steel hooks, stainless steel eyelets, some wire, red thread, some white bucktail from a deer (i.e. for tying fly fishing lures). The paint job is done with a blue gradient, and then sparkles are epoxyed onto the lure.

I ran the lure through some tests to see if it's viable. It does float, since I printed the lure at a certain percentage infill and there are air pockets within the plastic base.

Given the amount of time I spent creating this fishing lure, it probably far exceeds what it costs to mass manufacturer this item. However, it is highly customized. I tend to think of it as the "fly tying" equivalent of making rigid solid bodied fishing lures.



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