The next big thing to hit the fishing world.

Remember what phones were like 10  years ago? Remember what sounders were like 5 years ago? Phones were big and chunky and they just made phone calls. Now they have touch screens, larger memories, and can do more than the average computer could 10 years ago. You now get emails, watch videos, play music, take photos, play games, use it as GPS navigation…….. I could go on forever. Sounders were similar, I found one of my old units in a drawer at my parents house last time I was there. The screen was small, the display would be described as  “blocky” at best. It looked like playing Minecraft but when I got it I was totally stoked because it was a colour unit. Now, sounders are also lightyears ahead and an almost essential bit of kit on any kayak or boat with features like GPS almost standard, Structure Scan/Side Imaging, high definition displays, touch screens, 360 Imaging and again the list goes on.

Having been at AFTA this week looking at all the new stuff has got me thinking. The idea of “design” and “testing” are important buzzwords when it comes to lures these days. As I understand it Jackall has been using a rapid prototyping machine for a while now. Making a lure, testing, tweaking, retesting, retweaking and so on until they reach a final product. There are a few companies in Australia who take their design and testing seriously to bring products to our market. But what will happen when just about anyone will have the ability to make and tweak their own lures? And I do mean MAKE their own lures.

I have heard it thrown around now on TV and radio that the next quantum leap in technology that will change the way everybody in the world does things will be 3D printing. I tend to think they may be right. Unfortunately, they never got around to the flying car and “virtual reality” never seemed to get the point where I never had to leave the house but it terms of simply being practical, 3D printing will be useful in almost every facet of life.

What is it? Basically it’s the same as a computer printer only instead of just printing in ink on a sheet of paper it can print or “grow” thing in materials like plastic or metal. Make no mistake, it is clunky, slow and relatively expensive now but in a few years it will be none of those and when your kids have kids they will laugh at how rough and slow it was back in good old 2013.

So what might we be able to do with it in fishing? Well first of all you will probably be able to simply print the lure you want to use tomorrow. “I’m going fishing for Threadfin Salmon in the Brisbane River tomorrow and I hear those Trans-Ams are dynamite, I’ll just print some off tonight and slap some hooks on them”

Secondlly, you could slightly modify a lure “Gee, I like those Trans-Ams for Threadys but the prawns in the river are only small at the moment so maybe I’ll shrink it to 3/4 size” or “The Trans-Ams need a little more action so I’ll make the forehead of the lure a little bigger to give it a wider action”

Thirdly, design a whole new lure altogether. Then guess what? Your new lure is awesome and slays every species of fish in the water. You can share it with your friend in WA who prints his own or even better yet sell the design for a couple of bucks per print.

You will be able to print or design moulds for plastics, print two halves of your favourite lure and add brass instead of stainless rattles because they give better sound, the possibilities are almost endless and the details of where and how you get the designs is something that will come in time. I imagine most people will simply print things they want rather than they design and manufacturers may charge a small fee per print but then like software for computers I’m sure people will hack or copy them and distribute them for free.

Whatever the case it’s an exciting idea and I truly believe the impact on fishing will be apparent as the technology grows. I can’t wait 🙂

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