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Only a Matter of Time: 3D Printing Meets Fly Fishing

The Eclectic Angler

Finally, a fly fishing reel created by a 3D printer.

Will we soon be able to print our own hunting and fishing gear? This talented fly fisherman designed a fly fishing reel that can be printed out from a 3D printer. Michael Hackney started his 3D project two years ago and has finally created a finished product he is presenting to the world.

The goals he set for his project were:

  • all parts had to be 3D printed, no extra hardware or screws allowed
  • have a pleasing design and not look clunky
  • the parts needed to be small and simple enough for most consumer 3D printers to print
  • parts count as low as possible
  • printable and fishable in PLA - a renewable (made from corn starch),  biodegradable plastic
  • glue was allowed
  • have a click check
  • fit modern fly rod reel seats
  • and, the reel had to catch fish!

Those were some lofty goals so no wonder it took him a couple of years to achieve it. He made a couple of prototypes and experimented with the types of printing surfaces that would look best. He played with the design as well as the functionality of the reel.

This amazing accomplishment is only a sign of things to come. 3D printing has brought about new capabilities and the opportunity for affordable product development. We're left wondering what fishing or hunting tool will be printed next.

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Only a Matter of Time: 3D Printing Meets Fly Fishing