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rodaniOver the past few months, I have really been impressed by the increasing availability of functional, useful products that can be fabricated on the majority of desktop 3D printers. It was just two and a half years ago that I admit getting into an argument with a colleague about how long it would take before the non-maker community would take an interest in owning 3D printers. At that time, I said it would be at least 10 years until you would see those individuals who are not all that tech savvy begin buying their own 3D printers. However, with all of the functional objects that I have seen become available for 3D printing as of late, I no longer believe it will take a decade. In fact, I think we are actually starting to see a more mainstream adoption of desktop 3D printers right now.

For those who still don’t think that functionality can be accomplished with a desktop 3D printer, I ask you to look no further than to Casey Johnson, who goes by the handle “1nxtmonster”. He is known within the 3D printing community for designing very functional 3D printable products such as the 3D printed NERF Gun that caught our eye in December, and a 3D printed RC airplane. Now, however, he has unveiled what may be the world’s first ever fully 3D printed fishing rod and reel.

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“I thought that designing a fishing rod would be a fun challenge, and I was excited to see if one would work,” 1nxtmonster tells 3DPrint.com. “The whole thing went from an idea to actually catching fish in one day, which is pretty neat.”

rod1Using AutoCAD, he designed his 3-piece rod and reel, which includes the rod body, the spool, and the crankshaft. He then 3D printed the pieces, which all will fit on the build platform of many 3D printers at the same time. Once completely printed, the 3 pieces fit together quite nicely, with assembly time only taking a couple minutes.

“The rod assembles very simply and easily,” 1nxtmonster explains. “Slide the round spool into the spool holder on the main rod body. The crank then gets pushed through the rod and spool. Make sure that the hole in the crank and the hole in the spool align, as this is what you tie the fishing line through to keep it from slipping. You can make it for left or right handed, but once you press the crank in it is really hard to pull out. I have [recently] updated the rod to include a hollow handle and threaded end cap so that you can stash some extra lures and hooks in the rod. “

rod2He tells us that the end product is actually very strong, and he has even bent hooks and snapped lines using it. Add to it the fact that he has actually caught a fish, and it proves that functionality is not a problem when it comes to this fully 3D printable fishing rod. Next up? He plans to design a new version which will feature a telescoping pole that extends outward.

In the mean time, you can download and 3D print all of the parts for this fishing rod and reel from Thingiverse.

What do you think about this design? Have you 3D printed one yet yourself? Any luck catching a fish on it? Discuss in the 3D printed fishing rod forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below showing 1nxtmonster actually catching and reeling in a fish using this unique pole.

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