Fishermen all over the world are seeking lighter and more robust equipment. On the other hand, nobody wants to use heavy and cumbersome equipment.   It is easy to make fishing rods stronger simply by adding more material or upscaling. However, that will also increase weight. Likewise, reducing weight using less material is easy, but it will lead to an inadequate rod prone to failure.

So we embarked on a collaboration with A*star to develop a lightweight rod.   The project was led by Dr. Stephen Daynes and managed by Dr. Stefanie Feih, both established researchers in Carbon Fibre technology, having done numerous projects for the aerospace industry.   The project team includes Dr. Carla Canturri, Dr. Wang Chen, and myself.

There were 2 phases in this project.

Phase I consisted of studying and analyzing existing rod designs and materials.   Finite Element Analysis, an advanced computer modeling technique, was used to quantify existing products numerically to create a benchmark for future innovation.   We also studied the CFRP type and rod manufacturing process in this phase. An in-depth study was also carried out for rod failures and analyzed from a scientific point of view, i.e., putting them under a microscope, etc.

The findings allowed us to establish a benchmark for phase II, which was to design a significantly lighter rod than the existing ones…  

Conclusion – The team achieved all the deliverables and designed a significantly lighter rod – my dream rod!    However, due to manufacturing costs, it was not commercially viable to offer this product at this point.