Robert Hughes of Lucky Bug Lures: “Fish Be Warned!”
The Lucky Bug Lure Company is a family-run business located in Vancouver, British Columbia that has been growing steadily since 2000. Much of the recent increase in business is because of Robert’s design talent and, partly, due to recent investment in an Afinia Desktop 3D Printer.
“Before we purchased our Afinia, it would take 6 – 8 weeks and many hundreds of dollars to get a single prototype completed. Now, I can bring in a drawing [Robert routinely wakes up in the middle of the night and draws lure sketches], my designer prints it and we’ll be fishing with the prototype yet that morning. We make adjustments during lunch, print a new prototype, fish with it in the afternoon and done!”“There is a lot of technology built into our lures. I call it Trimaxx. A great lure has to have good visual attraction, the right kind of vibration and random movement. Ours have all three.”
“I’m always looking for tools that I can use to improve my business and thought that a 3D printer might be one of them. A while back, I got a copy of the Make Magazine Ultimate Guide To 3D Printing. I studied it for a while and decided that the Afinia was the one to get, mostly because it seemed to win all of the awards.”
“I really needed something that I could get running right away. It took all of 45 minutes to get it going. Now, we design and print prototypes pretty much every day and then go across the street and fish them in the river.”
“This may sound like I’m bragging, but it’s true. I think that our ability to quickly create new products and product lines is revolutionizing the industry. Our competition might come out with a new lure every couple of years. We have come out with 3 new ones this year, so far, thanks to the Afinia.
“Our process is really streamlined: Once a prototype proves its ability to catch a ton of fish, we use the same file to create the mold. The lures are manufactured and we then add our Secret Sauce, a proprietary method of perfectly duplicating the prototype’s coloration in large quantities. We usually have around 150 thousand lures in our facility at a given time, which allows us to keep up with the demand.”
“We’ve made a name for ourselves in the industry due to the productivity of our lures, so much so, that we have retailers waiting in line for 20 – 30 minutes to give us money at Booking Shows [where sporting goods retailers buy their inventory for the upcoming season]. Anglers are always looking for new lures to try and we like to give them a bunch of options each year.”
“I’m enjoying the business growth and am in no hurry to Get Big. I want to make sure that I always have time to fish, er, test my prototypes…”
To borrow a bit from the Lucky Bug Lures website “Fish [and competitors] be warned!”