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Vodkaman

Mass Production

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I would be starting out with resin pours. If the bait showed signs of being successful, I would be taking it to local injection molding companies. The point is that my initial CAD designed prototypes are injection mold type designs, and so no reverse engineering would be required. They are basically ready to go.

Dave

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By the time the customers have discovered your lure , and the demand has reached a level you are proposing .. you will have long since resolved your production process flows. 

The hardest part is not production, it’s creating (and maintaining) the marketing to create such a high demand. 

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10,000 units a month is a good problem to have, but not an easy problem to deal with unless you are prepared for it. 

A stellar business plan is a must.  Without one, you will fail!  It doesn’t have to be 50 pages.  A 1 pager will work, if enough thought is put into it. 

Capital and common sense are usually the biggest problems.  Producing 10K units is not cheap.  You have components, labor, (your time is not free), packaging, equipment maintenance, insurance, EDI costs, shipping, payroll/accounting, taxes, marketing, legal and others that I have missed.  The best part is, big box stores are usually net 60 or 90.   Ya, you don’t get paid for 2 or 3 months.  In the beginning budgeting/timing is very important.

Your good suppliers are your best friends and single points of failure are your worst.

Sorry for the short synopsis

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Liv - A very good synopsis, which will be of value should I ever come across this problem.

The whole point of this thread is to point out that such an issue is not unheard of. You produce something special, it catches fish, a big name wins a tourney with it, and before you know it you are in deep doo doo!

Yes, I have made plans; a reasonable enough rough cost analysis to know what is possible, I love working spreadsheets. I have unskilled manpower available that can be trained quickly for specific functions. I have local mass production facilities (injection molding) although I haven't approached them at this time. I also have a budget that can make it happen, although I would need to be fairly certain before pulling the trigger. Taxes and insurance are also covered.

Dave

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Did you ever think of producing for lure makers to provide for your self and still produce yours, just athought.

Wayne

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Raven - Indeed, that is the ultimate plan; to provide an alternative to China. OK, it doesn't sound any better calling them from Indonesia, but at least the process will be overseen by a lure designer who understands the engineering processes and the lure designers requirements.

But, before I can do that, I need a lure of my own to go through the process, as validity.

Dave

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On 6/28/2019 at 9:34 AM, BobP said:

I grew up in a small business family.  As an adult, I chose a different career, mostly because of the hard business lessons I learned at my Dad’s knee.  Some guys are interested in building baits as a business.  Some of them can build great baits consistently in single or small batches. But very few are able to scale up their production, keep the quality as good as it was as a hobby, and most importantly, run the operation as a profitable business.  And if they manage to do it, many find that being an 80 hour a week slave to production schedules and dealing with feckless suppliers and irrational customers is not the dream they envisioned.  If you can cheerfully do that, I salute your guts and initiative and wish you the best of luck.

Bob do you remember a jig company call ProPoint Jigs that was made in Winston Salem back in the late 80's early 90's? He was selling to WalMart in W.S. They ended up putting the guy out of business due to wanting more and paying less for the jigs.Even if I ever decided to go that route Walmart would never b on I would sell to. When I had my tackle shop in the late 90's I couldn't even compete with the prices that Walmart was selling the same stuff as me. 

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This goes back away maybe 60's, that a guy was building great rods and sold to a major retailer and as time went buy ………..cheaper & cheaper and faster the guy went out of business SAD. So how big is big its tough. I think there comes a time when enough is enough and make your own rules, if your product is really great two choices limited supply or license it out and take your monthly check or just watch someone knock it off SAD, but that's life. Do your best so knockoff's can't make as good as yours. If it becomes a great lure don't worry you will sell and at your price. Good luck to all that get into this crazy world no matter what the product is.

Wayne

 

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In the late 90’s I bought a “garage built” balsa squarebill that had been touted by a pro on the Bassmasters circuit.  Could not get it to run right and it took on water and self destructed in a single day of fishing.  That’s when I decided to start making my own baits, and thinking about that lousy bait later, I believe its maker was a victim of his own success.  It’s very hard to ramp up production and keep up quality at the same time.  And it’s a business.  If you can’t calculate all your costs of production and price them accordingly,  you can’t make money on the baits and the more you sell, the faster you go broke.

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Dave when you say injections, are you talking hollow plastic baits?

 I too have wondered this very same thing. How to make the transition  from solid resin baits to mass produced plastic, hollow baits. 

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Capt Mike - Yes, hollow plastic, molded in two halves and glued together.

By working with polyester resin, you can fairly accurately simulate the polycarbonate injection with minimum cost outlay. This allows you to make fine adjustments before committing the BIG $$$ to tooling.

Dave

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30 minutes ago, Vodkaman said:

Capt Mike - Yes, hollow plastic, molded in two halves and glued together.

By working with polyester resin, you can fairly accurately simulate the polycarbonate injection with minimum cost outlay. This allows you to make fine adjustments before committing the BIG $$$ to tooling.

Dave

 

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So I guess I could build a lure with two pieces of wood temporarily laminated together then separate them and bore out the insides and later mold both halves?

Tthat way I could leave Internal infrastructure for the eyescrews and any other hardware?

ive never molded something like that. Seems tricky.

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Technically yes you could. Your problem is going to be getting the wall thickness thin enough to even get the lure to float, let alone support any ballast.

On CAD, I have given my 3" prototype a 2mm wall thickness, and it can only carry 6g of ballast for a 28g (1oz) lure.

Molding will not be an issue, but you will have to create a master for both halves which could present an issue of symmetry.

Dave

Edited by Vodkaman
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I do t understand  how  a 2 piece silicone mold can fit together with a gap that thin between halves and how the material can make it completely inside.

is there a video of a mold like this?

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Capt - I am going by the data that I have extracted from my CAD models. Believe me, I would like the wall thickness to be greater. I am now looking at a design modification that will give me a 3mm joining face and allow me to make the wall surface 1.5mm I haven't modeled it yet.

For my project, I have specific requirements were the COG and COB are positioned. These are proving tedious to manipulate into position. This lure would be impossible by trial and error. Basically, the shape of the body is controlled by my engineering requirements, and this includes the wall thickness. The final result may well have to be a compromise and hope it is close enough to theory to still work.

The injection molding company may well come back stating the minimum thickness that they are prepared to inject without failures.

Has anyone taken apart a 2-piece body, I would be interested in knowing the wall thickness of a successful commercial body.

Dave

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On 7/26/2019 at 9:08 PM, Liv4Nov said:

10,000 units a month is a good problem to have, but not an easy problem to deal with unless you are prepared for it. 

A stellar business plan is a must.  Without one, you will fail!  It doesn’t have to be 50 pages.  A 1 pager will work, if enough thought is put into it. 

Capital and common sense are usually the biggest problems.  Producing 10K units is not cheap.  You have components, labor, (your time is not free), packaging, equipment maintenance, insurance, EDI costs, shipping, payroll/accounting, taxes, marketing, legal and others that I have missed.  The best part is, big box stores are usually net 60 or 90.   Ya, you don’t get paid for 2 or 3 months.  In the beginning budgeting/timing is very important.

Your good suppliers are your best friends and single points of failure are your worst.

Sorry for the short synopsis

You hit the nail squarely on its head ! 10k orders a month is a dream - how fast are you getting paid in full is reality. Do you get your basic costs up front?? You had better have deep,deep pockets to wait 90-120 days for your money and hope they don't go bankrupt or you're gone too! U.S.Patents mean zilch to copiers in China. You can go broke attempting to defend your patent in the U.S.A. too! The lure business is one backstabbing,cutthroat business-especially if the big,established manufacturers want to play hard ball w/ you.There are  also the middleman who wants his palms greased for the privilege of opening doors for you .If you own a small,profitable lure company,stick w/ it as your dreams of getting big may destroy you mentally and financially.

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55 minutes ago, smallmouthaholic said:

You hit the nail squarely on its head ! 10k orders a month is a dream - how fast are you getting paid in full is reality. Do you get your basic costs up front?? You had better have deep,deep pockets to wait 90-120 days for your money and hope they don't go bankrupt or you're gone too! U.S.Patents mean zilch to copiers in China. You can go broke attempting to defend your patent in the U.S.A. too! The lure business is one backstabbing,cutthroat business-especially if the big,established manufacturers want to play hard ball w/ you.There are  also the middleman who wants his palms greased for the privilege of opening doors for you .If you own a small,profitable lure company,stick w/ it as your dreams of getting big may destroy you mentally and financially.

anyone wanting to mass produce needs to read this (smallmouthaholic) and understand this.

The only thing I would add to this is:

take out of your vocabulary  the words "It should work" because what looks like will work doesn't look or work the same in production.

I use to be young and dumb, I'm not young anymore.

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Wise words indeed. There is no way I could afford the risk. I could certainly do 10K using low production techniques, but the materials would not reach the standards expected by the customers. The lures would certainly perform, but the rock resistance would not be as good as polycarbonate. But, I am talking about a shallow swimmer.

This is a hypothetical thread in any case, just to table awareness of the possibilities and the options.

Dave

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Lots of people have big dreams but few have the ability or mind set to do it. There is also different paths that can achieve the same end goal. Some also over step their ability and loose it all where the should have played with in their means and they would have still seen a high level of success.

This thread seems to lean towards mass overseas production and cheap materials to try and to get in the level of the big players in the tackle industry. If you can pull it off awesome but most would crash and burn trying  This is a tough game big risk but big rewards 

Now that is not the only option of success. Another path I watched play out firsthand never did any of that. They built their company focused on quality and reputation. Pushed hard to build there name through marketing and created a demand for their products through fishermen’s success. The funniest part the tackle was all made in a shop in the backyard by free beer and paying their friends a few $ for their spare time. They have sold their business and bought a very high class fishing lodge now. They do well and have a comfortable relaxed lifestyle overseeing the management of their lodge

They may not of become a big player top name in the industry but have built a comfortable life most fishermen would dream of

Multiple ways to be successful and different levels of success. 

 

 

 

 

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your best bet is to make a real good swimbait   I nice one can sell for  couple hundred bucks...if not more   check out swimbait universe on facebook  

Edited by fishon-son
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I do have a swimbait, 6 section, in my arsenal, it looks quite good but not interested. Swimbaits are fairly easy to make, most people do not realize.

Dave

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Every market is different and there is not one lure style that is best. There is also those magical price points that if you exceed them you also loose most buyers and sales become extremely limited 

In my area you would be extremely hard pressed to sell a $200 swimbait. Even though big swimbaits work they are in low demand. Then once you exceed $40 here sales seem to be extremely low. They will just buy a lower cost lure that they know works

If you only sell a small amount of high priced baits it doesn’t add up to much. Now if you add some moderate price baits that sell at the same time it can be worth while 

You need to know your target market and the pricing it will tolerate is what it comes down to

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1 hour ago, Vodkaman said:

I do have a swimbait, 6 section, in my arsenal, it looks quite good but not interested. Swimbaits are fairly easy to make, most people do not realize.

Dave

Shhhh!!!!

 

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Wow... this was a great subject and thread.  First I would like to say that for the most part this is a hobby for guessing 75% of the people on here.  When its a hobby it is fun.  When people start talking about and buying your bait it is exciting...... when the orders come in faster than you can produce....... the fun is gone and now it is a job!!... This happened to me on a crankbait I was making and I got burnt out and filled the orders I had and never answered another email order.  

Someone brought up "Chatterbait"..... what a great example.  RAD lures was Ronald Anthony Davis and he worked on this bait for years.  Although some "pros" were using it, it really got it start when Brian Thrift won a Stren series event on Okeechobe in 2006.  The orders poured in and that is when Z-man came into the picture.  I am sure that Ronny Davis was excited he created a lure that brought so much recognition, but I don't think he was prepared or had the capability to fill the "gold rush".  Vodkaman, your idea is interesting and intriguing to say the least, and it was a great thread to read.  Maybe some will create that "special" bait and take you up on your suggestion.

Here is a link to the Chatterbait story and if you want to build that next "great" bait, you need to read it.  I promise it won't happen overnight!!   https://www.bassmaster.com/gear/lets-chat-about-chatterbaits    

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