Oakleaf grad wins national competition with fishing line, bait recycling

By Nick Blank nick@claytodayonline.com
Posted 11/17/21

OAKLEAF – An Oakleaf High graduate received national recognition for designing a machine that would recycle fishing lines and bait.

Abigail Askew won the BoatUS Foundation and Berkley Recast and …

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Oakleaf grad wins national competition with fishing line, bait recycling

Posted

OAKLEAF – An Oakleaf High graduate received national recognition for designing a machine that would recycle fishing lines and bait.

Abigail Askew won the BoatUS Foundation and Berkley Recast and Recycle Contest, which aimed to find a way to recycle fishing lines and soft bait. Her “Berkley Recycling Machine” took home first place and $15,000. She’s also a 2021 graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design industrial design program.

“As a passionate angler, it was an honor to receive this reward and to be recognized within the fishing industry,” Askew said. “I was also excited to learn that this contest was judged by two major bass fishing icons, Hank Parker and Mark Zona.”

She first created a survey for 84 anglers and conducted a series of interviews to help her understand how the bait molding processes worked. Askew found most anglers didn’t have easy access to recycle products, but they wanted to. She interviewed Dennis Montgomery, president and founder of D & J Plastics, an expert when it comes to the injection molding of soft plastic baits.

“The information I received from the survey and interviews provided the complete direction for my project,” Askew said.

Early in the process, Askew had her design model in mind: a service counter that customers could use to remold bait and collect their line for credit with the help of an associate. However, a classmate shared a childhood memory of the classic Mold-A-Rama, a vending machine that molded items into figurines.

“I came to the realization that this service could be provided by a machine instead of a paid associate,” Askew said.

Askew’s machine prompts anglers to throw away reusable items at retailers and or launch sites. She felt the idea could catch on as a novelty. The contest entry was also her SCAD senior year capstone project and she said her coursework went a long way to designing the Berkley Recycling Machine.

“My firsthand experience using these products allowed me to tailor my survey questions and interviews to the target audience,” Askew said. “Without my industrial design education at SCAD, I would not have known where to begin with visualizing this concept. I used the combination of Solidworks, Keyshot, and Photoshop Rendering to create my visuals.”

Askew added that many of her industrial design projects at SCAD have environmental-friendly aspects and she wants to continue supporting sustainability through her work.

“Anytime there is the opportunity to incorporate a product that is reusable, I will include it in my projects,” Askew said. “My education and experience have prepared me to continue to be an advocate and push for sustainability and conservation, especially in the fishing industry.”

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