The BoatUS Foundation and Berkley Celebrate Revolutionary Concepts in Fishing Line and Soft Bait Recycling: Recast and Recycle Contest Winners Announced

Recycling old fishing lines and soft baits into new products is labor intensive, inefficient and simply, for many anglers, not easy to do. This hinders the ability to increase the volume of recycling lines and soft baits in the United States. However, three winners from the BoatUS Foundation and the Berkley Recast and Recycle Contest aim to change that. The winners – a recent college graduate, an outdoor enthusiast and a 3D printing enthusiast, and a team of four college friends also took home a total of $ 30,000 in prizes donated by the non-profit association. profit 501 (c) (3) and manufacturer of fishing products.

“Today’s fishing line and flexible bait recycling remain labor-intensive and expensive,” said Alanna Keating, Director of Outreach at the BoatUS Foundation. “Together with Berkley, our Recast and Recycle competition sought new and innovative ideas to improve the recycling process, increase the amount of recycled material, or offer a technological breakthrough in the way the line is recycled and reused. We believe that these winning entries, which run from concept to prototype, have the ability to give almost any angler the opportunity to recycle easily. ”

(Photo: Ian Forsyth / Getty Images)

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The jury for the Recast and Recycle competition included: Southeastern Regional Coordinator of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, Sarah Latshaw; American Sportfish Association Social Media Manager Allen Luck; California Coastal Commission Environmental Navigation Program Manager Vivian Matuk; Two-time Bassmaster Classic Champion and outdoor TV host Hank Parker; Boat Magazine Editor and FishTalk Magazine Chief Angler Lenny Rudow; host of “Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show” and “The Bassmasters”, Mark Zona; and the Chairman of the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, Chris Edmonston.


Before starting to design her winning concept, recent Savannah College of Art and Design graduate Abigail Askew designed her own survey to ask anglers what kept them from recycling lines and bait. She then addressed those concerns with her competition concept, which was also her school’s final year wrap-up project. “Fishermen want to do what’s best for the environment, but I’ve found that they don’t always know how or don’t have a way to recycle,” said Askew, who also attended the his school’s bass fishing team. Accessibility to recycling became the main focus of her participation in the contest, and her idea won her a prize of $ 15,000.

Askew’s theoretical design reuses an old idea: colorful, eye-catching 1960s-style plastic souvenir machines. The “Berkley Recycling Machine” recycles line and bait in the open, instead of throwing it away. line thrown in a damaged cardboard box under the counter of your local retailer. The injection molding machine also has an appeal for children who, while watching the discarded soft baits take on a second life, also learn the importance of keeping our waters clean. The young designer, who obtained her BFA in Industrial Design, suggests that the machines can be located at retailers and at launch sites, becoming a popular novelty.

Second prize

Raising $ 10,000 in cash prizes, Eric Vaughn’s “Integrated Line De-Spooler” prototype has the potential to make recycling safer and more efficient, and better answer the question of what to do with the old one. fishing line when rewinding with a new line. An active angler and bow hunter, Vaughn says it was his 3D printing hobby that brought the lobby to life. Vaughn’s innovative engineering solution inserts a new, smaller spool, used to take over the old line with the hooks removed, into a standard line spool, essentially “nesting” the spools into the existing void space found at inside the coils sold at retailers today.

This allows fishermen to quickly and efficiently manage the despool / respool process. Once the old line is removed and stored on the small spool by means of a special mandrel (included) and an electric drill, it is carefully reinserted into the standard size spool where the new line awaits easy winding. to your coil – operating the same as it normally does.

Third prize

A team of product design innovation students from Western Michigan University, Laura Nicholas, Anna Hurst, Maxwell Downey and Ross Malackowski, took home third place and $ 5,000 in prizes with their “Hook Bait” app which encourages the use of sustainable alternatives. By scanning a QR code at recycling centers, the app records what you recycle and offers rewards – eco-friendly fishing supplies based on individual fishing style – for reaching milestones. These incentives could include waders or water shoes made from recycled fishing materials.

Locking the old line onto the small reel also makes recycling easier and reduces the chance of snagging wildlife. This recycling solution can also be integrated into existing packaging and made into pellets to create new coils, providing benefits to manufacturers.

The app also offers the ability to track your recycling progress, includes a map to see what your friends are catching, offers a log to record photos of fish caught and important fishing information such as lures and location, and facilitates publication on social networks.

The BoatUS Foundation and Berkley hope to spread awareness of these award-winning concepts to help support research and development. A video of the winning entries and more is available on the Recast and Recycle website,

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