Group 18 Gate 1 2013

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Gate 1 is the planning stage for our project. We will be assessing the project as a whole, our products, and our group. Included in this page is a project management section including a work proposal and management proposal, as well as an overview of our product archaeology. This product archaeology will include a detailed description of our preparation and initial assessment of our products.


Product Management

The product management section of Gate 1 includes the work proposal, an overview of our plan to dissect and analyze our products, as well as the management proposal, a summary of how we plan to manage our work as a group.

Work Proposal

The work proposal section of Gate 1 will begin with a detailed approach for assembly and disassembly of the reels and include a basic overview of our group members including any skills or shortcomings we have.

Approach for Disassembly/Assembly

Dissassembly and assembly will take place at our weekly meetings. Because of the small size of our products, and the added challenge of having two products, dissection will be a very intensive process. However, since the reels are small and require relatively simple tools, we have a lot of flexibility in where we can work. We estimate that each reel will take at least 2 hours to fully dissect, with the more complicated Laguna possibly taking up to 4 hours.

Necessary Tools

  • Phillip's Head Screwdriver
    • Necessary for taking apart case and other components
    • May also need Flathead for internal parts
    • May require several different sizes for internal parts
  • Needle-nose Pliers
    • Necessary for handling small internal components
  • Something for managing components
    • Magnetized dish
    • Small, segmented cases

Challenges Identified

  • Size of reels and internal components
    • Conducting dissasembly in tight spaces may prove problematic
    • Keeping track of small parts will be difficult
  • Complexity of gear trains
    • Gears must be removed and added in a specific order
    • Keeping track of which gear goes where will require extreme care

Group Summary

Member Strengths Weaknesses
Brian CAD Experience
Writing Skills
Little Fishing Experience
Mike Good with Tools
Fishing Experience
Reel Experience
Poor Organiation
Zack Reasearch Skills Little Fishing Experience
Chris Quick Learner Little Fishing Experience
Tyler Quick Learner
Efficient Worker
Poor Time Management
Overthink Simple Solutions
Necessary Skills to be Developed
  • Better wiki editing and formatting
  • General fishing knowledge and reel operation
  • Communication and delegation
  • Time management

Management Proposal

The management proposal contains all of the information relevant to how we will manage our group for the duration of the project.

Meeting Plan

Our group will meet once a week on Wednesdays following MAE 277 lecture at 5:00. Meeting will last for 1 to 2 hours based on what needs to get done. Meetings begin immediately following lecture in Knox with an informal discussion of goals for that days meeting. We will then proceed to another location based on the needs for that meeting. For the dissection portion of the product, the bulk of our meetings will be conducted in one of our dorm rooms,depending on available space and tools.

Communication Plan

The majority of communication will take place through email, although we also have each other's cell phone numbers if something urgent comes up. Management and discussion of any document being worked on by any or all members of the group will utilize Google Drive and Google Docs.

Group Timeline

Included here is a tentative timeline for our group from now until the submission of Gate 2.

Monday, October 7
Due date for Gate 1
Wednesday, October 9
First dissection meeting
Wednesday, October 16
Second dissection meeting
Friday, October 18 or Monday, October 21
Additional meeting if Gate 2 is incomplete
Wednesday, October 23
Due date for Gate 2

Member Roles

Member Role Description
Brian Project Manager Responsible for managing overall project submission as well as organizing meeting times
Mike Technical Lead Responsible for guiding our group through the dissection and assembly process
Zack Research Lead Responsible for managing and completing relevant research for the project
Chris Communication Lead Responsible for all communication with professors and anyone else
Tyler Documentation Lead Responsible for organizing any documents as well as keeping track of product components

Conflict Resolution Plan

We reserve the right to call additional meetings other than the already scheduled Wednesday meetings if there is a need. Conflict resolution will begin with a group meeting as soon as possible, and if no resolution is reached then we reach out to professors and TAs through email or by visiting office hours.

Product Archaeology

For the archaeology portion of Gate 1, we will complete a thorough analysis of the reels without doing anything not included in the normal use of the reel. This means we are not allowed to dissect the reel or consult any technical document outside of included instructions. By doing this, we will familiarize ourselves with the reels and gather all of the information relevant to dissection.

Development Profile


The first documented use of a fishing reel is a Chinese painting from 1195AD. Variations of fishing reels appear in European literature around 1600-1700AD, but it is not until the 1800s that reels were used for anything other than just storing line. The first multiplying fishing reels were baitcasting reels developed by Kentucky native George Snyder.

Economic and Global Concerns at Time of Development

The earliest Chinese fishing reels were nothing more than a wheel attached to a pole and were hand-made by the fishermen themselves, not intended to be sold for profit. These simple reels were well-suited for fishing for sustenance in lakes and rivers. It was not until the Snyder reels were developed in the 1820s that a commercial market began to develop around fishing reels. Snyder's reels became essential equipment for explorers and outdoorsmen in America as well as commercial fishermen.

Regions Targeted for Sales

Fishing reels are unique in that some variation of them are used in almost every corner of the world. There is no one "region" targeted for spinning reel sales, as fishing exists anywhere that there is water. Just looking at the raw numbers, China has the largest fishing market in the world, but much of that is in commercial fishing, mostly with nets and not reels. The United States is one of the largest markets in terms of sport fishing, but someone wanting to sell reels should not limit the scope of their market to any one region.

Intended Impact on Consumer and Society

When they were first invented, fishing reels allowed people who fished for sustenance to greatly increase their consumption of fish, which in turn allowed them to sell excess fish. Nowadays, spinning reels can still have the same effect in developing markets. In places where people have few resources and mush fish for food, using reels can allow them to increase their quality of life by increasing their fish intake. In well-established markets, spinning reels are limited to leisure fisherman and small-scale commercial fisherman. Although not many people in markets such as the United States need to fish for food, some people do rely on profits from fishing to survive.

Usage Profile

Intended Use

Both of the reels are used in combination with a fishing rod and line to catch fish. The two models we are examining, the Sweepfire and the Laguna, present two different variations on a standard spinning reel. The Sweepfire model we have is in the Light to Ultra-Light range, which means it has a comparably small drag and is intended to catch smaller fish. The Laguna is in the Heavy to Medium-Heavy reel range, and has an increase in the maximum drag which can be applied to the fish, resulting in the ability to catch larger fish.

Home vs. Professional Use

The reels that we have are mostly for home and leisure use, although some professional fishermen may also use a reel similar to the Laguna. There is a fine line between home and professional use in fishing, with the only difference being if the fish are being sold or not. The distinction between home and professional does not necessarily translate to a large difference in reel quality, as higher end leisure fishers may use very high quality reels, while part-time professional fisher may use a lower quality reel.

Jobs Performed

The jobs performed by a spinning reel are very specific. They must neatly store fishing line, allow for the line to be cast out with little resistance, provide higher resistance when the fish is hooked, and be able to reel the line back in and store it away.

Tasks Required to Achieve Objectives

To achieve the objectives listed above, the user must be able to wind the line onto the rod, cast effectively, and reel in the line.

Energy Profile

Types of Energy Used

Spinning reels use mechanical energy to both cast and retrieve fishing reel. There are some newer, higher quality reels that use stored electrical energy to help reel in the fish, but for the scope of our project we will be working only with mechanical energy.

How Energy is Imported

Energy is imported into the system solely by the user. There are two distinct methods by which the user imports energy. The first is the cast, where the user swings the rod and stops abruptly, allowing the bait or lure to continue motion and cast line out from the reel. The second method is turning the handle, which reels the line back in.

How Energy is Transformed

There is not a great deal of transformation of energy done by a spinning reel, as energy is imported in the form of rotational motion from the crank. However, this is some reduction done by gears in the reel which transform speed from the crank into the torque required to reel in a fish.

Complexity Profile

Number of Components

In our product proposal, we estimated that there would be approximately 50 individual components per reel. After examining the reels, there are around 20 externally visible components. However, we still estimate that there are and additional 30 internal components at least, with the more complex Laguna model having more.

Component Complexity

From examining the outside of the reel, the outer visible components are somewhat simple in their construction. However, since the outer case of the reel hides most of the components, there could be more complicated components inside. For the most part, the complexity of the reels comes from the sheer number and small size of components, not necessarily their individual complexity.

Component Interaction Complexity

There are few visible interactions on the exterior of the reel. The interior, on the other hand, we are anticipating to be very complex in terms of component interactions. The small size of the reel coupled with the fact that there are many moving, spinning parts leads us to believe that there is a great level of interaction complexity. In addition, we are anticipating that the Laguna model will be more complex than the Sweepfire.

Material Profile

Visible Materials

The exteriors of both reels are similar. Their bodies are made of multiple different metals and plastics, with rubber on the handles. It is assumed that the metals are some sort of steel or aluminum, but without additional testing it is impossible to know the specific alloys.

Anticipated Additional Materials

Similar to the outside of the reels, the interior components are most likely made out of similar plastics and metals. There may also be additional materials such as bronze bushings to facilitate rotation and various types of plastics and rubbers.

User Interaction Profile

User Interface

The used interfaces with the reel in five distinct processes that occur over the life of the reels. These processes, listed below with more detail, are attaching to the pole, winding, casting, reeling, and adjusting drag.

Attaching Reel to Pole
Many poles are sold with reels already attached. However, it is possible for a used to buy a standalone reel and attach it to a pole. This is a relatively simple process given that both the reel and pole are in good working order. To attach a reel to a pole, the user must unscrew the hood of the pole, place the foot of the reel in the reel seat, and then reattach the hood.
Winding Line
Winding the line is the process of putting line onto the reel and must be done before going fishing. Most outdoor stores offer line-winding services for a low price, but it is possible to do on your own. To wind the line, the user must first feed the line through a few of the eyelets on the pole, then secure it by tying it. Then, the user must reel the line onto the reel slowly, making sure that it is winding evenly.
To cast properly, the reel must be properly attached to the reel and properly wound. Casting begins by placing one hand on the base of the pole and using the index finger of that hand to grab the line. The other hand then opens the line guard. Next, the pole is brought back over the shoulder and flung forward, releasing the line as it is flung.
Retrieving Line
This is the simplest process to achieve with the reel. It is done by simply turning the handle.
Adjusting Drag
Drag is adjusted to account for different sizes and weights of fish. The first step is to locate where the drag adjustment mechanism is on the reel. For the Sweepfire, it is on the base of the reel, while the Laguna has it on the top of the reel. Adjusting the drag is as simple as finding this knob and turning it until the desired amount of drag is added to the reel.


Attaching the reel to the pole is very straightforward. Winding the line is quite intuitive once it is started. Casting is relatively difficult, but is something that is very easy to do repeatedly once it is learned. Both retrieving the line and adjusting the drag are intuitive in that they are both simply spinning a handle and a knob, respectively.

Ease of Use

Spinning reels in general have somewhat of a learning curve. It takes coordination to complete the entire casting motion smoothly, but once it is learned it becomes second nature to use.

Maintenance Required

The largest piece of maintenance require for a spinning reel is to replace the line if it breaks. Replacing the line is comparable to winding the line onto the reel, as it is basically the same process, but with the added step of removing the broken line first. The only other significant maintenance necessary is greasing the internal components. This is accomplished by removing the cover of the reel, applying grease, and attaching the cover.

Product Alternatives Profile

Alternative Types of Reels

Below is a list of other types of fishing reels, listed with advantages and disadvantages as well as information on when it would be beneficial to use that alternative.

Fly Casting Reel
Fly reels are mechanically much simpler than spinning reels. Operated by stripping the line off of the reel with one hand and flicking the rod with the other, fly fishing reels are easier to use than spinning reels but are useful in a much more limited scope. There use is mainly limited to fly fishing, as they are intended to keep the bait (the fly) moving rather than sitting and waiting. They have the advantage of a high speed of retrieving, allowing the fisherman to keep a fish hooked regardless of how fast and which direction it moves.
Baitcasting Reel
Baitcasting reels, or baitcasters, are very similar in construction to spinning reels. One significant difference is that there is much higher casting drag on baitcasters, which means that they must be used with heavier lures than spinning reels. Baitcasters can be used in a very similar fashion to spinning reels, making the choice to use one or the other partially a matter of personal preference. However, baitcasters can handle slightly heavier line than spinning reels, at the cost of having to use heavier bait.
Spin Cast Reel
By far the simplest type of reel to operate, the spin cast reel is a less complex version of a spinning reel. The bail and spool are completely shielded on a spin cast reel, eliminating the need to handle the line at all during casting. Instead, the user either pushes a button or pulls a trigger to cast the line. Their simplicity lends them to use by children and beginners, but they can be used by anyone. More skilled fisherman typically choose either a baitcast or spinning reel over a spin cast reel, as spin cast reels typically do not handle larger fish very well.

Cost Comparison

While fishing reels can be bought for anywhere from $10 to over $2000, the type of the reel does not affect the price. That is, there is no clear correlation of a particular type of reel to one price range. Rather, each different type of reel typically has models being marketed to novices, intermediate level, and professional fishermen alike.