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Gone fishing with a reel 3D-printed at Te Manawa library

Published: 16 November 2020

Updated 16 November

When fishing-crazy Aucklander Johan Kok needed a new fly-fishing reel, he knew exactly how to create one.

While reading books one day with his young son, Johan noticed there was a 3D-printer at his local library. Father and son were in the children’s library space, Te Whare Tapere, at Te Manawa community hub.

Johan asked library staff if he could use the printer to make a new fishing reel. The answer was ‘yes’. As a member of the library, he could 3D-print his new reel there. 

He found that library members at eight Auckland Council Libraries can use the 3D printers for the cost of the materials; $1 per metre of material.

Johan’s new fishing reel wound up costing him just $6.80

Watch Johan’s 3D-printing experience at Crazy About Fly Fishing.

The making of the reel went smoothly, but just like all good fishing yarns the story of the new reel's test-run in the beautiful Tongariro River had an unexpected twist.

Johan's verdict is: "It was a cool 3D-printing project. You’ll get a fully functional reel that won’t cost you very much. It’s a light-weight reel; great for small fish in a small stream. But it’s not suitable for bigger rivers like the Tongariro where you need a reel to be able to angle the fish."

Johan added that he would glue the parts together more effectively next time, but despite the challenges Johan caught three trout. 

For the highs and lows of Johan's fly-fishing expedition with the new 3D-printed reel, watch this video:

Auckland Council Libraries offer a range of makerspace equipment including 3D-printers, sewing machines, robot kits, digital software and more.

To find out what’s available go to aucklandlibraries.govt.nz

About Te Manawa

Te Manawa is Auckland Council’s first fully integrated community hub.

Opened on 26 March 2019, services and resources include a library, customer service centre, rooms for hire, commercial kitchen, creative spaces, studios, work and study areas along with a Citizens Advice Bureau. Te Manawa also offers community-focused programmes and activities for people of all ages. Te Manawa was designed to meet the needs of the growing Westgate community that surrounds it.

Recently named a winner in the public architecture category at this year’s Auckland Architecture Awards, one of the delights of Te Manawa is the children’s space created by Robin Rawstone and enjoyed by Johan and his young family among many other locals.

Inspired by the concept of a pool in the middle of a forest glade, the space was designed to encourage play and includes a stage for story-telling and performances and moveable book bins to change the area’s shape, size and function.

The name Te Manawa (the heart) and the rooms within the facility, along with the name for the adjoining town square Te Pūmanawa (the beating heart) were gifted by Matua Heta Tobin of Ngāti Whātua Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara.

About Johan

A self-described ‘mad keen outdoorsman, photographer and filmmaker’, Johan Kok has had a camera in his hand for as long as he can remember.

His father taught him how to take photos and his mother introduced him to fishing, and his YouTube channel Crazy About Fly Fishing combines both passions.

A proud Aucklander, Johan says: “I love to fish and I love to film and share stories. I try to make videos that are useful and interesting to other fly-fishers.

“I love saltwater fly-fishing around Rangitoto Island, often launching my small boat from Takapuna Beach. Or when I want to keep it simple I just head to some local rocks for a spot of shore-based fly-fishing,” says Johan.

Read more: Libraries

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