WellingLures is established to fill the missing offering between skillful artisans, blooming business and high end production solutions. It can be a hard task for a private person or a small business to seek all the right components, equipment and services to develop their own lures. We want to help in this matter not only by offering best components, but also by making lure design easy with our LureBuilder application and professional services. With our help you do not need to find out all the details in fishing lure production chain by yourself. If you are a enthusiatic craftsman you will probably find something interesting from our services. When you use LureBuilder or our modelling services as a starting point you get significant benefits - all the designs are in a digital format which enables a million things for future development and finetuning. You can easily modify some portion of the design and make slight changes to your lure shape when looking for that ultimate catching motion. Or you can build painting masks, mass production tools, molds, packaking etc. so much easier when everything is in 2D and 3D CAD formats from the beginning. In practise this means that you can start modest and when you have found that special design, growing the production will be so much easier. No matter if you have a need to do a couple lures for your own tacklebox or make a few dozen for your friends, or to grow your production to thousands of pieces, you will find the right solutions from our offerings.
Our heritage grows from Finland, a country of thousands of lakes and enthusiastic fishermen. Company founder, Mr Henri Welling was born in 1976 to a family where hunting, fishing and enterpreunership were present daily. When growing up by a beautiful lake it was not a surprise he started to fish himself:
"Often on calm summer days the lake surface set still and prey fish schools started seeking for small flies to eat. The only disturbance in that pleasant scene were brutal strikes of predator fish breaking the surface into large waves and millions of waterdrops until it was all calm again - for a while. I saw everything from my home window and usually it was a call impossible to resist. When seeing a big fish on chase it took just 5 minutes to gather the gear, walk 30 meters to shoreline and jump to the waiting boat - no surprise that the hobby grew into a passion. My mother taught me how to tie flies - a practise which took a young boy into a world of exciting possibilities to express himself via handicrafts. Making flies gave also me some pocket money when the local shops started to take my flies to their collection, sometimes for a small payment, sometimes trading for other fishing equipment. Soon I was drawn towards hardbodied lures as the challenge to get the lure to move in desired action intrigued the young artisan. My father's friend, Mr Pauli Hartikainen who worked in a local fishing gear wholesale business, instructed me to my carve first own lure bodies from balsa wood."
"Back those days in 80's there was allready a strong tradition in Finland to make high quality wooden lures, especially from balsa for salmon and trout. But supplies were hard to find. Some specialized stores started to offer lacquer, diving lips and few different foils to mimic scale patterns, but that was quite modest those days. In 1990's offering grew and also the first "semi publicly" working lure lathing services grew in Finland. There was a one company offering replicating service, they needed one example lure which they "scanned" and were able to produce wooden copies with 150 pc. order minimum - quite important step. Enthusiastic people started also to built their own replicator lathes with design which has stayed until these days. Disadvantage was that you always needed that first example piece, preferrably made out of metal. To my eye, this left too much effort to the start of production. In late 1990's I started my studies in local engineering school. I was given a mixture of engineering, architectural, business, formgiving and practical hands on lessons - a set which I hugely respect and consider strenghten my foundation as lure builder very much. One of the disturbances I found in Finnish lure industry was that i saw so many excellent craftsmen making state of the art wooden lures in small batches. But when these skillfull people wanted to grow to a business, they found limitations of mass production methods for wooden lures. When the design was turned from vividly acting, lightweight balsa to heavier but yet more production friendly plastic, lure qualities suffered. For some manufacturers investment to injection molds was too expensive and the end result not forecastable so there was lots of trouble. I hated to see that situation. There were so many lures which would have deserved a position in knowledge worldwide. As my final thesis, I studied possibilities of more advanced technologies to support lure manufacturing and to develop the situation."
Image: First rapid prototyped fishing lure by Henri Welling, year 2002
"After school, I was lucky to get a job, but from another industry. I made my career in information technology and burned some midnight oil doing that. I had practically no time nor facilities for my old interest in lure making, but there was still the spark alive. I had no chance to spend time carving lure bodies or to do any castings with lead. I just dreamed that one day I would clean up the garage and make my own small shop there with airbrushing cabinet and stuff. Well, I soon realized 10 years had passed and I still did not have that space available... When my daughter was born, I started to think that I need to pass a model where one actively seeks for a happy life, not only for a normal struggle in someone else's rules and conditions. The entrepreunership model learned from my father started to raise its head and I decided to give it a shot. I had gained expertise in specifying service products and I started to think more analytically what the lure industry would need. The end result of this process you can see from these pages."
I have followed development of 3D printing since my school days. In over 15 years, the industry is blooming but there is still surprisingly slow development in getting 3D printing as a mass production method. There is much of hype at the moment, but I sense development is still slower than anticipated. I have wanted still to make LureBuilder kind to wait the moment when 3D printing starts really to compete against injection molding as manufacturing method. So LureBuilder in it's first released version is not yet utilizing the full power of computer aided design, it is still more a technology study and platform to be constantly developed. Somewhere in the future it will be added with features to:
- add surface patterns, like gills, scales etc.
- design color patterns (and use predefined patterns from library)
- create more complex shapes by using multiple cross sections and curvature
Beauty in this development is that early adopters will be able to add some of these features to their earlier designs done with LureBuilder. So in a way, designs can evolve with LureBuilder.
WellingLures supports and encourages selective responsible fishing where fishers consider their fishing methods and their effect on nature. For some individuals it might mean strict Catch and Release policy, for someone else it means that everything one catches, will be killed and eaten. We accept both ways, as long as one stops every now and then to think what are the consequenses of own actions. You should not release a live being which is wounded and would face painful future in freedom, nor you should kill blindly excess amount of fishes without possibility to eat all your catch. We consider it so that all human activity stresses other nature forms in a way or another - but humans are also a part of the nature and it should be natural to use the possibilities in our reach. We also strongly feel that humans should respect the well-being of other humans still over the other life forms. If your neighbour or family member does not practise fishing the same way you do, he is still closer to you than a fish.
We in Wellinglures want to leave next generations more diversified and less polluted environment. In order to reach that goal we are committed to take following actions:
- To conform to all applicable legal environmental reguirement and regulations
- To minimize our use of water, energy and materials of scarce supply
- To seek possibilities to reduce carbon footprint caused by transportation of products and components
- To Invite our customers, suppliers and contractors to participate in our efforts to protect and enhance the environment
We will continue to be a responsible member of the communities in which we work and live. We will work with our business partners and stakeholders to constantly improve our environmetal heritage.