Consumer Product Development – Fly Fishing Tool

Product design, from concept to production in ~10 months

Client – Loon Outdoors – an established manufacturer

Expertise Applied


Loon Outdoors needed to develop and launch an innovative new fly fishing tool, but had no internal r&d or engineering teams to take on the task. The product would need to incorporate a number of new features and hit an aggressive cost target.


SGW Designworks used a concept developed by Loon Outdoors as inspiration for multiple completely new designs, carrying one through to launch that provided all of the target functionality while meeting production cost goals.

Fishing Tool Design
Loon Outdoors Nip-n-Sip

Results / Outcomes

  • Multiple prototype and testing cycles led to the optimal design and feature set
  • The Nip-N-Sip tool launched in 2011, and was an instant success
  • It won industry awards, including “Best Accessory of the Year” by a fly fishing industry group in 2011


Loon Outdoors markets products to the avid fly-fisherman. They had a vision for a next-generation nipper design, that would include conventional nipper functionality but would add a bottle opener. With the nipper market being very competitive, the product would have to be feature-rich, but cost-effective to produce.

Since Loon Outdoors’ internal teams were busy with day-to-day business concerns, they decided to call an outside product design firm. SGW Designworks developed multiple product designs and even produced product prototypes of each for evaluation with the client. Review of the concepts led to a combination of features from each, that would be combined into a design. The final product was named the “Nip-N-Sip.”

A critical element of the product is the right ‘feel’ when using the nippers. Finite Element Analysis was used by SGW Designworks engineers to define the right material thickness, to achieve the desired feel. The overall shape of the product was based on a commonly available aluminum extrusion cross-section, which would allow the client to source raw material as a commodity from many suppliers, with only minimal primary processing required.

Hardware Developed Technologies Leveraged
Cutting Element GeometrySolidworks 3D CAD
Aesthetics, Look, and FeelFDM 3D Printing
Integrated Bottle OpenerSolidworks Simulation FEA