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CETech Innovations

CETech Uses Mastercam to Imagine and Create Impressive Outdoors Gear

Not all outdoors gear is made the same, so fly-fisherman Corey Easter took it upon himself to make the best possible fishing and hunting tools available. He used a combination of his experience in the outdoors and sophisticated CAD/CAM software to cost-effectively manufacture tools like gambrels and tool caddies.

Quick Facts:

  • Product Used: Mill
  • Industry: Job Shop 
Fly Tying Base Foam Centerpiece

Project Details:

  • The Challenge: Maintaining a profitable business while, through trial and error, creating high-quality fly fishing tools.
  • The Solution: Mastercam, the most widely used CAD/CAM software for machining applications.
  • Benefits:
    • Network of knowledgeable, experienced Resellers who can introduce and explain new techniques and functions.
    • Advanced Solid Modeling that allows for creative design manipulation.
    • Intuitive interface that is easy to learn.
    • Dynamic Motion technology that reduces cycle times without sacrificing tool life or stock material safety.

After finding that many fishing tools on the market were lacking, Corey Easter, avid fly fisherman and lead instructor for Surry Community College’s Machining Program, started CETech Innovations to make his own. “I wanted something heavy duty, wide, stable, and there wasn’t anything like it out there,” he said of the available fly-tying bases, the tools used to create fly fishing lures, or flies. “I decided to make one myself.” Easter’s Scout fly tying base was an instant hit with his friends, and he quickly machined a second run for them all. Eventually it turned into an entire business. Now, CETech offers tool trays, tool caddies, and even hunting equipment like gambrels. Easter’s products are not just popular within the Appalachian fly-fishing world—they have been picked up by members of the US Fly Fishing Team. Typically, everything is machined from 6061 aluminum on Haas CNC machines at local job shops, but Easter has dreams of growing his own shop in the future.

CETech Innovations Owner Corey Easter

“Being a machinist and having the capabilities of drawing and designing and manufacturing whatever you want is what makes it fun,” he explained. His goal was to make a sturdy base that wouldn’t shake or topple as it was being used. “I went into my office one day and started drawing. I drew my wireframe and extruded it and made a solid, and when you make something a solid, it just comes to life.” Easter used Mastercam to design and program his bases, relying on its versatility to turn his vision into a reality.

Guide Tray

Easter experimented with different pockets and features, testing his ideas on scrap metal until he had honed in on exactly what he wanted. “One of the earlier mistakes I made was trying to make something for me individually that perhaps wasn’t great for everyone,” he explained. Easter designed the base to have its post, where the fly being made would rest on a vice, on its left corner. While the design worked perfectly for right-handed fly tiers, it excluded left-handed ones. He was able to make the fix quickly within the software so that his base works for everyone. His finished 5.5 lb. Scout fly-tying base has pockets to hold tools and beads, magnets to secure hooks, spool pins to anchor threads, and a cork inlay pocket that can hold flies as they dry, or tying tools.

Scout Fly Tying Base

His certified Mastercam Reseller, Barefoot CNC in Morganton, NC, introduced Easter to Dynamic Motion technology which uses sophisticated algorithms to constantly monitor the parent material and to adjust machining to avoid air cuts and gouges at high speeds. “Dynamic toolpaths really help you engage the workpiece and attack it at full depth. It speeds up the process. It all comes down to cycle times. Time is money. I max the spindle speed out. Typically, on the Haas VF-3, if I’m running aluminum, I’ll max the spindle out at 8,000 RPM and feed it 75 or 100 inches per minute,” said Easter.

Knowing that his products will be machined without error gives Easter the peace of mind to focus on innovation. He is always looking for the next way to solve a problem within the fishing industry and often receives requests to make custom gear. “I get people all the time who come ask me to do something different for them. I’ll design it and do a short prototype run with maybe one stick of material. I’ll send it out to the guy and ask him to use it for a while and then provide feedback for me. Tell me what you like and what you don’t like, and that way when we come out with a new product, it’s going to be exactly what these guys would like to use.”

Customer Quote

“Dynamic toolpaths really help you engage the workpiece and attack it at full depth. It speeds up the process. It all comes down to cycle times. Time is money. Typically, on the Haas VF-3, if I’m running aluminum, I’ll max the spindle out at 8,000 rpm and feed it 75 or 100 inches per minute. The software helps me make my living.”

– Corey Easter, Owner of CETech Innovations