Plano Kayak Fishing Storage

Tackling an Emerging Market



SERVICES: Research, Design, Engineering, Prototyping

As a market leader in fishing storage, Plano understood the market needs of this emerging category. However, to create truly innovative solutions in this space, Plano wanted in-depth insights into the nuances of tackle storage on a kayak. Partnering with Plano, our expert team of researchers, designers, engineers, and prototypers focused on uncovering unmet needs and delivering innovative solutions.

Context is King

Like any enthusiast of a sport, people who fish from a kayak take pride in showing off their setups. Armed with doughnuts and hot coffee, our research team hosted a “meetup” in our parking lot and invited the local kayak angler club to show off their gear. As one might expect, the level of customization was as diverse as the people in the group. Anglers ranged from retired engineers who had spent $10,000 + on a complete set up, to weekend warriors who took pride in being as thrifty as possible.

While it’s helpful to discuss kayak fishing on land, it’s a completely different experience to see how these anglers use their gear on the water. Over the course of a 2-day kayak bass fishing tournament, our team was able to spend time on the water up close with anglers to see how they each approached the sport, and most importantly, how they handled storing their tackle. We observed a wide range of use cases, from anglers modifying milk crates or other storage systems to meet their individual needs, to users who just strapped a standard soft tackle box to the back of their kayak.

Angling for Insight

With these firsthand insights, the design and development team held a 2-day workshop to comb through the research, organize it into key insights and opportunity areas, and brainstorm innovative solutions for each. Once the team had populated several walls with rough ideas, the ideas were evaluated, combined, and bucketed into foundational concepts that would drive future concept development.

Watertight Ideas

After several rounds of concept development, refinement, and prototyping, it was time to put the concepts to the ultimate test – on-water research! Our research team invited the same local kayak angler group to participate in a concept evaluation session held at the local indoor pool. Being “on water” provided a realistic environment for the team to understand challenges such as balance, mobility/dexterity, and accessibility. Each angler was asked to evaluate 3 unique prototypes on accessibility (ability to easily access storage), ease of use (ability to integrate the concept with their current kayak fishing platform), and willingness to buy.

Two is Better than One

As a result of the consumer research, two products proceeded into to final development and manufacturing. Both the Plano Weekender Series Kayak Crate Soft Bag and the V-Crate Kayak Box were products specifically designed and engineered for kayak fishing.

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