|When American novelist and angler Zane Grey visited the Bay of Islands in the north of New Zealand in 1920, he was so impressed, he named it 'the angler's Eldorado'. And it’s no wonder. With over 15,000kms of coastline, New Zealand offers anglers a wide range of fishing opportunities from hard fighting pelagics for the keener angler, to any number of coastal species for the fisherman who enjoys a day out and wants a few fish for the table. Kiwis are great outdoors people and over 20% of them see themselves as recreational fisherman and fishing is in fact an integral part of New Zealand’s identity.
The HistoryIt was into this environment that Black Magic Tackle was born over 25 years ago. It all started with hooks. In 1990 while on a trip to Singapore, Black Magic’s founder was shown the first ever chemically sharpened hooks. Fresh from Japan the hooks were unusually black. He recalls that in those days he painted his livebait hooks black, because a less obvious hook improved the hook-up rate when targeting kingfish. He returned to New Zealand with a box of 1000 of the largest size hooks which he distributed to friends and fishing club members to try. The response was enormous; in less than a month “the black hooks were out-fishing everything else on the market.” After months of faxes, phone calls and a visit to the Japanese embassy, the hook source was eventually tracked down.
In 1991 a contract was signed with the hook manufacturer and orders were placed for a few sizes across a number of interesting hook patterns. The next step was what to call them. He discussed the matter with friends and they came up with 'Black' for their colour (unique at the time), and 'Magic' for their performance and effectiveness. The hooks were advertised for the first time in NZ Fishing News in October 1991. The new hooks would need to sell at more than twice the average price of hooks already being sold in the market, and he had some concerns about this. He needn’t have worried. The old adage applies: “While the quality lives on, the price is soon forgotten.” Demand was huge, and the decision was made to sell the two retail tackle outlets he owned at the time and focus on being a wholesaler.
From starting as a small mail order tackle company, located in a garage, Black Magic now supplies over 800 retail stores around the world.
The ProductsAs the company expanded, so did its range. Today Black Magic carries over 2,000 product lines. They see themselves as a ‘specialist terminal tackle’ supplier but they also carry a number of fishing tools and high end storage accessories. Products include:
|On the world stage, Black Magic is best known for their revolutionary Equalizer stand-up gimbal and harness system which has been exported to over 60 countries around the world since winning ‘Best in Show’ at the 1995 American Sport Fishing Show in Las Vegas. Designed by Black Magic and still manufactured locally today, the gimbal belt with its recessed pin and hi-tech padding, offers more leverage, stability and comfort than other products. It comes in two sizes – standard and XL wide.
There are also three harness options – small, standard and XL wide. The belts and harnesses combine into sets and there are four options available to meet angler’s requirements in terms of their size and desired leg stance. Each set comes with a free carry bag and instruction pamphlet.
The harness itself uses moulded and contoured componentry to give you a stronger yet lighter and less bulky harness. The free running reel clips provide an even distribution of weight and the lower angle of pull allows the angler to apply up to 50% more pressure on the reel lugs without any extra effort.
The Equalizer has received many plaudits over the years and has a number of world records and meritorious catches to its name.
The PeopleLike many successful companies, Black Magic has a team of passionate people in New Zealand and Australia who play a part in the selection, development and trialling of all products before they go to market. They are dedicated fishermen and they are passionate about the products they help develop.
Black Magic is proud to be a gold supporter of LegaSea.
The QualityBlack Magic is dedicated to providing anglers with a range of high quality and innovative tackle. Everything is designed to their specifications and produced by some of the world’s leading tackle manufacturers. Although partner factories carry out their own quality control, Black Magic’s laboratory batch tests every shipment for strength and durability. They also utilise an international team of enthusiastic fisherman, fishing writers and charter skippers to run ‘field trials’ on new products, ensuring they understand a products performance and behaviour prior to releasing it to the market.
Black Magic’s slogan the “best by test” is truly no idle boast.