In 1991 the humble KS hook **revolutionised** the tackle industry in New Zealand.
Black Magic founder, Rick Wakelin, discovered the first chemically sharpened, high carbon steel black hooks during a trip to Singapore, which were made in Japan.
He bought 1,000 of these super sharp hooks (now known as the KS 4/0 hook) home to New Zealand. And the rest is history.
Black Magic KS and KL hooks were introduced in New Zealand, and the hooks quickly outclassed other hooks on the market. Their performance and effectiveness earning them widespread recognition as “magic”.
We started life as Fisherman’s Warehouse based out of owner Rick Wakelin’s garage and we kicked things off with advertisements in New Zealand Fishing News and through 2 retailers – Western Underwater in New Lynn and North Shore Canvas in Takapuna (both in Auckland, New Zealand).
Before long, demand grew, the stores were sold and it was decided the future lay in wholesaling, and our business, Black Magic Tackle, was born. The plan was to supply quality, specialized terminal tackle and accessories, and to develop new products where there was a perceived need in New Zealand and later Australia.
We quickly outgrew the garage and moved on to bigger and better things … twice! In 1993 we moved into an 800sq ft warehouse in New Lynn, before moving again in 1994 to a 5,000sq ft warehouse in Rosebank Road.
In 1994 we also introduced the Wasabi brand to New Zealand, launching a recurve and suicide hooks and a range of swivels. Wasabi continues to be a staple brand in many tackle stores, offering a wide range of gear to suit the everyday angler.
This was a big year for Black Magic! We launched the Equalizer® gimbal and harness set, which quickly gained international recognition and won “Best in Show” at iCast USA. The Equalizer® has gone from strength to strength and is the stand-up gimbal and harness set of choice for many around the world.
We also released our custom designed Snatcher® rigs, which have gone on to be market leaders in both New Zealand and Australia. The design has been copied by many, but our original rig is still hand tied in New Zealand cementing our reputation for quality, consistency, and performance.
We introduced our first spooled leader - Tough Trace, which replaced the bags of coiled leader we had sold previously. Our custom designed spools stopped the leader from turning into a birdsnest, and
Gisborne angler, Alain Jorion, landed his NZ record 473.2kg black marlin while fishing off Tatapouri. He achieved this while strapped into our Equalizer® gimbal and harness. His lure was homemade. His boat was called ‘Freedom’ and when he landed the black marlin he achieved a ‘grand slam’ of billfish. And from there, our Freedom Grand Slammer lure was born. Alain’s black marlin still holds the NZ record today (2023).
In 2004 we introduced Supple Trace to the market following the success of Tough Trace. Our mono leaders have been popular since day 1 and they continue to be a product we’re well known for all over the world.
And in November 2006 we added Tough Fluorocarbon leader to our range. Delivering the ultimate level of abrasion resistance, it quickly captured the market and remains the go-to leader for many anglers around the world.
In July 2012 we released our new hook – the C Point®. With 3 micro cutting edges, a bent back eye and an offset point, our C Point® hooks are designed for ‘striking’ when the fish bites or runs with the bait. It quickly gathered a loyal following and remains a core part of our hooks range.
At the 2014 Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA) show we won Best Terminal Tackle with our new Longreach Surfcasting rigs. This popular rig continues to go from strength to strength in both New Zealand and Australia, as more anglers try their hand at landbased fishing.
Throughout 2015 and 2016 we continued to expand our range with Rainbow Braid 8x Elite and DX Point® hooks. DX Point® hooks were a unique offering to the market with 4 micro cutting edges making it the sharpest hook in our range. This new hook won runner up at the AFTA 2016 show.
We joined forces with Fishing & Adventure (TV show) as their exclusive terminal tackle sponsor – a partnership that is in its 7th year. Fishing & Adventure is currently the number 1 fishing show in New Zealand (2023).
We launched 3 new products – the KLT® hook, Pink Shock leader and Deception Ultra Pink leader, and our patented Snapper Snacks®.
Our commitment to producing market leading, performance tested products, like our Equalizer® gimbal and harness set, continued to help many anglers achieve world and national records.
The introduction of our Twin Pin Pro gimbal, which is compatible with our existing Equalizer® harness, offered anglers maximum leverage whether using a straight butt or bent butt rod, without the need for an adaptor.
The introduction of our XT game lures started with the evolution of our Maggot and Flea lures. The new near unbreakable resin lure heads are manufactured using XtraTuff technology. The high tech material improves the strength and durability of the heads meaning they won’t crack or break under pressure.
Our Equalizer® gimbal and harness continued to deliver record breaking catches including Wyatt Johnston’s Junior World Record 364kg black marlin caught off the Whakatane coast (NZ); a New Zealand 60kg line record 358.2kg swordfish landed by Alan Langdon; a New Zealand Smallfry 37kg and all tackle 170kg striped marlin, caught by young Lewis Bodman; and Team OceanicGear’s 1050lb Atlantic bluefin tuna our of Boston, USA.
In 2021 we celebrated our 30th Anniversary – 30 years of innovation, quality, and excellence. During that time, we’ve helped anglers achieve national and world records, personal bests, and just simply enjoy a day out on the water. All of which reinforces our market position as “the best by test”.
The introduction of new products is always based on extensive research, development, and testing, carried out in conjunction with international fishing experts, pro guides, fishing writers and charter skippers.
This commitment to producing market leading, performance tested products drives us to continue developing and launching fishing gear designed to meet the needs of anglers around the world.
Over the last 2 years we’ve grown our range of XT game lures, expanded our line and leader ranges including our high performance Hyperglide® 13x Braid, added to our range of specialist rods, freshwater line, leader and lures, and released innovative tackle storage solutions.
Research and development, product testing, and quality control has always been an essential part of the business and is carried out using a range of specialist equipment to provide quantifiable scientific data on products.
Our ongoing commitment to researching and developing new ideas has seen us win multiple awards over the years, and earn a reputation for delivering innovative, quality products.
It’s a reputation we’re proud of and a core value to our business.
We remain a ‘Kiwi’ family-owned and operated company and proud owners of an extensive range of over 2,000 products sold via a network of over 800 tackle stores around the world.