It all started with a hook

In 1991 the humble KS hook **revolutionised** the tackle industry in New Zealand.

A little bit of magic

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.

Learn about the history of the equaliser
It all started with a hook
1991

It all started with a hook

Black Magic KS and KL hooks were introduced in New Zealand, and the hooks quickly outclassed other hooks on the market, earning them widespread recognition as “magic”. We started life as Fisherman’s Warehouse, advertising in NZ Fishing News and selling through 2 retailers – Western Underwater in New Lynn and North Shore Canvas in Takapuna (Auckland, NZ). Before long, demand grew and Black Magic Tackle (now a wholesale business) was born.

Bigger is better
1993

Bigger is better

We quickly outgrew the garage and moved onto 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. We’re still located in Auckland, New Zealand; but in a much bigger location where we stock all our product, raw materials and components.

Wasabi was born
1993

Wasabi was born

Wasabi brand was launched in New Zealand, with a range of recurve and suicide hooks and swivels. Wasabi continues to be a staple brand in many tackle stores, offering a wide range of gear to suit the everyday angler.

Best in Show
1995

Best in Show

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® continues to be the stand-up gimbal and harness set of choice for many around the world.

The original Snatcher®
1995

The original Snatcher®

Our custom designed Snatcher® rigs were launched, and are now market leaders in NZ and Australia. The design has been copied by many, but our original rig is still hand tied in New Zealand using our own components, cementing our reputation for quality, consistency, and performance.

The legend that is Alain Jorion
2002

The legend that is Alain Jorion

Gisborne angler, Alain Jorion, landed his NZ record 473.2kg black marlin while fishing off Tatapouri. He achieved while strapped into our Equalizer® gimbal and harness. His lure was home made. 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 (2024).

Leading the way
2004

Leading the way

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.

Tough Fluorocarbon
2006

Tough Fluorocarbon

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.

C Point® hooks
2012

C Point® hooks

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.

Best Terminal Tackle
2014

Best Terminal Tackle

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.

Over the rainbow
2015

Over the rainbow

We continued to expand our range with the introduction of Rainbow Braid 8x Elite. Owner, Rick Wakelin, had seen this braid for years but waited until we could deliver a strong, durable braid that delivered against our high quality and performance expectations.

Our sharpest hook
2016

Our sharpest hook

We released the sharpest hook in our range – the DX Point®. This unique hook is manufactured with 4 micro cutting edges and a chemically sharpened hook. The hook is also PTFE coated giving it a slippery texture. This combination makes DX Point hooks incredibly sharp and earnt it the Runner Up Best Hook award at the AFTA 2016 show.

Fishing & Adventure
2017

Fishing & Adventure

We joined forces with Fishing & Adventure (TV show) as their exclusive terminal tackle sponsor. Fishing & Adventure is currently the number 1 fishing show in New Zealand (2024).

 Innovation never stops
2018

Innovation never stops

This was a busy year for Black Magic. We launched 4 new products – the KLT® hook, Pink Shock leader, Deception Ultra Pink leader, and our patented Snapper Snacks®. All of these products have cemented themselves in markets across the world, with our KLT® hook becoming the go to hook for so many anglers.

Twin Pin Pro gimbal
2019

Twin Pin Pro gimbal

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.

XT game lures
2019

XT game lures

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 the won’t crack or break under pressure.

Leading the world
2020

Leading the world

Our Equalizer® gimbal and harness continues 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.

30 years
2021

30 years

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”.

Continuing to innovate and grow
2023

Continuing to innovate and grow

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.

1991

Kiwi owned

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.

The biggest catch

Gisborne Angler Lands Biggest Marlin Ever

On 9 April 2002, Alain Jorion was fishing 12 nautical miles off the coast of Tatapouri (New Zealand). Strapped into his Equalizer® stand up gimbal and harness set, and rigged with 37kg line, Alain spent 7 ½ hours battling a 473.2kg (1,041lb) black marlin.

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The  HISTORY

BLACK MAGIC’S WORLD RENOWNED EQUALIZER®

Since 1995, our Equalizer® gimbal and harness systems have been helping anglers land incredible fish. A
simple idea that has developed into a must have for big game anglers all over the world.

Find out more