Hooked on lures

Greg Hynes produces Lofty Lures at Mole Creek in Tasmanian. Mole Creek is a quiet country town where most everyone goes fishing. Lofty's make several different size cobra style lures as well as a range of spinners. Michael Stevens recently interviewed Greg "˜Lofty"Hynes.

How did you come to be a lure maker?

I'd just sold the Mole Creek supermarket and was looking for something to do. There didn't seem to be many colours around in the mass produced lures. There were plenty of exotic colours in the home made lures and I thought there was a market for an expansion in this field. Really, I imagined a small cottage type industry.

What has it turned into?

A monster.

How often do you go fishing?

Through the season, I probably have thirty trips to the lakes.

How many of your staff are anglers?

Virtually all of them - and they all fish differently - some the creeks, some lakes, and there is even a fly fisher amongst them.

How many different lures do you make?

60 colours in 13 gram, 36 colours in 4, 7 and 25 gram and 34 colours in spinners.

What are the most popular lures?

The 13 gram is the most popular in Australia. Overseas the 7 gram is the most popular, while in Japan the 4 gram is very popular.

Most popular colours?

For mainland Australia it is definitely pink, Tasmania the "˜Rod nose Brown Bomber (48), Green and Gold with Red spots (13) and the new 20 has been a huge success.

How many different countries do you sell to?

I don't really know - I think it is 16 - a lot of this is done through a distributor in Norway.

I recently saw your lures in K Mart - how did that come about?

I ran into a fellow by chance and he asked me if I was interested in doing some special packages for the K Mart. We had a meeting and decided on some six packages and twin packs in the most popular colours. These have complete instructions on the most effective methods.

Are methods important?

Absolutely! - various factors can make a big difference such as line size, speed of the boat or retrieve and colour. We, as tackle makers, must help people to catch fish. If they don't they will throw their gear in the corner and not use it again - then we don't sell any more lures.

How are new lures developed?

We are always playing with different colours. When we were developing the #20, I caught 20 fish the first time I used it - so after a few more tests it went straight on to the market. It has been a very good fish catcher ever since - especially in Arthurs Lake. Some other lures are at the request of a particular country.

When will you retire - or are you retired already?

I have no intentions, at this stage, of retiring. I want to just keep doing what I am doing. If I want to go fishing this afternoon I can happily leave my staff to run the show, while I go and do some product testing. How could you want more than that?

What will Lofty be doing in five years?

I've just taken on the Australian distributorship for Solv Kroken, a Norway tackle maker - so that is a good adjunct to our lures.

If you could only have four lures - what would they be?

I could happily fish the rest of my life with the following 13 gram cobras, Number 48, 13, 43 and 20.
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