AUSTRALIA’S longest running fishing tackle brand, Platypus Fishing Lines, is celebrating its 125th year in 2023.
From its humble beginnings in 1898, George Ross McPherson, a Scottish immigrant rope maker, began making fishing line from twisted linen, to meet the demands of local anglers. In 1902 the first “factory’”, a corrugated iron shed at the back of the house, was established at Chermside in Queensland and over the next 15 years “Mac’s Platypus Brand” cemented itself as a quality product. The Platypus in the name, chosen because the products were good on the land and in the water, reflecting both the production of rope and fishing line.
George’s son George William eventually purchased the business, adding more machinery, experimenting with a wonder thread called nylon and through the tough period of the war years buying thousands of shoelaces, due to shortages in linen thread, which were dismantled and re-spun into yarn to manufacture fishing line. A reflection of angler and Aussie ingenuity.
As nylon lines improved in the 1950s, George’s son Don became involved in the business, purchased the companies first nylon extruder, and began developing nylon fishing line technologies in Australia. This was a pioneering time in sportfishing, as linen gave way to nylon lines in the 1960’s and throughout the 1970’s, with help from some high-profile Australian anglers who embraced Platypus lines and these Australian made nylon lines became the lines to use.
Don’s intimate knowledge of nylon lines allowed him to control elements such as diameter, stretch and memory as he developed lines for specific applications, such as Lo-Stretch and Pre-Test, with its hundreds of IGFA and ANSA records. A larger factory was established at Strathpine and Don’s knowledge allowed the development of many other products used in medical, mining, farming, and other fields, while never losing focus on the development of quality fishing line.
Stewart McPherson joined his father Don in the late 1990s, before taking over the company, making Platypus a fourth-generation Australian owned company. This was an exciting period, with the development of new high-tech fibres that saw a rapid growth in the popularity of braided lines, with Platypus at the forefront of this new line category.
In 2018 an opportunity arose for Australian Owned and Operated Family Business, Tackle Tactics to take on the brand, ensuring that it remained an Australian made product. Key Platypus team members remained with the business, including two fishing line technicians with over 70 years of combined fishing line development and manufacturing experience. Under the supervision of new owner Gareth Williams, the team have gone on to develop what they describe as ‘their best monofilament line ever’, Pulse Mono, the cutting-edge Hard Armour Leader range and a selection of new braids that utilise the latest in materials and machinery, including Pulse X4, Pulse X8 and Bionic Braid X9.
Many anglers have memories of spooling and fishing Platypus lines with their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, so it’s exciting to see Australia’s longest running fishing tackle brand still at the forefront of fishing line development, continuing to manufacture quality, cutting edge products in Australia, for anglers locally and globally.
Spool up with a local.
More info at www.platypusfishing.com.au.