Tackle industry takes on ALP/Greens as poll looms

The Australian fishing tackle industry last night banded together and raised more than $180,000 to be used to help fund a national anti-Green advertising blitz to run over the final week of the federal election campaign.

The TV and print campaign will feature full page ads in major daily newspapers as well as TV clips warning the Australian public that the extremist policies espoused by Greens leader Bob Brown will result in anglers and their families being banned from wetting a line.

The Australian Fishing Trade Association (AFTA), which organised the ad campaign and will back it up over the next week with almost half a million in funds out of its war chest and tackle industry donations, says its message will be that the preference deal between the Labor Party and the Greens is bad news for anglers.

The anti-Green campaign was launched last night at the annual AFTA trade show on the Gold Coast. Federal Fisheries Minister Tony Burke was invited to attend but declined the offer. Shadow fisheries minister Senator Richard Colbeck spoke at the launch function and promised that anglers would be “given a seat at the table” if Tony Abbott wins next Saturday. See an exclusive video interview with Senator Colbeck filmed last night below.

Last night’s campaign launch marked a turning point for the tackle industry. For the first time, the industry has banded together to fight for the rights of Australian anglers and their families to enjoy the sport of fishing. The AFTA campaign has the potential to directly affect the outcome of the election as the “fishing vote” could influence the vote in key marginal seats. Whichever way the vote falls, one thing will be clear – that is, Australia’s 5 million plus anglers, led by a united and powerful tackle industry, are a potent political force and that politicians of all persuasions would be advised to work with us, not against us!


AFTA show winners

Although last night’s AFTA function was dominated by politics, there was time for the usual happenings of the annual trade show. Industry stalwart John Dunphy was singled out for special honour by the AFTA committee. JD, aka “Dunph”, has been the dominant figure in the industry for decades and is highly respected as a businessman and lobbyist for angling issues, especially in regards to the environment and for getting kids into fishing.
Dunph is getting near to retiring from his position as boss of Shimano and it was good to see the industry pre-empt his eventual retirement by highlighting his business achievements and tireless work, most of it behind-the-scenes, in promoting and protecting the sport of fishing. Good on ya, Dunph!


The annual awards for best stands and best products were dominated by the lure company Sebile, which used the 2010 AFTA show to launch its award-winning range of innovative lures onto the local market. Designed by passionate French angler Patrick Sebile, and distributed locally by Nomad Sportfishing, Sebile scored awards for best medium stand, best hard body for the Sebile Koolie Minnow, best soft lure for the Sebile Magic Swimmer and best terminal tackle for the Sebile Soft Weight System. Sebile lures also picked up a swag of awards at recent international tackle shows in Europe and the US.

Stay tuned to Fisho for more on these unique new lures.

The best small stand was won by Cranka (a range of bream style lures from Tassie), the best medium stand by Daiwa and the Best Overall by Shimano.

Tackle awards

Best Environmentally Friendly – Just Fishing for its Pebble Stone Sinkers

Best Rod – Berkely Venom

Best Reel – Shimano Stella FE,

Best Lines – JM Gillies, Asari Pearl Monofilament

Best Tackle Management – JM Gillies, FTO Elite Hydro-Flo

Best Boating Accessory & Electronics – Rodezi Rack

Best Fishing Accessory – JM Gillies, Sea Dog Berley Pot

Best Kids – Big Fish Graphics, Little Fish Shirt

Best Clothing Accessories – Big Fish Shirt

Best Giftwear – Tacspo, Snap Capp

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