By the end of the ’90s, Bushy and I were becoming soft plastic addicts. Like many who shared our addiction at that time, we were mostly forced to rely on foreign mail order catalogues to satisfy our craving for that next “hit”. It’s easy to forget, from the distance of just a decade or so, how limited soft plastic supplies were in Australia then. A lot was set to change over the next five years!
It was at this point that our long time friend and business associate, John Dunphy, came to Bushy and myself with an irresistible proposal. As the boss of Shimano Australia, John was keen to let us know that he now had access to the biggest soft plastic lure-making factory in the world. The potential now existed to have soft plastic lures made specifically for the Australian market. Dunph’ wanted to know if we’d be interested in designing and refining a uniquely Australian range of plastics…
The rest, as they say, is history. Over the next 18 months, Bushy and I created the original Squidgy range of tails, jig heads and accessories. A decade or more later, the brand is still going strong; to the extent that “Squidgy” has become the generic name for soft plastics in some circles. In those early days we could never have guessed how successful the project would be, but we certainly knew that softies designed by Australian anglers to suit local species and conditions were overdue. It seems a lot of folks agreed with us!
Steve ‘Starlo’ Starling