Gillies goes full steam ahead in 2021

The past year has had its challenges and its opportunities. In what has been the most unique year in the company’s 92-year history, Australian tackle supplier JM Gillies is going all out for 2021.

For many, 2020 was both challenging and rewardable – supply issues on the one hand but the growth in anglers and interest in fishing were a welcome boost to the tackle trade around the world.

One company which seized every opportunity was Australian tackle supplier and distributor J M Gillies and the 32 brands it currently has under its wing.

Billy Parsons, the general manager of the company, reflected on what the year has meant to the company and what impacts it had.

He told TTW: “2020 has fast tracked our tech and development unlike any other year previously. With limited travel to factories, shows and customer meetings – and lots of time in the office – it has really allowed us to pack three or four years of development and planning into a short space of time.

“Of course, we faced all the challenges that 2020 created and worked through them like any other company but being nimble has always been our focus and with this we created opportunities.”

Forging ahead

Having time to look at things from every angle and work on a string of ideas has helped JM Gillies bring plenty of fresh tackle to the market.

Billy continued: “The new product development has accelerated with multiple models of new products under the Tassie Devil and Bluewater brands. Although these brands could not be more contrasting, they are the best sellers internationally and catch fish all over the world.

“With many of the fishing shows we sponsor not able to travel and film, we created huge amounts of content including a branding ad for Tassie Devil that encompasses what the brand means to our production family in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. You can take a look at the ad by following this link: .

“We are super proud of how it presents the brand and also the beauty of Tasmania. The Tassie Devil brand continues to grow and is established in 30 countries around the world.

“The flagship new product for 2021 will be a Tassie Devil with a non-lead core. We understood the need many years ago to build our lure on a non-lead core for certain regions, especially in Europe. New moulding machinery, huge amounts of development with some of the leading engineers and the refinement of compounds will basically produce a lure that looks and feels exactly like the original.

“The team has also developed a real skin that will fit over the core to facilitate patterns and colours never seen before in this style of lure. Our moulding process combined with this development will be a game changer and allow us to create any pattern our customers can imagine which is important for us.

Into the blue

Fast-tracked product development to fill gaps in inventory or simply create something new and eye-catching has resulted in many additions but, as you would expect, these have all also been thoroughly tested out on the water to ensure they have the fish-catching DNA of their predecessors.

Billy revealed: “In the development of our Bluewater brand, the expansion of our handmade lures and skirts continues. The expansion of our 120mm Bullet bait will see another three sizes introduced while, in our skirts, the introduction of a 4in model in the clearest resins available fills a void across the range.

“But the big introduction in Bluewater this year will see the popular Bluewater minnow redesigned and remodelled. We wanted to mould a lure that was capable of creating patterns and colours never seen before, all while maintaining the high speed, high performance they are known for.

“The BM Elite series creates a unique colour range and performance not seen in any other lures on the market. The initial testing and feedback from our pro anglers has been exactly what we wanted and we look forward to introducing them with the first production expected in April 2021.”

As the team prepares for the next chapter in its vibrant and successful history, Billy can’t wait to showcase the latest products.

“Gillies will look back on 2020 as the most challenging year imaginable – but also the most rewarding – and look forward to sharing the work of 2020 with all in the New Year.”