Halco Lures - Western Australia

*Banner image  - The Halco 60 year anniversary lure. Produced for Trade Show and 300 were made. 

Halco are a mainstay of the Australian tackle industry and have been producing and manufacturing lures for over sixty years. Halco was started in 1950 by Hal Cooper from his garage in Mossman Park, Western Australia. Using purpose built machinery (Hal was a fitter and turner by trade) to produce metal slice lures for salmon and tailor fishing it wasn't long before he expanded to a small factory in East Fremantle as shown by the old advertisement shown below which dates to the early 1950's. Lures from these early days will be marked in ounces prior to metric conversion in 1966/67 although many models produced after thus date were often still marked in the older metric weights.
The Halco 'Tailor Ticer', an early design that was similar to the Hardy's Supersport model of the same name.
In 1980 Neil Patrick purchased the company and by 1987 the company relocated again to its present position in Fremantle. The boom in injection moulding saw Halco purchase the majority of Rob Gaden's  RMG lure range in 1995. In late 2001, Neil's son Ben Patrick purchased the company and continued the family tradition in the lure making business. 
Below is an early metal spoon called the 'Pilch 30'.
The earlier packaging will be a card attached and stapled to a clear plastic bag with the phrase 'I'll take it'. This slogan was carried over to later packaging as shown below.
Above and below is shown some earlier versions of the Halco 'Tuna' which was similar to the 'Smiths Jig', the legendary Tasmanian lure used for big southern bluefin tuna. They were made in metal and plastic.
Most of the earlier Halco lures were metal lures and they released the Tailer Ticer which was a copy of an earlier Hardy (Australia) model and shown below.
As Halco expanded through out the 1980's and 1990's, the packaging evolved as  shown
The Laser and Laser Pro;
A couple of models that date back to the late 1980's and early 1990's is the 'Laser' and the more modern 'Laser Pro'.
Later models will have 'Laser Pro' and they came in several sizes and many of the colours are now collectable. Below shows earliest model with packaging a colour tags 
Shown here is a couple of earlier models which predate the Laser Pro. Top is a 3 hook deeper diving model with different Halco logo and below that an earlier model Laser Pro. The Laser Pro models of the late 1980's and early 90's are shown  right. 
 The Laser Pro range comes in several sizes. The lures below were sold on Ebay in 2014 and show some of the more recent colours that date to the late 1990's and into the early 2000's
The Combat;
Another model in the Halco range to emerge during the late 1980's and into the 1990's is the 'Combat' shown right in the brown and rainbow trout colours. The 'Combat' featured in most of the advertising from 1992 and is a good one to collect as there are a number of colour variations due to it being made over a relatively long period of time. 
Below original brown and rainbow trout colours 
The original Halco Combat colour range. Some of these colours are difficult to find and were quickly deleted from the standard range. Extract Harbord Tackle, Sydney, 1991.
The original shape was changed and an example is shown below with indented holographic eyes and omega tow point.
The 'Tremblers' were featured in the new products columns of the July 1989 Fishing World magazine in July 1989. It goes on to to say that in came in two sizes 110g and 70g and in a five colour range. 'They were designed by I think Neil's wife in the early to mid 1980's. Only produced for a couple of years, didn't sell well and now collectors items' - Frank P

The following is an extract from the current Halco website;

''Halco is now Australia’s foremost and biggest lure manufacturer with the acquisition of RMG Lures and Tilsan Lures. RMG lures are sold under the Halco brand in overseas markets, whilst the prestigious timber lure brand Tilsan Lures is growing in demand in export markets as the quality of these unique lures is fast being recognized.  All of Halco’s brands are synonymous with quality and widely regarded as lures that are not only built to last, but are unsurpassed when it comes to catching fish. It was inevitable that lures of this quality were too good to simply remain at home and Halco now exports to over 70 countries. Halco is actively seeking to expand its export base with a strong overseas marketing push, fueled by rapid growth in sales and product lines. The development of new and exciting lures is a major priority and there are a significant number of products either planned or in the prototype stages.''

Halco and the R.M.G Story:
The boom in injection moulding saw Halco purchase part of Rob Gaden's RMG lure range around 1995 and the Halco RMG range was advertised by 1996.  Some R.M.G Lures in the Halco packs will be marked with a Glen Innes PO address as the transition took place and the models were transferred to Halco.
Once R.M.G Lures were sold the rights to market under the name R.M.G became owned by Halco. This included the 'Poltergeist', 'Rellik Doc', 'Biggoon' and 'Scorpion' models.
The history of the Scorpion has been discussed in both the bios of Peter Newell (the original inventor of the Scorpion pattern) and Rob Gaden who purchased the rights to make the Scorpion from Peter and later onsold this design to Halco.
The advertisement left is from Freshwater Fishing magazine and is in the timeframe after the changeover when the Scorpion and Poltergeist were added to the RMG Halco range.
The article below is from the second Kadaitcha Club Newsletter of 2010 and gives an excellent summary of the Halco history.
Still,manufacturing today the Halco range includes approximately 90 lures ranging from 'Slices',  'Javelin', 'Hexagon', 'Wobbler', 'Barra Spoons', 'Trembler', 'Combat', 'Laser Pro', 'Smiths Jigs', RMG 'Scorpions', Poltergeists, 'Rellik Docs' and 'Biggoon' lures. Halco have always been proactive in purchasing popular lure brands and now also own Tilsan and many other brands.