RMG Lures - Rob Gaden - NSW:

R.M.G Lure History: 

R.M.G are the initials of Robert Michael Gaden, the maker of the R.M.G Lures which have been made since 1982 although there are examples of Rob Gaden lures slightly earlier than this. Rob has forged a reputation as a superb lure maker who was able to successfully make a living from his talent and evolve in the industry starting as any lure carver starts from his shed making lures in small numbers. Hardworking and dedicated to his craft, Rob Gaden and R.M.G Lures quickly became accepted by the Australian lure anglers and the rest is history.  
''From basic and humble beginnings in 1980, a Stanley knife, some cedar timber from an old cupboard, tie-wire, araldite and 3 pressure pack cans of automotive paint – Rob has become Australia’s most prolific lure designer and manufacturer. He originally created and owned R.M.G. Lures (now owned by Halco Tackle). He then established ‘Classic Lures’ and ‘Warlock Lures’ which are now owned by John Millyard.''
''Rob started hand carving & painting lures for his own use in the early 1980′s for a few reasons;
  • To save money – as the waters he fished in those New England gorges were very unforgiving and his lure attrition rate was high.
  • Almost all popular cod lures of the era were American made, were expensive, and didn’t reach the depth Rob was looking for
  • Additionally, Rob worked as a brickie’s labourer at the time in Glen Innes. A miserably cold and wet winter in 1980 meant there were many wet days: many of you would realise that brick laying & wet weather do not go well together. Therefore there were plenty of days to sit in the shed and whittle out some creations. 
As a keen club and competition angler, Rob had a lot of success, especially with freshwater fishing, in particular – Murray Cod fishing. Soon other fishermen around Glen Innes and surrounding towns were requesting his lures and so was the beginning of R.M.G. Lures. After leaving a permanent job in 1991, Rob went full-time with his fishing lure making dream. 
Rod Harrison & George Vokolous have been two of the people who influenced Rob the most with lure design and concept. Rod Harrison took Rob to the Northern Territory in 1994 to fish with him in the 1994 N.T. Barra Classic. A few small Barra style lures & a box of Cod lures were all Rob took. After being hopelessly beaten with fish capture numbers of other anglers, Rob had a lengthy conversation with the legendary Barra expert George Vokolous of Fishing & Outdoor World Fame. Size, style, strength and action of the lure needed for Barramundi came from George. Something that Rob says he will always remember as the best advice he has ever received. After returning home and daily phone conversations with Rod Harrison, one of Australia’s greatest Barra lures was born.'' 
                             Sourced from the Cutting Edge website - http://cuttingedgelures.com.au/sample-page/

The Early Days:

Rob Gaden was a carpenter by trade and his background of working with timber meant he was able to pick up lure making skills quickly. His early lures will not be marked R.M.G but will be signed as 'Robert Gaden'. After he decided to take lure making more seriously the patterns soon emerged .
'I did more than 3 dozen shapes and sizes in wood , from 1982 - 1994 , a few of those different models are '' Deepone", "Redfin-shad", "Cobra", "Guppy", "Poltergeist", "Death-adder", " Tortoof", " All-rounder", "Gadget", "Severn-river-craybob", "Tempter 1 & 2 ", "Deepdan". All of my current lures are also hand carved from wood to make all proto-types and swim testing , No routers or Copy-lathes are used.' 
'Almost all of my timber , hand carved lures had aluminium bibs ( except for the Cobra .... it had lexon brand polycarb bib)and the aluminium was cut from the "Kick-plate" on the bottom of screen doors. That is why it has the rib in it . Peter Newell used it for a while as well. I made a metal press to punch out Bibs quicker in the late 80's and used sheet aluminium for a while , but those bibs were not as strong as the original ribbed ones'
Lure and More forum

The 'Deep Dan':

Rob Gaden was heavily influenced by Peter Newell in his early days and his 'Deeper Dan' which was being made as early as 1982 has a resemblence to Peter's famous 'Kadaitcha' with the pleated bib and 'Tenterfield' towpoint. This being said maybe the most successful lure of the previous ten years for Murray Cod was the T50, T55 and T60 Flatfish lures which were imported from USA and Canada. Maybe this was part of why these type of lures have become synonymous with the 'Aussie' style of lure with big bib and those curved bellies?

The photo below shows a couple of RMG lures in later unopened packaging with original hand written prices.

The lure left shows an earlier backing card with Glen Innes address for the Deeper Dan.

Below and above left are shown some of the earliest of all the 'Deep Dan' lures that were made - they are part of the Gaden collection that the family has been successful in collecting and bringing home so that the R.M.G story can be captured forever. The characteristic front eyelet is evident as is the pleated bib and white eyes

The 'No Name' series:

Rob Gaden has carefully recorded and documented his lure making career by keeping his templates safe and dating each pattern as they were made. He also, with help of his friends posted alot of information on the now defunct Lure and More forum;

The following  is a list of known models; 
'Redfin Shad - 16.9.1983, Warlock - 2.1.1984, Deep One - Feb 1984, Battleaxe, Cobra Large 4.8.1985, Small 8.8.1985, Rellik Doc - 1985 and Rellik Doc Barra, Biggoon, Poltergeist,Red Back, Darth Vader, Humpty, Billy, Yabbie, Cod Hog, Upty (30 made)' 

The 'Deep One':

Rob Gaden was heavily influenced by Peter Newell in his early days and the 'Deep One' is similar to his 'Deeper Dan' which was being made from Feb 1984.

The 'Cobra':

The Cobra is another early lure dating to the middle part of 1985. Large 4.8.1985, Small 8.8.1985

The 'Death Adder':

The 'Death Adder model is credited with first being made in March of 1986 in a large and smaller size. Rarely seen model.

The 'Guppy':

The 'Guppy' model is credited with first being made in December of 1986 in a large and smaller size.

The 'Rellik Doc':

The 'Rellik Doc' model was another one that came into existence; 
  • 3 1/2'' - Feb 1987
  • 3'' - 1.3.1987
  • 2 1/2'' - 10.9.1987
  • Barra model - 23.2.1988

'I made 2 1/2 , 3 , 3 1/2 , and 4 inch , and a 5 inch Barra model ( it had a pointy bib ) but the shape of the bottom changed over the years. Early models ( 1985 - 1987 ) had a very sharp cut splade on the bottom , where it met the belly area'. 

Lure and More forum

The older style 'Rellik - Doc' was part of an article in Modern Fishing, November 1993 where it was reviewed as being a truly effective lure on native fish as shown in this photo - note the lure has oval split rings.

The 'Battleaxe':

The 'Battle-axe' was the R.M.G version of a deep-diving Scorpion - it was only ever made in timber , and again , it had a crude and sharp, shallow splade on the rear belly section. Only a few hundred were ever made. Information that was listed on Lure and More states the dates of the first 'Battleaxe' was the large version in August 1986 followed by a smaller version  on 10.9.1986.
 'I carved it in 3 sizes - 2 1/2 , 3 1/2 and 4 inch. The 3 1/2 inch was the most popular, other 2 sizes would be very rare , that's if any have survived at all'. R. Gaden 
Above - an early 'Battleaxe' with pronounced scalloped body.
The photo left shows an early model 'Battleaxe' top and later rounded model bottom. The earlier metal bibbed lures made by R.M.G may have the pleated look similar to Newell lures as they were made from the similar material.
Below shows some early packeted versions of this model. In the late 80's , John Bennett made wooden bodies for R.M.G for a short time on his copy lathe which included some 'Rellik-doc' and some 'Battle-axes'.

Above shows an early timber RMG 'Biggoon' in the original packaging. Right shows an earlier urathane version of the same model lure in the attractive rainbow trout colour. 

The 'Biggoon':

The first timber  'Biggoon' was made in October of 1986 and further models were dated on Lure and More as first being made in timber; 
  • 3'' - 7.2.1987
  • 31/2'' - 8.2.1987
  • 5'' - 10.2.1987

 'The Biggoons went to urathane moulding around 1990 in the 80mm size ( body ) & the 60mm size (body) 'Bass Biggoon' around 1996. As far as other sizes in the 'Biggoon 'I carved timber ones at 60mm,80mm,100mm and a limited edition that was about 140mm (body), all of which were individually named. The thickness of the body of all the hand carved lures was governed by thickness of available cedar, white and brown beech timber that I could get. Most of the Cedar came from old unrepairable furniture ( sideboards, meat-safes, chest / draws ) that I'd pick up from clearance sales around Glen Innes. It would be mostly 16. 18 . 19 . or 20mm thick.'

The 'Severn River Craybob':

The 'Severn River' model is credited with first being made in October (small) and November (large) of 1989.

The 'Poltergeist':

The dates of the first wooden 'Poltergeist' are; 
  • 80mm Poltergeist - 6.9.1989
  • Mini Poltergiest - 2.1.1990

The R.M.G/ Newell Story

There has been much speculation about the relationship between Rob Gaden and Peter Newell and this was written and posted on the Lure and More forum  in 2006.

''In 1990 Peter signed a Statuary Declaration ( which i still have) giving me manufacturing/production rights to the 'Scorpion Shape' for an undisclosed sum of money. Peter and I were very good friends at the time, and he taught me alot about crafting lures. Unfortunately some 4 or 5 years later, we had a minor disagreement over something very trivial. Our friendship never rekindled, and I am very sorry that we couldn't have been mates again before his recent passing. I was sad to hear about him losing his life too early , I'm sure he had much more to offer the lure and fishing public. . . . Those close to me , and indeed some prominent magazine writers, have known about the 'stat-dec' since Peter gave it to me , but little rumours become big stories over time , and everyone seems to have their own version of the Newell/ scorpion/ Gaden relationship. When I sold RMG Lures to Mr. Neil Patricks in 1995 , it was done legally and lawfully. They would not have been naive enough to buy my business if I did not have permission to make the 'Scorpion' ( my version of the shape ). With the sale to Halco also went a copy of the 'Statuary Declaration' . They still hold their copy. Part of what you said is accurate......... Peter did have the Patent papers to the Scorpion at his house, they are U.S.A patent papers 'not copyright'. The patent is on his invention of his original scorpion design. Also some time ago,there was an attempt to claim patent rights against me, but this was never entertained or followed through because of the "stat-dec" that Peter gave me. I hope this clears up any misunderstanding or innuendo, If I was asked for my side of the facts, I would always give them, but I did not offer them, preferring to just get on with making a living and avoiding the 'rumour-machine'. Once again , I am very sad to hear of Peters passing , condolences to Kath, Rob, Dan and Angela. 

I was making lures for several years before I ever met Peter but I will be the first to admit , that Peter had the greatest influence on me and my lure making. He was my hero and  mentor , and showed me how to improve my lures and lure making. Peter showed me the finer art of carving a bit of timber and aluminium into a salable item. I will be forever in debt to him for his knowledge and eagerness to help me during our good years together. Fortunately and unfortunately his original designs and shapes have played a large part in my lure making. Some of my lures carry many similarities to Peters designs, and I have never denied this, but I have also designed alot of lures that carry no resemblance to his lures, and these have also been very successful. The fact that my some of my early lures do resemble Peter's Scorpion , is part due to the fact that I spent so much time with him and talking about lures with him , it just seem to happen unconsciously , also it probably the greatest lure design in recent history. So many of my lures had characteristic's of that lure . . . It may only seem like a minor change , but almost all of my lures of that era were deep diving fresh/water lures, not high speed minnows. As I said before , Peter was the single biggest influence of my lure making and I could not think of a better teacher , but all students have the same opportunity , some go further , some drop out . . . I decided to try my luck and it worked out. I doubt that there is a lure in the market place today that does not resemble another lure in some way. Just like modern cars on the road today , they all have wheels ( as do most lures , have bibs & trebles ) at a distance of 200 metres , I cannot tell if its a Holden or Ford coming toward me. 

Good luck & good fishing to all of you Rob Gaden''

Review from Freshwater Fishing 1992
The RMG 'Scorpion': 
The scorpion design is possibly one of the most copied designs in Australian lure history with Peter Newell first making the Scorpion, then sharing this with Rob Gaden who was legally allowed to make them after a statutory declaration in 1990 between himself and Peter. The rights were eventually sold to Halco in 1995.
The dates of the RMG 'Scorpion' are credited on the Lure and More forum as follows; 
  • 70mm - Nov 1991
  • 65mm - 22.2.1992
  • 45mm - 23.2.1992
  • Slim  - 13.6.1992

The scorpion range included the 150mm 'Classic', 100, 68 and 52mm models. The packaging for the smaller models was the same colour and design but cards were wider as shown. They were available in a wide colour selection.

'I hand wrote RMG & the lure name on almost all of the Wooden lures that I made, so when they were changed to Urathane, and after the proto-types of urathane were approved, the moulds were engraved. This process left a hollow area ( inscribing )in the moulded lures. For a while, I use to fill that in with "Indelebile ink marker", but i got too busy to do all of them. When I had time I would , but it was pretty time consuming. The pink lure was done by me. The other one was done by Halco painters. After about 6 months of me selling to them, they started to paint RMG's in their factory in Freemantle WA. This was in the change-over period to 2 peice plastic construction from Urathane. Shop keepers around Aust. complained about the quality and finish of the paintwork, so Halco flew me to Perth and I spent a week over there to try and teach their painters how to do it the same as me. My way was all with an airbrush and that was too hard for them to grasp, so over a short period of time they changed most of the Colour/Combinations , so it was mostly base-coat colour painting and then patterns and eyes were done by Pad-printing. At the time, I did actually own my own Pad-printer, but I only used it for contract work that I was doing for another lure brand.'
'I painted them for a while, ( R.B.T.legends) when Duncan Egan bought the large models from Ray Broughton. The bib punch was sent to Billy Clarke of "Bill's Bugs" , he used to punch the bibs out , then we would send them ( R.B.T. legends) to Lively Lures to mould the bodies, then the bodies would come back to me for painting, then I would send them to Duncan Egan in Queenbeyan for hook & packaging, then he would send to Tacspo in Brisbane for distribution. They went half way around Australia before they ended up in a shop. Anyway I had a few bib's left over, and cut them down and used a few in timber Biggoons, not many , maybe a few dozen at most. Thats why it has the elongated slot & hole in the bib. ( see legend bib and you will understand).'

The 'Rellik Doc Barra':

The 'Rellik Doc' model came into existence around 1988. The Rellik Doc Barra model is a 5 inch Barra model with a pointy bib. Shown in later RMG packaging before the sale to Halco below and third generation packaging left.

'Halco bought RMG off me in 1995 , but only bought the Rellik-doc-barra model as part of the sale. The Rellik-Doc (Bib drawn cod model) was not part of the sale , and I only make a few smaller size of them' 

Below lists the Biggoon, Rellik -Doc, Poltergeist and the new Scorpion 100 model along with the 52, 68 and 150. It also states the Scorpion range is now available in deep divers.
Above for Spring 1997 lists the Rellik -Doc, Poltergeist and the Scorpion in 5 models at 52, 68, 100, 125 and 150.
The  R.M.G brand belongs to Halco and will be explored further under that name. See Halco Lures full page
The advert below shows the early RMG range under the Halco label. The bibs were now made from bullet proof polycarbonate.
3G Lures - N.T:
3G Lures was a collboration between George Voukolos, Greg Chan, and Rob Gaden c.1998. Apparently George and Greg were partners in Fishing and Outdoor World until Greg left to coach the Olympic trap team. Example shown is the 3G 'Black Adder' on card. No longer being produced. They were available in approximately 12 colours. 
Rob's Baby Barra Boss Lures - NSW:
These are a moulded lure model that were made by Rob Gaden. Were available on a yellow card and packaged as Robs 'Baby Barra Boss'.

Classic Lures:

The Classic Lure range came into being after the sale of RMG to Halco and the early advert appeared in Freshwater Fishing in 1997. There was a R.M.G 'Classic Scorpion' released before the sale to Halco not to be confused with the later Classic Lures range.
Below shows an early Classic 'Goodoo' which evolved into the 'Classic Cod'.
Above shows an early Classic 'Goodoo' which evolved into the 'Classic Cod'
Paperwork opposite indicates made in Northern Territory when distributed by Basser Millyard Pty Ltd

Warlock Lures:

Warlock Lures . . . more info coming soon

Cutting Edge Lures:

The Cutting Edge range of lures emerged in 2012 and was sold to Pure Fishing in 2014. from website - http://cuttingedgelures.com.au