SEPTEMBER 2018 | Cody Handley
A MEANDER Valley-based business has quietly been breaking new ground in the tackle and fishing industry over the last decade. Meander Valley Gazette spoke to founder and managing director, Steven Steer, and company director and investor, Andrew Cox, of Cranka Pty Ltd. Cranka have been operating since 2009 and have made a name for themselves in the industry with their unique lure, the Cranka Crab. Steven, an electrician by trade, has had a long background as an angler, forming a love of fishing and a habit of tinkering with existing tackle to improve it from a very young age. He has participated in fishing tournaments and appeared on fishing shows including Robson Green’s. Years in the tackle industry had taught him that respect had to be earned before he could attempt to market something as novel as the Cranka Crab. As such, Cranka spent their initial years developing other lures designed to look and swim like real baitfish to make a name for themselves. Once they had become an established brand, Cranka turned their attention to the development of what would become their signature lure. Having a background in trout and bream competitions, Steven knew that using live crabs as bait worked extremely well for catching bream, and during his early research for the crab lure he dissected a bream to find its stomach contained multiple chewed up crabs. Using real crabs as models, Cranka experimented with soft plastics but could not get their crab design to work. Eventually they used harder plastic and developed a lure that always landed on its feet and imitated the movements of live crabs, complete with extremely realistic and species- specific paintwork. The Cranka Crab launched in 2012 and received the award for best new hard lure. It has since won more tournaments than any other lure. Cranka are currently in the process of introducing a larger, single hooked crab to their range designed to catch bigger fish. Unlike the original crab, this lure is modular, meaning that parts can be swapped out or replaced and used with a variety of differently weighted sinkers. Today, Cranka are gearing up to begin manufacturing their product domestically, after some quality control issues with their Chinese manufacturer. “We have had interest from over thirty countries, and have just received US distribution approval. That’s a market potential of about twelve times the size of the Australian market,” Steven said. “We’re getting close to being well placed for global distribution.” Cranka operate primarily through their online store and as a wholesaler to local tackle shops. Steven and Andrew said they were eventually looking to employ locals to sort and assemble their products. To see Cranka’s range of lures, visit their website at www.cranka.com.au.
Photo | Steven Steer