Mustad Longline develops and supplies technology to the world’s line fishing fleet. Read more »
Mustad has produced about 107 700 different hook geometries.
It all began more than 175 years ago in a small town in Norway, 140 km north of Oslo, called Gjøvik. The farmer Hans Skikkelstad established “Brusveen Spiger og Ståltrådfabrikk” in 1832, producing nails, horseshoe nails and other metal products.
Since then the company has changed greatly in terms of product range and the size of the concern. Substantial and diversified business ventures owned by various branches of the Mustad family in Norway and worldwide have sprung from this modest beginning.
Back in 1877, at the time Hans Skikkelstad’s son-in-law, the local county police sergeant, Ole Mustad, was running the company, he started the company O. Mustad & Son A.S. together with his son, Hans Mustad, a man of vision. Having perceived the possibilities of the production of fish hooks, Hans soon became an expert hook maker, unmatched by his contemporaries.
Well ahead of his time, especially in terms of sales and marketing, Hans Mustad sent his staff world wide to visit other manufacturers, dealers and local fishermen, and from their feedback, he charted the markets long before his competitors.
The further development of the company, however, would not have been possible without the young inventor Mathias Topp. Shortly after joining Mustad Mathias Topp invented the first automatic fishhook machine in 1877. Steel wire was fed in at one end and hooks came out at the other. The invention was truly a sensation.
Today, many of the machines still running are very similar in concept to the original ones. One might say that they have passed the test of time and endurance. Despite Topp’s technical wizardry, when it became clear that local expertise was not enough, Hans Mustad promptly imported the necessary know-how. Henry Haynes was the first of many English craftsmen coming over to work for Mustad, and from the English the company acquired skills in fly-tying, metal tempering, grinding and polishing.
The idea behind mechanising and automating the longline fishing was born 1966. Mustad started a further development of shipmaster Konrad Haram’s self-constructed baiting device.
After years of development and testing the technical and commercial break-through came in 1979. New systems were delivered the next years, and by 1983 100 systems were operative in the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Further expansion into new market came in the years to follow.
Continuously, the Autoline™ system have been improved and expanded with new products. Two milestones were the EZ-baiter hooks in 1987, radically improving the holding power and catch rates, and the new and much faster baiting machine, the SuperBaiter, in 2005. A break-through in coastal fisheries followed on Iceland where close cooperation with coastal vessel ship yards resulted in a turn-key 12 meter autoline vessel.
Mustad Autoline was spun-off from the Mustad group in 2004. The company could focus entirely on technological developments for longlining. After a roller-coaster first six years following the market dynamics, the company is today on solid ground generating a healthy profit.