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40 Years Ago: The Launch of VARIVAS brand fishing line in 1980

1024 408 VARIVAS
December 13 marks the 40th Anniversary of the VARIVAS brand. As we commemorate VARIVAS’s success and 40-year milestone, we take a look back at the significant events that launched VARIVAS onto the world stage in the 1980s.

The March 2012 TrueVoice magazine article, translated and reprinted below, describes the convergence of two, fateful key events that propelled VARIVAS’s beginning and the influential role that VARIVAS would have on the sport of big-game fishing in Japan.

TrueVoice, Vol. 1

VARIVAS and Eizo Maruhashi

A fateful encounter in 1984, between Japanese angler Eizo Maruhashi and Japanese fishing line manufacturer, Morris Company Limited, propelled VARIVAS fishing line onto the world stage in the mid-1980s.

As Japan’s first manufacturer of IGFA-rated fishing line, Morris Company Limited played a key role in the growth of big-game fishing in Japan with it’s introduction of VARIVAS brand premium fishing line in 1980.

The start of modern, big-game fishing in Japan is marked by the convergence of two key events in the 1980s.

1980:  Japanese company, Morris Company Limited designs and manufacturers Japan’s first IGFA-rated fishing line, released with the brand name VARIVAS.

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) is the internationally recognized, leading organization which publishes standardized big-game fishing rules, including strict rules on types of tackle and fishing line strength used in tournament game fishing, and certifies world records in big-game fishing.

Although many countries produced IGFA rated fishing line prior to 1980, none, however, was produced in Japan. This changed in 1980 with the introduction of VARIVAS brand line. For the first time in the world of game fishing a world-class fishing line was now made in Japan.

Coinciding in in Japan the early 1980s, sport fishing anglers began to take interest in sophisticated, world-class fishing line, especially newly introduced 100-meter and 200-meter sized spools. 

Excited by all this, Japan’s leading saltwater fly-fishing angler at the time, Eizo Maruhashi, took a keen interest VARIVAS brand fishing line, proclaiming: “Finally we have an IGFA-rated line in Japan!”

Four years later a second key event occurred.

1984:  Eizo Maruhashi becomes the first Japanese angler to break an IGFA world record.

In June 1984, while fishing on Christmas Island in Australia, Eizo Maruhashi, caught a world record, 78 lb. (35.4 kg) Giant Trevally (GT / Ronin’s Horse Mackerel) with VARIVAS 16 lb. (goh/gauge #4)  fishing line. This huge fish, five times as heavy as the 16 lb. rated VARIVAS line, qualified Maruhashi as Japan’s first IGFA world record holder.

Thrilled at the news of Maruhashi’s world record feat, saltwater anglers across Japan for the first time were learning about the world of big-game fishing. An evangelist of the fishing line system based on IGFA rules, Maruhashi introduced Japanese anglers not only to a new genre of fishing (big-game fishing), but also to new fishing techniques and a new standard of fishing equipment.

The VARIVAS brand quickly became synonymous with Maruhashi. Both had the strength to catch a 78 pounder on 16 lb (goh/gauge No. 4) line.  And Maruhashi and VARIVAS, both from Japan, were recognized as world record holders. The reputation of VARIVAS brand line steadily spread among anglers who admired Maruhashi’s devotion to the world of big game fishing and who longed to replicate his phenomenal feat.

Alongside fishing pioneers, there’s always been VARIVAS.
Anglers love the premium quality of VARIVAS line.

Following Maruhashi’s record in 1984, usage of  VARIVAS products among leading anglers in Japan exploded.

  • Tadashi Koike pioneer of the new territory of Herabuna Carp, was dubbed the “Fishing Deus.”
  • Satoshi Minagawa became a legend in trout fishing.
  • Satoshi Harada popularized both onshore sea bass and offshore Dolphinfish games on the Shonan coast and introduced VARIVAS PE braided line to the world.
  • Fumio Suzuki pioneered the unprecedented combination of sing lures with PE braided line for targeting Giant Trevally (GT).

VARIVAS fishing line and gear, manufactured by Morris Company Limited, has stood side-by-side with each of these pioneers.  VARIVAS brand fishing line, with its high performance and trusted strength, has become the brand used most by Japanese anglers.  Improving convenience for anglers is a major focus of Morris Company Limited.  VARIVAS brand fishing line is a pioneer in the development of fishing line designed specifically for each fishing genre. Throughout Japan, Morris sales representatives host booths at fishing retailers to absorb the needs of angers and gather feedback for product development. Our best selling products have been born from ideas in response to market needs.

Now in 2012,  30+ years since Eizo Maruhashi and VARIVAS’s 1984 world record, Morris Company/VARIVAS brand has launched a highly versatile product line of fishing gear aimed at entry-level anglers. With new challenges ahead, Morris Company Limited and the VARIVAS brand seek to spread their premium quality products to not only advanced and professional users, but also to entry and intermediate level anglers. It’s Morris’s/VARIVAS’s wish to bring the joy of fishing to anglers of all levels.

The original article was published in Japanese by Morris Company, Ltd., March 3, 2012, ine True Voice No. 1.