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Shane Murphy/Viper Lures Bio

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    Posted: 10 Feb 2015 at 11:29pm

Shane Murphy - Viper Lures

Shane Murphy was born and raised in Tenterfield, NSW. Home of many a great lure maker. He lived there for all his school years. It wasn't until  the mid 70s that he left town to persue an apprenticeship as a Diesel Fitter with BHP in Newcastle.

Shane finished his apprenticeship, and in 1980 he moved to Queensland where he got a job with  Hastings Deerings , Caterpillar. He worked all around Queensland for three years until September 1983, when he married his wife Susan, and settled down in Alexandra hills, on the bayside of Brisbane. 

Shane always kept close ties with family at Tenterfield, and returned home often to visit family and fish the local waterways. He did a lot of fishing in Northern NSW and Southern QLD, places like Tenterfield Creek, Mole River, and Dumereq River, and Glenlyon Dam, were at the top of his list.

He began carving a few of his own lures in 1984/85, and was encouraged by his brother-in-law, Brett Campbell, who really helped him out in the early days.

Shane sold his first lure at Ronny Ross's Barber Shop in Tenterfield in 1986, it was about 5 inches long and called simply a 'Murphy Lure'. This lure was followed by the Platypus later in 1986. His lure making was only done in his spare time, and numbers were limited, but they were selling well.

 
 Very Early 'Murphy Lure' and Platypus
 
The Viper

Shane continued to work on designs, actions, and paint jobs, and by 1988 he designed a distinctive 4" and 5" lure he named the Viper. With great looks, action and fish catching ability, the Vipers quickly grew in popularity.  Subsequently a 3" version was released the following year, quickly followed by a 2" Version.  

The photos below show a very early 5" Viper on top, an below it a later more sleek and curved Viper
 
3", 4" and 5" Vipers in Scale Pattern
 Note the signed Viper Belly and Shane's signature and year at the tail.
 
5", 4", 3" & 2" in distinctive Viper Paintjobs
 
Shane also made a Logrunner and a Grunter Model in around 1991, which sold in fairly limited numbers.
Grunter and Log Runner Models from '91
 

Turning Full Time Lure Maker

By 1992 Shane decided to concentrate on the lures full time, and finished up with Hastings Deerings. Working from his workshop under his house in Alexander Hills. Initially his sales were predominantly in Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales, but as they became popular he started supplying stores like the Complete Angler in Sydney and Melbourne, and stores all over the country, as far away as South Australia.

Here is an article from Bush N Beach, August 1992
 

Timber Lure Production

Shane has used Western red cedar, white cedar and Jelutong Timber for his lures.  In the early days of full production, before buying his own bandsaw, Shane would go to a workshop at Coopers Plains, called Wood-N-U and hire a bandsaw to cut out all the bodies. Back in his workshop, he would mark them out, and carve the bodies, before sanding, and drilling. Painting was done with 2 pack automotive paints, and his finishes were always high quality and durable.

His lure plans were hand drawn, simple -  yet detailed and effective, and he still has all the original plans.
 Viper Plans and Blanks
 2" Viper Resize Plans
 
Shane did every step of the process himself, with a lot of help from his wife Susan, who did a lot of the hooking and packaging. It was extremely labour intensive work, and at times, they were producing up to 500 lures a month. Working very long hours to fill orders.   
 The Viper Spray Booth
 Eye Application tools - note the chamfered ends
Viper Painting Templates, Mesh, and Hinged Framed Templates
 
 The Legendary Viper V Tongue Templates
 
Sometime around 93/94 the Vipers were  first converted to lexan bibs and then later resized to a wider and deeper body.
 
 
 The Progressive stages of the 2" Timber Viper
 
 
 The Progressive Stages of the timber 3" Viper
 
Mr Murphy at his workbench under his Alexandra Hills home 1996
 
Going Plastic

In 1996, with impoundment bass and yellow belly fishing booming in South East Queensland, Shane decided to go to injection molding with his 2" Viper. These were made by Alan Dolan at Lively Lures, and after a few years he moved to Strike Zone. The 3" Model was also done in urethane, but proved far less successful than the 2".

  Viper 2" Timber on top, and Urethane below.
 
 
3" Viper Urethanes by Strike Zone
 

Shane continued making his Vipers until 2001, when a combination of factors made the business unviable. The quality of work from Strike zone, along with a downturn in sales, due to the boom in soft plastics.  Shane shut up shop and took up the tools again Diesel Fitting.

Shane believes he produced around 15 000 timber lures, and around 15 000 to 20 000 plastic lures during his time.

 
Voodoo Lures and the North Brisbane Sportfishing Club

Shane was active in ANSA and heavily involved with the North Brisbane Sportfishing Club, through the nineties. When the club president, Brian Harvey was looking for fundraising ideas in 1996, they came up with the idea of making a lure they could sell. Shane gladly took on the job of designing the lure and working out the various features in manufacturing. The lure was named the Voodoo. and turned out to be a great success for the club.

 Shane put a lot of time and effort into getting it up and running, and often did the lion's share of work required in the painting, hooking and packaging. Although he was paid for some of the work he did, he never took any commission for the design of the lure. When the club folded in around 2004, the Voodoo lure disappeared along with many of the era. But has recently been put back into production with Luc Van Openbosch managing the production and sales.  

The Voodoo lure - a special colour done for the NBSFC Comp 2001
 

During his time with the North Brisbane Sportfishing Club, Shane was very heavily involved in the organisation and running of the South East Queensland Catch and Release Competition. The first event was held at Somerset in 1995 or 96. This was a premier lure fishing event for several years.

Other Shapes and Designs

Like all lure makers, over the years Shane has worked on dozens of shapes from flathead lures, to barra lures and even some poppers and other topwater lures. Although none of these have gone into production, he gave a lot to ANSA mates to fish, and they have been very successful lures.

 
 Shane Murphy Spitter Poppers
 
2015
Shane Murphy at his workbench, carving a blank, and looking over lure plans, Jan 2015
 

Currently, Shane is still living at the same house in Alexandra Hills, and is on and off the tools as a diesel fitter.  He is always dabbling with lures. He likes to muck around with various timbers also, and has done some great nudes recently.  

 
Nude Viper 2014
 

Shane still does a lot of fishing locally in the Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams, and has done quite a few trips up North with Fysshe at Taylors Beach. He also likes to get back to Tenterfield a couple of times a year, and fish his home waters.

Shane has a varied range of saltwater lures that have never hit the market place , again they fell into the hands of ANSA mates for scrutiny and R&D purposes, and caught plenty of fish. At present he is involved in sharing ideas with Lure Lover's members for salt and freshwater applications. Some models are quite small and others are like small trees which have been trialled for Murray Cod in NE Victoria, and some of the designs are unique and out of the box thinking. He regularly catches up with Ian Salmon of Fysshe Lures fame, Ollie from Stingray lures, and Steiny of Creak Freak lures for a bit of fishing or sharing lure making ideas.
  

Preserving the History

Shane has a strong  connection with his lure making background, and to other pioneer Australian lure makers of his era from around the Country. He has a desire to share his knowledge with the younger up-and-coming makers so that the 'ART' of handmade lures can continue into the future, for the generations to come.  

Shane is working on a display of the History of  Viper Lures for the 2015 Lure Expo. He is a big fan of the Expo and what it has done for the Australian lure making trade of the past and present.

He is keen to preserve the history of Australian Lure Making, so that in the future,  people  can know where all this evolved from, and who the people were that pioneered this craft. He believes in looking after the documentation and first hand evidence of the lures - and how they are made needs to be of top priority. He hopes that a secure place is set up to house the wares of various lure makers, where generations can come and see these lures displayed along with documentation of  the lives and times of the lure craftsmen .

By Matt Fraser

January 2015

  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SNAFU Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 12:49am
That was a great read there Matt...Well written and put together mate...Shane makes a great lure and i have always loved his Vipers.....Well Done ClapClapClap

Mick!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unicorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 4:39am
thanks for sharing this , very interesting
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lofty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 4:46am
Good read
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Powelly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 5:24am
Well done, Matt. That'a a good read and plenty of great photos.

Cheers

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micknq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 5:25am
Great read there fella's, appreciate the time both of you put into it
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 5:43am
Matt, well done mate. A good read and sure to fill in some gaps in the timelines for some.I have mentioned he should do a bio for the site, but being the quiet acheiver he is, I guess he was reluctant to toot his own trumpet.....I am glad he succumed to your charms.

Over those many years of Vipers, Shane and I have crossed paths, even without us really knowing it, passing at various fishing events, the Strike Zone era when I was in the repping business etc.

These days I am glad for the mentoring he has given me and now regard him as a friend as well.

"If you are going to have fun with your rod.. get some wood



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whipit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 5:56am
Thanks for the time and effort getting this together. Always good to read the history of makers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fletch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 6:23am
Great read ..   awesome lures from a top bloke aswell ..... cheers aaron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote handbrake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 6:26am
Well done Matt and Shane. Love the photos and the history.    Debbie D
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote justlooking Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 6:59am
Story and pics take time and you've done a Great job Matt,
Well done !! Love the Viper lures and Shane is a good guy !
Cheers !!!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CaptainCranky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 6:59am
Great work there Matt and thankyou Shane for digging up all the historical stuff.
Considering the amount of Metal Bibbed Lures Shane made it is hard to imagine why they are so hard to come by.
Maybe the answer is like all good lures back then they were used and lost which testifies as to their great fish attracting abilities.
I for one certainly have a soft spot for Shane's lures and appreciate the time and effort into making them.
Well done to both of you and let's see some more Bio's coming in from other members who have a friendship with some of our makers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote seagull Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 7:04am
Great read Matt good to see people getting out there and doing these stories on lure makers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tony Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 7:18am
Thank you Matt and Shane.

There's so much info to take in I'll be sure to come back and read it again! 
Cheers, Tony

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bignanny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 7:33am
That's one of the best reads Matt, well done.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fysshe Salmon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 9:15am
Great bio Matt!! Thumbs Up Shane is due up soon and I have some new spots for him to try out his new creations... Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brendan t Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 9:17am
Well done good to see stories behind the lure
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote saito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 10:15am
Thank you Matt for a great read.

Cheers



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mcleod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 10:33am
Thanks for that Matt, great read and pics. Have spoke with Shane a couple times on the phone, nice fella and very helpful, look forward to meeting him one day.

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Thanks Matt and Shane

Well done Matt
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AWESOME STUFF ClapClapClapClapregards bob
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aussbasstony Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 11:27am
Well put together Matt !

Thanks for the effort .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ringo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 12:23pm

Well written Matt. A very interesting read about a legendary lure and lure maker.  They are beautiful,  unique looking lures that catch fish.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote matt fraser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 12:38pm
It was a pleasure to put this together, and Shane was very keen to share the info with Lure Lover's members. I have know Shane since I was in the North Brisbane Club with him in the 90s, it was a great time, and I remember working with him and Brian on the first two Catch and Release comps at Somerset, these were big events. But we lost touch for many years until recently catching up again through this Forum. I have learnt so much from the members here, its nice to be able to make a decent contribution back.
 
I have only recently started looking to collect Shane's lures, as I only had a few of my own. They are hard to find. Barry, I think the metal bibs are particularly hard to find as Shane only made limited number in his spare time until he went fulltime in '92, Then he only made them for a year or two before he went to Lexan, and concentrated on the smaller 2 and 3".  So I believe the numbers aren't big on the metal bibs.
 
Thanks to Shane for his time and knowledge and passing on so much valuable information.
Cheers,
Matt
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nativeman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 12:56pm
Love it...Love Shanes lures, love the history and the evolution of the body shapes. I need to check mine. Looks like I may have some more competition when I'm buying in the future, all good.
 
Funny I had no Vipers when I started collecting, now after some finds I have over 30, they are all beautiful and as mentioned very unique...
 
Love your Lures Shane,,,and Thanks for those 6 Lures that started me off.
 
Thanks to Matt as well,,,Strange we were talking about Shaynes lures last night and you had this under your wing...Nice One Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote horrorhead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 2:58pm
Great read thanks Matt and ShaneThumbs Up
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Very well done Matt and Thanks.

Regards john
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote steiny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 6:20pm
Well done Matt. This would have taken a lot of work to put together. Fantastic historical reference for the future. This is a great tribute to a talented and respected lure maker who has achieved a lot. As Matt said, Shane freely helps people and his genuine love of lures and passion for fishing shines through. I certainly appreciate all the advice he has given me. Looking forward to the next catch up Shane.
cheers steiny
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jebe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 7:33pm
WoW Matt thank you, I think Ive read it four times over
Love reading about the guys I look up to
Cheers
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bullrout22 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 9:03pm
Matt

A great read about Shane and his lures they are awsome

And looking forward to having another chat with Shane hopefully at the next Expo
Dave Lake Macquarie N.S.W

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote puglee62 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 10:23pm
Well done Matt what a great read ,I cant wait to see Shanes display at the expo.Shane you are a legend buddy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cod Classic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2015 at 10:26pm
Matt

Brilliant work, well put together.

Cheers TB
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote camo83 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2015 at 6:49am
A great read and very well put together. Well done Matt. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr Viper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2015 at 5:43pm
Matt, truly a nicely put together article on some facts and figures . A lot went on in between the lines and it's hard to recollect exact time lines but I hope the viewing public get something out of what you have put together. As Matt said I believe its time we all got together our backgrounds and history and stored it appropriately for the generations to come to view and explore the Art of lure making as it was in the 20th century , our up and coming younger makers should be encouraged to come and learn, and information shared unreservedly with them from the makers of today to progress the skills involved , again thanks for twisting my arm Matt you've done a good job.Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steve B Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2015 at 7:19pm
This is a very good piece a shining example for all, I've very much enjoyed it. Not wanting to highjack this thread, however I'd like to see similar posts on the likes of Richard Lee, Terry Leadbetter and Carl Grist. I really like the timeline of lures in this thread, it's enthalling
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