RGE Legacy Products - The Bait Box

RGE was founded in 1965 by Rodney, Gordon and Ernie Leach. With their roots in tool making and fabrication engineering, the family company began making jigs, fixtures and special purpose tools, eventually expanding to produce tooling for injection moulding. Rodney, Gordon and Ernie had always been interested in creating and producing their own products, and used the money made from manufacturing tools for clients to purchase the machinery needed. Whilst operating out of a garage, the idea for the first RGE product was born.

The three avid fishers spotted a place in the market for a simple but essential bait box. The original design was for a circular box containing six separate compartments, with a swivel lid to allow one compartment to be accessed at a time, whilst the others remained covered. This would remove the need for fishermen to use several boxes for each type of bait, keeping them separated with the convenience of only needing one box. The injected moulding was subcontracted to a local toolmaking company, but the finished product was not as expected. The box was then redesigned to be made up of four separate compartments, with a sold hinge lid that opened down the middle. This would allow fishermen to easily access four different types of bait, such as maggots, worms, bread, and ground bait. The bait box was produced in green and white, with a threaded hole in the bottom to allow the box to be attached to a bank stick.

RGE decided to make the tools needed themselves, and produced one tool for the lid component, and one for the base. In 1967 a new PECO 300 Tonne machine was bought to manufacture the parts, and was set up in the garage for production to begin. An advert for the bait box was placed in the Angling Times, and the bait box was supplied directly to shops. Thousands of bait boxes were made and sold over the three to four years of its production, with the product selling well. Most importantly, producing the bait box opened the doors to injection moulding. Rodney, Gordon and Ernie had been able to independently design, produce and sell the bait box, overseeing every step of the process. With this experience, RGE shifted their focus to begin making injection moulding tools, and eventually began to expand to make specific tools and components for clients.

Whilst the bait box is no longer produced by RGE, it has a lasting legacy and marks the beginning of injection moulding for the company, helping RGE to grow and expand to become a leader in the industry. Although Gordon doesn’t fish as much as he used to, he is looking forward to taking his granddaughter for her first fishing trip this summer.
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