The Birth of the Flippin’ Stik – Part Two

Thomas Dee Scott Ray BullShoals 75 370 BASS 300x210 The Birth of the Flippin Stik   Part Two

Dee Thomas wins the Bull Shoals Bass Master Invitational in 1975. Photo courtesy of Bassmaster.

This is the final part in the two-part series on the birth of the Flippin’ Stik.  Here Thomas and Dave Myers talk about the effort required to design and build the first Flippin’ Stiks. To read Part One click here.


After Thomas won the Western Bass Fishing Association’s San Antonio event, his normal way of fishing would change. But, in a fashion typical for Thomas, he was one step ahead of his competition.

“Because of all the flack we’d been getting for using the long rods, I’d already been experimenting with shorter Fenwick striper rods,” Thomas said. “Dave Myers, of Fenwick knew this and wanted to design a rod for me.” [Read more...]

Gearin’ Up

Lews Speed Gear Ad 229x300 Gearin Up

Lew’s Speed Spool Gear Kit. Circa 1974

Today’s bass anglers take a lot for granted. One example is retrieve ratios for the reels we use. Any reel we buy today generally has a number of different retrieve ratios available from a “slow” 5:1 to the “high-speed” 7:1. But what about the days when we were stuck with retrieve ratios that barely reached 4:1? For example, in the day, the ABU 5000 (the old red one folks) was state-of-the-art. It featured two brass bushings (not bearings), a free-spool mechanism (not a knuckle buster), and a hefty 3.75:1 gear ratio!

[Read more...]

Scorecard Snapshot — You Can Call Me Al

AL LINDNER Scorecard Snapshot    You Can Call Me Al

The 1970 B.A.S.S. All-American was remarkable for a number of reasons, some obvious, some not. Check out the final results and see what you think.

[Read more...]

New Products 1976

New Products 1976 Western Bass Fall 300x204 New Products 1976

New Products from the Fall 1976 Western Bass Magazine

Reading the Fall 1976 issue of Western Bass Magazine I came across the “New Products” section and found some interesting stuff – historically speaking. First off, look at the left page, upper center. You see one of the first glimpses of the Original Scrounger – the bait that Aaron Martens brought back to life a few years ago. These things were awesome when it came to fishing the saltwater back bays and they even worked for bass. The only problem with them back then, and it was a big problem, was the hooks really stunk. Heavy-wire cadmium-plated hooks that were short-shanked and narrow gaped. Not the best quality in a bass hook. [Read more...]

Trolling Motors of the Past – Part One

Shakespear TM1 231x300 Trolling Motors of the Past – Part One

23 pounds of thrust to get you from here to there….eventually.

As you cruise around the lake this weekend under 101 pounds of electrically-generated thrust, pity the poor anglers living in the early 1980s who had to tool around on no more than 30 pounds. Actually, don’t pity them too much – they probably thought their 23 pounds of thrust (from a single battery!) was the cat’s meow.

Does anyone even run a trolling motor of 23 pounds or less on a jon boat these days? I doubt that Shakespeare’s 12 and 15 pound thrust models could pull most of my tournament partners’ tackle bags across the street, let alone pull a whole boat into oncoming current. The arms race in electrics may be the most unsung hero in the quest for better angling over the past 30 years.

And when did Shakespeare stop making electrics?

SoCal Sticks from the Past – Jack O’Malley

Jack OMalley Piru2 120x300 SoCal Sticks from the Past   Jack OMalley

Jack O’Malley of the West Valley Bassmasters hoists a 10-pound northern taken on a jig. Photo courtesy of Dave Coolidge.

Sticks from the Past is a column devoted to anglers who made an impact either in their local region or state. They’re the anglers who made all the other anglers shudder when they plopped down their entry fees. In this first installment we look at one of southern California’s hottest anglers in the 70s, 80s and 90s – Jack O’Malley.

During the late 70s and 80s, I had the opportunity to work in one of California’s best tackle shops. Here I heard tales of legendary western anglers and their exploits on the water. One name that always came up was Jack O’Malley of the West Valley Bassmasters. By the early 80s, I was fishing against Jack in local team events. At that time, he was known as one of the best, if not the best, jig fisherman in the state. And he had a lot of competition during that time from the likes of Mike Folkestad and Larry Hopper. [Read more...]