Success is Coupled with Many Failures

Tom Mann's Hardworm, circa 1984.

Tom Mann’s Hardworm, circa 1984.

Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” That quote means a lot coming from a man who many consider one of the fathers of the industrial revolution.

In the course of fishing tackle history, there have been hundreds if not thousands of bait makers who have burned out like meteors. There are also a few names that survive as legends of the sport. James Heddon, Bill Norman, Bill Lewis, Charles Spence to name a few. In that list of legendary bait makers is an Alabama man named Tom Mann. [Read more…]

Grip Lip – Yep a Gimmick

Cordell Grip Lip from 1977. Being that it wasn't around past 1980 shows it not only failed to grip the fish, it failed to grip the angler.

Cordell Grip Lip from 1977. Being that it wasn’t around past 1980 shows it not only failed to grip the fish, it failed to grip the angler.

While scanning through a set of 1977 Bassmaster Magazines doing research for the series, Season at a Glance: 1977 Bassmaster Trail, I came across an article on a new gadget at the time, the Cordell Grip Lip. I’m not sure how many of you out there remember this nifty little invention but I sure do. In fact, I was so impressed with the article in the July/August issue of Bassmaster I bought a couple packs of the Velcro fish magnets when they finally showed up at the local tackle store one pack for worms the other a pack for hardbaits.

I was so sure that this would be the cure-all to my missed worm fish and maybe even put a few more topwater fish in the well for me. Oh to be a gullible 13 year old. [Read more…]

Weedmaster Weedguard – Guaranteed to Slow You Down

Weedmaster Weedguard circa 1974.

Weedmaster Weedguard circa 1974.

Here’s another for the Bass Fishing Darwin Awards – the Weedmaster Weedguard. You used to see them on just about every trolling motor in the 70s and even the 80s. The concept was pretty understandable. Keep the weeds away from the prop and you wouldn’t have to clean them off the motor.

But things weren’t that simple.

The problem with running a trolling motor in weeds is that although the weeds wrap around the blade and motor head – rendering it useless – they also accumulate on the trolling motor shaft. Add a big bucket to the head of the troller and you get – even more weeds get hung up on the basket. [Read more…]

Hardbaits – Batteries not Included

Smithwick BlinkerIn the past we’ve talked about lures and other fishing-related contraptions that should never have left the brain let alone the drawing board. We even put a call out for you readers to send us in your nominations for the Bass Fishing Darwin awards. Well, today’s post is along the same lines and we’ll add these gems to the list of Darwin-esque baits.

First on the list is a concept I feel you all may be acquainted with from the recent past – lures that light up. Around the 2006 time frame, a new company, LaserLure, came up with a “new” concept to put laser lights in a crankbait. It was based off a somewhat well-known fact that bass or any fish will follow and attack a laser light that they’ve come in contact with. Seemed logical – somewhat. [Read more…]

Bass Fishing Darwin Awards – Part One

Helicopter LureA week or so ago Brian posted a couple of stories about crazy handle designs that had good intention but totally failed in functionality. That got me thinking about other screwy products that people have come up with over the years to help anglers catch fish – or more so, make them money.

One of the craziest ideas ever to come out was the Roland Martin-backed Helicopter Lure. Another would be the Ron Popeil Pocket Fisherman. Both are obvious entries for a Darwin-esque fishing award but we wanted to hear from you about your thoughts of the craziest fishing accoutrements ever brought to market. [Read more…]