Christmas Gifts 1976/7 – Tackle Boxes

1976 Bass Pro Shops Christmas Ad.

1976 Bass Pro Shops Christmas Ad.

In keeping with the Holiday spirit, here are a couple of ads from 1976 and 1977 regarding tackle boxes. The first ad, again from a 1976 Western Bass Magazine, is from a Bass Pro spread in the winter issue. The ad features two BPS tackle boxes and a Plano 777.

I don’t know if you remember the old BPS boxes but they weren’t the best quality made. The boxes like the Lunker Lunch Box – made of yellow ABS plastic – tended to warp in the hot sun and would fail to stay closed after a while.

The Bass’n Buddy Crank/Spinnerbait box was a copy of the old Flambeau 2275 Crank/Spinnerbait box that was a mainstay of the day. It was a great design for both blades and cranks but seems to have been thrown aside for the 3700-style boxes we see today.

The Plano 777 was the creme de la creme of tackle boxes of the day. If you had one of these people “knew” you were a serious angler. The problem with this box and it’s brothers and sisters was it took a ton of room in the bottom of the boat, you couldn’t see your gear and it leaked. Still, it was the state of the art for the day.

1977 Christmas ad from American Angler Magazine featuring E-Z Company Tackle Boxes.

1977 Christmas ad from American Angler Magazine featuring E-Z Company Tackle Boxes.

The second ad was taken from a 1977 American Angler magazine and features four different boxes. The boxes all seem to be made by the E-Z Company – a company I’ve never heard of – except for the possibility of the bottom one (the 2276) which could have been made by Adventurer. It’s hard to tell if the name of the box was the Adventure Lure Luggage Series or if it was actually made by Adventurer.

Anyway, the other strange piece about this ad and the others that went with the spread was there was no information on where or how to buy these boxes. It makes me wonder if the boxes and other gear were being offered in these ads was being sold by American Angler and you had to contact them in order to buy them. Again, there was no information as such.

The first box shown, the 1203, is strictly a spinnerbait box popular during the day. It held roughly 70 spinnerbaits – more if you doubled up on them. For $4.99 it seems to have been a pretty good deal assuming it was rugged enough.

The second and third boxes, the 2050 and 2076 were a dual-use spinnerbait/crankbait and spinner/crank/worm boxes. I really like the function of the 2076 box in that it could hold spinnerbaits in the bottom and all the blade paraphernalia I normally carry with me in the top trays. For example, right now I use two 3400-sized boxes for extra skirts, swivels, blades, trailer hooks, etc. These extra trays in the 2076 could take on most of what I carry and only be stored in one box. Problem is, most boats these days don’t have the right storage for this type of box.

I guess that last statement brings me to the evolution of tackle boxes we have today. Most boats, with their below-deck storage, are really rigged for the 3000-series style boxes of today. It’s evident from years of use that these boxes are the most efficient and will probably remain so for the un-seeable future. The old style boxes, as shown here, really are too cumbersome for today’s angler and the fact that you can’t see into them makes them even more undesirable.