Creme Hardbaits?

1962 Creme Lures ad featuring two short-lived hardbaits, the Mad-Dad and the Du-Dad.

1962 Creme Lures ad featuring two short-lived hardbaits, the Mad-Dad and the Du-Dad.

The name Creme has been associated with bass fishing since they developed (arguably) the first contemporary plastic worm in 1949. As the story goes, Nick Creme, from Akron, Ohio, fashioned a new worm from the newly formulated polymer, polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Prior to that, most artificial worms were made of rubber. Creme’s new worms were not only soft but came in a number of colors and were scented.

Not only did bass anglers like them better than the old tire treads they’d been used to, the bass loved them too. In fact, it’s said that at one of the first tackle shows where the products were revealed, Creme sold close to 10,000 packs. At four to a pack, that’s a lot of worms.

But did you know that Creme also ventured into the hardbait arena? Neither did I until I saw this ad from 1962. The ad features two topwater baits, the Mad-Dad and the Du-Dad, along with his Crawler and Eel.

What’s interesting about this ad to me is obviously the hardbaits – both fashioned after Arbogast’s Jitterbug. Not being sure if these baits were actually manufactured by Creme or were OEMd from Arbogast to Creme, I did a search on the old Internet to see if I could find any information on the baits in the ad. Here’s what I found from the book, Old Fishing Lures and Tackle: Identification and value Guide by Carl F. Luckey.

“However, earlier the company produced some standard baits as well. It is clear Creme was influenced by the Jitterbug in his designs. Shown in the color photograph are two of the nicest Jitterbug-type lures made by this company, likely under license with Arbogast as the diving lip says, ‘Creme’s Akron, O and Tyler, TX,’ much like Arbogast markings.”

Although it’s not definitive that Arbogast was the manufacturer of the baits, at least there’s some indication that Nick Creme had outsourced his hardbait offerings. Also of note, the lips in reference aren’t diving lips but rather lips just like on the Jitterbug.

Luckey’s book doesn’t give reference as to how long these baits were offered or when they were first manufactured but from this ad, we at least know they were offered around the 1962 time frame. I have no other ads from the years prior to or after 1962 that show these baits let alone any other hardbait.

The new Du-Dad from Creme - doesn't resemble the old one at all, huh?

The new Du-Dad from Creme – doesn’t resemble the old one at all, huh?

A little more searching on the ‘Net provided another interesting link – this time to a recent video featuring a fish caught on one of Creme’s Du-Dads. Clicking on the link, I saw a guy in a contemporary die-sublimated tournament jersey fishing in the front of the boat. What I thought I was going to witness was a guy fishing one of the old Du-Dads and catching a 5-pound bass. Wrong.

Evidently Creme has come out with a toad-style bait and gave it the same name the 1960s Jitterbug-style bait. I was a bit deflated, but it’s nice to see them recognizing their heritage.

  • Bill Sonnett

    The Creme Du Dad is still a favorite of some locale fisherman as it will go through some very thick pads