Look Ma, No Hooks!

Rebel Bass Boat ad ca. 1972.

Here are a couple of ads that really show how big bass fishing was getting in the early 70s. Here we have two, not one but two, lure companies vying for their share of the bass boat market. One was good enough to get first billing at the first Bassmaster Classic held in 1971 at Lake Mead – The Rebel Bass Boat.

The thought of having an inboard motor on a bass boat of today is kind of ludicrous but all the manufacturers made them back in the day. I personally fished out of one, one time, and vowed that if I ever got drawn with a guy that had one again I’d sit on the bank. Notice the ample deck space this design offers the back-seat angler.

The second ad shows that if Rebel is gonna get in the market, well by golly so is Cotton Cordell!Β  From the looks of this picture, Cotton was more of an avid bass angler – he has an outboard hanging off the back – than the folks that designed the Rebel.

Cotton Cordel Bass Boat ca. 1972.

It’s amazing how we’ve come in the boat industry from these two pictures. When I first got into the picture, ~1976, people still sat in their seats to fish and the butt seat was just making it’s way into boats. By the early 80s, the butt seat was beginning to wane and seats were becoming an after thought.

Still, these two boats were state-of-the-art in 1972 and it’s dang cool to go back and see where we’ve come from.

As an afterthought, though, I wonder if either of these “boat” companies placed treble hooks on their hulls?

  • cc

    I wonder what kind of paint schemes they offered – Tennessee shad? Perch?

    Too bad Mann’s didn’t get in on it – imagine a strawberry scented bass boat!

    This old stuff is great – I loved the old homemade bass boats also – there was something serious about them.

  • Yeah CC, it’s pretty cool. There’s more where that came from, though. By the way, I bet if KVD wanted his boat wrapped in Sexy Shad, they’d ban it. πŸ™‚ By the way CC, you’re no relation to Cotton Cordell are you? πŸ™‚

  • Jeff Coble

    A guy over here in NC, by the name of Doyle Hodgin found one of those 1971 Rebel Classic boats in mint condition last year. He purchased it from the guy that owned it, and has been trying to figure out who fished out of it since it still had the boat number on it. There were no records of who fished out of what boat, so I don’t know if they will ever know for sure. It is a nice piece of history though.

    • Jeff, I have some photos taken by Bill Rice that may have the answer for you. Do you know what number the boat is? I have pics of about 8 boats with anglers in them and the numbers are visible.

    • Andy

      I would love to talk to the guy who bought that boat.