A couple of weeks ago we did the first part of the 1978 Bassmaster season and in that article, we mentioned Hurley Board’s Lake Gaston win. Board attributed his win not just to sticking to his game plan but also to the use of a Bomber Speed Shad.
After that event, the Speed Shad became the predominant bait on both Gaston and Bugg’s (Kerr depending upon what side of the boarder you’re on) reservoirs. In fact, original Speed Shads are still in high demand for the North Carolina/Virginia boarder waters.
That article sent me on a mission to try and find an old Speed Shad ad to share with you – and I found one from 1977. Not only that, but I found three other Bomber ads dating from the same year, two of which feature crankbait legend, Floyd Mabry.
The first ad, seen above, is interesting in that the ad was from a 1977 American Bass Fisherman magazine and although it advertised the Speed Shad (and the New Model A), it was placed there by ABF to sell baits. American Bass Fisherman, much like Bassmaster’s Outhouse Tackle Shop, was not just an organization to hold tournaments and bring together bass anglers in such forums as the Federation, they both were trying their hand at selling tackle mail order. The prices for these baits, as sold by American Bass Fisherman, were amazingly low – $1.69 in fact.
In the second ad, Bomber was taking advantage of Mabry’s fame and trying to sell down-sized lures. The ad features the Deep Mini A and the Mini Whacker modeled after its bigger sibling the Bushwhacker. It makes sense that Bomber would come out with a downsized line of baits in that Rick Clunn had recently won a Bassmaster Classic on a Bagley’s Honey B.
The third ad also features Mabry but this time they’re selling the original Bomber along with the new Medium Running Model A. It’s no telling how many fish were caught on the original Bomber – it was one of those baits that became a legend throughout the United States. In fact, it was one of, if not the, first deep divers. As legendary as it was, I find it crazy it was discontinued. Obviously the bait wasn’t selling, falling short of the Bagley’s DB and Norman Little N series, still I would wager a bit of coin that if it were out today, it’d still catch fish.
The final ad, also from 1977, features Dallas Cowboy linebacker, Leroy Jordan selling the new Model A. Not really sure why they used Jordan as the pitch man – seems he’d be a lot more expensive that Mabry – but they did. The cool thing about these last three ads is they were offering two lures and a hat for the low introductory price of $6. Brian pointed out a while ago that these offers were some of his favorite reasons for getting magazines and I have to agree with him. You don’t see this anymore in recent advertising and I wish they’d bring it back.