Here’s a great old ad from 1977 featuring Norman Lures. Front and center is a young Jimmy Houston (wearing a hat!) after winning his first Angler of the Year Award in 1976. One of the funny things about the ad is Jimmy’s boat. Note the first generation Norman Lures “wrap.” Looks as if Jimmy took his boat to a kindergarten finger painting class and let the little buggers go at it.
The other anglers featured in the ad are Woo Daves (what a head of hair!), Gerry Kennedy and Roger Mhoon. Other than Daves, I’ve only heard of Mhoon as he used to fish the Bassmaster Trail.
Anyway, what struck me about the ad is the fact that Norman Lures is one of the only large national lure companies that’s still run as an independent. While companies such as Heddon, Smithwick, Creek Chub and Bomber were bought up by the Plastics Research and Development Company (Pradco/Rebel) Norman Lures kept on doing what they did best – make amazing lures.
If you look at Norman Lures, they’ve been around since the early 70s and they still arguably make some of the best crankbaits ever made. Their Little N series of baits is still a standard in every angler’s tackle box and their “late comer” the DD22 is a bait that no serious cranker leaves home without.
Not only is Norman still making exceptional crankbaits and other lures, you can still buy them for about the same price you paid for them in the 80s.
It’s good to see there are a few holdouts in the industry who, for what ever reason, have decided to stick it out on their own.