After four days of Classic coverage we’re back home and back to the grind. So, we’re going to take a little diversion this week and look at old ads. First up on the list is spinnerbaits – a bait that played a huge role in the first six Classic wins – either as the main bait or as a supplement to the winning angler.
In 1971 Bobby Murray won on a Zorro, in ’72 Don Butler won on an S.O.B., in ’74 Tommy Martin used a Fleck Weed Wader, as did Jack Hains in ’75 and in ’76 Rick Clunn followed suit with the Weed Wader.
You can’t count the wins that KVD and others have had on the bladed lure – they’re too many. The crazy thing is, as great as the bait is, I can’t recall the last time it played a part in a major win in the last 15 years. Makes you wonder if the pros even use it anymore.
A while back while going through all the 1977 magazines I have I noticed a large number of spinnerbait ads. It makes sense when you think of the year. Everyone was winning on them and, therefore, everyone was making them. Some of the more well-known manufacturers were:
- Bass Buster (Virgil Ward)
- Jackson Lure Co. (Little Jewel/Billy Phillips)
- Bumble Bee (Bill Huntley)
- Lindy/Little Joe (Lindners)
- Nasty (Doc Moorehead)
- Norman (Bill Norman/Jimmy Houston)
- Rogers (Jim Rogers)
It kind of surprised me that with all the Strike King ads in that year’s worth of magazines (over 100) that I didn’t find one spinnerbait ad from that hulk of a company. There are others I was surprised not to find such as the Bomber Bushwhacker.
Then there were the companies I’d never heard of, such as:
- Hustler Tackle
- Kobra Head
- Laddie Lures
- Scamps Lure
- Tennessee Tackle
Most of these smaller companies I found in magazines such as National Bass, American Bass Fisherman and other organizations who probably didn’t have the ad costs as Bassmaster did.
In all there were 17 ads trying to get you to buy spinnerbaits, many from smaller tackle companies that not many knew about unless you were in the general area they were being produced. Cutting my teeth in the waters of the West, we had our own local favorites such as Rip Nunnery’s Bush Hogs, Tom Markey’s Bushmaster and the Ross’ KR spinnerbaits.
After spending three solid days at the Classic XLV show and seeing tens-of-thousands of blades for sale, you know that people are still catching fish on them. But the results from the second-tier events up through the top-tier wouldn’t let you believe it. It all makes you wonder when a tour-level angler is going to pick up the blade again and post a win.
Below are a number more spinnerbait ads from the 1977 era. If you know anything about the more obscure baits, we’d like to hear about them. Just drop us a comment in the comments section below.