The 1970s were packed with what was known as the “alphabet” lure craze. It all started with Fred Young’s Big-O and went from there. Norman had the Little N and Bagley had the Balsa B. With all the lure manufacturers introducing their versions, it seemed like the industry was bound to run out of letters to use.
Another one of these alphabet baits was the Bomber Model A – a short, squat plastic crankbait that would eventually come in four different sizes along with shallow and deep divers. The lip of the bait was molded into the body creating a solid lure and also had an internal rattling system.
Although the bait didn’t have the mystique of its balsa wood colleagues, it caught fish. It also had something that the wood baits didn’t possess – the ability to be painted yet be see-through. Something that today’s bait makers call a ghost finish. Between Bomber and Norman, they capitalized on this attribute in a number of ways, one of which were foil or prism inserts. In clear water, the baits were and still are amazing fish catchers.
Over time the bait hasn’t morphed much at all, except for the quality of hooks. It’s still offered by PRADCO and is still ranked as one of the best crankbaits ever produced. Don’t go to the California Delta without some apple red crawdads in size 6 and 7 and don’t go to the upper Snake River without a size 5 in baby bass.