A couple weeks ago Brian wrote a piece on the Lil’ Tubby crankbait produced by Tubby Tackle Inc and there was a lot of comments about the bait and others. One of those other companies mentioned was Rabble Rouser Lures.
There isn’t much written about the history of Rabble Rouser Lures of Fort Smith, AR, but I bet you sure remember the baits themselves. The old cliché, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” sure fits in more than one way when it comes to Rabble Rouser lures. An uglier lure there never was and their construction appeared shotty also.
I’m sure designer Douglas Parker was trying to bank on the theory that predator fish strike at a prey’s eyes. He also must have had some initial success with his lures for him to file for an expensive patent in 1972. His patent, which covered the eyes of the bait, was granted in 1975 unfortunately his success selling the baits to the masses wouldn’t pan out. From the research I’ve conducted, through period magazines and the never-lying Internet, the company folded around the time “Disco Sucks” shirts became popular – for you youngsters, that’d be around 1977.
The problem I had with these lures was they looked to be cheaply built. Even though I could get two of them or more for the price of one Balsa B, I felt my hard-earned lunch money was better spent on the Balsa B. I would be willing to bet a lot of other anglers, much old than me (RichZ), felt the same way since the lures and company didn’t last much longer than an Evinrude Ficht.
As with all lures and companies, though, they make some good baits and have ardent followers. For example, a gentleman named Mike commented on the Lil’ Tubby post, saying he’d take all the topwaters we’d all be willing to give him. I’d really like Mike to come on here and let me know why the lure was so good, seriously I’d like to know, or rather is he a collector?
At any time on eBay these days you can find these baits going for anywhere from $3 to $10 with an occasional bait being listed for $20. Obviously someone likes them – maybe I should have tried them back when they were available.