Here are a couple of cool ads from the June 1940 Hunting and Fishing magazine. Both are from the Fred Arbogast Company out of Akron, Ohio and one features a bait that is still manufactured by PRADCO, the Jitterbug, and another that hasn’t been made for going on 30 years, the Hawaiian Wiggler.
The Jitterbug ad is neat for a couple of reasons. First off, it lets you know that this bait has been around a long time. Also, back then the baits were all made out of wood. The bait also features the option of double or treble hooks – all for the cost of a Washington. The pictures of the anglers are also interesting. That’s a nice string of fish Mr. Webster is hanging on to but I really wonder if that fish Mr. Sutton is holding really weighs in at 10 pounds. I guess we’ll never know.
As for the Hawaiian Wiggler, this bait was made for over a half a century and was one effective bait. If you go back and read magazines of the time many upon many anglers reported catching big numbers of fish with the inline spinner – even up through the early Bassmaster events. One thing that caught my attention, though, was the rubber skirt attached to the bait.
I didn’t know this form of skirt existed prior to the late 60s. But here you have it on the Wiggler in 1940. In the ad Arbogast refers to it as a 40-streamer skirt and they could be bought separately in order to change the color of your bait quickly. The Wiggler itself was between 75¢ and 85¢ and the skirts could be purchased for a measly 25¢.
What I also like about this ad is what the anglers are wearing. Button-up shirts and the gentleman on the left is even sporting a tie. Far cry from the die-sublimated attire anglers wear today. That string of fish from an 1940s era Wheeler Lake are pretty impressive too.