A Quietly Heralded Buzzbait

An original Floyd's Buzzer

An original Floyd’s Buzzer

Chances are, if I posted his picture, you wouldn’t recognize the gentleman. I know I wouldn’t, nor can I find a picture of him to post anyway. But if you’ll take a peek at this picture, chances are pretty good you will recognize the buzzbait that happened to be named after the inventor in question.

Known simply to most as Floyd’s Buzzer, it was actually one of three different versions he made, the other two being an inline vinyl skirt model and a spoon buzzer. Tecnically known as Floyd’s Bucktail Buzzer, as the name implies, instead of the standard silicon rubber skirt found on most baits, Floyd tied his skirts out of the long-haired material. Another unique attribute was the inline blade. Along with a couple thin wire weedguards placed either side of the main hook, the bait was reknowned for its ability to run through the heaviest matted vegetation. As such, it quickly got an almost cult-like following in places like vegetation laden Florida, or even in the heavy rice and cabbage flats of upper Midwest lakes.

Back on the subject of the creator of this neat little bait, Pat Floyd was his name, and he owned a small shop in Royal Center, Indiana. This was the early 70s, and like many in this auto industry driven state, Floyd used to sell a lot of his baits while he was working at the Chrysler plant in Kokomo. A humorous story related by friend and local outdoor writer Bud Fields concerning Floyd;

 I asked him what his favorite “FISH CATCHING” bait was and he told me “A LIVE NIGHT CRAWLER.” I laughed and said, “You make ALL those artificial lures and you fish a nightcrawler?” He said, “I make those baits to SELL.”

At one point, Blue Fox produced a version of the bait almost exactly like Floyd’s version, and a write-up in a 1978 Field & Stream magazine mentions both Blue Fox and Floyd’s as a source for obtaining the bait, so perhaps there was some licensing agreement there. Even Bass Pro Shops had their version of the bait called the “Uncle Buck’s Buzzer”,  but it was Pat Floyd that had the original.

Rick Clunn with his 7-07 lunker caught on a Floyd's Buzzer in Classic VII on Lake Toho (credit B.A.S.S. 1977 photo).

Rick Clunn with his 7-07 lunker caught on a Floyd’s Buzzer in Classic VII on Lake Toho (credit B.A.S.S. 1977 photo).

The Floyd’s buzzer gained some national notoriety out on the B.A.S.S. Tour when Rick Clunn was credited with using it in Classic VII to catch the tourneys largest bass, a 7-07 lunker that was part of his Day 1 leading 19+ pound sack on Lake Toho. He would go on to win that event and become the first back-to-back Classic winner. Roland Martin also dedicated a page or two to the Floyd’s Buzzer in his book, 101 Bass-Catching Secrets.

As I understand it, the Hildebrandt company in Logansport, Indiana, which had been making metal baits and spinner baits for nearly 100 years, bought out the inventory of the Floyd’s Buzzer when inventor Pat Floyd passed away about 10 or so years ago. Hildebrandt kept the same bait (manufacturing), with the only change being the addition of a red trailer hook. However, in 2006, Washington-based Yakima Baits bought Hildebrandt. On their website, the bait is now called a Gold Wing and is a mix of two baits, the inline buzzer of the original Floyd’s buzzer, along with the weighted keel hook and vinyl skirt of the Snagless Sally, another bait in the Yakima lineup.

You can still find a few of the original Floyd’s Buzzers in OLD sporting goods stores, but they are getting harder to find.

  • Paul Wallace

    Great write up Brian. Very popular bait in my fishing circles. That being said, I probably missed more fish on that lure than all other buzzbaits put together. Don’t know if that was just me or indicative of that lure??? lol
    Paul

  • Still have one that has to be 30 years old. Maybe more. Had to replace the bucktail on it a few years back, when it all just let go one day. Made a cast, reeled it in, and all that was left was some loose thread where the bucktail had been tied. But it had caught more than its share long before then.

  • Stan Fagerstrom

    Terry:

    I’ve often used Floyd’s Buzzer out here in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve usually found it most effective in and around heavy pad cover.

    It also produced some of my best fish years ago when I had a chance to spend a week in Santee Cooper country. I surprised my Indian guide with what that thing could do in the heavy cover in some of the hard to find holes on Lake Marion.
    Stan

    • Hey Stan, from the looks of how many Floyd’s Buzzers you have, I’m sure you had a lot of great days with that bait! Now that I’m headed to North Carolina, maybe I can head on down to Santee-Cooper and try my luck with one of them! 🙂 Thanks fr stopping by and letting us know of your experience with the lure.

  • banks

    this bait caught many big bass for me back in the 70’s & early 80’s before I took up striper fishing. best day was halloween day at guntersville, 10 bass at 43 lbs.all the colors worked, but of course chartruese and white were the best.now that i’ve started back bassin’ , I would love to find a few of the originals.

    • banks

      I apologize , i guess that i should not have put weights on a catch. the only reason i did was to show how effective that this lure is or was.

      • Banks, no problem at all putting weights with your catch! Go ahead and do a little braggin’! 🙂

  • Philip Michaels

    I knew Pat personally and several times a year Dad and I would head up to Pat’s shop and each drop $20 and buy a card of his lures he called the Wabash Flash. It looks a lot like a Mepp’s spinner. I build them myself now and the guys that buy them from me say they work great. Pat and I would meet up sometimes at Lake Cicott for a bit of ice fishing. He was a great guy and loved fishing.