A Sure-Slayer

The Original Sure-Slayer buzzbait (top) and Rufus Eubanks' "Drop" spinnerbait (bottom). Notice the hand-crimped vinyl skirts placed over the head.  Photo courtesy of Jack Markham.

The Original Sure-Slayer buzzbait (top) and Rufus Eubanks’ “Drop” spinnerbait (bottom). Notice the hand-crimped vinyl skirts placed over the head. Photo courtesy of Jack Markham.

When we started the Bass Fishing Archives last March, we all hoped that the site would not only be a place for people to come and relive or learn about the past, but also a place to share history. A lot of that has gone on over the last 11 months with many of you making comments on posts pertaining to your experiences with a bait, boat or some other piece of old bass fishing paraphernalia.

We’ve also received emails and photos of old jump suits, patches and boats – along with a story behind them. Those are always fun and make us realize you’re all into this as much as we are.

R.L. Jonas' version of the Sure-Slayer. Photo courtesy of Jack Markham.

R.L. Jonas’ version of the Sure-Slayer. Photo courtesy of Jack Markham.

Well, today’s story is from a reader who read our story, “Season at a Glance: 1975 Bassmaster Trail – Part Two.” The story touched home with him with respect to Woo Daves’ winning bait. Here’s what Jack Markham had to say and a couple of pictures.

A couple of weeks ago (1/10) BFA ran the “Season at a Glance: 1975 Bassmaster Trail – Part Two” feature. I wanted to share something on the Buggs Island tournament that Woo Daves won. The “winning” lure was described as “a locally-made ‘Sure-Slayer’ lure given to him by Rufus Eubank. The hard-luck kid’s fortunes changed.”

My dad has fished Buggs Island for close to 40 years. One of the first lures he ever threw on the lake was the Sure-Slayer, purchased from Rufus Eubank’s tackle store on Buggs. He still has a few of the originals from the mid-60s. After the “Season at a Glance” article ran, we took a few pictures of one of the old Sure-Slayers plus a newer version that was made by Rufus Eubank’s guiding partner, R.L. Jonas. The newer versions were made in the late 90s to early 2000s. Though we keep the vintage lures on the wall in our family’s lake house, we still occasionally break out the new version of the Sure-Slayer. It makes a deep plopping sound compared to most squeaky buzzers that are popular today. It’s still a big-fish killer when the bushes are flooded in the spring at Buggs.

The first attachment shows the original Sure-Slayer on top and a “drop” spinnerbait below that they made with a single Colorado blade. The skirt on the single spin spinnerbait was the type that came on the original Sure-Slayer buzzers.

The second attachment shows a newer version of the Sure-Slayer that R.L. Jonas made in Clarksville, VA. They are no longer made – Mr. Jonas died about six or seven years ago.

I figured that you guys would enjoy taking a look at these. They were definitely a regional lure, but they had an impact on the national trail and would work on most shallow Southern lakes in the spring.

Jack, we’re glad you took the time to write in with your story on the Sure-Slayer and the pictures to accompany it. Before this, I’d never seen one and now I know what one looks like.

If anyone else has a little piece of history they’d like to share with us and the rest of the Bass Fishing Archives community, please feel free to drop us a line. We’d be happy to put your story on here along with Jack’s.

  • Pete

    Terry, I believe I sent you a Sure Slayer a few years back, right before Mr. Jonas passed.

    • You know what Pete, I remember that now. That was a long time ago. 2001 or 02. Now I’ll have to find it once I get to NC and unpack all my miscellaneous fishing gear.

  • JWM

    Correction on the “drop” spinnerbait. That was actually a prototype “bulging” buzzer type lure that Sure-Slayer never sold.

  • Kyle

    Hey guys, I just got my hands on 15 of these lures today cleaning out an old shed. They are still in the package. Im trying to figure out if they are the original ones or newer version. They look like the newer ones but the packaging looks much older than the photo above. Sure slayer “buzzer” fast & slow. Thanks

  • jrneal

    i know r l jonas personally he came to lake wylie and took over the 7 oaks marina that mike hovis was leasing, jonas copied rufus eubanks buzz bait and got run out of va because no one would book him to guide them after that news broke, mike hovis had bought up hundreds of bucks hornet spinner baits ans rl used them to make his buzz bait

  • Anthony Eubank

    Hey if anyone runs across these lures I’m definitely a buyer Rufus is my Great Grandpa