Do You Know Your Swivel History?

Terminal tackle doesn’t get a lot of love or press, but if you ask any bass angler to name a swivel company, chances are the answer you’ll immediately get is “Sampo.” The company is practically synonymous with ball bearing swivels in the minds of most anglers. However, what are the odds that anyone could tell you much more about the history of the company? For example, did you know that the Sampo company was created in 1948 by Oney Johnson in Daly City, California? Or that the word “Sampo” is Finnish for “wonderful thing?” Or that in 1957, Jerry Butts and Jack Spriggs from Rome Specialty Co. bought Sampo, and that it later got split off into a stand-alone company (again)?

1988 Sampo ball-bearing swivel ad

1988 Sampo ball-bearing swivel ad

Check out the Sampo ad above from 1988 (click to enlarge). You just have to laugh at that “bird’s nest” representation. Then, to learn more about the fascinating history behind these “two” companies, check out their online history pages at the links below.