Reading the Fall 1976 issue of Western Bass Magazine I came across the “New Products” section and found some interesting stuff – historically speaking. First off, look at the left page, upper center. You see one of the first glimpses of the Original Scrounger – the bait that Aaron Martens brought back to life a few years ago. These things were awesome when it came to fishing the saltwater back bays and they even worked for bass. The only problem with them back then, and it was a big problem, was the hooks really stunk. Heavy-wire cadmium-plated hooks that were short-shanked and narrow gaped. Not the best quality in a bass hook.
The second piece of equipment I found interesting was ABU Garcia is touting their new 5600C baitcasting reel. As the review reads, “This new Ambassadeur 5600C features a new concept called the ThumBar free spool control. Lets the angler put the reel into free spool while his thumb is in the most natural position, as it lies on the line at the back of the reel.” It’s funny to think that there was a time when every reel didn’t have a thumb bar.
Also in this review is the introduction of the Plano double-sided box. Before Flambeau came out with the original worm-proof 3600-sized box, this double sided box was the bad-boy of every bass fisherman. Previous to this, anglers preferred the chest-of-drawers type box like the Plano 777 and 737-series boxes. The problem with those boxes, though, was the fact you couldn’t see in them and your baits would get jammed in the drawers after hitting a 6-inch swell. These new Plano boxes held more, you could see in them and they didn’t get jammed up.
Shakespeare’s ever-famous Ugly Stik rod was also introduced in this 1976 review as the first unbreakable rod – under normal fishing conditions – ever. It’s hard to believe that rod is over 35 years old and still going strong.