Reading through a bunch of old magazines recently I found an ad for a lure company that was really key in the West when I was cutting my bass fishing teeth back in the ‘70s. The company was Sportsman’s Products and the bait I’m talking about was their Super Floater worm.
The claim of these worms was they could float a standard worm hook, which back then would have been a Mustad 33637 straight sproat hook or equivalent Eagle Claw, and float them they would. They made a great worm to be fished on a Carolina rig or even Texas rigged, but the problem with them was you could drive one into a 2×4 with a tack hammer. To say they were hard would be an understatement.
The plastic used for the bait must have needed to be that consistency in order to handle the foaming agent used or in order to release from the mold so they didn’t break. In any event, that hardness made it difficult to sell alongside the Mann’s Jelly Worm and the Mister Twister Phenoms as well as getting a hook to go through the bait. In order to get the baits to a softer consistency anglers would boil them in water for a minute or two, which generally took them to a more appealing softness.
Sportsman’s Super Floaters came in two sizes I was familiar with, 4 inches and 6 inches, and also an 8-inch version I’ve never seen.
Although a few of the anglers I knew used the worms as they were intended, most anglers used them as jig trailers. This was so true, in fact, that when an angler came into the shop and asked for them we instantly went on point asking where the jig bite was on.
What made the worm such a good jig trailer was the same reasons it made such a good worm to be worked off the bottom – it would stand a 3/8-ounce jig on its head.
In order to make the bait into a jig trailer, though, there was some work required. First you had to figure out how long of a trailer you wanted. You’d then determine which bait you’d need, the 4-incher or the 6-incher. Then, using a single edge razor blade, you’d cut down the length of the worm from the egg sack to the tail, forming two or four legs.
The next step was to cut part of the head off so you had a plastic cylinder and then cut that into a pie-shaped wedge. With the aid of a soldering iron, you’d then weld the wedge into the “crotch” of the split tail, thus keeping the tails splayed apart. There you have it, a custom jig trailer that had a ton of action and floated a jig.
I’m not sure when Sportsman’s Products went out of business but it’s been a while ago. I’m also not too sure how popular the baits were outside of the West – even though they were made in Marion, IN. Maybe Brian will chime in here with some info on that.
As many magazines as I’ve read over the years I can’t remember the company ever advertising much and these are the only two ads I’ve ever seen. In fact the one ad from 1964 is pre-Super Floater days as far as I know.
Anyone else out there ever hear of these great baits? If so, leave us some words in the comment section of this post.