Uncle Homer via Garcia

Worming and Plugging for Bass by Homer Circle. Published 1972.

Worming and Plugging for Bass by Homer Circle. Published 1972.

On Tuesday of this week we posted a piece on Garcia’s Sports Library and the little booklets they used to publish. In that piece I said we’d be posting another later this week and this is it – Worming and Plugging for Bass by Homer Circle. On Tuesday we talked about the contents of Rosko’s booklet and also touched on how Garcia used the book to teach anglers how to fish in the hope that they’d buy their product. Today I’d like to discuss the contents of this booklet but spend more time looking at pictures of one of the most recognized names on bass fishing. [Read more…]

Early Advertising: Garcia – More Than Selling Tackle

How to Catch Largemouth Bass by Milt Rosko. Printed 1968

How to Catch Largemouth Bass by Milt Rosko. Printed 1968

Today’s anglers are hit with numerous infomercials and hard-selling tactics – to the point it’s no wonder that so many novices have a hard time trying to figure out what to buy. I hate to say that the tackle industry has become synonymous with the proverbial used car shark but from the outside looking in I wonder if it has. I don’t know if I credit that to the industry itself or should the internet and its speed-of-light access to the masses be blamed. Maybe it’s the angler (who’s only been fishing for three years) who’s willing to flood Facebook with, “John’s -Garage-Worms-are-the-Best posts,” we should blame. Maybe I’m just old and I don’t “get” all this new-fangled “advertising.” [Read more…]

More Electronics – Garcia Corp

Garcia electronics ad from 1977

Garcia electronics ad from 1977

The year was 1977 and anyone in the fishing industry was looking to take advantage of the fast-growing population of bass anglers wanting to improve their ability to catch fish. As we’ve covered a number of times here at the Bass Fishing Archives, lure companies got in the business of making boats, boat companies got in the business of making rods and reel companies got in the business of making depthfinders. Seems logical when you think about it quickly but when you really ponder the thought, it seems ridiculous.

So far there’s really only been one company that capitalized and was successful on a crossover venture and that was Tom Mann and his crazy invention of the Humminbird depthfinder. Lord knows Lowrance had the market share at the time and why Mann would think he could build a better less-expensive mouse trap is beyond me. But the proof is in the pudding –Humminbird is one of two successful freshwater electronics manufacturers today and pretty much all other have gone by the wayside – except for those who still fish with Vexilar through the ice. [Read more…]

We do Reels, Why not Frogs and Blades?

Zebco spinnerbait ad circa 1976.

Over the course of time, especially in the early 1900s, many companies not only made lures but rods, reels and assorted other fishing paraphernalia. Heddon is a good example of this, marketing not only their famous lures but also rods and reels. Pflueger and Shakespeare did the same. But as bass fishing came into its own, more companies began concentrating on their bread-and-butter.

This one here fits right in that niche of, “you should stick to your strengths.” Here we have two ads from two of the major rod and reel companies of all time. The problem is they’re not ads for rods or reels. Instead, they’re ads for bass lures they’re trying to get you to buy. [Read more…]

Featuring the First Palming Plate and a Disengaging Level-Wind

Lew’s Speed Spool ad from 1977

If you saw the title phrase in a magazine reel advertisement today, you’d more than likely say, “So?” But, if you were reading that advertisement in say, 1976, you’d not only be intrigued but pumped by the fact that the company had taken steps to increase your casting distance and make the reel more ergonomic (I don’t even think the study of ergonomics was around in 1976) for the angler.

Up until the mid-70s, casting reels were heavy, featured the spool-tension knob on the sideplate opposing the handle (I could have said left sideplate but I wanted to respect you wrong-handed casters) and some, like the Ambassadeur 5000, didn’t even have bearings but brass bushings. At that time, the popular baitcasting manufacturers were Ambassadeur (ABU-Garcia), Diawa (the Millionaire series), Shakespeare and Pflueger with the most popular, in terms ruggedness and castability, being the first mentioned. [Read more…]