Rooster Tails – The Magazine of Hydra-Sports

Charlie Ingram wins the 1982 Team Hydra-Sports TOC. Photo Jan/Feb 1983 issue of Rooster Tails magazine.

Charlie Ingram wins the 1982 Team Hydra-Sports TOC. Photo Jan/Feb 1983 issue of Rooster Tails magazine.

Anyone that’s bass fished since the 80s knows of Hydra-Sports boats. They probably also know that Earl Bentz played a significant role in not only Hydra-Sports as a company but also in regards to bass boat performance development.  What I wonder, though, is how many of you knew Hydra-Sports not only made boats but printed a magazine and also ran a tournament circuit? Maybe if you owned a ‘Sport in the day but I’d bet a 4-pack of Scuppernong Jelly worms you had no clue.

Pictured here is the cover of the Jan/Feb 1983 Issue of Rooster Tails, Hydra-Sports flagship magazine, which started in 1980. Joe Reeves, owner of Hydra-Sports started the organization, according to the membership ad, “because he wanted to get back to the fun of bass fishing.” Membership in the organization was for owners and their friends, which I assume could own a boat of another make. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1974

1974 Hydra Sports 1 CropSo far we’ve taken a look at bass boats from 1970, ’71, ’72, ’73 and a smattering from other years (here and here). Now we take a look at the boats of 1974 – or at least those companies who decided their hard-earned profits were worthy of advertising in fishing magazines.

In this installment we have many of those who had advertised in the past, such as Arrow Glass, Chrysler, Ranger and Fisher Marine. What was interesting about the 1974 ad campaign was the lack of advertisements and the decline of companies participating. In 1970 there were four companies displaying ad and that doubled the following year to eight. By 1972 11 companies were displaying ads in serious fishing magazines and then it peaked in 1973 with 15 companies. This year, though, only 10 manufacturers decided to spend the money. Why so few? [Read more…]

Old Boat Ads – 1973

1973 Ranger TR-4 Boat Ad. Where's Burt Reynolds?

1973 Ranger TR-4 Boat Ad. Where’s Burt Reynolds?

Okay, it’s been a while since we’ve done a Retro Boat ad piece here so I thought it would be good to pick up where we left off – 1973.

By 1973 bass boats and bass boat companies were coming out of every one-stop town in the U.S. In 1972, 11 manufacturers put ads in the top bass fishing magazines – 1973 would feature 15 boat manufacturers and I’m sure there were a number of other companies who hadn’t yet made the leap to advertise. [Read more…]

The End of Fiberglass Bass Boats?

One of the coolest bass boat shots ever?

One of the coolest bass boat shots ever?

There’s been a lot of “next big thing” statements made over the years pertaining to all sorts of bass fishing products. Perhaps one of the more notable statements that comes to mind for me was the question posed in a 1977 Popular Science article hinting at the possible coming death of fiberglass as a hull material in bass boats.

The actual opening statement in the article was as follows; “Fiberglass, the core of modern hull construction, is now obsolescent.” That’s a pretty bold statement, surely made mostly to grab the readers attention. But what was going to end the reign of fiberglass? [Read more…]