Let’s Look Back – Tackle Industry Friends Part 2

When I found lures that would catch fish for me it was great to be able to share a boat with the guy who was bringing those baits to the tackle shelves.  The late Bill Norman was a friend of mine.  I learned a good bit about his baits on the fishing trips I made with him. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

When I found lures that would catch fish for me it was great to be able to share a boat with the guy who was bringing those baits to the tackle shelves. The late Bill Norman was a friend of mine. I learned a good bit about his baits on the fishing trips I made with him. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I miss those days. If you’ve been around as long as I have, I expect you do too.

What days am I talking about? I miss those days when if you had a question about a specific item of fishing tackle you could usually go right to the guy who had his name on it to get the answers. Even if he didn’t actually have his name on it, it wasn’t hard to find out who he was.

I didn’t, of course, have a chance to meet all of them back there 69 years ago when I first started writing but by golly I did get to meet quite a few. I’m talking about guys like Bill Norman, Cotton Cordell, Dick Kotis, Jim Bagley, Gary Loomis, Tex Reeder, Phil Jensen and a number of others.

One of the lure manufacturers I’ve always wished I’d had opportunity to meet was Fred Arbogast. That didn’t happen because Fred was already producing the first of his famous to be line of bass lures about the time I came into the world away back in 1923. [Read more…]

Wigglers and Dancers – Fred Arbogast

A 1946 Arbogast ad featuring the new Hula Dancer.

A 1946 Arbogast ad featuring the new Hula Dancer.

It isn’t well known, unless you’re a vintage tackle collector, that it was Fred Arbogast who invented the flat rubber skirt. If you read Part One of the book review, Black Bass Fishing by Robert Page Lincoln, Lincoln reports in Chapter Seven that he tied up a bass fly with rubber band legs that, when on a trip with the Arbogasts, Fred grew especially keen with the rubber leg idea. The year of this trip isn’t mentioned but Lincoln wrote that that winter Fred Arbogast took the idea back to Ohio and fashioned what we know today as the flat rubber skirt. [Read more…]

The Arbogast Bug Eye

photo: Old Fishing Tackle Shop, Japan

photo: Old Fishing Tackle Shop, Japan

The Fred Arbogast Company has created some of the most popular, as well as collectable, fishing lures ever made. Think of baits such as the Jitterbug or the Mudbug. Going back even further, you have the Hawaiian Wiggler and such. However, this piece isn’t about any of those more “famous” lures, but instead is about a less familiar bait called the Bug Eye. [Read more…]

Wiggle and Jitter 1940s Style

Arbogast Jitterbug ad circa 1940.

Arbogast Jitterbug ad circa 1940.

Here are a couple of cool ads from the June 1940 Hunting and Fishing magazine. Both are from the Fred Arbogast Company out of Akron, Ohio and one features a bait that is still manufactured by PRADCO, the Jitterbug, and another that hasn’t been made for going on 30 years, the Hawaiian Wiggler.

The Jitterbug ad is neat for a couple of reasons. First off, it lets you know that this bait has been around a long time. Also, back then the baits were all made out of wood. The bait also features the option of double or treble hooks – all for the cost of a Washington. The pictures of the anglers are also interesting. That’s a nice string of fish Mr. Webster is hanging on to but I really wonder if that fish Mr. Sutton is holding really weighs in at 10 pounds. I guess we’ll never know. [Read more…]