Let’s Look Back Part 33

The Zara Spook has been one of my favorite surface baits for a long, long time. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

The Zara Spook has been one of my favorite surface baits for a long, long time. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

One of my best friends in the high country of Arizona is as big a bass fishing nut as I am.

There are differences, of course, and one of them is that like most of the other bass men I meet these days he’s a heck of a lot younger. I was reminded of that a couple of years ago when this good friend came to me with a request.

“Stan,” he said, “I’ve read some of the stuff you’ve written about fishing a Zara Spook. I’ve just never gotten around to throwing those things. Any chance I could get you to show me how you use one?”

I could, as the name of my column here at the Bass Fishing Archives indicates, look back over a whole lot years of personally getting these wondrous old baits to do their thing. Along with a handful of other old lures that came along decades ago, they’ve provided me with more than their share of spine tingling memories. [Read more…]

The Bantam 100

In 1978 Shimano Corp introduced the Bantam 100 casting reel - much to the chagrin of Lew Childre.

In 1978 Shimano Corp introduced the Bantam 100 casting reel – much to the chagrin of Lew Childre.

For the last 30-plus years you can’t talk about reels without the mention of Shimano. Shimano reels are known as some of the best designed and manufactured reels in the world. But back in the mid-70s, all they were really known for was bicycle gear and the fact their name was pressed into the side of the ever-famous Lew’s BB1 Speed Spool. Their entry into the fishing industry would change not only the face of angling but also the face of another reel company, Lew Childre and Sons.

In the early 70s tackle designer Lew Childre had already made his mark on the industry by developing a number of concepts and tools for the angler. He played a part in the development and marketing of ceramic guides and also changed the design of the heavy, not-so-sensitive pistol grip casting handle. [Read more…]

The Ryobi V Spool

Ryobi83

An ad for the popular Ryobi V-Mag 4 reel featuring their innovative V spool design.

We’ve discussed the many innovations that Lew’s is credited with in bringing to market its Speed Spool line of reels. Terry has covered many of them HERE for those that want to reflect back. One thing that didn’t really get touched upon though was the creation of the V-spool design. [Read more…]

1980s Spinning Reel Efficiency?

Can you identify the unique reel feature in this ad?

Can you identify the unique reel feature in this ad?

We’ve focused recently on some of the innovations on rods and reels that never really took off within the industry for whatever reason. Along a similar line, there are some that you could argue were pretty neutral, not earth shaking or ground breaking per se, but also weren’t flops and could actually be considered small incremental steps in the overall progression of rod and reel design. I would submit that today’s topic fits that category. [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…]

Ads from the Past – Heavy Cover Specialist

Shimano Brush Buster ad.

As Terry Battisti has documented here, here, here and here, by the late 1970s the flipping technique was firmly established in the pros’ repertoires and in the bass public’s consciousness. Fenwick was one of the tackle companies that jumped on the flipping train early in its route, but others were slow to pick up the pace. Sure, some manufacturers rushed items to market that fit the parameters of the technique – namely 7’6” broomstick rods – but not all of them were truly suited to the task.

By the mid-1980s, Shimano made an effort to capitalize on the technique’s increasing acceptance and popularity. The Japanese reel manufacturer introduced the Bantam Brush Buster baitcasting reel, which noted on its hood that it was “Designed Exclusively for Flipping.” [Read more…]