Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thursday Review: Cream City Fishing Tackle Web Site

I have been researching minnow bucket history for several years, so I was delighted to discover the new Cream City Fishing Tackle site put up by NFLCC member Kevin Coombe. For those who don’t know, Geuder & Paeschke Mftg. Co. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin was one of the biggest bucket makers in America. Having accessed numerous old catalogs, Kevin has put up an incredible web site with tons of great information for fishing historians and bucket collectors alike! It’s really incredible.

Check it out when you get the chance by Clicking Here.

— Dr. Todd

Monday, March 23, 2015

16 Year Old Boats 580 Pound Swordfish Boated off Tasmania

We don’t always get news from waters made famous by Zane Grey, but the wires brought news of a huge swordfish (580 pounds) caught off Tasmania. And it was caught by a sixteen year old! Not a bad catch for a teenager … considering it may be a record for those waters.

— Dr. Todd

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

Here's great footage from the 1960s of the legendary Charlie Brewer pitching slider baits.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

Well, this Heddon box is pretty spectacular!

Goldfish Shore Minnow Punkinseeds in the box are awesome.

Bill’s Action Plug is a strange lure.

I am a sucker for a Milam No. 3.

A Phillipson Powr Pakt bamboo rod is an undervalued gem.

Single Hook Pikaroons are all the rage.

A Gus Habich reel made by Talbot is a sweet find.

A Clinton Wilt is a rare lure.

Outing lures are odd looking but very collectable lures.

Schoenfeld-Gutter is a great trade company (just wrote up their history in the last Reel News).

I like this Kingfisher Plug Bait!

A Meek #2 Tournament caster is a nice find with the triple handle.

As always, have a great weekend, and be good to each other and yourself.

— Dr. Todd

Monday, March 9, 2015

In the News: One Big Catfish

Man, talk about your big catfish! Ever since River Monsters made the Wells Catfish a sensation, we’ve been seeing monster catches, like this one (a stone is 14 pounds).

This is truly a monster freshwater fish and I can’t imagine what catching one would be like.

— Dr. Todd

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Minnesota State High School Hockey is the BEST

As a former pond hockey player and a proud graduate of Duluth East high school I was both happy and sad last night when the Greyhounds, after a miracle run to the finals, lost in the Minnesota State High School hockey finals 4-1. Of course I was sad that they lost, but as my wife is from Edina, I was gloriously happy they pounded the Hornets in the semi-finals. For those who don't know, high school hockey is a religion in Minnesota, and the state tournament is the largest high school sports tourney in the nation, dwarfing even Texas football of Friday Night Lights fame.

The added delight to such a great tournament is the "All Hair Team" put together at the end of each tournament. It's hilarious, and it is for a worthwhile cause -- get 100,000 views and the sponsor Warriors will donate $15,000 to a charity that helps wounded veterans get back on the ice. So watch this, laugh at the outrageousness, and do some good. And congrats Greyhounds (and my parents' neighbor Coach Randolph)!

-- Dr. Todd

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

This is a neat short video of a huge salmon being caught in the 1950s.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only i Could Afford Them

This is one incredible Gayle fishing reel.

This is one great ABU presentation reel!

Charlie Russo made some great surf lures.

Left-handed Pflueger Medalists are supremely rare.

Russ Peak was a legendary rod maker.

All Truck-Orenos are rare baits.

Single Hook Pikaroons are awesome.

The Fenwick Lunkerstick is like money in the bank.

The Vom Hofe B-Ocean 9/0 is an iconic reel.

An Evans Spring Hook is a really great Victorian invention.

This Heddon Tiny Torpedo is a rare color.

Have a great weekend, and be good to each other, and yourself!

— Dr. Todd

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wayback Wednesday: John Etchieson on E.R. Hewitt's Line Grease (Originally Run on October 14, 2009)

We are starting a new feature called Wayback Wednesday. Since we have several million words printed in the past eight years, and some of that info is hard to find, we are going to rerun some of our favorite pieces on Wednesdays. This one is from John Etchieson, line historian extraordinaire.

My friend John Etchieson posted this fabulous piece on Joe's Board, and since I liked it so much I asked him whether I could run this on my blog and he kindly agreed. It's a great piece of fishing history.

E.R. Hewitt's Line Grease
by John Etchieson

The historical significance of this very early wooden container of line dressing that was invented and patented by an incredible man who is considered to be a legend in the early history of fly fishing and in the late 1800s American and International Tournament Casting Competitions - Edward Ringwood Hewitt (1866 - 1957).

In researching the history of this early wooden container of "Line Grease", I have now accumulated more than 10 pages of typed notes for my book together with various pictures and copies of the many Patents that are related to E R Hewitt.

I have learned quite a bit about Hewitt's historically prominent family ties, Peter Cooper was his grandfather and Abram Stevens Hewitt was his father. 
I have also learned about his family's very close business and social connections with such famous people as J P Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, Abraham Lincoln, Buffalo Bill Cody, Teddy Roosevelt and so many other very wealthy and prominent figures from American history.

And, I also know what the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame had to say about him when he was inducted in 1999: 

"E. R. Hewitt was one of the most extraordinary individuals New York has
ever known. He was a chemist, inventor, innovator and a truly great fisherman.
His keen interest in trout fishing led him to purchase four and a
half miles on the Neversink River in 1918 where he created a hatchery
and laboratory. Soon after, Hewitt was recognized as a leading authority
on stream management and improvement. As an author, he penned several
books on angling. As an inventor, he held numerous patents, including
the felt soled wading shoe, a fishing line grease, an opaque leader, an
interchangeable fly reel and a bi-visible trout fly. His innovations make
him one of the greatest contributors in the history of fly fishing."

Hewitt is shown here at age 80 in his Laboratory on the third floor of his mansion on Gramercy Park in New York from LIFE MAGAZINE - 1946

What I do not know yet and would very much like to learn in particular from someone here on Joe's Board is this:

Was this "Hewitt Line Grease" ever even sold commercially, or was it just invented by Hewitt for his own use and for that of his very wealthy friends, whose names read like a "Whose Who" of America's most famous Industrialist and Politicians?

The street address that is given on the label shown above was Hewitt's private residence (a 35 room mansion located on Gramercy Park, in New York) where he maintained both his laboratory and workshop (Hewitt was an inventor with more than 40 Patents, including the Mack truck, to his credit) but I cannot find even a single sporting goods, fishing tackle, or hardware store AD or catalog listing for this Hewitt Line Grease in any of my pre 1910 catalogs or magazines.

Can anyone help shed some light on whether or not this particular item was ever even actually sold to the general public, and if so, when and by what firm? 

Thanks for reading my posting and for helping me to find an answer to my question.

NOTE: There were multiple follow-ups to John's original post which have now disappeared. Two particularly interesting ones are as follows:

Bill Peck wrote: "On page 26 of "Hewitts Handbook of Fly Fishing" he describes the dry floatant and says that it is available for 30 cents per box. First printing of the book is 1933."

Steve Starrantino wrote: "John I share the same enthusiasm on Hewitt as you do. I have collected his books, catalogs, bottles (some Dean now owns) and other goodies for 20 years. I have two Farlow of London pamphlets that advertise his Cast Soaker (look at the picture Dean sent. It has the Farlow label on it)and his Line Grease. The line grease sold through Farlow was in a metal tin not a wooden one. I have never seen the wooden one. William Mills sold some of his series of fly patterns and his "no flash" gut leaders. That I know for a fact. I do not have a catalog form Mills handy from the 30's or 40's to see if he sold other items through them. The leaders were also sold through Farlow as well as his Jungle Fly Preparation". It is advertised in the Pamphlet but I have never seen it. I also have hooks in a paper wrapper that is marked Hewitt hooks from Farlow. I also do believe strongly that he sold most of these items out of his Gramercy residence since there are two catalogs he published with the home address on it. Hope this helps."

Many thanks to my good friend John! Anyone with any information that might help John place this all in better context can contact him at JohnSEtch AT aol DOT com.

-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Voices from the Past: Dixie Carrol on the Tuttle's Devil Bug

Over the next several months, I’m going to feature the fishing tackle writing of one of my all-time favorite writers, Dixie Carroll (Carroll Blaine Cook). These famed pieces of tackle were featured in his great book Fishing Tackle and Kits. They are fascinating write-ups of the tackle from a contemporary perspective. Below is Dixie’s write up on the Tuttle Devil Bug, one of fly fishing’s greatest inventions.\

TUTTLE'S DEVIL BUG - Made by O. C. Tuttle, Old Forge, N. Y. Along comes Tuttle with a little old bass bug that he has been hogging all to him self and a few friends for a few seasons and believe me it is a great little lure. It is made of hair in the natural colors, browns, grey and white, and what It looks like to the bass and trout I do not know but it looks more like a mouse than anything else or a large doodle bug whatever that is. The loose hairs on the back and the bunched tail have a lively move in the water and the game fish simply cannot let it get away from them. It is tied on a single hook and snelled with a good strong gut. For night-fishing it is a winner, it certainly gets the fish. Not only in casting is it good dope but in trolling it shines. Blow a little dry-fly oil on one of these Devil Bugs and let it float down around the boulder into the quiet spot behind and the rise you get will nearly throw you off your feet. I have one of these bugs that took 203 bass and 17 trout; the largest bass a 4 3/4 pounder and the largest speckled beauty an even two pounder. Made in a larger size this bug ought to interest the musky and I am going to have Tuttle tie one for try-out on that big ruffian of the underwater. The whites and greys in the smaller sizes make good trout lures, they have extended hair wings that give them the appearance of a white miller. These bugs are made strong and solid being wrapped with fine wire and will hold up for many a cast, in fact they are practically indestructible. A good lure, made right and of good material all the way through.

— Dr. Todd

Monday, March 2, 2015

In the News: Fishing Rod Holder Causes Bomb Scare

Ah the modern world … so much technology, how can anything go wrong? We have things down like clockwork.

Until someone leaves behind their fishing rod, that is. A lost pack rod (likely fell off the back of a bicycle) caused a real mess when it was mistaken for a pipe bomb in Humboldt County. It shut down traffic for upwards of an hour, before the explosives experts arrived and determined it was … a fishing rod.

Better make sure that pack rod is stowed next time or you might be seeing it live on local news next to the bomb squad!

— Dr. Todd

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

Last week we ran the Tadpole, this week the original Pocket Fisherman.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

Holy cow is this Talbot 53 a rare reel!

This Otto Zwarg reel is incredible.

Holzmann was an incredible reel maker.

Phillipson is the most underrated rod in history.

Another Bronson Reel-o-Mine has hit the block.

I like this Shakespeare Copper underwater minnow.

Newell reels don’t get the love they deserve.

This is a nifty Donaly lure box.

A Masterlure Plug is a pretty lure.

The Paw Paw Platypus is another lure on the rise.

I like this E.B. Norris Squid a ton.

Heddon 3-35s are great reels.

As always, have a great weekend, and be good to each other and yourself!

— Dr. Todd

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Fishing Advertisement

Since we are in a period of record low temps here in the Ohio Valley, I thought a nice ice fishing advertisement would warm me up a bit today. So here’s a 1960 Coca-Cola advert which is notable only for its simplicity. It’s a classic ad with the classic Coke bottle … on a classic frozen lake.

— Dr. Todd

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Spinning Reel Report with Ben Wright: February 2015


RECORD SNOWS AND RECORD LOWS -------------------------
GLOBAL WARMING !!!!#$%^^&&&(**( , REALLY #$%^&*((*?????

Abu 507 scf nib sold @ 232.79
Abu 888 nib sold @ 615.20
Centaure Pacific 5 exc sold @ 189.99
another Pacific 5 exc- with wrong bail nut sold @ 191.00
and a Dam-Quick 110 exc- started @ 2,000.00 did they mean2,000.00
or maybe 200.00  "NO BIDS"

400 exc @ 483.37
450 exc- @ 527.40
999 3-speed nib @ 966.92
Suveran S2000M nib @ 381.03
33 repro nib @ 187.50
40 salesman sample exc+ @ 182.05
55 nib @ 143.02

spinster second version exc @ 22.50
same but ewb &bag @ 55.00
Vic black exc- @ 70.00

minicast cf rod/reel combo exc w/case @27.42

Allcock Felton Crosswind e+wb @ 112.62
A Allen Spinet no 1?   chip in foot @106.12

100 CF exc- @ 56.00
spin pal 240 e+wb @ 55.62
Victory 80 mk11 cf nib @ 85.00

Bretton 500 nib @ 37.89
GMS Morfaux exc @ 172.15

 150S nib @ 143.61
  200 ewb @ 50.00

Corbra NY ewb @ 33.01
Compac clipper 36 cf exc @ 43.00
spin mitey exc w/case @ 58.00

300C ewb @ 142.50
common 304 ewb @ 81.12
508 exc @ 185.50
510 e+wb @ only 113.50

420 and 430 cf both exc+ @ 178.22
704 second version e+w/poor box @136.17
710 green nib @ 102.50
712Z nib @ 128.50

Pelican 1020 ewb @ 46.00
saturn 84 cf ewb @ 36.01

1771 cf exc @ 52.80
2200 japan nib @ 25.00

Esquire e+wb @ 233.50
Record 50A nib @ 76.85
Stucky oromatic exc @ 233.50

Zebco Cardinals:
4 rod and reel combo second version ?nip @ 475.89
4 4th version nib @ 285.00

Other Reels:
Ashaway slip cast nib @ 87.00
Arjon 500 cf nib @ 134.30
flo-line nib @ 103.50
the edge water cf nib but missing spring @ 84.12
Harrison auto max 100 nib @ 151.00
The Virginia reel rubber band drive neat cf ewb @ 67.00
southbend Futura cf exc w/case @ 36.00

sure hope spring gets here and SOON !!

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

K-Tel sold the Ron Popiel Pocket Fisherman … but they also sold the Tadpole. Check out this vintage ad.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This Shakespeare 1755 is a really rare reel.

This Meek #44 fly reel is great.

I really like this Edward Page painting.

This Medalist is reaching the stratosphere.

Love this Pollywog!

A Heddon “0” is always a fun find.

A Pflueger Kingfisher trade minnow is cool.

This Pflueger Kent Frog is incredible.

These Myers/Spellman lures are rare.

This Lewis Interchangeable in the box is really getting interest.

This Ed Vom Hofe seems pretty rare.

This is one big Paddler!

As always, have a great weekend, and be good to each other — and yourself!

— Dr. Todd