Thursday, December 13, 2007

Review: The NFLCC Magazine, Fall 2007

The mailbox delivered the latest issue of the NFLCC Magazine in glorious full color and, as always, it did not disappoint.

This issue we were treated to not one but two articles from Jerry R. Martin, one of my favorite of the cadre of writers for the magazine. Jerry specializes in fly fishing history, and offered up a pair of real gems. The first is entitled "Art Kade Flycrafters: Helen Shaw and Art Kade Fly Rod Lures," and details the history behind this innovative firm dating from around 1935-1952. While many female tiers have achieved greater fame--Carrie Stevens being just one name--Helen Shaw was as respected a name in tying circles as anyone, and she was the sole tier for Art Kade. It is a well done article identifying many varieties of Helen Shaw tied flies and deer hair fly rod lures.

The second offering from Martin is "The Weber Lifelike Fly Co.: Fly Rod Lures and History, 1936-1985" and is the second part of this two part history of a true giant in the fly rod world. An interesting and well-written offering, as are all of Jerry's articles.

Doug Bucha penned "The Sobecki Lure: Sobeski or Sobecki, What's in a Name?" which details the history behind the mysterious Anton J. Sobecki fishing lures. Bucha was able to track down descendants of Sobecki which helped him to correct many misconceptions surrounding these lures for many, many years.

My own offering this issue is a detailed history of Von Lengerke & Antoine. "A Sporting Tradition: The Legendary Von Lengerke & Antoine" should help collectors and historians identify a lot of different branded VL&A tackle, and hopefully will get everyone to appreciate the history behind this great old firm. Marked VL&A lures, spinners, reels, tackle boxes, rods, etc. are profiled.

Keith "Doc" Holliday offered up "The Neal Bait Mfg. Company: The Owners and Their Lures which covers the history of the Neal Spinner and other company lures. Interestingly, Holliday is currently the owner of the firm and is still turning out a few Neal Spinners even today.

My favorite feature of the magazine is the back page, helmed by Gary Smith. This issue he details the great story behind one of my dad's favorite baseball players, Joe "Flash" Gordon, a world-class second baseman for the champion New York Yankees in the 1920s and 1930s. Gordon was a dedicated fisherman whose tackle came to market recently, and Smith was able to track down the daughter of Joe Gordon who filled him in on the details of this great player's fishing life and times. A superb article.

Lots of great information once again offered up on in this issue. The NFLCC Magazine is capably edited by Dudley Murphy, with assistance from Gary Smith.

-- Dr. Todd

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