Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Texas Fishing Lure History Part 7: Speed Cast of Denison, TX

Texas Fishing Lure History Part 7: Speed Cast of Denison, TX

A week or so ago, I wrote about a company known as the Speed Cast Fishing Tackle Manufacturers of Denison, Texas. Since then, thanks to some great Texas lure collectors like Tony Henne and Ed Brown, I've been able to uncover some more information about this very cool lure manufacturer.


Apparently the man behind Speed Cast was Raymon McVay, of 717 West Morgan Street in Denison. McVay applied for and was granted a number of fishing tackle patents that range in date from the 1940s to the 1970s. This implies that Speed Cast was around for as many 30 years, making it a very successful firm indeed.

McVay's first patent was not for a lure but, interestingly enough, for an adjustable bobber. I've not seen this particular bobber before, but it was important enough to be cited numerous times in later bobber patents. He applied for the patent on 20 April 1948 and it was granted as #2498815 on 28 February 1950.


McVay's second patent was for a fishing lure, applied for on 26 June 1954 and granted on 24 April 1956 as Patent #2742729. As the picture below shows, this lure was sold as the Speed Cast Fantail lure. This would appear to have been Speed Cast's most popular lure, as it was still being advertised 20 years after the patent was granted.



Courtesy Tony Hennes.

This patent was also used to cover the later Gold Digger lure, a lure style popularized by Bill Lewis' Rattle Trap. I believe the name "Speed Cast Lure Co." is a later permutation.


Courtesy Ed Brown.

In 1964, the prolific McVay was granted two additional patents for metal lures. The first was filed on 10 March 1961 and granted on 14 April 1964 as Patent #3128572. It appears to be a kind of jig head to be used with plastic worms, similar to a Kautzky Wiggly Ike.


The second patent granted that year was for a casting spoon. It was filed for on 07 May 1962 and granted 01 September 1964 as Patent #3,146,543. It was later sold as the Chump spoon, a take off on the popular Pflueger spoon named the Chum.


On 15 November 1967, McVay applied for a patent on a deep diving lure which was granted on 26 Auguest 1969 as Patent #3462871. This would be the lure sold as the Fandiver.


Courtesy Tony Hennes.


Speed Cast made other lures that do not correspond with any patents. The Topfan, for example, was a topwater lure in a common shape.


Courtesy Ed Brown.

The Speed Cast family of lures were all made from injection molded plastic and were painted in a variety of neat colors. Below are some of the color schemes used by the firm.



Courtesy Ed Brown.

The history of this firm deserves some significant research. Speed Cast lures were manufactured from at least the early 1950s until 1976, and likely beyond. Below is a photo of two 1976 Speed Cast lures issued to celebrate the nation's Bicentennial.


Courtesy Ed Brown.

They are a great example of a Texas lure company that produced a good number of lures over a long period of time, yet has somehow managed to fly under the radar. Hopefully this little overview will help introduce Speed Cast to a larger collecting world, and help us all to appreciate that there are dozens of Texas lure companies such as this that deserve our attention, and our respect.

Many, many thanks to Ed Brown and Tony Hennes for sharing photos.

-- Dr. Todd

3 comments:

Ronald Pearson said...

Dr. Todd,

I have a very new, circulated, 1/3 oz. "GOLD Digger" fishing lure in its original red and clear plastic box. It has the lure's circular with the lure number 5033 stamped on the paper like your recent picture. It states that it is only manufactured by the Speed Cast Fishing Tackle Manufactures. It names the seven lures it manufactures. I believe this is one of the original Speed Cast lures.

Also I have a very new, circulated, 1/3 oz. "Fan Tail" lure that is in it's original red and clear plastic box. The box also has included a small information flyer titled "Fantail" by Silver Dollar Lures, Route 1, Hendrix, Oklahoma 74741 (405) 838-2297. Is this company the successor of the Speed Cast Fishing Tackle Manufactures?

Are these lures in their present condition worth anything to collectors?
Thank you for any information.
Ron Pearson

Unknown said...

I've used these lures on Lake Texoma since the early 1970's. A great lure.
Black Bass, Small Mouth Bass, Sand Bass and Stripers all love to mash'em. Shade color schemes being the best.
Just ended a late Sept. trip there. The Fantail produced well.
Feels better to see a fish on the end of a Fantail that to look at the lure on the shelf.
Go have fun!

Paul Kurtz said...

I've used these lures on Lake Texoma since the early 1970's. A great lure.
Black Bass, Small Mouth Bass, Sand Bass and Stripers all love to mash'em. Shade color schemes being the best.
Just ended a late Sept. trip there. The Fantail produced well.
Feels better to see a fish on the end of a Fantail that to look at the lure on the shelf.
Go have fun!