Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Review of Adrien Delbasty's Collector's Guide to Louisiana Lures, Vol. 3

A Review of Adrien Delbasty's Collector's Guide to Louisiana Lures, Vol. 3

I just received in the mail the third volume in Adrien Delbasty's continuing efforts to chronicle the history of fishing tackle made in Louisiana. The Collector's Guide to Louisiana Lures, Vol. 3 (Self-Published, 2009), unlike the earlier Vol. 2 Update, is a full book in itself, coming in at 103 pages plus about 34 pages of updates to earlier companies.

This volume chronicles a lot of more recent tackle firms, including some recently minted ones. It's a refreshing change of course from traditional tackle histories and as times goes by, will certainly be very welcome. I have constantly counseled that the best time to write the history of a tackle firm is while it is still in existence.

43 new resesllers and manufacturers are covered. Most interesting to me was to read the section on the famed E.H. Peckinpaugh, the legendary Tennessee firm that moved to Louisiana in 1969 when it was purchased by Jim's Bait Co. Peck's lures continued to be manufactured for three decades afterward. At the last Cincinnati Tackle Show, I purchased several large carded weighted Peck's flies with the Louisiana address.

There is much to like about this book. I always enjoy supporting labors of love such as this, and it's clear Adrien--who is also a lure maker--has a deep and abiding passion for the subject. Taken as a whole, it would be hard to imagine anyone doing a more comprehensive study of Louisiana lures than he has. Wherever possible, Delbasty has interviewed the people involved, which makes this a neat piece of oral history as well.

The book comes in a 3-ring binder on heavy stock white paper with all but a few pages in black-and-white. While others may decry the lack of color, the prohibitive cost of color printing likely made this decision. Since the book was self-published, many of the things that I would normally comment on in a review -- structure, layout, grammar -- don't necessarily apply in cases like this.

The bottom line is this: the book is interesting and contains lots of information that you simply will not find anywhere else. I often hear from people who bemoan the lack of a tackle guide for x, y, and z (you can fill in the gaps because I've heard it all, from Alabama to West Virginia). Louisiana lure fans are one of the lucky ones, for Adrien Delbasty has taken on the largely thankless task of chronicling their tackle history. Even those of us who don't collect Cajun tackle should support him in this endeavor.

The book costs $40 and is available directly from the author at

-- Dr. Todd

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