Today we review a new e-book by Dr. Richard Rounds of Brandon, Manitoba entitled Manitoba Fishing Tackle: 1920 to 1980 (Self-Published, 2010).
The product of nearly ten years worth of research, this work contains much information that has never before been seen in print. Take for example the popular Canadian Bait Manufacturing "Royal Brand Baits" of Winnipeg, Canada. Founded as early as 1919, this company produced fishing lures and reels alike, including a fluted spinner that I've been trying to pin down history wise for some time. They made a full line of wooden lures that have surely been almost impossible to ID before the arrival of this book.
While CBM may have been the largest Manitoba tackle maker, it was far from the only one. Other companies such as Platt Lures, Jasper Lures, Rain-Bo Lures, Mid-Canada Tackle, Charron Lures, Sokolowski Lures, Kaluzniak Trout Jigs, Expert Fishing Company, and S&W all made tackle, and there is even a chapter on Manitoba Folk Art baits. All companies are covered in as much detail as possible.
There is a great deal to like about the book. The author is a fine writer and solid researcher and there is abundant new information in here that makes the purchase price well worth it to both Canadian and American collectors alike.
The major criticism, of course, will be the choice to make a CD-Rom rather than a traditional book. I'm sure price considerations came into play, but the author writes in the introduction also that "The decision to produce a CD rather than a book was made to allow for easy updates in the future." There will likely be a whole host of "mom-and-pop" Manitoba makers that will come to light in the following months and years as a result of Dr. Rounds' research.
The book is 88 Pages and in full color with quality images. Overall, this is an excellent book and a solid start (along with the Hex book) on unravelling Canadian-made fishing tackle. It is available from the author at the Manitoba Lures Web Site and costs $25.00 postage paid.
-- Dr. Todd