Sunday, February 28, 2010

1000 Words

1000 words

This nifty picture dated 1912 shows a female angler in serious fishing gear. As women like Cornelia "Fly Rod" Crosby pioneered the move away from skirts and other non-productive outdoor clothing, more and more women like the woman below began to clad themselves in comfortable, protective clothes. The reel appears to be a hard rubber Julius vom Hofe (or Montague knock off) and notice that it is being fished below the rod. All and all a very nice photo!

-- Dr. Todd

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Deconstructing Old Ads with Bill Sonnett


 Recently my old collecting buddy and fishing apprentice Warren Platt asked me about this ad from the May 1912 issue of Outer's Book magazine.  I told him that I had seen the ad in many magazines of the period but had never seen the bait. Between the two of us we have been collecting for a long time with a combined NFLCC membership of over 50 years and are coming close to having attended 50 Nationals between the two of us. You would think that one of us would have seen an example of this bait at some time. When curiosity started me looking through my extensive library of reference books, I found that none illustrated the bait with an actual photo of a lure. In 1985 Kimball's (Early Fishing Plugs of the USA) stated that no example were known yet. In 1995, George Richey (Made in Michigan Fishing Lures) stated that only one example was known to exist. Hopefully this ad will bring other examples out of the woodwork. You just have to ask yourself how any lure could be advertised so extensively and be so rare?
I had no more than submitted this piece when what comes walking through the door at the NW Ohio Meet on 19 Feb than the only example of this lure anyone at the show had ever seen. I always assumed looking at the ad that the tail just flapped along behind the bait. Wrong! The spinner on the front is fixed to a shaft running through the length of the body. As the spinner and shaft spin so does the large aluminum tail fixed to the back end of the shaft. With the tail attached to the shaft at an angle, I'm sure it causes the bait to wiggle as it is draw though the water. I also think that it could turn out to be the consummate line twister. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Funhouse

The Friday Funhouse

Video of the Week!

An ORCA member put this video up on YouTube, and it shows they don't make them like they used to!

Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This is one of the great cross-collectables: the Ted Williams #400 spinning reel in the box.

I really like this Western Auto automatic fly reel in the box.

This is a nice Bite-em-Bait Co. Water Mole.

This is a nifty 1935 Bristol catalog containing Edwards fly rods.

Big game tackle is always rare, but how many of these Edward vom Hofe fighting belts have survived?

This is a phenomenal Ed. vom Hofe 6/0 reel.

Ah yes, the Jersey Expert. Rare as a hen's tooth.

A Heddon #100 in Green Crackle Back in a wooden slide top box? Oh my.

This Heddon display board of Toni spinners has attracted a lot of bidding attention.

North Channel Minnows are nifty baits, especially in the box.

The Creek Chub Wiggler intro box is a super find.

Holy moley is this a rare Bagley DB3!

Lots of nice miscellaneous lures in boxes this week, including this Charmer.

A Mother of Pearl Lemax lure has become very, very popular.

As a Fluted Fanatic, I find this Winchester fluted in the box a super find.

The Pink Princess is always popular.

A Moonlight Ladybug Wiggler is always a nifty lure.

As always, be good to each other and yourself this weekend.

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday Review: Dean Smith's Tackle Treasures Web Site

Thursday Review: Dean Smith's Tackle Treasures Web Site

Here's a super cool new web site from a veteran collector. Dean Smith's new "Tackle Treasures" web site deals with what he calls "smalls" -- those "gizmos, gadgets, doohickeys and paraphernalia" that we all find in the bottom of tackle boxes. And it's about time someone put together a site about these! They are awesomely cool and offer a collector everything they could possibly want, from easy to find to nearly impossible to locate.

The web site is very attractively designed and easy to navigate. It includes sections on bottles, tins, gadgets, vises, favorites, miscellaneous, and links to other sites. Of these my personal favorite is the section on vintage vises. I mean, when's the last time you've seen a collection of these? And yet they've been around since the beginning of modern angling.

Commercial vise from Dean's web site.

This is a great web site that contains lots of things you simply won't find anywhere else. Dean is an extremely knowledgeable collector and his contribution to the corpus of fishing history knowledge is great. Bookmark the site and visit it regularly and you'll get a graduate school education in "smalls."

Tackle Treasures can be found Clicking Here or by clicking the link to the right.

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Florida FATC Travelogue

The Florida FATC Travelogue

The past weekend I attended my first Daytona FATC show. Usually teaching keeps me away from trips like this, but I was able to get away from the awful weather we've been having of late here. The first picture was taken the Monday before I left.

My dog Gandhi loves the bad weather--me? Not too much.

Driving along with my friend Steve Lumpkin made the time fly by, although I must admit I was a bit surprised by the I-40 debacle in North Carolina. I did not know there had been a major rock slide that had closed the road. Despite our detour along the picturesque French Broad river, we made our destination on Thursday afternoon. We were delighted to find we had somehow lucked into the penthouse sweet (14th floor). Here is a picture from our balcony.

Ah, you have to love the Florida weather, even if it never got above 70.

The first person I met was none other than Joe Yates. We had a great talk and I was able to spend the rest of the evening "room trading" -- although most of my time was spent conversing with friends old and new. It was terrific talking to Johnny Garland, Bill Stuart, Dan Basore, Dick Braun, Norm Pinardi, Joe Hilko, Ed Pritchard, Ralph Hecht, and of course the infamous Chris "Buzz" Labuznik. We went to bed late and very tired.

The next morning was a whirlwind as set up was a breeze. The FATC surely knows how to run a show like clockwork. Friday is the FATC only crowd, but you would not have known it. The show attracts a huge number of people from across the globe. Even the Brits showed up.

Tackle dealers abounded.

We were fortunate that the FATC gave ORCA their own block, so all of the ORCANs were set up by each other. Roger Schulz, Terry Ow, Andy Foster, Steve Knier, Steve Lumpkin, Dan Marini, Henry Caldwell, Ed Pritchard, and others were all within spitting distance. A few ORCAns like Ed Slane and Dick Braun were sprinkled elsewhere. We estimated 45 ORCA members were in attendance.

Roger set up the ORCA display.

ORCA member Ed Slane brought his great Vom Hofe display.

Captain Dan Marini's nifty accumulation of classic reels.

Fellow Golden Gopher alum Steve Kneir posing with his great classic reel display.

Close up of part of Steve's display.

Henry Caldwell is the King of all he surveys!

Friday was a hugely busy day and when we left the show floor near six o'clock to take dinner with Chris Labuz and his son, we were all exhausted. It was good to see Chris' son James, who I introduced along with Nick Comjean to the joys of Plants vs. Zombies on my iPod Touch.

Dawn broke the next morning and we were ready for the second (and sadly, last) day of the show.

An early morning photo showing the beautiful beach.

This show is big. I can't express to anyone who hasn't been here just how big it is. Second only to the NFLCC Nationals in size, it is almost impossible to take it all in over one day.

A shot showing the many tables in the second room.

There were so many great displays and Joe Yates has already posted photos of many of them. Here are just a couple of my favorites.

An excellent display of Heddon's Natural Scale.

A great display of Charlie Tanner showing scalers.

Rick Osterholt had an incredible Shur Strike display.

My favorite display was Ralph Hecht's fly rod displays -- here his lovely wife stands behind these incredible shadow boxes.

Saturday, noted outdoor writer Bill Baab came down for a book signing for his new book Remembering George W. Perry about the world record bass caught in 1932. Bill brought down the actual replica mount that used to hang in George Perry's office. Over a hundred people came by to have their picture taken with this incredible fish and meet the author. A great time was had by all.

Steve Lumpkin poses with the massive fish.

Me and Bill with the fish that launched a billion casts.

Sadly, our fun came to an end on Saturday at four, when we had to break down and hit the road. But I won't soon forget what an incredible time I had down in Florida, and can't wait to return!

Many thanks to Larry Lucas and the volunteers for such an incredible show. It was a true blast!

-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Voices from the Past: Arthur L. Reynolds (1920)

Here is a little nostalgic poem by Arthur Reynolds and published in Fur News for April 1920. It's a bit dated (references to Prohibition) but I think it still evokes what the author intended.


by Arthur L. Reynolds (York Co., Pa.)

I b'lieve I'd like to tell a bit o' my boyhood fishin' days,
When the country warn't thickly settled an' folks had their own ways,
Fer it might be interestin' like to look back on days o' yore,
Times warn't 'tall like now, boys, 'specially since the war.
There war no Sahara periods, fer men drank the real ol' stuff;
Our national anthem warn't "How dry we are," an' money warn't everybody's bluff.
But I didn't start ter tell yo' 'bout the present, an' what's wrong an' right,
I just wanter ter say a bit about the place where the sunfish uster bite.

On the banks o' the Conewago war the good ol' sunfish place;
'Twas thar the sunnies bit so well we boys uster fish fer race.
Why man they bit so gosh ding fast yo' could scassly bait er hook,
The little cork bobber kept dancin' erbout and yo' couldn't help but look;
An' when ther "sunnies" war bitin' right, yer cork would do the trick,
Yo' knew you were sure to ketch 'em fer sunfish allers stick.
I'll tell yo' boys, it sure war sport, fer they bit with pep an' might.
An' we took many a string o' the beauties home,
Where the sunfish uster bite.

An' when I meditate an' think of it all, lookin' on things as they uster be,
Thinking where all my ol' companions air, and when our hearts from care war free,
I'd give my whole blame huntin' kit, fancy fishin' tackle, an' "flivver,"
If we war all jist kids agin on the banks o' the dear ol' river.
I can't fergit my ol' boyhood pards, an' ther grand ol' swimmin' hole;
The water soaked ol' flat boat we maneuvered with er pole;
'Twar thar I first heard crickets chirp, an' the bull frogs roared all night,
Is it any wonder I wish I war back where the sunfish uster bite.

-- Dr. Todd

The Myth of the Giant Man-Eating Catfish

The Myth of the Giant Man-Eating Catfish

Occasionally I get emails from friends like the following one:

For all those crazy guys who go 'noodling' for catfish and stick their arms down the fish's throat!! This would be 'all the catfish you can eat',

Each year, a few people were drowning or disappearing mysteriously in Huadu's Furong Reservoir.  It was not until recently, when the son of a government official went swimming, in the reservoir and was drowned, that the secret was revealed.

It is a 3 meter (9.8ft)  long man-eating catfish whose head alone is 1 meter (3.3ft) wide!

After cutting up the catfish, people were surprised to find the remains of another man inside!  

Swimming in the reservoir is now forbidden because it is feared another similar man-eating catfish is still lurking in the waters.

Well, these kinds of emails go around a lot and they are a ton of fun, but they have little basis in fact. The first thing wrong with this photo is that it is not a catfish, but a whale shark that is pictured. Second thing is that the whale shark is an exclusively saltwater fish. Third is that although the whale shark is the largest fish in the world, it is strictly a vegetarian.

The great web site Snopes says that this chain of pictures and story first started circulating in 2007.

There ARE huge catfish in Asia and it is possible (however unlikely) that one may have eaten a human being at one time, but this has nothing to do with anything other than a badly misidentified fish.

The moral of this story: don't believe everything you read, especially in a mass email!

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, February 22, 2010

News of the Week: 22 February 2010

KVD is king of the fishing world for a third time...Stan Bogdan may not be retiring...walleye pro Jon Tennessen on the hot seat...wet your line this winter...honeymooning at the Bassmaster Classic?...Shimano is looking good...Leeds man invents fishing gadget....37 years of fishing wisdom...Aussie surf caster saves woman's life...Iaconelli = Molinix...British angling show beats reality show sleaze in ratings...what's the big deal about lead bans?...a massive 36 pound 6 ounce pike is must be THE NEWS OF THE WEEK!

The Big Lead: Kevin van Dam wins his third Bassmaster Classic.

Fishing in...freezing Florida?

UPDATE: Spinoza Rods reports that Stan Bogdan may NOT be retiring after all.

20 Questions with walleye pro Jon Tennessen.

Another plea to NOT throw your discarded tackle into the lake.

Winter is a fine time to go and wet some lines.

Bass-crazy newlyweds honeymoon at Bassmaster Classic.

The future for Shimano is looking very bright.

A Leeds man invents a new fishing gadget.

A list of fishing lessons from 37 years of angling.

An Aussie surf angler saves a woman's life with a fishing rod...

When fishing metaphors invade concert reviews the results are, well, interesting.

The New York Times reports on bass fisherman Taka Omori.

Hey! Why not build a fishing rod during the cold winter evenings.

A pair of Australian wagtails nest on a fishing rod.

A bio of Padre Island legend Bill Sandifer.

Coldwater fishing trips for Florida waters.

Ice fishing is BOOMING in Wisconsin.

Ice fishing contest breaks records.

Mike Iaconelli signs on to promote Molix spinners.

A British angling show beats trashy reality show starring Katie Price.

Field & Stream's John Merwin asks, what's the big deal about lead bans?

Finishing With a Flourish: Chew Valley angler boats 36 pound 6 ounce pike.

-- Dr. Todd