Saturday, February 26, 2011

Deconstructing Old Ads: The Dying Flutter and the Dying Quiver (1958)

The Dying Flutter and the Dying Quiver

Today's ad comes from the April 1958 issue of Fisherman magazine. It introduces the Heddon “Dying Flutter” and “Dying Quiver.” I was aware of the existence of these two baits in 1958 because an adult, who saw my strong interest in fishing at age 14, subscribed to this magazine for me. Also a neighbor had given me his copy of the 1958 Deluxe Heddon Catalog which I devoured on many evenings, dreaming of the day when I would actually be able to afford the many “killing baits” that were offered there. I never actually saw these two baits until many years later. Growing up in rural, northwest Ohio, my only source for plugs at that time was the local hardware store where choices were pretty much limited to River Runts, Flatfish, and Creek Chub Plunkers. When I started to attend lure shows in the mid 1980s it wasn't long before I got my first look at the real items. I had read an account by an author who really sang the praises of the Dying Flutter, but had not run into anyone who had actually used one.

These two baits were fairly common at the National NFLCC Meet about 15 years ago and could be picked up for $5 or less. On the second or third day of that meet, I stopped by my friend Ken Webb's table and as we were talking, I asked him if he had ever used ether of these two baits. Ken leaned forward and in his southern drawl proceeded to tell me that he had gone fishing in the bayous of Louisiana one morning and stopped in a small, backwoods Bait & Tackle store where, on a shelf, he saw one each of these two baits in dust covered boxes. “Bill,”he said, "I bought those two baits and had both of them taken away from me by bass before the end of the day!” That was all I needed to hear. I picked up a dying quiver with the intention of using it at first opportunity. My friend Ken passed away a few years later and the bait went unused and forgotten in the bottom of my tackle box for several years.
     I am a evening and night fisherman who likes surface plugs almost exclusively at that hour. About three years ago I was working a great spot at the end of the lake in a foot of water when I repeatedly had strikes from a nice bass who knocked my plug in the air and returned to his lair a few feet away among the lillypads. I waited a few minutes, changed baits, and the whole affair was repeated. In desperation I looked through the tackle box for something “different” --- something he had not seen before. There in the bottom of the box, partially covered by other items was the forgotten, white Dying Quiver. Remembering Ken's enthusiasm, I attached the bait to the line. Three things surprised me: how heavy the bait was and how well it cast; how it floated in a vertical position and reminded one of a bobber as it bobbed up and down: and the last surprise was the vicious attack by the heretofore cautious Bass that resulted in him being landed and released.

Thanks Ken.

-- Bill Sonnett

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