Saturday, June 18, 2011

Deconstructing Old Ads: Anybody out there seen a Blue Nobby? (1935)

Anybody out there seen a Blue Nobby?

When I first came across today's ad years ago, I was both relieved and puzzled. This advertisement appears on the first page of the January 1935 issue of Outdoor Life. I was relieved because I have always enjoyed using a Pflueger Nobby when fishing with vintage equipment but had suspected that it did not qualify as Pre-1940. This date is one of the the prerequisites for use in the annual “Old Time Fishing Tournament” held each year in Missouri. For a reel made in the mid 1930's it is light and perfectly at home casting 3/8 oz baits when equipped with a light action tubular steel rod from the same time period. Use of a 10 or 12 pound braided nylon line completes the outfit. (yes, before you ask, Nylon lines were first available in 1938). Being aluminum, it can be a bit noisier than heavier reels, but it is commonly available and inexpensive at most vintage tackle shows. One can shop around for a “quiet” one.

The part of this ad that puzzled me for years was the dark color shown on the reel in this ad. My first thought was that this must be the one of the red Nobbys I saw occasionally. A little research shot that down, as those were the “Deluxe Nobbys” introduced in 1957 as an even lighter version of an already light reel. It was not until the May 2003 issue of the ORCA Reel News arrived that this question was answered. Bob Miller is in my eyes “the expert” when it come to Pflueger reels and in this particular issue of Reel News Bob's monthly column on Pflueger reels covered the entire known history of the Pflueger Nobby. Seems that the Knobby was initially advertised in 1935 as having an anodized blue finish. Bob went on to say that there was no mention of a blue finish in 1936 or in later catalogs. He also allowed as he had never seen a blue Nobby or heard of one in anyone's collection.

So the question today is: "Anyone out there have a blue Pflueger Nobby?"

-- Bill Sonnett

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