Saturday, September 17, 2011

Deconstructing Old Ads: The Wilson Six-in-One Wobbler (1916)

The Wilson Six-in One Wobbler

This ad for the “The New One for 1916” appears is the May 1916 issue of National Sportsman magazine. The Six-in-One Wobbler is not a common bait. I noticed that this ad gives a price for all the other “Wobblers” in the Wilson line but not for this new addition. This makes me think that it cost a bit more due to the amount of hardware on the bait. After reading the following 1919 review of this bait by Dixie Carrol, who normally touted everything as the greatest yet invented, there may have been a problem actually catching fish on this thing. Fishing lures and restaurants are best advertised by positive word of mouth and negative experiences relayed to friends usually stop sales in their tracks:

"The Six-in-One Wobbler has an adjustable visor that can be moved to regulate the diving depth and make the wobbler do anything from a surface crawl to as deep as a six foot underwater swim and the motion it takes is attractive to the Game fins. Of the whole outfit (Wilson Lures) however, I personally stack my chips on the white, red fluted wobbler, I am never without it on the fishing waters."

I have never found a Six-in One Wobbler that was in such poor shape that I could feel good about taking it fishing to see what it would do in the water. Some years ago my roommate at the National NFLCC Meeting learned a valuable lesson from a Six-in-One Wobbler. He had a nice one in his “For Sale” case for two days without a single inquiry or even a hard look by the many collectors visiting our open room. I asked him what he would take for it and he allowed as there seemed to be little interest in it, so he offered it to me at a good price. As I removed it from his case and placed it mine, I mentioned that often a lure sells faster when displayed on a background that highlights its color and commented that this one really looked good in my case. Not five minutes went by when a customer, leaning over my case, excitedly ask if the Six-in-One Wobbler was for sale. I must admit, for just a moment I was tempted to double the price I had just paid for it for no other reason than to see the look on my already somewhat stunned roommate's face! We still laugh about the incident and I still own the bait.

-- Bill Sonnett

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