Over the course of the next year, we'll be detailing the history of 52 companies that sold branded fishing tackle. 52 trade houses in 52 weeks -- some obscure, some famous, and all available exclusively here on the Fishing for History Blog! If you have any items from the week's entry you'd like to share with us, please send it my way and I'll make sure it makes it on the blog.
For a discussion of what exactly trade tackle is, Click Here. Enjoy the 52 for 52!
A prominent post-war tackle company was the famed Jeros Tackle, first of Brooklyn, New York and later of Cataret, New Jersey. It was founded in the early 1930s by the Jeros family (Philip Jeros was still president in 1984) to manufacture trolling spinners and spoons suitable for saltwater angling. In the post-war era, the firm morphed into a major manufacturer of terminal tackle. This very early ca. 1950 Jeros Tackle saltwater rig is typical of the kind of gear that made Jeros Tackle famous.
As the company's profile expanded, they began to trade on their name by selling tackle manufactured by other companies. The first trade name the company used was simply their initials "J.T." This was used on a number of different items, including the following line spool:
In the early 1960s, Jeros launched a new line of tackle branded "Scotchline." This proved to be one of the most popular trade names used during this era, and as Gary Soucie wrote in 1994 "In the Northeast, JT or Scotchman brand rigs made by Jeros Tackle Company dominate the market."
The firm sold a ton of different kinds of tackle, ranging from lures to sinkers to hooks to sneers to nets to everything in between. The following is a small selection of items branded with the Scotchline name.
Rods were very popular items in the Jeros Tackle catalogs.
They also imported fishing reels including the following ones from Japan dating from the 1960s.
Jeros also appeared to have sold some tackle under the "Scotchman" name, including carded flies, which interestingly enough, were labeled "Scotchline" on their individual cards. Was this a printer's error?
The company is still in business (in New Jersey) and still selling a ton of products. I believe the Scotchline trade name is still being used. It's an interesting company with a ton of tackle out there to collect.
-- Dr. Todd