Saturday, October 8, 2011

Deconstructing Old Ads: The CCBC Weed Frog (1927)

"An awkward bait with personality” -- Harold E. Smith

I really like Dr. Harold Smith's description of this bait. It has always been a tough bait to find but it is always in demand at lure shows. In many years of searching I've only come across two in the field. Contrast this with hundreds of South Bend Bass-Orenos, Creek Chub Pikies and Helin Flatfish. This bait is usually called the “Weed Bug” by most collectors but as you can see in this ad, Creek chub called it the “Weed Frog” when painted in the “frog” finish. This ad comes from the May 1927 issue of Sportsman's Digest and introduces the lure as brand new.

This bait appears to have been in production through 1935 and as Creek Chub collectors have noted, it underwent several changes in that period. This usually indicates that the thing wasn't working on the water exactly the way the folks at the Creek Chub Bait Company had envisioned. This was always a problem for wooden bait manufactures. A new bait worked fine when a mock-up was hand assembled, but when it started coming off the assembly line ---- performance left something to be desired. I have never found a Weed Frog or a Weed Bug that was in rough enough shape to give it a tryout in the water. It's ¾ oz weight would indicate easy casting, but with all its accoutrement plus an optional porkrind strip waving wildly about as the the bait flew through the air it must have presented the type of image we usually refer to as a “three-ring circus”. In searching hundreds of old articles on bass fishing, I have never seen a mention of this lure or a photo of it with the usual testimonial pile of bass. I suspect that sales, such as they were, were due to its obvious eye appeal rather than its reputation as a fish catcher.

-- Bill Sonnett

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