Saturday, May 19, 2012

Deconstructing Old Ads: Robert Page Lincoln: the Man and the Spoon (1938)

Robert Page Lincoln: the Man and the Spoon

From the 1938 Sports Afield Fishing Annual comes this ad for two “Famous Spoons” made by a company with the unlikely name of Superior Door Catch Company of Superior, Wisconsin. Most folks are familiar with the K-B Spoon as it was a long-time standard for trolling for Lake Trout. The Robert Page Lincoln Spoon is named after a fishing author who would have needed no introduction at the time of this ad.

Robert Page Lincoln started writing magazine articles as early as 1909 when he was in his late teens. There is not an outdoor magazine in the twenties, thirties and forties that at one time or another did not feature many of his articles on every aspect of freshwater fishing. He was in fact the Fishing Editor of several of the major magazines at various times. Robert Page Lincoln always seemed to have a bias toward Bass, Pike and Musky fishing when most writers in the days before World War II concentrated on trout.

In 1912 at the age of 21 he wrote a four part article on different aspects of Bass fishing in the May through August issues National Sportsman. His two most famous books are Black Bass Fishing (1952) and The Pike family (1953). Both were published at the very end of his life and contain a lifetime of experience. Black Bass Fishing is of interest to tackle historians as Mr Lincoln fished with many pioneers in the tackle industry and relates several stories concerning Fred Arbogast, Charles Stapf, Hank Werner and others. His book is a good account of developments in lines, rod materials,and other aspects of tackle evolution in the first half of the twentieth century. It also contain an appendix entitled,"Who's Who in Bass Fishing" which should be of great interest to anyone interested in Bass fishing history and tackle development.

In his books and articles, one was seldom left wanting more information as the amount of detail provided is astounding. An example would be the April 1952 article “The Porcine Attractors” in Fur-Fish-Game. It covers the use, history and manufacture of pork rind baits. It spans nine pages and leaves no stone unturned. With the sad state of today's “outdoor magazines” it is safe to say that any page of this article contains more print and facts than one is likely to see in most complete, present day articles .

If you like collecting old tackle, fishing with older tackle and approaching bass fishing from a more traditional, non-tournament direction, I highly recommend getting a copy of Black Bass Fishing as it is usually available for $5 on the used book market. I never pick it up that I don't learn something new.

Robert Page Lincoln on July 17th 1949

-- Bill Sonnett

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