Monday, April 30, 2012

News of the Week: 30 April 2012

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A love letter to an old fly rod…a nifty fishing tale…young anglers fishing…children build their own rods…one writer fishes with his cousin's rod…Louisiana Women in the Wild…rich and poor share the sport of fishing…turbines in the Indian River are bad…Lynx Fishing builds British jobs…the high tech of fly fishing…NOLA students get hooked on fishing…man dies trying to refuse fishing rods…it must be THE NEWS OF THE WEEK!

The Big Lead: Seabury Blair Jr. opines on his Peerless bamboo fly rod.

A nifty fishing tale.

Fishing with kids is a blast.

Children build their own fly rods.

One writer fishes with his cousin's fly rod.

2nd annual "Louisiana Women in the Wild" fishing basics workshop was held this past weekend.

Rich and poor share the sport of fishing.

Indian River inlet turbines are a very bad idea.

Lynx Fishing is creating British jobs.

Roach fishing is still popular.

Lucas Marine introduces new fishing reel oil.

The high tech of fly fishing.

NOLA students get hooked on fishing.

FIshing tourney allows blind anglers to experience the joys of fishing.

Finishing with a Flourish: Sad news--man drowns while trying to save his fishing rod.


-- Dr. Todd

Sunday, April 29, 2012

1000 Words

1000 Words

In this week's 1000 Words we get a great fishing photo from the 1920s of a gentleman identified as Joe Crawford. I checked Baseball Prospectus and can't find a major league player with this name; I suspect that it is a minor league uniform, and as the age of the gentleman appears to be above 40, perhaps he was a manager at that. It's still a cool photo...

-- Dr. Todd

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Deconstructing Old Ads: The Shur-Luk Manufacturing Corporation

The Shur-Luk Manufacturing Corporation

Most collectors of “Indiana Baits” are familiar with the Shur-Luk fly rod lures. However they come up for identification on “Joe's Board” and at lure shows often enough that this advertisement from the May 1947 issue of Sports Afield should help clear up some of the confusion. I really like this ad because it illustrates the three most common fly rod baits made by this somewhat obscure company. The “Mousey” and the “Froggie” are the two baits that I see most often and hear the question; “Who made these?”` The “Mousey” is sometimes mistakenly credited to the Isle Royale Bait Company. The Shur-Luk Mfg Corp. should not be confused with the Shure-Strike's - the Shure Bite's - or the Shur-Strikes. This can get confusing!

Knowing very little about this company's history, I asked David Budd, my lure show roommate of 20 years and Indiana bait "Guru" to give us a little history of the Shur-Luk Corporation and their baits. The following is from Dave and is about as good as it gets when it comes to the history of Shur-Luk. Dave writes:

"In the beginning the company's name was Lighter-N-Cork. The company was started by a man named Mack Shreve in the early 1920's. Shreve was a friend and business associate of Creek Chub Bait Company's founding partner, Carl Heinzerling. Mack Shreve's company made fly rod lure bodies for CCBC according to local legend. Shreve's operation was in his home at the corner of Houston and Randolph Streets in Garrett, one half  block from the CCBC factory. The house still stands today.

Lighter-N-Cork box w original Lighter-N-Cork shiners

Lighter-N-Cork papers.

While making bodies for CCBC, Mack Shreve started his own tackle company. He produced his Lighter-N-Cork minnows in 10 different colors and configurations. The Froggie and the Mousey soon followed. There is a lack of early advertising for Lighter-N-Cork. Very few examples of these baits have been found in original boxes. This operation continued until right before WWII. Sometime before the end of the war the company was sold to  George Walker Spear, a partner in the Allison-Faulkner Corp of Auburn Indiana . The Allison-Faulkner corporate business was primarily concerned with aviation and supplied items used by airports and aviators. George Spear had a daughter named Shirley. Mr. Faulkner of Allison-Faulkner had a son named Luke. Thus the Shur-Luk division of Allison-Faulkner Corporation was born using parts of both children's names and the lure manufacturing operation was moved to Auburn Indiana.

A business relationship continued between CCBC and the Shur-Luk Corp.  Advertising for Shur-Luk started showing up in 1946-1947. Their beautiful fly rod baits are commonly found on buff colored cards. The lures were packaged in boxes of 12 and also on counter cards.

Very rare box for i doz shur-Luk flyrod lures here

By 1952 the tackle industry was rapidly changing and Sur-Luk ceased production. George Spear died six years later. It is not known how long Allison-Faulker continued to exist."

Picture of color brochure of Shur-Luk baits.

Thanks Dave, that's a lot more than most of us knew about Shur-Luk.

-- Bill Sonnett

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

A neat 1950s sailfish fishing video.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This is an odd ball tournament casting reel hand made by Ora Berry.

Neat A&F reel made by Julius vom Hofe.

Wow. This Wilcox Wiggler is RARE.

A Garrison 212 is a historic rod of immense importance.

This is a unique Hardy dry fly bottle!

A Welch & Graves minnow tube is always delightful.

A CCBC Surface Dingbat in the box is a nice find.

Love these early CCBC Wigglers with hand painted gill marks.

A Leo Wise Wiggle Wobbler is a great hand made lure.

This is a neat Paw Paw pike in original box.

We finish off a Paw Paw-heavy week with the gorgeous Bullhead.

As always, have a great weekend, and be good to each other--and yourself.

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fishing Themed Magazine Covers, Part III

Well, I decided to do one last set of fishing themed magazine covers. The Westways magazine cover is one of my favorites!

Westways magazine (May, 1960).

1950 Ben Paris Fishing Guide (I just like this cover).

Woman's Day, April 1938.

Pep Comics, May 1948.

Movie Fun magazine from 1935 (Peter Dribben cover).

April 1943 Missouri College Farmer magazine.

March 28, 1931 Literary Digest.

May 1953 Popular Mechanics.

May 1950 Mechanix Illustrated

April 1933 American Magazine.

A classic Boy's Life cover.

Another classic Boy's Life cover.

-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The following article article from the Daily Kennebeck Journal dated 25 May 1916 and written by "Old Hunter" is a hilarious account of how to take care of a fishing rod. I thought it was charming and had more than a bit of truth to it.


A fishing rod is not of necessity a rod in length, on the contrary the most popular rods are not over ten feet long, the same as the popular "ton" of coal, which is a ton in name only. Rods are almost never sold by weight, often have I seen a fine maple rod, two inches thick at the butt and as full of life as a horizontal bar, sell for $2.79, while a four ounce split bamboo brings from $25 up, according to its lineage and your standing with Dunn & Bradstreet.

A real rod was never intended by Nature to be used as a weapon of offence or defense, and shortly after you have passed five eager minutes larrauping an inoffensive water-snake into a comatose state with your new $25 split bamboo, said rod has a pathetic way of looking up at you with just $25 worth of dumb reproach in its agate eyes that is saddening and chastening in the extreme to all true devotees of Ike Walton. Essaying to pry up a flat stone in search of bait has been the down-fall of many a fine rod, so unless you are connected with the sub-treasury, pass this practice up.

Respect the finer feelings of your rod, refrain from derricking large mud-turtles, muskrats, and lamprey eel with it, as all these aforementioned critters have a degenerative effect on a well-bred and cultured rod which is little short of ruinous. Bear in mind also that each individual style of rod is adapted to one function, that to use a four ounce fly rod as a means of propulsion for a quarter-pound bull-frog usually necessitates the immediate purchase of a new fly rod, and that many an industrious angler has lost his sole chance for ultimate redemption while essaying to cast a single fly up-wind with a stiff-backed bait rod.

'Ware eels, the average able-bodied eel can give any rod you ever saw more forms of infantile paralysis in less time than it takes a hungry young robin to devour two squirming feet of angle worm (which is a bit less than no time at all), than any other marine dweller on record. If you should hook your guide In the lobe of the ear with a Parmacheenee Belle while fly casting do not subject the rocd to any unnecessary strain, for if a pull of more than seven pounds is exerted the rod will be strained, and possibly the ear will give slightly. (in which case the guide may or may not take the trouble to notify your relatives), but try to avoid straining the rod by all means. In closing, the best rod in the world is one that you borrow from fried who owes you money, with this you may disregard all ordinary rules of caution, for if it breaks you can easily square yourself with your indebted friend, which you might have difficulty in doing otherwise.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, April 23, 2012

News of the Week: 23 April 2012

Don't have time to read 50+ fishing and tackle collecting blogs and web sites? Well, let us do it for you! Follow all of the latest news, articles, and stories on our Whitefishpress Twitter account! Hint: You don't need to be a member...just bookmark the Twitter Feed Page or click on latest links to the right!

A woman espouses on why she won't buy a pink fishing rod…record tuna is disallowed…Minnesotans rally for increase in license fees…whats the worst thing that's ever happened while fishing?…Joe Cermele has a new episode of Hot Shots…a discourse on bugs…big fish wins Potbelly contest…Trout hall-of-fame inducts Joan Wulff and Forrest Wood…Ted Williams' artifacts go up for sale…great pike by George!…fishing the River Tweed…it must be the NEWS OF THE WEEK!

The Big Lead: Lori Day and the Huffington Post gives us 10 reasons why she will not be buying a pink fishing rod .

A 427 pound Yellowfin will not be making the record books.

Minnesota is rallying for a hunting and fishing license INCREASE--and its led by Al Lindner.

What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you while fishing?

A special fly rod built to catch wild trout.

Joe Cermele has a new episode of Hot Shots.

A discourse on bugs.

Massive 6 pound 6 ounce rainbow tops Potbelly's Trout Fishing contest.

Former NBA star Keith van Horn is co-founder of the Lincoln Hills Fly Fishing Club.

Trout Hall-of-Fame inducts Joan Wulff and Forrest L. Wood.

House passes bill to preserve lead in New Jersey fishing.

Alnwick's Lynx Fishing is hiring 40 new workers.

Rapala is refinancing its bank debt.

One man's fishy miscalculations.

Great pike, by George!

Northland Tackle and Tackle Tamer become partners.

Finishing with a Flourish: Emma Kennedy goes fishing on the River Tweed.

-- Dr. Todd

Sunday, April 22, 2012

1000 Words

1000 Words

Gary Miller sends in a really great image of female fly fishers dating from around 1935. It's an iconic photo. I love it.

-- Dr. Todd

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Deconstructing Old Ads: My First Plug (1952)

My First “Plug”

Around 1952 or 1953 I was walking along the shore of Indian Lake in Ohio not far from my Grandfather's summer cottage looking for bobbers, dead fish, clam shells or anything else that would intrigue a young boy. My eyes suddenly came to rest on a bass plug lying in the gravel. I looked around and saw that there was no one anywhere along the shore of the lake. It was an area frequented by “bank fishermen” and it started to sink in that one of them had accidentally dropped the bait probably while rooting through his tackle box. I could not believe my good fortune as up to that time I had never actually owned a real fishing plug and had few prospects of owning one in the foreseeable future. The bait struck me as absolutely beautiful in shape and color. Some time later I noticed it had a name molded on it that was barely readable but definitely said “Bright Eyes.” That seemed pretty appropriate as the bait had two prominent eyes facing forward. When I place the bait in the water it had a nice enticing wiggle and looked for all the world like something a bass would love to eat.
No one in my family was a bass fisherman so there was little advice to be had as to how best to use the thing and get results. On and off for the next several years I would sling that plug off into the wide open waters of Indian Lake and watch its enticing wiggle as it swam back to shore. Not once in all those hours did I have hit or catch a fish. As a freshman in High School I read several articles in Outdoor Life and Sports Afield about how effective night fishing was for Largemouth Bass. One very black night I wandered down the shore not far from where I had originally found the bait and started to cast out into the darkness. After an hour or so of uneventful casting I made up my mind that I was not going to quit until I had caught something. I cast mindlessly into the dark thinking I was going to be successful if I had to cast into the next morning. After a while my brain was elsewhere and I was simply going through the motions of cast and retrieve when I felt a definite hit from a fish. I set the hook and felt a living thing tugging on my line. AT LAST!  I was going to catch a real bass! The fish came in a little quicker that I anticipated and in my excitement I heaved it up on shore. It was too dark to see my trophy and I scrambled to get my flash light turned on. In beam of the light with my prized plug in its mouth wiggled a large Bullhead------talk about a let down. I put the plug away and soon found myself mowing lawns and other odd jobs which allowed me to buy other, hopefully more effective, bass plugs.

Still mine after 60 years.

I still have that “Bright Eyes” these 60 years later. It hangs over my desk and still brings back memories of the day I found it and the treasure which it represented in my eyes as an eight year old. It all came back a few days ago when I came across the following ad for the P & K Bright Eyes in the March 1947 issue of Sports Afield. I'm hoping you have good memories of fishing as a youth and that you are inspired to take a boy or girl fishing and help create treasured memories for them.

-- Bill Sonnett