Saturday, June 30, 2012

Deconstructing Old Ads: "Spinning” - “Slip-Cast” - “Spincast” (1948)

"Spinning” - “Slip-Cast” - “Spincast”

From the pages of the January 1948 issue of Outdoor Life comes this advertisement for the “new Ashaway Slip-Cast Reel.” To today's angler the Ashaway Slip-Cast reel looks at first glance like an open face spinning reel that has been mounted upside down on a bait casting rod. Close observation will show that once the bail was opened the line was controlled by use of a lever pushed by one's thumb which raised (“teeter-toter” fashion) a mechanical finger to block or release line from the spool.

In many ways this reel was the predecessor of so-called “spincast” reels that were closed faced and sat upright on older bait casting rods. The whole idea of “spinning” as a fishing method was so new at this time that many folks just didn't know what to make of it. Magazines contained regular articles and many books were published explaining “spinning” to the public as if it were too mysterious for the average person to figure out it on their own. The Term “slip-cast fishing” was occasionally used by fishing writers of the day along with term “thread-line fishing.” I am unaware of any tackle company using the “Slip Cast” nomenclature other than Ashaway.

The portion of this ad entitled ”NOTE THESE FEATURES” alludes to two aspects of the arrival of spinning that seem lost in today's memory. The first is the feature “right hand” crank. Unless you were there, it is hard to impress on today's fisherman just how foreign the left hand crank on most spinning reels seemed to those of us who grew up with the standard bait casting reel. Ashaway was obviously trying to cash in on this prejudice among older fishermen. It also points out that the reel is “mounted on top of the rod” where it had always been and where many baitcasters felt that it still belonged. This feature also meant that it would work on that bait casting rod which Ashaway presumed you already owned.

Ashaway was of course, a line company first and foremost. One of the problems with the early use of spinning reels was that braided line was the only option until monofilament (of an acceptable quality) became available. Most lines that were used for “spinning” at that time were thin braided nylon that usually tested somewhere between 4 and 8 pounds. The following pictures show two seemingly identical spools of 5 pound test line. I cannot detect the slightest difference in the line itself, but when we look on the other side of the spools, one is labeled “Slip-Casting Line for use on Slip-Casting reels” and the other is labeled “Spinning Line for use on Spinning Reels.”

Both these spools were shown in the 1951 catalog (compliments of John Etchieson). Only braided "spinning" line is listed in 1955. My thoughts are that this was an attempt to corner the “Slip-Cast” market while also selling to those who chose “spinning” reels. Eventually Ashaway deferred to the term “spinning” when it became obvious that would be the name which was, in the end, accepted by the fishing public.

-- Bill Sonnett

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Friday Funhouse

Video of the Week

Check out this MONSTER brown caught and released in the White River of Arkansas! (Thanks to Jimmy Pettis for sending this in).

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

The Vacuum Bait in the box isn't as cool as the ones in the tin, but are still cool!

This is one odd Julius vom Hofe fishing reel.

Should have bought a lot of this Ernie Schweibert stuff when it went up for sale several years back!

A really neat CCBC Wood Beetle is a superb lure in silver flash.

Blue Shore minnow is rare, especially on torpedo spooks!

You don't see this Hendryx Aluminum fly reel with anti-foul ring often!

Anyone know anything about these Australian Clasmi reels?

Instant Collection Alert: 16 Al Foss lures in boxes.

These CCBC Pickeral Pikies are really cool.

A Heddon Crazy Crawler 2100 in Yellow Shore is uncommon at best.

Checkerboard Heddon Hi-Tails make this a winner of a week.

Break out the wallet if you want this Mitchell Collector's Guide.

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

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday Review: ORCA Reel News (July 2012)

Thursday Review: ORCA Reel News (July 2012)

I always look forward to the coming of ORCA's Reel News, and this issue (July 2012) was full of interesting articles.

The feature article this issue was Bill Sonnett's "The Joys of Using Antique FIshing Tackle" which is, as far as I'm concerned, the best primer on using antique gear you will find. As we are currently running a Vintage Tackle Contest here on the blog, which you can read about by clicking here, this kind of article is always of great interest to me.

Michael Hackney gives us another of his analysis of early reels with "The Orvis 1874 Patented Fly Reel." It looks at the groundbreaking and very rare ventilated spool fly reel invented by Manchester's legendary Charles Orvis.

Michael Cacioppo continues his analysis of Penn Reels with "The Penn Sea Hawk." It details this popular Penn surf reel.

Jim Schottenham gives us the Auction Report, which covers all the gems sold on eBay over the past two months. Lots of great reels of late!

My own contribution this issue was a detailed history of Sportmaster fishing reels. Sportmaster was a name used by Supplee-Biddle Hardware and cooperatively applied to fishing tackle sold by a loose confederation of hardware companies.

Bob Miller gives us a great piece on Pflueger reels. "7 Decades of the Pflueger Reel: 1940-1949" details the war years for the Enterprise Manufacturing Company. Very cool stuff as usual!

Ben Wright gives us the skinny on the Orvis 100 Italian made reels, and the Spinning Reel Report which originally is published on this web site finally makes it way into the pages of the Reel News.

Finally, Stu Lawson writes on transitional Pflueger Medalist fly reels. They are very cool, and Stu has some neat stories behind one of them.

All in all, it was a great issue very much covering the many attributes that ORCA has going for it -- there was a reel for every taste in these pages!

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ben Wright's Spinning Reel Report (June 2012)

JUNE 2012
Featured Reels:
Listed as a not correct Black Turned into all chrome never made Zebco spin cast model 33 E+WB with a buy-it-now price of $10,000.00
after reading the full description this was listed by our Zebco spin cast expert Dick Braun. it was listed to educate people on some of the diffrerent versions of the model 33's.
but I did hear thru the grape vine that he would accept a few bottles of FINE WINE in trade for his reel !!!
A new record is set for a Zebco spin cast reel. a Red Rhino NIB sold @ $402.00
this reel was one of 300 made on Feb. 2, 2001
they were the last reels made at their plant in Tulsa, OK.
you had to be at the plant that day to get one of these reels,
they each came with a certificate of authenticity with your name on it.
A Cedar Seamartin exc- sold @ 1,604.61
Were some of the following reels priced a bit high with their starting price or buy-it-now price??

here is a random list, all with NO-BIDS !!!!
American Classic 1V like new @ 485.77
Heddon 284 nib @ 124.99
Daiwa 7850RL nib @ 124.99
Alcedo micron bent leg nib @ 450.00
Dam Quick Finessa paint wear @ 499.99
Shakespeare 2065 cut-a-way ss exc @ 599.00
Alcedo Mark V nib @ 975.00
and last how about a Johnson Pink Princess Like new w/box @ ONLY 3,000.00.
Abu Cardinals:
33 repro nib @ 256.51
4X nib @ 345.41
66 second version e+wb @ 377.41 wow
Dam Quick:
220 nib @ 82.00
Junior red ewb @ 122.00
110 nib @ 151.51
L Aiglon exc- @ 482.92
Mepps Super Meca red exc @ 224.72
Alcedo 2C/S medallion marked 2C/S exc @ 95.22
Orvis 50A ewb @ 275.00
Rare Nettuno P10 CF exc @ only 86.76
330 Quartz gold like new w/box @ 299.05
Browning 306s nmwb @ 145.00
308 pro nib @ 411.76
wonder cast 1795cf nmwb @ 58.99
2091 nib @ 102.50
South Bend:
730 nib @42.00 why
820 nib @ 37.95
870 nib @ 9.99
Recordette 21 black nib @ 86.00
Blasi Blue Flash filled foot @ 88.00
Marine record 500 nib @ 81.00
Zebco Cardinals:
3 second version like new @ 172.51
6 first version nib @ 137.50
Other Reels:
Fin-Nor no 3 like new @ 406.00
American Classic 1V like new @ 240.00
Merit by Stalder exc- @ 355.00
H-I turn-n-spin exc @ 38.00
rare Rado exc- @ 152.50
spin chief 150 ewb @ 46.00
FAKE malloch 4" marked Harlow @146.34
last was a lot of reels , a Asaway, zebco cardinal 4, two Langley spin deluxe, a penn 710 and TWO SUPER RARE Corland reels per seller all are well used they sold @ 412.77
somebody got a great deal !!!

-- Ben

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Voices from the Past: The Landing Net (1916)

You don't hear much about landing net history, so I thought I'd give a little insight into early angling attitudes towards this utilitarian fisherman's tool. It comes from the article "Your Fly Outfit -- How to Choose It" printed in the ubiquitous The Saturday Evening Post for July 22, 1916.

The other day in a sporting goods store a few of us were talking over the question of landing nets. We agreed that the landing net of commerce, as such—the wide-bowed, short-handled net, with the rubber cord to go over your shoulder—was about as useless a contrivance as could be found. So then and there I invented a landing net. It is not patented and any maker who cares to do so may produce it.

Almost any angler has found that about as good a landing net as you need can be made out of a piece of telegraph wire. Just bend the bow to suit yourself, twist the two free ends together for the handle of the net, and wrap it round with cord. Such a net bow will not break in use or in transportation. It will sink if it falls in the water, will fold up and go into a pocket, and in general is quite practical. The usual trouble about a landing net is that you cannot pack it very easily. Next to your trout creel it is about the hardest thing to carry.

We contrived our landing net in this instance out of a piece of brass wire. We made the bow not round, but a long and gentle oval, so narrow that you could put the net into the side pocket of a shooting coat. The ends we brought back and brazed together, the two wires that made the handle being an inch or so apart. At the base of the bow a little cross-piece was brazed in. We therefore had a neat and compact net with a handle about as long as your hand. The total length of the net was from the middle of your upper arm to the end of your middle finger. Of course it was intended only for a wading net.

Now, one feature of this net is worth remembering. We did not put any rubber cord or cord of any kind on it—that is a nuisance. If you carry your net on a rubber cord it is always hanging round your feet when you wade and catching in the bushes when you walk. No net ought to be carried at your side.

For our net we used a little leather loop, attached not at the end of the handle but at the opposite end of the net. This little loop goes over a button fastened at the back of your neck on a coat, waistcoat or shirton in a moment. Thus the net hangs down the middle of the back, entirely out of the way of the fly when casting, and it never snags up in the bushes when you walk through. It is just as obtainable as when carried on a cord and is far less trouble.

One of the most practical nets for use where you need a longer handle than when wading for trout was invented by a friend of mine some years ago for use on his own private trout stream. Here the banks were high, and a short-handled net would not reach the fish. This was a metal-bowed affair with a telescopic handle made of small brass tubing. This net was arranged with a loop, as I have above described, and was the first one thus equipped that I ever saw. The angler carried his net at the back of his neck until he needed it; then with one hand he released it, put the end of the bow on the ground, put his foot into the bow and gave a pull on the handle, which had three joints. This caused it to expand into about three or four feet. Thus one could reach a trout at a considerable distance, and yet the net itself was never in the way when not in use.

Another friend of mine carries somewhat the same sort of landing net which you may see in use on some of the bolder streams of England or Scotland. It is a round, flat-metal bow, which screws into the head of a bamboo staff about five feet in length. The lower part of this staff is shod with a spike. In some of the heavy streams of lower Michigan, such as the Pere Marquette, and perhaps in other parts of the country, anglers carry these shod staffs for assistance and protection in wading. The net is held under the left arm, and one soon gets used to its presence there. When you are wading waist-deep or in heavy water this sort of net is better than the short-handled one. It is then, if ever, that the automatic reel is desirable or tolerable-a great many friends of mine disapprove of the fact that I do not like anything automatic in sport. Certainly they can put up a very strong argument for the automatic shotgun, the automatic reel or the many-ganged artificial minnow, and all of these things have, no doubt, come to stay because of their efliciency. If you have bad water to fish in, this long-handled, spikeshod landing net is a mighty good thing to have along.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, June 25, 2012

Breaking News: Our Uncle Homer Has Passed Away

Such incredibly sad news. Homer Circle--everyone's Uncle Homer--has passed away.. I got to know Homer through his best friend Glen Lau, but admired him literally my entire life. Horribly sad news, but he lived a long life filled with bass and friends. My sincere condolences to his friends and family.

-- Dr. Todd

News of the Week: 25 June 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!

THE MONDAY 10: The Ten Fishing Stories of the Week You Need to Know

Normark co-founder Ray Ostrom has passed…Texas angler lands massive alligator gar…carp make for a tough fight…Eagle Claw has a new web site…a new MirrOlure…NFLCC member Larry Sundall gives big presentation…Fishing an indoor swimming pool…Oscar Goodman, former Las Vegas mayor, is an angler…Why 2 bills are bad for anglers…Plano acquires Frabill…it must be THE NEWS OF THE WEEK!

The Big Lead: Sad news--Normark co-founder Ray Ostrom has passed away. Plus a nifty history of Rapala.

Why carp make for a tough fight.

Fishing an indoor swimming pool.

Oscar Goodman, former Las Vegas mayor, is an angler of sorts.

Just in time for Steve Lumpkin's history of L&S, a new MirrOlure!

Texas angler lands massive Alligator Gar.

Check out Eagle Claw's new web site.

Why 2 bills are bad for anglers

NFLCC member Larry Sundall gives big presentation.

Finishing with a FLourish: In big tackle box news, Plano acquires Frabill.

-- Dr. Todd

Sunday, June 24, 2012

1000 Words

1000 Words

This week in 1000 words we get a photo of a famous basketball player and angler, Chuck Taylor. Famous for his Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star shoes, which once helped Converse to hold 80% of the tennis shoe market, he made no commission on the over 600 million copies of the shoes sold bearing his name. Here he is with a stringer of fish in Florida ca. 1950.

-- Dr. Todd

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Deconstructing Old Ads: Payson's Automatic Weed Guard, Hook & Sinker (1894)

Payson's Automatic Weed Guard, Hook & Sinker

30 years ago it was not unusual to find tackle boxes from the turn of the last century. They were usually small, made from tin and finished with black or green lacquer. There weren't that many people out there looking for them and much of the stuff in those boxes just wasn't that attractive to the average person. The more shiny, colorful baits of the 1920s were plentiful (due to good economic times during that decade) and they more often caught the eye of collectors.

Most Bass fishing before 1910 was done with live bait and there were all sorts of frog and minnow harnesses as well as weedless hooks that sometimes defied explanation as to how they were to be used. One of these was the “Payson Automatic Weed Guard, Hook & Sinker.” After I found a few of these well made pieces, I could not figure out how they were suppose to function. Luckily, the “Payson” was often advertised in magazines of the day with an illustration, otherwise I'd still be scratching my head. The ad presented here (top) for the “Payson” hook is from the 1895 William Mills & Son Catalog. The ad below is from the May 1893 American Angler magazine and likely is the introductory advertisement, as it is marked "Patent Applied For" and not "Patent Pending."

Ad from the May 1893 American Angler magazine.

Even after seeing this ad and reading that it was suppose to be a weedless feature, I still could not picture how the thing was suppose to work as the weight of the weedless device was so heavy that the hook would ride through the water with that device on the underside and thus free to swing down away from the hook. This is another case where I should have read the ad more carefully and saved myself several years of head scratching. The heavy, well made weedless arm was suppose to act as both a weed guard when dragging the bait over an obstacle and as a sinker to aid in casting and getting the bait down. Judging from the size of the hooks, some very big bait was involved! Contained in the ad is the statement that the Payson "lures by form, color and ocillation."  "Ocillation" sounded to me like a wiggling action. I decided to test this out and took a few casts with several Paysons off the dock in clear water. The hooks with the "shoe horn" shaped weedguard (as shown in the ad) wiggled in somewhat the same fashion as a Johnson Silver minnow if reeled at the right speed. The correct speed proved to have a fairly narrow range and the whole affair tended to spin if reeled a bit too fast. The hooks with the wider weedguard, with the oval shaped hole, did not wiggle but they also did not spin when reeled at high speed. Make of these results what you will, but remember the wooden “wigglers” and the “wobblers” were still 20 years off in the future when the “Payson” was patented in January of 1894.

There are at least a dozen or more sizes and variations to the “Payson.” The following pictures show a small sample of “Payson” hooks and how the hinged arm swings down. These are quite heavy for their size and (as the ad predicts) cast easily into a stiff wind.

One more thing--I wish when we found those early tackle boxes we had left them and their associated artifacts together as a unit. They were a view into the past that cannot be reconstructed. Alas -- those tackle boxes were broken up and the contents made their way into various collections. Much of the small incidental stuff did not seem that important at the time and has been lost. I recall one tackle box which did not have anything in it made after 1904 and that included a tin of chewing tobacco with a 1902 revenue stamp on it. How I wish I had left that box as it was found. Hind sight is a belated teacher.
-- Older and Wiser Bill

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

This is a neat IGFA video of marlin on the fly, featuring Doc Robinson.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This is a nice set of Le Lure Musky Creepers.

You don't often see these Alcedo V reels for sale.

Fred Thomas was the most underrated rodmaker of his generation.

This Louis Rhead fly rod frog is a rare bird indeed!

A CCBC Gar Minnow in the box is a nice find.

Who wouldn't want this Meek #3 in the box?

An early Heddon in the white pasteboard box is a neat combo.

Creek Chub Wee Dees are bizarre lures.

Trade minnows are the best, especially these Kingfisher Tryon ones.

Oh man do I love this Bagley B3 in 070!

A Prescott Minnow store displa is a rare find.

As always, have a safe and DRY weekend and be nice to each other, and yourself!

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Great Duluth (MN) Flood of 2012

The Great Duluth (MN) Flood of 2012

Well, I had planned on having a lot of new content (read: fish pics) for the blog today, but the worst rain I have ever seen has thrown a wrench in the plans. The picture below was taken out my friend's car window at 12:30 am on June 20th -- it shows Superior Street in Duluth under two feet of water. It was the worst driving I've ever seen. Every street coming down the hill was at least a foot deep in water. My friend's Audi S6 V10 got so much water underneath it, it sheared off the protective plate under the carriage.

So while we "dig out" so to speak, we'll be a bit delayed on the blog.

God bless everyone (including the animals at the Duluth Zoo) affected by the terrible weather.

-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Voices from the Past: Japanese Eel Fishing Tackle (1901)

My recent article on Japanese imported fishing tackle was quite a hit, and I heard from a lot of collectors who like old Japanese fishing tackle. Below is a piece I had to cut for length reasons on Japanese eel fishing tackle. It's from the 1901 Congressional Report.

Sand-eel fishing gear.—In pursuing the fishery for sand eels a device attached to a hand line is used, a sample of which was exhibited (fig. 304). The object of this is to frighten the fish, and the wooden "scarer" is the chief feature of the gear. This is an oval-shaped piece of wood, 10 1/2" inches long by 3 14" inches wide, fastened to the line by a swivel hook. One side is painted black and the other is the natural color of the wood. It has a piece of abalone shell set into each side.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, June 18, 2012

News of the Week: 18 June 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!

Reel time trivia..what's in your small tackle box?…so you want to be a pro angler?…a Lolo man finds the lunchers…one man admits he's crazy for carp…Arlington man is a pro rod maker…Lefty Kreh answers your questions…dad reels in lessons for daughters…Oswego's trophy mill…pro bassin's family man…it must be THE NEWS OF THE WEEK!

THE MONDAY 10: The Ten Fishing Stories of the Week You Need to Know

The Big Lead: Reel time trivia so put on your fishing thinking cap.

If you were to carry only a small tackle box, what would be in it?

So you want to be a professional angler?

A Lolo man who finds the lunkers.

One man admits -- he's crazy for carp.

Arlington man gives custom rods a personal touch.

Another Q&A with Lefty Kreh .

Dad reels in life lessons for daughters.

Oswego County's trophy fishing mill.

Finishing with a Flourish: Pro Bassin's unlikely family man.

-- Dr. Todd