Friday, August 31, 2012

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

An awesome video of my favorite angling club (and yes I am a member), the Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club.

Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club from mqcphoto on Vimeo.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This is an awesome Schmelzer Arms Co. Talbot made reel.

Holy J. Deally reels, Batman!

Instant Collection Alert: Buck Perry Spoon Plugs!

Love these Immell Chippewa lures.

This Vann Clay Retrievable Minnow is a stunner.

These Coxe Invaders are just super popular.

Love this Paw Paw Caster bait.

Who wouldn't love this Heddon #150 in the box?

An Arbogast Tin Liz Sunfish is one of the most beautiful baits ever.

A 1914 Shakespeare Universal in the box, is incredible.

This South Bend musky bait is a rare lure.

An Edward vom Hofe reel box is rarer than a hen's tooth.

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

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ben Wright's Spinning Reel Report (August 2012)




Record Prices:
A Zebco Omege 181 CF spin cast rod and reel combo limited edition was number 74 of 77 made in like new condition SOLD @ 3,000.00 after one bid HOLY COW !!!

An Abu cardinal 3 re-issue re-pro nib sold @ 511.20

an Alcedo Micron Settanta ewb sold @ 1.501.00

an Orvis 75A exc w/leather case sold @ 410.00

a Penn 706 e+wb w/light wear on handle knob sold @ 778.88 WOW

a Pflueger Free Speed 1000 ewb sold @ 338.33 holy cow

and a Bronson/TT Proffseeional 66L SCF rod and reel como
exc+ sold @ 355.00

A Bradco 54 nib @ 22.34
a Ofmer 903 exc @ 9.99
rare first version Bache Brown Airex Mastereel exc @70.00
and a rare second version Zebco Cardinal 4 exc+ @ 54.99

3 re-issue repro nib @ 406.00
52 nib @ 228.49
54 nib @ 213.00
other Abu
888 exc- @ 228.71
222 shiny black finish paint wear @ 170.38
225 exc- @170.37

Dam Quick:
Junior red ewb @ 92.71
1001 nib @ 162.53

Allock Silver Superb exc- @ 77.00
early walter Stanley exc- @ 260.85
Hardy Altex mk ! with turned up duckes foot exc- @ 678.52

Alcedo Micron BLACK first version exc- only @ 256.00
Alcedo 2002 nib @ 183.87
mignon 33 blue like new @ 203.51
mignon UL exc+ @ 154.50
55 mariner exc- @ 199.99

409 e+wb @ 299.88 wow
308 Prince nib @ 119.00
4th version exc- @ 127.50
810 nib @ 350.00
400 first version ewb @ 110.00
510 exc+ @ only 72.11
5540 RD like new @ 127.50

716 nib @ 167.00
9500SS like new @ 127.50

1000 free speed nib @ 42.01 refer to record prices !!!
same as above @ 61.00
same as above @ 63.00
Pelican 1020 ewb @ 60.55
Sea Star 1050 nib @ 107.50 wow

Zebco Cardinals:
3 second version exc @ 217.50
3 3rd version nib @ 385.00 holy cow
3 second version nib @ 245.45
same as above @ 357.00

Other Reels:
Airex Standard e-wb @ 66.00
Flo Line by Lou Meyers nib @ 113.50
Otco slip cast ewb @ 55.01
Arjon (Sweden) CF rare nib @ 166.98
Feurer Bro's 410 mastereel exc+ @ 75.00
Langley 870 nib @ 70.00
Topper Japan nib @ 90.99 wow
Fihf Telecaster nib @ 158.88
Record (SWISS) 5th version exc @ 52.02
and an Ocean city 310 FB nib @ 65.00

last from Mullocks UK July Auction--------------
Frikko slip cast w/friction drive exc @ 436.69
an uncataloged Malloch sidecaster 27/8" daim backplate
w/raised faceplate early version exc @ 1279.00
and another uncataloged malloch sidecaster 25/8" backplate w/triple casting line guide exc @ 1310.00
and an Allcock Otto exc @ 530.29
so what will fall bring ????

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Voices from the Past: The History of the O'Shaugnessy Fish Hook (1866)

I ran across this great history of the O'Shaugnessy fish hook in Limerick; Its History and Antiquities by Maurice Lenihan (Dublin, 1866). He notes that the once great reputation of Limerick hooks had all but died by the 1860s, with only one master hook maker left. It's a fabulous history and I've not seen this information repeated elsewhere.

The proverbial celebrity which the fishing hooks of Limerick have won, is nearly gone--every fishing hook was said to be worth a salmon; their form, lightness, and temper could not be imitated.

The Limerick fishing hooks were celebrated all over the world. Daniel O'Shaughnessy, about sixty years ago, was one of the most famous—if not the most famous fishing hook maker in his day. He was succeeded by his son John, who died without issue; and though the "Shaughnessy" hooks have been sold until very recently, there has been no person of the name in the manufacture of them since the death of Mr. Robert O'Shaughnessy of George's Street, who employed hook-makers, and who continued to sell the "Shaughnessy" hooks. William Selles, or Lascelles, succeeded the second of the O'Shaughnessys in the manufacture, and was an adept. Michael Selles of Quay Lane, his son, succeeded William, and is now (1866) living, and is the last of the manufacturers of these celebrated articles; he is poor though industrious.

The material of which these hooks are made is cast-steel, which is given out to nailers in the country, who heat the steel in a turf fire to a certain peculiar temperature, taking great care that it must not be over-heated. It is then beaten out by the nailer, and in that condition it is brought to the hook-maker. Sellers of Croom was justly prized for his success in preparing the cast steel. The hook-maker then did his part. He formed the hook out of the solid, gave it the symmetrical form while the steel continued soft, and then tempered it, producing an article unrivalled. English manufacture of a bad imitation has nearly extinguished the make; but whilst Michael Selles of Quay Lane lives, the disciple of Isaac Walton can obtain a first-class salmon hook for 2d. and a trout hook for a lesser sum.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, August 27, 2012

News of the Week: 27 August 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

The Big Lead: Hunting and fishing on the rise in America.

One man's fishing passion reels in a profit.

This week's Field & Stream vintage tackle winner hails from West Germany.

"Fly Rod" Jimmy is hooked on the outdoors.

Award winning playwright explores relationship between fly fishing and teaching.

The Fonz is my favorite celebrity angler.

Dennis Anderson finds its wild on the Chippewa River.

Fly fishing's only goal falls by the wayside.

Is hoops star Michael Beasley a vintage reel collector???

Finishing with a Flourish: Jimmy Kimmel's fly fishing guide to the Rockies.

-- Dr. Todd

Sunday, August 26, 2012

1000 Words

1000 Words

Another great photo from Doug Bucha's Nilesfest adventure. I look forward every year to his pictures as he always comes up with something great!

-- Dr. Todd

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Deconstructing Old Ads: One Inspiration – Two Ideas (1935)

One Inspiration – Two Ideas

The following ad from the April 1935 issue of Hunting & Fishing Magazine for the Prescott Spinner Company's brochure got me to thinking about a “care package” that ORCA (Old Reel Collectors Association) President John Elder sent me some time back. It contained among other things, the very brochure advertised in this ad. I have always been impressed with Prescott spinners as they have a somewhat different design than most others. The tip of the spinner blade is bent inward at a noticeable angle causing the blade to start revolving around the shaft the instant it begins to be drawn through the water. No spinner in my experience spins with less effort.

What little I know of Charlie Stapf, the owner of the Prescott Spinner Company, comes from Robert Page Lincoln's book Black Bass Fishing. Lincoln relates a few experiences with Charlie in a way that portrays Stapf as somewhat of a braggart with a large ego. Robert Page Lincoln had invented a fly that was tied using rubber bands as wings or legs and it proved effective when used. Being proud of his fly's success, he gave one to Charlie Stapf, who condescendingly threw it in the bottom of the boat. Sometime later Stapf put out a fly tied with rubber bands, giving Mr. Lincoln no credit for the idea.

I wondered if that fly was in the Prescott catalog. A short search did come up with a candidate. The Prescott Spinner Wiggle Worms as shown here appears in this 1935 brochure. Stapf's idea was that the rubber bands represented a gob of wiggling worms as drawn through the water with the Prescott Spinner leading the way and causing the rubber bands to wave in the subsequent current.

Some time later Robert Page Lincoln was fishing with Fred Arbogast and showed him the same fly he had made with rubber bands. According to Lincoln, Fred examined the fly with keen interest and a short time later came out with the “Hula Skirt.” The development, manufacture and history of the Arbogast “Hula Skirt” was covered by author Colby Sorrels in an extensive article in the June 2011 issue of The NFLCC Gazette. Robert Page Lincoln considered the Arbogast “Hula Skirt” one of the greatest innovations in the development of fishing tackle. The “Prescott Spinner Wiggle Worms” seems to have been lost to history.

-- Bill Sonnett

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Friday Funhouse

Video of the Week

A 1920s style fishing adventure…very well done.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This awesome Hasting Fluted Wobbler was sold by Wm. Frankfurth of Milwaukee.

Love this JVH reel made for William Mills.

I don't know what a Heddon Wilburn special is, but it sure is pretty.

A Shakespeare Revolution in the box is always a fun find.

I think Shakespeare makes the finest underwater minnows.

Paul Bunyan Dinkies on the card is a superb find.

CCBC Tarpon Pikie in the box? Yes, please.

Ringed Pikies? Such a strange and interesting bait.

This is just a beautiful nineteenth century reel.

The Wilder-Dilg is among my favorite Heddon lures, and none are more colorful than the Venable's Charmer.

This Heddon ABU Hi-Lo in the River Runt box is very, very rare.

Man, this Paw Paw ice decoy is so rare.

As always, have a superb weekend -- and be kind to each other, and yourself.

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday Review: The Colors of Bagley Web Site

There's a terrific new Bagley web site called The Colors of Bagley. It's run by Mike Metzler, and I think it is flat-out awesome.

As is well-known, I am very intrigued with the history of bass fishing, and in particular, bass fishing tackle. We are currently getting ready to launch a new book on bass fishing legend Bill Plummer. Of all the bass fishing tackle icons, I like Jim Bagley the best. The sheer fun of collecting Bagleys is hard to match anywhere -- from the most affordable to ultra rare baits, it offers something for everyone.

This site is divided into sections, but two are of the most interest to collectors. The Collections section shows some incredible displays Mike has put together on tackle ranging from Shiners and Pinfish to Shimano 201.

An important section is the Color Codes and Values which shows almost 450 different Bagley colors. When it comes to colors, it is among the most comprehensive web sites of this kind around. The pictures are clear and bright.

It also has a section for Site Links, Lures for Sale, and a Trading Post.

Overall, this is a web site you will want to bookmark. The link will be permanently available to the right.

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Visit to the Chubb Factory in 1883

I love vintage accounts of tackle factories, but they are so very, very rare. The following account by American Angler editor William C. Harris was run in the October 6, 1883 issue and was called “A Representative Factory: Rods, Mountings, Etc.” It gives an outstanding overview of the Vermont tackle factory of William C. Chubb, the legendary rod maker. It is one of the most detailed looks we have of an early American tackle factory.


The village of Post Mills, in Vermont, is beautifully located in the county of Orange. Passing through the village is the Ompompanoosuc River, wherein we found black bass, pickerel (up to six pounds,) sun perch ("kivers") yellow perch (pounders,) and a fish called locally the rock dace, growing to the heft of one and a-half pounds. On this river is located the fishing rod manufactory of Thomas H. Chubb, Esq., who now runs the largest factory devoted to this specialty in the United States, and equal if not superior in extent to any similar establishment in Europe.

A recent visit to Post Mills gave us an opportunity to call on Mr. Chubb, with whom our readers have been long acquainted through our advertising columns. A brief summary of what we saw, and a hint or two of the points in the manufacture of anglers' goods given us by Mr. C., will doubtless interest every angling reader of our paper.

The factory is situated at the south end of the village, and occupies an area of three acres. The main factory is one hundred and twenty feet long, by thirty-two feet in breadth, and four stories in height, including the basement. In addition thereto is a board or sawmill, used in sawing lumber for the factory, which is about two acres in extent. The factory is run by water through a fifty-two inch turbine wheel, giving eighty horse-power; in addition thereto, is a thirty horse-power steam boiler, which is mainly used for heating and drying. The saw mill is at the south of Fairlee Lake, a lovely sheet of water three miles in length by one in width; this lake furnishes the water power for the saw mill and is used as a reservoir (an inexhaustible water power) for running the main factory. In the basement of the factory, an area of one hundred and twenty by thirty-two feet, are found the large turbine wheel and the
lumber storage room. In the L adjacent it is the boiler room.

On the first floor is the mill room, where the sawing and turning of every description, from the largest butt of a bass rod to the smallest lance fly-tip is done. On this floor there are five turning gauge lathes, saws, boring machines, planes, etc. Adjoining is the machine room, which contains engine lathes, shaper, drill press, hand lathes, a large seven foot iron planer, and one of Blake & Johnson's (Waterbury, Conn.) largest presses for striking up reel caps, plates and ferrules. A tool room for dies, pattents, etc. adjoins the machine room.

In this connection we note that Mr. Ohubb has in his permanent employ a competent draftsman and pattern maker, and that every tool, machine or pattern used in the factory has been made therein. In the L on the first floor is the drying room, where the lumber is placed to season for use in the factory.

On the second floor front is the office, twenty by seventeen feet in size, where, by the bye, we saw one of the finest elk heads in the country. It is fifty-four inches between prongs, of which there are fourteen. Several extraordinarily fine chromos of black bass and brook trout are on the walls; a five foot alligator from Texas (the native State of Mr. Chubb) adorns the large sample case, while a mounted but life-like horned owl sits over the desk of the proprietor. Adjoining the office is the winding room, where the rings are put on and the rods silk-wrapped. The next room opposite the office is the dressing or cloak room of the female employees. Then comes the braizing room, in which girls are employed in the manufacture of guides, ring tips, tops, and all the small braizing required in the making of trimmings for rods. Adjoining this is the room used for storage of completed work. The next apartment, sixty by thirty-two feet in size, on the second floor, is tile brass finishing and fitting room, which is the working room for ferrule fitting, general brass work and jointing of rods. Nineteen men are employed in this room. The room for reel making comes next, where special reels are only made for first-class retail trade. We were shown in this room, a nickel-plated click reel of sixty yards capacity, of perfect and substantial workmanship, which Mr. Chubb sells at retail for $1. He also supplies reel-makers with castings, blanks, screws, etc., for making reels. In the L on the second floor is the polishing room, in which all the brass work is buffed and polished preparatory to nickeling. The next room adjoining is devoted to the nickel-plating, in which we found Mr. Geo. R. Huson, whose father was an old gun-repairer and rod-maker from New York City. The brass foundry is next, where the brass castings are made. There is also a room used for the manufacture of cloth cases for rods, and bottoms for camp chairs.

On the third floor comes consecutively: 1st. The store room; in which is stored ferrules, finished wood stock, etc., etc. 2nd. The varnish room, which is used for varnishing the cheaper grades of rods by machinery. 3rd. The room for the manufacture of paper boxes and bags for the special use of the business and for sale to the trade. The machines used in this room were made to order especially for Mr. Chubb. 4th. The staining and filling room. 5th. The rubbing-down room, in which the rods are rubbed down and polished preparatory to a flowing coat of varnish,. 6th. The shellac room.

The factory is heated throughout by steam, and one hundred gas-burners are supplied by a generator located some thirty feet distant from the front end of the building. Mr. Chubb employs between sixty and seventy workmen, and supplies the leading tackle jobbing houses with rods, rod mountings, landing net frames, camp chairs, etc., etc. When passing through the first floor we were much interested in the machine for making split bamboo rods. It was invented by the proprietor, and is the perfection of fine automatic machinery. We saw the rough strips placed in the machine, and in a moment held in our hand a symmetrically shaped strip, six of which were wound with thread, and fitted without a break or irregularity into each other, thus forming a complete and perfect section of split bamboo rod, made almost in the twinkling of an eye. It is this wonderful machine that enables the amateur rod-maker to get his materials at a trifling cost. We learn that Mr. Chubb finishes a complete mounted split bamboo rod, either three-joint bass or fly-rod, ready for ringing and varnishing, for $7.50.

The proprietor of this celebrated establishment came to Vermont after the civil war, having lost hiss health during active service therein, and naturally drifted into a line of business congenial to his tastes. Being a life-long angler, he became perforce a rod-maker, and from a comparatively small beginning, Mr. Chubb has now the most complete rod-factory known to us, wherefrom the amateur angler can get everything he wants, from a minute piece of pinning wire to the heaviest piece of stock or fitting used in making a rod; but be it remembered that Mr. Chubb does not furnish finished rods for the retail trade.

Mr. Chubb is aided in his management by his brother, Mr. Wm. B. Chubb, of Texas, who has charge of the financial and correspondence departments of the business, which is growing rapidly in minutiae of detail and commercial value.

-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Voices from the Past: The Death of a Hook-Maker (1761)

Maybe it says something about my personality that I am always fascinated by the vintage crime reports of the eighteen and nineteenth century. Every now and then, a fishing tackle related blurb will catch my eye. Such is the case with a certain Mr. Souch, a fish hook maker from

The London Magazine for November 1761 published the following blurb about the incident.

Mr. Souch, a fish-hook maker, was stabbed by one Greenstreet, his journeyman, and died of the wounds he received. The murderer is in custody.

It leaves so much to the imagination. What prompted the violence? A journeyman was an apprentice who spent as long as 13 years (unpaid!) learning a trade. Perhaps Mr. Greenstreet was not being treated as he should have by Mr. Souch, the hook-maker.

All we know in the 250 years that have passed that on Wednesday, October 18, 1761, one hook maker stabbed another, and the rest is simply a mystery.

Some day I plan to write a fictional account of these events.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, August 20, 2012

News of the Week: 20 August 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

The Big Lead: Well, color me blushing…yours truly, and Fishing for History, get profiled by Bernie Schultz on Bassmaster!

Big Wisconsin smallies.

Teenager battles six foot bull shark in South Carolina.

From military pilot to champion bass angler.

If you ain't fishing cane, you ain't fly fishing.

Kayak angler survives battle with a Great White.

An angler's diary along the Salmon Highway.

This weeks winner in the Field & Stream vintage tackle contest is the Borgen Weedless Spoon.

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of A River Runs Through It.

Finishing with a Flourish: Al Troth, pioneer fly tier, has passed away.

-- Dr. Todd

Sunday, August 19, 2012

1000 Words

One of my favorite photos every year comes from Doug Bucha's Nilesfest display. This year is no exception. Doug's description this year:

Over the past twenty years the Niles Riverfest has brought in many fly fishing items.  This year was no exception.  These fly fishing items came from the tackle box of a long time, world traveled Atlantic Salmon fly fisherman by the way of Florida.  I find it interesting to note the variety of age and origin of these items.  From the Atlantic Salmon flies made in England and Norway  to the domestic South Bend Hop-Oreno, Heddon Flap-Tail Mouse, and the exquisite Colorado Moths.  This gentleman fisherman must have really gotten around over the years plus he must have enjoyed fishing for a variety of fish.

What a time capsule! Awesome photo, too. Thanks Doug!

-- Dr. Todd