Armax was one of a few generic brand names Winchester used for their fishing tackle, which they offered to jobbers and dealers to sell. The three-hook Armax Minnow pictured with its original unadorned end labeled box, is identical to a Winchester brand name minnow, with exception to the front prop being non-stamped with the Winchester logo and part number. The Winchester branded minnows, along with their ornate boxes, could only be ordered by fully franchised Winchester stores. You won’t find very many Armax or Winchester wooden minnows, or other fishing tackle that Winchester produced for that matter, as fishing tackle was a fairly short lived venture for a company best known for the firearms they produced. Although it is unknown at this time as to which company was contracted to actually produce their brand name wooden minnows, along with their generic wooden minnows, the company produced them with a unique back propeller that presented a rather straight profile. When in a vertical position, Winchester rear props actually look more like a tail on a fish than the curved props that most other manufacturers used on their wooden minnows. And talk about a life-like appearance, the paint job on this minnow looks like the real thing! It’s hard to believe that this minnow was made back in the 1920’s or the first few years of the 1930s. I don’t know if a fish would have been able to focus his eyes enough to see the detail on this lure as it was being retrieved in the water, but I know it would have been hard for a fisherman to pass it by in a dealer’s tackle department. I know I couldn’t pass it by!
If you have any questions/comments, Elissa Ruddick can be reached at elissaruddick AT aol DOT com.
-- Elissa Ruddick