Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Art of the Lure with Elissa Ruddick: Kurz Buck Skin Bait

Life-Like. Effective. Durable. Scientifically Balanced.

Wait a minute……..”Scientifically Balanced”? That sounds like a commercial for dog food! And I suppose if you removed the weighted hook, the Kurz Buck Skin Bait could be food for dogs, as these lures were made from actual rawhide. According to the box paper insert, they used “Strong, raw calf or buckskin, treated under a special formula so that it will soften in cold water to produce the effect and touch of a living fish -- that is the idea behind KURZ BUCK SKIN BAIT”

These “Scientifically Balanced” Buck Skin lures were made by Kurz Bros. Co. in Chicago, Illinois beginning in about 1916, and were produced in three sizes; No. 6 (No. 6 Hollow Point Sproat Hook – Length 1-7/8 in. Weight 1/12 oz.) Junior Buck Skin Minnow for fly rod casting – Bass, Trout, Croppies, etc., No. 40 (4/0 Hollow Point Sproat Hook – Length 3-1/2 in. Weight ¾ oz.) Buck Skin Minnow for Bass, Pike, etc., and No. 80 (8/0 O’Shaughnessy Hollow Point Hook – Length 7 in. Weight 2 oz.) Buck Skin Sucker for Muskies, Salmon, Lake Trout and Salt Water Fishing.

The lures were made from a single piece of rawhide that was artfully carved to form a life-like fish shape when folded in half from the top, and were hand painted with life-like fish colors. A single rivet formed the eyes, which held pieces of rawhide that were folded back from the bottom in place to create a natural looking face with gill plates. The single rivet not only created the eyes, but also served to help keep the hook in the correct position and to hold the lure together. A belly-shaped weight, painted red, was attached to the bottom of the hook shank that kept the lure upright and the hook in the correct position. The box paper describes it as such, “By a scientific balance arrangement, KURZ BUCK SKIN BAITS ride with a never-failing natural motion.” So that’s what they meant by “Scientifically Balanced”!

If you have any questions/comments, Elissa Ruddick can be reached at elissaruddick AT aol DOT com.

-- Elissa Ruddick

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