Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Voices from the Past: Dixie Carroll on Hildebrandt (1919)

Over the next several months, I’m going to feature the fishing tackle writing of one of my all-time favorite writers, Dixie Carroll (Carroll Blaine Cook). These famed pieces of tackle were featured in his great book Fishing Tackle and Kits. They are fascinating write-ups of the tackle from a contemporary perspective. Below is Dixie’s write up on the Hildebrandt Spinner, an iconic lure if ever there was one.\

- Made by the John J. Hildebrandt Co., Logansport, Ind. As soon as a fellow talks of spinners in the fishing game, he just naturally thinks of Hildebrandt. These spinners of the famous Slim Eli, Standard and Idaho shapes have a name for spinning and sending a flashing invitation to the game fins that is irresistible to these husky tailkickers. I have used many of these spinners, both the singles and tandems and they have always merrily spun through the water, free and easy which is just what they are intended to do. A number of years ago I had the pleasure of meeting the originator of this line of spinning lures, John J. Hildebrandt, now passed to the Great Master of all waters. He was a keen angler, a true sportsman and a fine gentleman and his work on devising light- weight spinners for fly-fishing for bass as well u bait-casting for these bronze-backed warriors has been of great value to the fishing clan. These spinners are hand made and made right, just as good now and with as much care as when "Old John" Hildebrandt used to turn them out himself. The reversible hinge allows the spoon to reverse when playing a fish so that there will be no interference from weeds and rushes in retarding the playing of the fish. The Slim Eli style spinners spin very close to the shaft, the Standard style spins medium close and Idaho spins wide. I find the Standard shape best for ordinary fishing, the Idaho for roily waters and the Slim Eli for clear and fine waters. The tandem standard 3 size spinners is a great bass casting-bait and for the very bright day the black Slim Eli #3 1/2 is a crackerjack. Taken right through the deck, the entire line of Hildebrandt spinners are right in material and workmanship as well as being great game fish attractors.

— Dr. Todd

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