Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Poll: How Many Tackle Shows do you Attend Per Year?

Sunday Poll: How Many Tackle Shows do you Attend Per Year?

Nothing too amazing about this poll--except that a full 11% don't go to any tackle shows at all during the year! The nice part of this is that those 11% will get to experience a tackle show likely for the first time, and it is a never to be forgotten experience.

This week we ask how many years you've been collecting, so make sure to vote in the poll!

-- Dr. Todd

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Funhouse

The Friday Funhouse

Video of the Week

A neat piece on the making of Thomas & Thomas bamboo fly rods.

Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

Not a super valuable piece, but when's the last time you saw a Homer Leblanc trolling leader on a picture card?

A really neat Meisselbach item is this Elgin watch given as a prize to a surf casting winner.

This set of Hardy Pall Mall Centenary fly reels will make some angler very happy.

Holy Heddons, Batman! This 700 in Sienna Crackleback is a real beauty.

A MItchell 300 Tournament Reel doesn't come along very often.

How about a Clarke Troller outboard motor from the 1910s?

A beautiful Heddon Spindiver in frog scale is always a welcome sight.

This CCBC Wiggle Fish has attracted an exorbitant amount of interest.

Don't know why, there's no sun up in the sky, Stormy Petrel...

Awesome 1860s photo of two ladies fishing with home made rods.

With 50+ bids this Mann's Bait Co. display is the hottest item on eBay.

A Wiltom Live Lure glass minnow tube in the box with paperwork is a very rare combo.

This Heddon 740 Punkinseed comes in a great uncatalogued color.

I've never seen this Arbogast Jitterbug in yellow head/clear body before.

A Bagley Honey B in a rare color will make some Bagley fanatic's holiday season.

A Wilson 6-in-1 Wobbler is a neat adjustable bait.

River Runt Spooks in Red-and-White Water Wave are always a hot pick.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend, and as always, be good to each other and yourself.

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, November 27, 2008

7 Things to be Thankful For Today (Again)

7 Things to be Thankful For Today (Again)

Last year I wrote a little piece called "7 Things to be Thankful For Today" and was gratified by the response. Today, I list the 7 things I am thankful for this year (I didn't include Steve Vernon's Turkey Fishing Reel but I certainly could have).

1) Fishing With Family. How often do we take fishing for granted? After all, if you're here reading this blog you either collect fishing tackle or are interested in the history of the sport. But I am sometimes surprised at how few people take the time to put down the trials and tribulations of life and just pick up a fishing rod. This year, I am thankful for the opportunities I had to fish with family and friends.

2) The Internet. When I first ran across the internet back in the late 1980s at the University of Minnesota (remember Gopher?) I could never have envisioned that it would change the world. But a veritable information revolution has occurred, and it has altered the very way we live. It made Angler's On-Line, Clark's, Joe Yates' Board, eBay and my Fishing for History Blog a possibility. What does the future hold? I don't know, but if the past is any indicator, it will be a blast.

3) The NFLCC Nationals. Is there any place more fun than Nationals? It's like having access to the world's greatest private museum of fishing tackle, much of it you can actually purchase or trade for if you so desire. It was such a gratifying experience talking to so many at my table this past nationals in Peoria. I was also proud to help launch Jeff Kieny and Don Wheeler's new books, it was just such a palpably happy place. I can't imagine my collecting year without it.

4) Health. My wife has recently undergone a rather serious health issue, and it only underscores the fact that no matter what happens in any other aspect of your life, if you don't have your health the rest will suffer accordingly. So I am thankful for my health, and wish good health to everyone out there--and if you happen to be facing a trying time, I wish you strength to see yourself or loved ones through the storm.

5) ORCA. The Old Reel Collector's Association is truly one of the greatest clubs of its type in the world. Of course many ORCA members are also belong to the NFLCC, FATC, etc., but as a reel collector I absolutely think ORCA is the Bee's Knees. Its publication The Reel News edited by my friend Richard Lodge is a world-class magazine that prints reams of information about fishing reels and other tackle that has never before seen print. I can't imagine any serious collector, even if you don't collect reels, not being a member just to get The Reel News.

6) Dudley Murphy. Not only is Dudley the founder of the NFLCC, but for almost TWO DECADES he has edited (ably assisted by Gary Smith) the premier publication in the world on fishing and fishing history: The NFLCC Magazine. Knowing a little bit about publishing, and having contributed often to The Magazine, I have an idea of the kind of work that goes into it. It's staggering. I think most people would be shocked to realize just how much of a labor of love this is for Dudley--and almost everyone takes it for granted we'll receive twice per year a magazine that looks, feels, and reads like the best glossy publications available. Take some time in the coming year to call, write, or stop Dudley and tell him how much you appreciate all the hard work he does. A few unexpected kind words can go a long ways.

7) Being an American. Regardless of your political affiliation, we have just witnessed a remarkable event in American history in the past election. While I respect other cultures--I am a first-generation American after all--I simply can't imagine wanting to be anything but an American. Ever. And yet we so often take for granted the liberties that our best and brightest are out fighting to protect every single day. But as one of my former student officers, who is just now being sent over to Iraq, declared in a class I taught on World War I: "I will fight, and if necessary die, for your right to disagree with me." God bless this nation, the people who protect it, and all of its citizens everywhere.

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Profile of a Fishing Lure Artist: Ramón-Singer

Profile of a Fishing Lure Artist: Ramón-Singer

Several times I have run across the artwork of Texas-based painter Ramón-Singer, who specializes in painting watercolors of fishing lures. Some of you may recognize the name as he was kind enough to let me reprint some of his personal knowledge of Corpus Christi fishing tackle on the blog. For a bit of information on his background and life, I reprint a blurb he sent me recently:

Ramón-Singer has been a lure collector for over twenty-five years. The beauty of lures inspired the collector to paint watercolors of various makers. Each watercolor is a one of a kind. When you own a painting – you are the only one to own that painting. No prints have been made. Over 200 paintings have been sold to lure and art collectors around the United States as well as Puerto Rico. Paintings are hung in offices, homes, lure rooms, and other places. Lure related art allows the lure collector to express their love for the hobby. Enjoy your painting.

I really enjoy his style of painting, and can imagine having a collection of Bingos or Humps surrounding a framed painting would make for an ideal display. But don't take my word for it; George Terrebonne sent me an unsolicited email long before I had gotten in touch with Ramón-Singer and wrote the following:

Thank you for mentioning Ramon Singers work in your blog. I collect, buy, sell and trade Bingo and related lures. For the last few years I have also purchased a number of his watercolors. My friends and I want to encourage Ramon and other artists who portray lures and fishing items in their work and we are always happy to see them get credit. He is quite talented and has some unusual paintings. Hopefully we will see him and other artists in this area get more exposure.

I couldn't agree more with George. This is an untapped area of collecting, and one that I fully encourage.

For those interested in seeing some of Ramón-Singer's work, you can contact him via email at rsmysketch AT hotmail DOT com.

-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Voices from the Past: Two Pike, One Cast (1894)

The following blurb comes from the 09 August 1894 Elizabethtown (NY) Post and details an interesting catch--but the "greatest feat ever recorded in the history of angling?" Hardly. Note that the author refers to "pickerel," which was a catch-all term for both true pickerel, northern pike, and muskellunge well into the twentieth century.

Mr. Bishop Makes A Record

Yesterday while S.P. Avery, Jr. of New York, and B. Bishop of New Russia, were fishing off Button Bay, Lake Champlain, the former accomplished an unusual feat. Mr. Avery was fishing with a 7 1/2 oz. fly rod, common trout line, single gut leader and hook baited with a minnow. Suddenly the minnow was taken in by a pike weight about 1/2 of a pound. As he was drawing the pike along towards the boat he felt a sudden and heavy jerk on the line and immediately the pike went down and out of sight. Mr. Avery let out 150 feet of line and after "playing" for an hour succeeded in bringing in a wonderful haul. It appears that when he had the pike near the boat a large pickerel discovered the precious morsel and undertood to devour it and in so doing wound the gut leader around under his gills in such a way as to securely fasten himself, and after diving and plunging for an hour gave up the battle. Last evening Mr. Bishop had the pike and pickerel on exhibition in front of the post office in this village. The pike weighed nearly 1/2 lbs. and bore the marks of the pickerel's teeth where he has shut on. The pickerel weighed 10 1/2 lbs. Taken all we consider this one of the greatest feats ever recorded in the history of angling.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, November 24, 2008

News of the Week: 23 November 2008

Musky legend and Eagle Tail lure inventor George Wahl passes away...careless anglers are killing swans...celebrating the is in in Minnesota!...St. Pete's kids get free rods and reels...when minnows aren't just minnows any more...pacu fishing in Chicago?....tarpon stocks are Sir Ian Botham, the fly guy...King Harald V of Norway is gifted a Hardy fly rod saves three lives...the fly fishing must be THE NEWS OF THE WEEK!

The Big Lead: George Wahl, musky legend and inventor of the Eagle Tail lure, has passed away.

Careless anglers are killing swans in the U.K.

This tackle shop owner aims to please.

Tautog anglers are celebrating along the Jersey shore.

From the Awesome News Files: Lakes are beginning to freeze in Bemidji.

From the Great Idea Files: St. Pete's children are getting free rods.

Hot fishing is lurking in the cooler waters...

Why minnows aren't just minnows any more.

This Savannah Morning News writer has a Christmas list for the angler.

Chicago native catches 2 pound 10 ounce Chicago Lake.

A review of Robert Tomes' new book Musky on the Fly.

New IGFA highlights.

A recap of Australia's Riviera Gold Coast Tournament.

A world record Roosterfish...or not?

Avoid gun-toting women, mean horses and harleys...and keep bass fishing.

More on the world record barbel.

Confessions of a western steelhead fishermen.

Scientists report that tarpon stocks are lower than expected.

Why Sir Ian Botham is the fly guy.

A stripper, a mobster, a murder, and a fisherman...yep. That's Miami.

King Harald V of Norway is gifted a Hardy Angel 2 fly rod.

Heroic actions involving a fishing rod saves three people. Fishing there anything they can't do?

Sad News: fellow collector Charles "Po Po" Crosbey has passed away..

Finishing with a Flourish: Profiling the fly fishing rabbi.

-- Dr. Todd

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Funhouse

The Friday Funhouse

Video of the Week

This classic Neptune outboard motor should be a familiar sound to many anglers from that generation.

Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

A 1905 High Forehead Heddon 150 in Green Crackleback is an awesome bait.

A pair of old Texas Nichols Shrimps has attracted a lot of interest.

A pair of Green Penn 706 spinning reels is a nice start to a Penn spinner collection.

We rarely profile South Bend reels around here, but this 1300A in the box is about as nice as it gets.

A Frog Scale Spindiver is a classy carved tail Heddon bait.

Got to love these Divines! A 1901 Fred Divine 7 1/2 foot bait caster has all the bells and whistles.

We're Heddon heavy here this week; even in less than stellar condition (and with the smallest eBay pics I've ever seen), this Red-and-White Luny Frog is still appealing.

A Creek Chub Surfster in tremendous condition in the box breaks the Heddon stranglehold this week.

A great Cream City minnow bucket has attracted some serious bidding. Maybe they got wind (hint hint) of the forthcoming Minnow Bucket book.

This Telecast swiveling spinning reel doesn't show up very often.

A great Creek Chub Fly Rod Dingbat in silver flash is a great addition to anyone's fly rod lure collection!

River Runt Spook No-Snags in black-and-white are one of the rarest of all the no-snags.

This Meisselbach Auto in the early box is a great find.

This Porter Bottle Opener makes Florida collectors very happy.

A 1938 Taylor Barometer is a nifty "go-with."

This is a nifty looking ice spearing decoy, although I have no idea how old it is.

Instant Collection Alert: A cool dozen bobbers make a great display.

A Jamison Coaxer #2 in the box has great collector appeal.

As always have a safe and happy weekend, and be good to each other--and yourself.

-- Dr. Todd