Saturday, January 31, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Lang's Auction Changes

BREAKING NEWS: Changes to Lang's Sporting Collectables Auctions

There are some exciting developments happening at Lang's and some major changes occurring. You can download the letter from Lang's at the bottom of this article. For those who can't wait, here's a highlight of the changes:

1) Lang's has gone virtual. There will be NO LIVE AUDIENCE at the Spring 2009 auction -- all bidding will be done on-line or through traditional methods (phone, fax and mail). No more confusion over whether a bid was won on-line or not...

2) The buyer's premium has decreased. The premium is now 18% (was 22.5%), which should save some serious bidder cash. As always, the premium for bidding through Lang's traditional methods (check and MO) remains 15%.

3) Lang's will ship its own items. Lang's will now do all of its auction shipping in-house. This will be a very, very popular move as it avoids the multiple invoices generated by an external shipping firm.

4) will handle on-line bidding. Since eBay decided to close live auctioning, Lang's has partnered with the firm that had hosted the auctions for eBay. There will be no change in the format (only the items won't be listed on ebay anymore).

5) Lang's Catalog Has Gone Virtual. No more hard copy catalogs; they will be available for download in PDF format ($6.99) or by CD-Rom ($14.99).

6) The Lang's Sporting Collectibles Show is Cancelled. Due to continued diminishing attendance, and the shift to on-line bidding, the traditional Lang's Show will not be held.

7) The Discovery Auction WILL Still Be Held. The Discovery Auction will still go on as usual on 16 April 2009 at the Boxborough Holiday Inn. 1600 Lots will guarantee a lot of bargains to be found.

8) New Starting Prices for Lots. Because eBay is no longer a part of the equation, there is a new starting price system for all lots: the start Price is $10.00 for all lots.

9) Bid Increments Have Changed: The bid increments have changed for the better as well. Here is a breakdown:

$10.00 to $500.00 - $10.00 increments
$501.00 to $1,000.00 - $25.00 increments
$1,001.00 to $5,000.00 - $50.00 increments
$5,001.00 + - $100.00 increments

Phew! That's a LOT of welcome changes.

My personal opinion, as someone not affiliated with Lang's, is that these are all welcome and progressive changes. Lang's has clearly become more streamlined and better positioned to help this hobby grow by leaps and bounds. With the ability now to send mass marketing to 3 MILLION on-line bidders, this could be a banner auction...stay tuned.

You can download a copy of the letter itself by Clicking Here.

-- Dr. Todd

Streater's Thought of the Week

Every weekend Dick Streater gives us his thought of the week, culled from his voluminous files on fishing and tackle history.

Streater's Thought of the Week: The early Heddon surface bait was called the Dowagiac Minnow, and so surface fishing was called "dowjackin'".

-- Dr. Todd

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Funhouse

The Friday Funhouse

Video of the Week

Man, I just hate these videos where people film themselves doing the surfing behind a Great White Shark by using a fishing rod...

Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

Remember the Wigart's Glirr we helped to ID in the UNID files? Well, now you can get one of your very own.

It's Arachnophobia, folks: people are going ga-ga over this Turner Spider.

This is one massive Fin Nor reel.

Here's a gorgeous spring loaded trap/hook.

A Heddon Black Sucker is always cause for a celebration.

Your Weekly Lure Poem:

Oh Pflueger Maybug
Years ago you were two bills
Now: at least one large.

Billinghurst, oh Billinghurst. I love you. There, I said it.

This is a very, very pretty creel.

Martin Bradford's Sign of the Angler in Boston was one of the oldest tackle shops in America; here is a classic Bradford of Boston reel that certainly dates from the Civil War.

This King Wiggler in original box is an interesting combo.

A Halik Fly Rod Frog (with the legs) has attracted some intense bidding.

A Heddon Tad Polly intro box is a nifty thing. Maybe Labuznik should have added it to his Super Bowl of Boxes.

Instant Collection Alert: Five VERY scarce South Bend fly rod lure boxes for one bid.

Here's a gorgeous combo: Heddon Jointed Musky Vamp in Allen Stripey and box.

A very, very rare color for a Heddon River Runt: Green Pike Scale.

Falls City floating minnow buckets are nifty pieces.

Gotta love the Sockdolager .

A nice lure from the Enterprise Manufacturing Company archives.

Love this monochrome CCBC Pikie. Life is sweeter in black-and-white.

This Polly Wog by Moonlight has curves that would make Hogarth proud.

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

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday Review: Winter NFLCC Gazette

As a service for those who aren't members of the NFLCC, I am reviewing the contents of the December 2008 (Vol. 32, No. 118) NFLCC Gazette. This issue had some neat articles and an announcement that Byron Parker will be the new incoming NFLCC president.

The big article in this issue was Charley Soares' "Stan Gibbs: Legend of the Lathe about this very important saltwater lure manufacturer. It was a detailed and informative article and a welcome addition to our body of knowledge.

Jack Looney's writings are always anticipated, and he offered a nice one in his "Oklahoma Buck's Tackle Company," which covers this firm's Plug Bug. Additionally, we were happy to have a second Looney article in "Fortunate Encounters."

There were three other research articles. Galen Ash of West Virginia gives us "The Hallure Story" that covers a little-known lure from Wheeling, WV. Dan Basore's always excellent articles are some of my favorite reads, and this one is no exception. "Kicky the Swimming Frog" covers the history of this very, very cool frog lure with a few surprising twists and turns in its past. Finally, Tom Schofield and Chris Slusar gave us a nifty history of a Wisconsin spoon in "The Mickie Spoon."

Smaller articles included a glowing review by Wayne Ruby of the new Jerry Jolly book Pflueger Fishing Lure & Miscellaneous Tackle Patents, Bob Vermillion's "Ohio Mystery Frog Baits," Roger Lewis gave us a nice poem "Winter Dreams," and Marc Dixon had three articles--"Flat Tails and Pointy Heads," "Hanging Paper," and "The Power of Provenance."

All in all a pleasant edition and a welcome distraction from the horrible ice and snow raging around me.

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Abu Art, by Wayne Real

We are honored this week to have a great article by my friend Wayne Real from Australia on ABU artwork. It's a nifty piece and we should all thank Wayne for sharing with us!

by Wayne Real

My all time favourite image from ABU, Napp och Nytt was produced for the 1956 catalog and evokes in me, many happy childhood fishing moments. I certainly didn't have a fine Record casting reel like this lucky boy, but for kids it was not the technology being employed, rather grasping the freedom, excitement and opportunity of the moment!

May kids worldwide continue always to experience these joys!

After some discussion with Len Borgstom, (quotes below) I have learned a lot more about the working environment of A.B.Urfabriken in Svangsta.

So you can see ABU's appreciation for fine art was present from the beginning and continues to this day.

Art was not merely created on paper with pen and ink or watercolours or photographs, it was also cast in bronze as small limited edition objects d'art to be won in fishing competitions as well as massive corporate casting, some of which Len Borgstrom has kindly invited us into his home to share with us here.

The Marlin, typical universal exaggerating fisherman and School of Salmon

I was well aware of the consideration of aesthetics by the company to produce such beautiful products but it seems the employees were immersed in fine art even when relaxing at lunch time.

Len noted: "As I have mentioned in my book, we also had an active Art Club at ABU. We invited known Swedish artists to hang their art in the ABU cafeteria so that every employee got a chance to constantly be exposed to fine art."

We all remember the beautiful Jubilee year in 1971 when the covers of Napp och Nytt /Tight Lines changed from the traditional photographic fishing images to artistic paintings. Unfortunately this approach lasted for 10 years only.

Len continued: The covers of Napp och Nytt were created by well known artists. We got tired of doing what everybody else did – having products or some fisherman holding a fish on the cover. I have mentioned this in my book. We started with that idea 1971 with a famous illustrator Ib Thaning , Denmark. 1972 Gunnar Brusewitz, Sweden I forgot who made 1973, 1974 Harald Wiberg, Sweden, 1975 with Tom Sayers and Huckleberry Finn, by Per Åhlin (this artist also made animated movies). 1976 was an American artist (Scott), 1977 Ralph Judell, Sweden. 1978 the name of the Swedish artist was Arenhill. 1979 an artist from Checkoslovakia, 1980 a Danish well known artist Mads Stage, I do not know who made the leaping salmon 1981, but I would think that Bengt Olofsson would know. As you know, I left for the US 1978 and the last picture that I picked was Mads Stage"

ABU was also responsible for furthering the artistic careers of several of its employees.

"Two employees ended up being full time sculptors. One of them (Hjalmar Ekberg) made the four piece relief showing the history of fishing, hanging in the entrance stairways to the main factory in Svangsta. The other artist (Johnny Martinsson) made the relief showing my father located outside the same factory."

Hopefully more to follow....

Some ABU Line Art from their catalogs.

An early ABU Photograph.

(© 2009 Wayne Real)

Thanks Wayne! Of course, my favorite piece of ABU art would have to be this one...For those who haven't visited, go to Wayne's Abu Web Site!

-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Voices from the Past: Is This Where We're Heading?

This cartoon is from a 1920s American is probably more prescient today then it was when it was first this where we are heading???

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, January 26, 2009

News of the Week: 26 January 2009

Two fishermen adrift for 25 days survive by floating in a cooler...three separate fish species are now found to be one...a catfish who is coming to get you...a fish carver of great skill...a novel use for PETA's anti-fishing campaign...73 year old refused service at bait shop for not proving he is over in Thailand...and Africa...and 11 year old fly fishing must be THE NEWS OF THE WEEK!

The Big Lead: Two fisherman survive 25 days adrift at a cooler. This is clearly in the lead for story of the year.

Scientists discover three fish heretofore thought to be separate species are, in fact, the same species. Kind of like Yankee fans, Giant fans, and Knick fans.

One man remembers his father's mantra: be yourself, even if you smell like fish.

They're Coming For You: Newly discovered catfish species can decouple its pelvic fin and climb rocks. No word on whether laser beams shoot out of its eyes.

A profile of Missoula's Fishaus Gang.

This Toledo native is a champion fish carver.

The Albany Herald has a novel use for PETA's new anti-fishing campaign.

73-year old cannot prove he is over 18; gets denied right to purchase catapult from local bait shop.

New auto-setting tip up is illegal in Minnesota.

Local Pittsburgh angler build their own crankbaits.

Walleye expert Ted Takasaki gives his tips for big wallies.

The Tennessee Sportsman reveals the top winter striper spots.

When Al Lindner speaks, the tackle industry listens.

If you're in Australia, go fishing with Scott Sharpe.

These Radcliffe and Bayside anglers will try to hook a car.

In Africa, Otuoma lifts the ban on Omena.

One angler overcomes blindness, nasty gash to land an impressive catch.

In Thailand, they're free-lining for huge fish in Monster Lake.

Why the Alligator Gar is worth saving from extinction.

In Pakistan, they are fishing for Rambo Trout.

A Montrose teen is an 11-year old fly fishing prodigy.

Ralph the Mailman lands a HUGE sturgeon.

A Wisconsin man has broken a fly-fishing world record for musky.

A North Devon native lands a beautiful blonde.

Finishing with a Flourish: Bass Pro Edwin Evers won't have to miss the Classic because of the birth of his child.

-- Dr. Todd