Wednesday, July 31, 2013

REVIEW: David Sawyer's The Heddon Vamp #7500, 1920-1955

The Heddon Vamp is one of the iconic fishing lures of the twentieth century, selling millions of baits in a number of sizes and spawning legions of fishing fans and collectors. It's also one of the few books to spawn not one but two detailed books, the first about a decade ago by Dennis Boulais (now out of print) and the most recent by collector David Sawyer, entitled The Heddon Vamp #7500, 1920-1955. It details almost everything you would possibly want to know about the #7500.

The book starts with a discussion of Vamp Boxes, then moves on to lips, hardware, belly weights, etc. until it finally reaches the 22 types of #7500 identified by the author. It then breaks them down by style, and then moves on to color. It is the color section that is most impressive, breaking such common colors as Pike Scale down into a bewildering variety of variations.

The book uses large landscape portraits in full color of the lures, catalog cuts, and ephemera. The liberal use of color helps the author to identify characteristics of styles and paint schemes that are easy to overlook.

One of the things non-Vamp collectors can learn from this book are the general bits about Heddon history interspersed throughout the book, including interesting commentary on Jeanette Hawley and the fate of Heddon's Factory 2nds.

As I always do with self-published books, I will avoid a critical analysis of the layout, design, and copy editing as the book was a labor of love and should not be held to the same standard as a book produced by a professional publishing house. That being said, other than the use of some low resolution images that came out pixelated (a common and understandable problem in books that utilize multiple resources for source material), I was pleasantly surprised with the book. It's a hardcover and 278 pages in length, and I believe that any Heddon fan -- whether you are a Vamp collector or not -- should have a copy for their library. If you read this book and say you haven't learned anything, you either aren't telling the truth or you need to go back and start over again.

As an added bonus, the author's great-grandfather was featured in the 1941 catalog posing with two fish caught on one cast. I imagine that David Sawyer's great-grandfather would be proud of his great-grandson's creation. After all, it's clear that Heddon runs in this family's blood.

The book is available directly from the author through his web site which you can visit Clicking Here. You better hurry, though, as there are less than 30 copies left!

-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Voices from the Past: Waterproof Tackle Box (1922)

I ran across this simple and elegant design for a tackle box in Popular Science Monthly for September 1922. It's a really cool tackle box and I hope to try and make one this winter. It is also the very first reference I can find to what became known as a "possum belly" tackle box.

Roomy Waterproof Tackle Box Adds Joys to Fishing

Although there is no part of a fisherman's equipment more necessary than a tackle box, it is difficult to get one that is just the right size and design. Any man handy with tools can, however, make his own tackle box.

The one illustrated is made of 3/8-in oak, the lower section, if not the entire case, being covered with tin. Closed, the box stands 8 in. high; it is 8 3/4 in. wide and 13 in. long. The top section is 5 1/8 in. high, the lower section 2 7/8 in. Each of the 4 drawers in the upper section is 1 1/8 in. deep. The square drawer for the reel is 3 3/4 in. on each side. The hinges for the drop fronts are indicated at A in Fig. 1; B is the lock and C shows one of the two catches which hold the sections together.

The lower section is partitioned off as shown in Fig. 1 and the upper section as in Fig. 3. Drawers for the latter may be made of tin and should be partitioned to accommodate the assortment of artificial minnows and lures. All tin parts should be given at least two coats of black asphaltum paint, and the wood must be spar varnished or thoroughly oils and waxed t make it as waterproof as possible.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, July 29, 2013

The News of the Week: July 28, 2013

Don't have time to read 50+ fishing and tackle collecting blogs and web sites? Well, let us do it for you! Follow all of the latest news, articles, and stories on our Whitefishpress Twitter account! Hint: You don't need to be a member...just bookmark the Twitter Feed Page or click on latest links to the right!

THE MONDAY 10: The Ten Fishing Stories of the Week You Need to Know

The Big Lead: Austin tackle shop owner turns 100.

Why your old tackle may be worth something (with a Doug Bucha photo).

Field & Stream fishing tackle contest wrangles up a rare Wright & McGill.

The NFLCC nationals has spawned a nationally syndicated article.

Inside the Monster Shark Tournament 2013.

Ivan Drago goes fishing (again).

Catching rainbows on the fly is the best.

Fly fishing mentors to Prince William likely to teach the new crown prince, too.

A fly fishing shop in Twin Bridges is burglarized.

Finishing with a Flourish: The 10 Weirdest Fishing Lures.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Letterheadings with Jim Jordan: Joseph Pepper (1950)

This weeks feature is another advertising card from Joe E. Pepper Bait Company. This card is postmarked Rome , N.Y.  April 14 , 1950.

The address side of the card calls for fisherman to try Pepper's three hot lures. Illustrated are Pepper's Red Devil Spinner, Devil Eye Wobbler and Streamlined Minnow. Available at your favorite store. The reverse of the card introduces a new lure gift box for men. A heavy plastic six compartment box filled with six of Pepper's largest selling and most popular lures. As a sign of the times this 1950 era card is printed in a low quality mimeograph style. This low quality printing is a departure from the quality offset printing used on the companies advertising cards just two years earlier.

Best Regards,

Jim Jordan

Friday, July 26, 2013

The News of the Week: July 26, 2013

The Video of the Week

This video of a man wrestling a shark to shore has made the rounds of late.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This is a cool and rare Skinner Turkey Wing.

This is one heck of a Winston 8' fly rod.

A Heddon Musky Crazy Crawler in Chipmunk is a wonderful find.

This is a pretty scarce Shakespeare Underwater Minnow box.

Love this B.C. Milam #3.

They don't come much nicer than this Punkinseed in the box.

This Winchester Tackle Box is so cool I even used a similar one on the cover of one of my books!

This Mepps Vamp spinning reel is very cool.

A CCBC Pikie made for the Finnish market is very rare.

Twin Minns are always popular.

A vintage Wilson Wobbler is an amazing lure.

CCBC Wiggle Fish in the box? Yes, please.

This is a nice, clean Shakespeare Revolution.

As always, have a great weekend -- and be nice to each other, and yourself!

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fishing for History Magazine (July 2013) Edition Delayed

Sorry for the delay, I hope to have it out this weekend!

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ben Wright's Spinning Reel Report (July 2013)

JULY 2013



  222 first version nib @ 615.00 holy cow !!!
  700L second version nib @ 355.00
  1000 first version exc- wear on cup @ 350.00
  Suveran S2000M exc+ w/fitted box @ 330.00
  not a reel but a neat Record Taxa Taxi meter exc- @399.00

Ashaway surf slip cast exc @ 69.88

Benora swiss nib w/small chip in foot @ 210.50

English Hardy Altex no 2 mk 11 exc w/case @ 305.06

  Riche exc @ 604.55
  Wilmouth w/odd clamp foot exc @ 401.51

Higggins J C #31191 CF by Tamco same as their model 200 ewb @ 122.50

Orvis 100SS nib @ 364.00 WOW


  super rare Micron first version exc @ 113.55
  Oceanic exc slight fading @ only 139.50

French Centaure Pacific e-wb @ 41.00

Dam Quick 550N e+wb @ 39.00

Garcia Mitchell 510 exc @ 68.26

Heddon 270R e+wb @ 15.01

Intrip Black Prince and a Zangi Sprite both exc @ 19.99

Mitchell 4th version e-wb @ 53.25

Langley 820GB e+wb @ 13.49

Line Caster SR3 exc @ 37.03

Pflueger by Shakespeare
   Supreme 551 exc @ 38.88
          "      600 exc+ @ 30.99

Tamco,Canada model 200 CF exc @ 36.03

Wordens Jet Caster exc w/ belt @ 56.55

Were some of these priced a bit high ??
Airex mastereel Astra kit no 714 with metal box, extra spool, lures and other parts exc @100.00 NO BIDS

Dam Quick Standard 250 SW68 like new @ 299.00 NO BIDS

French Huillet typeB exc- @ 1283.50 NO BIDS

Ofmer 266E exc- @ 399.17 NO BIDS

Zebco 101 CF rod/reel combo brown reel exc @100.00 NO BIDS

More Reels---------
C4X nib @ 144.00
C5 nib @ 150.00
505 scf nib @ 151.81
  "    "    "   @ 202.72
Record 700 second version nib @ 185.73
888 exc- @ 190.66

Dam Quick:
Super 2S-275 two speed nib @ 204.50
4000 nib @ 99.99

Hardy Hardex no1 mk 11 chrome cup exc @ 146.34
   "     Exalta ewb @ 224.06

Sportex Speed Spin River paint wear @ 125.00

Alcedo Omnia second version  exc- @ 65.99
   Herters 84 exc @ 112.50
   175 nib @ 263.00
    300 like new @ 173.25
   Ted Williams 450 ewb @ 98.00
    Trio second version exc- @ 157.55

Garcia Mitchell:
common 300 nib @ 157.50
300 w/single lever anti-reverse nib @ 127.50

704 e+wb @ 75.00
710 Green ewb @ 112.50

other reels:
Rouge 150 exc w/ vinyl case @ 138.45
Swiss Berrna exc- @ 194.58
Wilmouth w/standard Foot exc @ 130.03

Now for a couple questions for ya--------------
Why doesn't ebay give us BEST OFFER ACCEPTED ??
example was a rare Italian Major Asso Luxe exc with a starting price of 499.99. it sold with best offer but the bay will not show it ??? why ???

another question --- why does everything start with BEST MATCH ??? how do they know what my best match is??
ever time you change cat. it goes to best match ?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Voices from the Past: An Ingenius Fishing Float (1885)

The following blurb was printed in the October 31, 1885 of Chamber's Journal and features the first notice of a classic bobber, Catmur's patented "Eclipse" float.


Bottom fishers have from time immemorial been put to a great inconvenience in the pursuance of their craft . They have been unable, when angling in anything of a breeze, to detect a 'nibble' or the 'bite' of a small fish from the movement of their floats caused by the ripples of the water. Thus, many fish have been missed, and many times anglers have 'struck' at nothing. Mr A. V. Catmur, of 18 Ebury Street, London, has introduced the 'Eclipse' float, which does away with the inconvenience in question. A porcupine quill, having a small ivory ball at the top and a cork cone at the bottom, has in the centre a loosely-running cylinder of the latter material, occupying less than the intervening space. The line passes through the ball, the cylinder, the cone, and a little eye attached to the bottom extremity of the quill. When in the upright position in the water—and it may be added that the float is 'self,cocking'—the cylinder occupies a central position between the ivory ball and the cone, it being separated from both by a small space. The entire contrivance will rise and fall upon the ripples; but a 'bite,' or tug upon the line, will draw down the quill and its ball-appendage, without affecting the cylinder. Thus, when the angler sees his float bobbing up and down, he will take no notice; but when he sees that the ivory ball descends towards the top of the cylinder, he will know that there is a fish attacking his bait and that he may 'strike.'

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, July 22, 2013

The News of the Week: July 22, 2013

Don't have time to read 50+ fishing and tackle collecting blogs and web sites? Well, let us do it for you! Follow all of the latest news, articles, and stories on our Whitefishpress Twitter account! Hint: You don't need to be a member...just bookmark the Twitter Feed Page or click on latest links to the right!

THE MONDAY 10: The Ten Fishing Stories of the Week You Need to Know

The Big Lead: Don Wheeler gets some great press for his new frog lure book.

More on the NFLCC Nationals here.

Ocean City Fishing Club marks its centennial.

A walk through the world's largest tackle show.

If you haven't, read the post and response to the posts of Paul Zoellner on the future of the NFLCC.

Indian rescued Ernest Hemingway, and got a fishing rod as a thank you.

The fly-fishing rabbi lands a new gig.

Childhood memories are found with a fishing rod.

Man wrestles seven foot shark.

Finishing with a Flourish: Wright Thompson, the best journalist around, chronicles the great Tom Morgan.

-- Dr. Todd

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Letterheadings with Jim Jordan: Joe E. Pepper (1940s)

The back of this Pepper advertising card carries a June 10 , 1948  Rome , N.Y. Postmark. It was addressed to a Gloversville, N.Y. Hardware Store. Unfortunately there is no accompanying text.

On the plus side, the front of the card is nicely illustrated with some of Joe E. Pepper's baits. This late 1940s piece does give us some insight into  Pepper Bait Company history. During this time Pepper was offering 50 lures. This was a time when their line consisted almost exclusively of metal and  mother-of-pearl baits. Pepper was still advertising and selling his line from coast to coast. The card also mentions a catalog sheet, which waslikely mailed under a separate cover.  A number of Pepper's best sellers are listed, some with accompanying illustrations. The card does notprovide an address for the Pepper operation, it simply lists , Box 305, Rome, N.Y. This is a trend I see with Pepper paper from the late 1940s and '50s. I am unsure when or why Joe E. Pepper steered away from listing his 104 W. Park St. address. Pepper's ad campaign of this time period must have been pretty successful, as Joe E. Pepper baits turn up fairly often, still on their factory card.

Best Regards,
Jim Jordan

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week
An Inuit chid goes fishing…and discovers a whole new world. Very cool video.

Mirage from Iker & Dana on Vimeo.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This Henshall Floating Fly is really great.

This Talbot Premier is attracting a TON of attention.

Love this wooden Shakespeare Revolution!

A Heddon Punkinseed 740SH is uncatalogued and very popular.

An old "Black Bass Navy" tobacco sign is man cave approved.

Here's an A&F fishing/hunting seat. Never seen one of these before!

This Leroy Howell spearing decoy is very unique.

Marathon Gift Books are really cool.

A.E. Nelson leather creels never get the attention of Lawrence creels, but they are really well done.

A South Bend Tarp Oreno in Pearl is awesome.

This Dec 1924 Sports Afield magazine is pretty incredible.

The Arbogast Tin Liz Sunfish in the box is superb.

As always, have a great weekend, and be good to each other, and yourself!

-- Dr. Todd