Saturday, August 31, 2013

Letterheadings with Jim Jordan: Peter Henkenius (1900)

This Jas. M. Kane , Fort Wayne , Indiana billhead lists some of his companies wares, Toys, Fancy Goods,Bird Cages, Fishing Tackle and Notions. James M. Kane was a prominent Fort Wayne businessman. He started in business during the 1850's with a sidewalk street stand located on Calhoun street. By the 1870's Kane claimed to have the largest assortment of notions in the State.
Kane was assigned 1/2 of the patent for a fishing bait created by Fort Wayne candy maker Peter Henkenius.  The bait was designed to be a surface plug with a revolving member with an attached propeller blade and a keel. In other words, it is what lure collectors refer to as a rotary head bait. Over the years collectors have called this particular bait the Henkenius/Kane plug for obvious reasons. Prior to their patent approval Henkenius & Kane simply referred to the bait as an Aluminum spinner . Language in the patent mentions that it is preferred that the propeller & keel were made of aluminum and present a bright attractive surface.  Sometime after the patent was issued on Nov. 13, 1900 , the makers referred to the bait as the "Only" Patent Spinner. I believe this plug to be the first patented rotary bait of its kind. It is unknown how early these baits were available to the public. They were available prior to the turn of the Century. Examples have been found with Pat Appl stamped on the prop, others with the patent date stamped on the keel and some with no markings at all.

This  August ,1899 bill addressed to Drug Store owner Paul Klinkenberg lists an order of 1/2 dozen Aluminum Spinners. Klinkenberg must have found the baits to be satisfactory sellers. Another Kane billhead has turned up listing an additional order which had been placed by Klinkenberg for a dozen more baits within that same month.

Best Regards,
Jim Jordan

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

Marlin jumps in boat. Chaos ensues.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This is a great Heddon-Winona fly reel.

This is a nice mullet SNook Pikie in the box.

Love this Shakespeare #00FS in the box!

This John Lau "Goodhead" Saltwater bait is highly coveted.

Love this Tycoon HRH rod.

This is one very, very cool early South Bend Pike Oreno.

Heddon Spin Divers are the best.

The Storm Bug Plug is an eBay Hurricane.

5 Hook Round Body Experts are awesome.

Hello Heddon Punkinseed in white shore!

Rare Jitterbug colors are popular.

A CCBC Husky Musky is superb.

As always, have a great weekend -- and be kind to each other, and yourself.

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The David Lewis Patented Float (1903)

J.C. Flenniken was an important citizen of the city of Strawberry Point, Iowa. He was president of the Strawberry Point Bank and so esteemed he was appointed as an external auditor of the Iowa Department of Agriculture. A noted Republican state senator, Flenniken was also (briefly) a fishing tackle manufacturer, as evidenced by this May 1907 advertisement in Field & Stream.

The float itself was patented by David R. Lewis of Manchester, Iowa on September 15, 1903 (Patent #738,923). This cork bobber had a unique internal mechanism, and carried the patent date stamped into the side.

It's a neat bobber and a very rare one.

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Fishing


This is the reel that Jim Madden calls the “Mystery Reel”. The reel is the only one South Bend offered that was not made for them by Shakespeare. It was made in 1913 and the maker is unknown. This reel was owned by a former engineer from the old Studebaker Automobile Company. He was a longtime employee who had developed wartime projects such as the Weasel amphibious vehicle during WW2.

Please note the shamrock on the side of the reel. One other clue as to who may have manufactured it may be the handle.

Doug Bucha

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ben Wright's Spinning Reel Report for August 2013

Featured Reels:
Dam Quick 110 NIB @ 387.00 wow
Mert by Stalder ewb @ 399.99
From Mulloch's UK auction 7-27-13 A Milward Torpedo exc @ 1,151.79 not including fee's
Australian Fishing Reels by Bob Dunn @ 326.66
     "           "           "      "     "    "   Limited edition leather bound #34 of 100 @ 965.81
Abu-Matic 290 CF nib @ 232.50
54 nib @ 154.23
55 nib @ 236.73
57 nib @ 305.43  why?
Dam Quick:
110 nib @ 173.75
Hardy Exalta w/leather pouch exc- @ 155.94
Centaure Pacific exc- @ 56.00
Luxor Saumon Mer MPU exc @ 69.00
236 nib @ 21.50
240 ewb @ 47.89
246 nib @ 70.00 wow
248 nib @ 25.00
Alcedo -listed as a micron deluxe was a micron w/bent leg exc @ 197.75
Trio second version exc- @ 329.00
Delfino first version e-wb @ 102.50
Orvis 50A FB e-wb @ 203.83
Herters 84 r/h retrieve exc- @ 50.00
Holliday 30 first version ewb @ 143.75
822GB nib @ 41.00
830B nib @ 46.00
870 nib @ 35.00
spin-lite R810 e+wb @ 52.03
300 pro 40th anniv. nib @ 158.49
  "    "    45th   "      "    @ 240.05
Garcia 488 magnum ewb @ 177.50
498 pro nib @ 271.00
Garcia 498 PUM exc @ 100.00
   "      524 exc @ 129.95
840 match exc- @ 182.91
420SS nib @ 164.50
430 special CF nib @ 75.90
650SS exc+ @ 102.50
700 first version paint wear w/rare early box @116.70
720 first version like new @ 108.25
1780 scf ewb @ 50.00
2499 marron exc @ 61.00
Bronson Sea Wolf exc @ 48.65
Omega one CF nib @ 46.00
44 CF nib @ 103.53
More reels:
Rogue 150 L/H retrieve exc w/pouch @ 180.53
    "       "   R/H    "        "        "        @ 171.38
Rare Spanish Nemrod second version exc @ 266.66
Swiss K-11 by Record e+wb @ 117.50
Reel Deals:
Dam Quick 110 e+wb @ 40.00
Heddon 100 cf slight wear @ 18.45
Wordens Jet Caster exc w/belt @ 45.55
Zebco Cardinal 4 second version exc @ 69.99
summer is winding down !

Monday, August 26, 2013

News of the Week: August 25, 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: Bob Taylor, master bamboo rod maker, gets profiled.

Sporting goods merchant DIck Luchau has passed.

Wonderful filmmaker who made The Lost World of Mr. Hardy is back with a great film about cows.

Very rare fly fishing book comes up for auction.

A Mako is an unwelcome visitor on a fishing boat.

Sad end for a Chinese angler who dies after being snagged in a power line. The picture below is what's left of his rod.

In India, they are hooked on Shakespeare.

A longtime fishing columnist, Lou Rodia, has passed.

Fly fisherman lands 34 pound 7 ounce pike.

The great Ian Frazier documents the last days of Stealhead Joe.

-- Dr. Todd

Sunday, August 25, 2013

1000 Words

This month in Hollywood Goes Fishing we get a tandem -- Doris Day and Jack Lemmon from the film It Happened to Jane from 1959. It's a largely forgettable film shot in Chester, Connecticut. This picture features a nice long handled net, held by Lemmon, who would become an iconic figure in the fishing world for his work in Grumpy Old Men.

-- Dr. Todd

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Letterheadings with Jim Jordan: The Pacific Shiner (1939)

The Pacific Shiner was a product of  Army Air Corps veteran A.L. Gower. The Pacific Shiner was a hollow fish shaped metal bait. They were available in 1 3/4", 2 1/2", 3" and 4"  sizes. Throughout the years Gowers manufacturing operation was based in California. Initially located in Malaga, then Burbank and by 1950 they relocated to Madera.

Pacific Shiners were available as early as 1939 and as late as 1950. It is likely that production ceased during the war years. Historic accounts show that Gower was involved in the making of Aircraft hand tools as early as 1939. This May 15 , 1939  envelope is one of the earliest  Pacific Shiner  advertising pieces I have come across. The envelope is addressed to National Sportsman. I can't help but wonder if  this mailing had anything to do with Gower possibly advertising his bait in the magazine. I'll have to keep my out for any Pacific Shiner ads in the National  Sportsman.

Best Regards,
Jim Jordan

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

Game of Thrones goes fishing! Check out the angling proclivities of the great Tywin Lannister.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

These Shakespeare 3-Hook Minnows are pretty darn awesome.

This McSwain Jr. Minnow Trap is pretty cool.

How about a pair of vintage Herter's mugs?

This Vom Hofe Tobique is pretty awesome.

I don't know if I've ever seen a Walton Speed Bait in the box before!

A very rare rod is the Conolon 2581-D rod made specifically for the Clawfoot Mitchell reel.

A CCBC Blue Head/White Pikie Minnow rocks.

One of the strangest and most appealing baits in the world is this South Bend Whirl Oreno in the box.

Wow, this musky darter in Fancy Greenback is nice!

This old English bait (possibly Gregory?) has a lot of eye appeal.

Storm Lady Bugs are storming the internet.

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

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Great Friendship of Dave Cook & Courtney Riley Cooper, Part II

The friendship between Courtney Ryley Cooper and Dave Cook was genuine. The 1940 Cook catalog in which the eulogy penned by Cook and reprinted yesterday gave his view of his departed friend; the catalog also reprinted a selection of "letter to Dave Cook" from Cooper. It was titled "The Man Who Put Fishing on the Map" and reads as follows:

Dear Dave:

I have your good letter, asking me to write a little something telling the boys how to catch fish.

Now Dave, that is a startling and original idea, one which simply floored me, in fact. To tell the truth, the first time I did it, some twenty years ago, I really thought it was a swell idea. But there are two things which inevitably add up to a full creel-that is to go where there are fish, and to fish with persistence and good tackle. Moreover, I have something else on my chest that I would rather get off. That is the story of the guy who made it possible for other guys to catch fish, the same being yourself, Dave Cook, in person, not a substitute, photograph or stand-in, but the old original himself.

I remember once we had a big talk about your plans, how you hoped to sell just as good and better tackle than anyone else, at a price ANYONE could afford to pay. And you've done it Dave, you played square with the fellows who had trust in you, anf with that big body of people who were just waiting for some such guy as yourself to come along, someone who would put the outdoors within the reach of the ordinary fellow's pocketbook.

So that's the story I wanted to tell, Dave, and I've done it, and good luck to you--and your customers.



A neat letter that expresses some great admiration (remember, Cooper was a publicist of note).

There are two other examples that show the esteem that Cook held Cooper. The first is that he dedicated his annual fishing tournament to Cooper, who would have thought it a brilliant stroke of promotion.

The second is that he took a whole page in his catalog (which certainly could have been used to hawk other tackle) to eulogize his friend; more importantly, he dedicated about a this of that page to an advertisement for Courtney Ryler Cooper's widow, who hoped to dispose of her husband's tackle in one lump. The collection "consists entirely of tackle that he himself used and found good…Included in this collection are 15 fine fly rods, such as Hardy, Shakespeare, Abbey & Imbrie, Winchester, etc.; 17 high quality Casting rods, 32 reels of all types, several hundred bass plugs and lures of various types; also lines, flies, fly books, tackle boxes, spinners, and literally every item the fisherman would ever want or need.

Cooper fly fishing as pictured in 1940 Dave Cook cataalog.

Interested parties could write Mrs. Courtney Ryley Cooper. This means Cook profited in no way from this act of charity, a pretty nice thing to do. I assume that someone did indeed purchase the tackle estate as a whole.

The friendship between these two men was genuine, and Cook's grief very real at his pal's premature passing. The 1940 catalog is a nice memorial to Cooper, and a great friendship between two popular men.

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Great Friendship of Dave Cook & Courtney Riley Cooper, Part I

Courtney Ryley Cooper (1886-1940) was a true American original. The author of over two dozen books, a publicist of great renown, and a circus performer (he was chief publicist for the Ringling Bros. / Barnum & Bailey Circus), he was also a dedicated fly angler and a great friend of Dave Cook, proprietor of the Denver discount tackle house that bore his name.

Cook and Cooper were such good friends that the company named its premier fly rod line, manufactured by Wes Jordan at the South Bend Bait Company, the Courtney Ryley Cooper rods.

These were South Bend Cross Double Built rods that would have sold in the South Bend catalog for $35.00 retail; Dave Cook sold them for $14.95, an absurdly low sum. The two other rods in the series, the Courtney Ryley Cooper Majestic ($22.95) and the Courtney Ryley Cooper Imperial ($33.50) were by far the most expensive rods in the Cook catalog.

By the late 1930s, Cooper was one of the best known crime writers in America, having the personal ear of J. Edgar Hoover at the F.B.I., who once called him "the best informed man on crime in the U.S." He was working on a story about illicit Nazi activities in Mexico when, to the great shock of everyone (including his wife), he was found dead on September 29, 1940, dead from an apparent suicide.

The word here is "apparent." He was found hanged in a closet of his hotel room in Park Central Hotel in New York City, with a note saying the cash in his clothes should be used to pay his hotel bill. The circumstances of his death were mysterious indeed, especially when one considers his F.B.I. file has two letters from associates who claim he was murdered.

Regardless, his friend Dave Cook dedicated an entire page to his departed friend. Cook gave a eulogy to Cooper that is quite moving:

In these troubled days, when half the world is blazing in a senseless man-made conflict, the personal remembrance of a man like Courtney Ryley Cooper does much to renew our faith in the goodness that is inherent in everyone, yet only seldom is expressed in the personality and everyday deeds of a man, as they were with Ryley.

To his mighty host of friends he was the very soul of sportsmanship, squareness and thoughtfulness. His was a friendship that asked nothing, yet gave everything, and though his work and travels were of a nature to occupy his every hour, he always found time to do any favor asked of him.

It is my hope, in dedicating our new fishing contest, on the opposite page, that all the participants will remember this man and his spirit of sportsman- ship, and in doing so will keep alive all that is fine and good and fair in the annals of American outdoor life.

But Dave Cook did not stop there. As we'll see tomorrow in Part II, Cook took some extraordinary steps to memorialize Cooper.
-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Voices from the Past: A Big Musky (1914)

Sometimes you find neat pieces of fishing literature in strange places. Take the following epistle, which lead an article called "Getting the Big Ones" that appeared in Technical World Magazine for November 1914. The article wasn't about fishing, it was about how we learn a lot from little things. It's a thing of beauty.

JUST as the spring wagon which had brought us from the station drew up in front of the house, I saw him, for the first time, stepping out of a light skiff, with a huge muskellunge in one hand and a workman-like split-bamboo rod in the other. He had a bit of a squint in one eye and a beautifully tanned skin beneath a weather-beaten felt hat, and wore an expression of ecstatic satisfaction.

It was a great catch, and we all gathered around, admiring the fish and congratulating the angler, while the old fellow who kept the fishing resort determined its weight and proclaimed it the biggest "musky" ever taken out of that lake. As I had come out on a little fishing excursion myself, I was naturally curious to learn just where this lucky fisherman had hooked his fish, what kind of bait he was using, and other particulars fishermen the world over are keenly anxious to know. So at the dinner table I endeavored to get as much information as possible; but what I really got was a bit of practical philosophy which has been of service to me ever since.

"I have always wanted to catch a big fish," said I to the lucky fisherman, "and I have fished for them everywhere without success."

"Well," he replied, "I've fished most everywhere — around the Catalina Islands, and down off Florida, in the Columbia River, and through all of these Wisconsin lakes—and my experience has been that you usually catch the big fellows when you are fishin' for the little ones."

I said nothing more. There was nothing to say. He had given voice to a truth as old as the world, which, like many another truth, had been overlooked or forgotten and had to be discovered anew. "You usually catch the big ones when you're fishin' for the little ones." Of course that is true. Why had I not thought of it? Why had I wasted so many joyous days armed with gaff and spoon hooks as big as my hand, and caught nothing? When this old fellow went out, he did not turn up his nose at a perch or a crappie. They formed mild sport—and there was always the glorious possibility of a forty-pounder. I had been going out after the forty-pounder and not even getting the little fellow.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, August 19, 2013

The News of the Week: August 19, 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: Warren Platt lands a monster of a bass on vintage equipment so big that even Bill Sonnett is jealous.

Knoxville man spreads the fly fishing gospel.

Field & Stream's vintage tackle contest winner is a neat handmade hopper.

One man honors his father's memory by fishing.

Former Penn employee Donald H. Marsh has passed away.

Attention Floridians: a vintage tackle exhibition goes up through Sep. 27 at the Manatee County Agricultural Museum.

Some well known NFLCC names get featured by the Kansas City Star.

One mayor saves another in this interesting fishing story.

Teen pop star Harry Styles hooks himself twice while fishing.

Finishing with a Flourish: A Tenkara rod goes the Kickstarter route to get off the ground.

-- Dr. Todd