Monday, March 31, 2014

In the News: Flea Markets and Fishing Tackle

Ah yes, the flea market! With the snow finally melting everywhere but Duluth, Minnesota, we are entering that season -- that favorite season -- of the flea market.

Like this one in New York state, there are always interesting tackle finds to make at flea markets across the country. I got a call last year about a collector finding a tackle box with marked spinners and spoons that could not date newer than the 1860s; there were at least thirty of them, and they were bought for a rather small sum considering everything.

Not all fishing tackle is as easy to find as the vendor above, with the neat display of Tangos and Punkinseeds. No, flea markets are definitely hit or miss, but they reward the diligent. Take the last flea market I went to in the fall of 2013. It was spottily attended as it was late in the year and the weather was dodgy. However, I spent a good deal of time looking carefully through tables full of junk, until I found a box of beat up tackle underneath one of the vendor's tables. I ended up with five reels for a solid price, including the Julius vom Hofe first model B-Ocean below (still in need of cleaning) and the German Silver Thos. E. Wilson Shakespeare trade reel, which cleaned up beautifully, below that.

So now that flea market season is upon us, hit the road and get to a few! You never know what you might find. One day I'll relate my greatest field find, which took place at a flea market …

-- Dr. Todd

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Art of the Lure with Elissa Ruddick: The Heddon Meadow Mouse

I never thought I’d ever hear myself say this, but … I LIKE MICE!  That’s right, you heard me, I like mice.  Not all mice of course, but who wouldn’t love this little fellow?  Appearing as one of the “New Ones!” in the 1929 Heddon Catalog, the 4000 series Meadow-Mouse was sure to be a big hit.  The catalog described them as such, “At last, a 'Mouse' that is a Mouse!  A 'true-to-nature Bait, even to bead-eyes, and flexible ears and tail.  Floats, and swims with lively, teasing motion.  Three natural colors, Brown, the true Field Mouse; Grey with White belly; and White with Red coloration.” 

These little wooden lures were 2-3/4” long, weighed 2/3 oz., packed one in a box and were listed as costing $1.00 each.  Furthermore, the catalog advertised them to be “A sure hooker under all conditions.” “Floats, Dives, Swims”

Ok, I’m not going to lie.  If I ever saw a real mouse floating, diving, swimming, or doing anything else in the water, I’d scream and probably hurt myself trying to get as far away as possible!

If you have any questions/comments, Elissa Ruddick can be reached at elissaruddick AT aol DOT com.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

This kayak angler gets taken on a long trip by a big hammerhead shark.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

A Miller's Reversible in the box is pretty cool.

Gotta love this Intro CCBC Pikie!

This is a pretty rare Musky Jitterbug.

My vote for the oddest bait ever made--the Shakespeare Revolution.

I love this big ol' Punkinseed.

A solid black Heddon 7500 Vamp is a-ok.

Heddon Artistic Minnows are gorgeous, but the lure below is a Shakespeare look-alike.

A cool Streamline rod-and-reel combo.

Lots of collectors waiting on this Winchester Lake Tahoe Spoon Bait box.

Colorado Floating Moths are just too fun.

Always buy tackle books -- they appreciate with time (Martin Keane's book was 7.95 new)!

Love this original Fred Young Big O!

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

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ben Wright's Spinning Reel Report: March 2014

MARCH 2014



3 first version exc+ @403.34
33 re-pro nib @ 147.50
33CDL re-pro nib @ 593.65
55 SS clear plastic side plates  exc- @225.00
  "   "      "        "           "        "     exc+ @416.00
C4X special edition green/cream nib @ 202.86
more Abu----
odd 333? dapple gray w/yellow side plate odd sticker decal exc @ 239.61
333 red/black exc- @ 393.45
444 5th version nib @ 157.00
rare abu record 500 paint wear @ 398.27
999 3 speed exc- @ 357.80

Aristocrat ewb @ 30.98
Larchmont cat 312 ewb @ 105.48
          "             no 3 exc- @ 81.00
Standard e-wb @ 51.00

Alcedo micron Deluxe exc- @ 163.05

Dam Quick:
1001 ewb @ 167.50
3002 ewb @ 106.75

English J W Young Ambidex mk 6 e-wb @ 128.43

Ercoa 3000 cf electric battery/charger ??? @ 142.50

Centaue carbie green needs bail spring @ 146.00
       "  Pacific  exc- @ 85.00
Croizix rust/paint wear @ 99.00
martin surf-o-matic by Luxor exc @ 82.09
Ru Mer Super exc- @ 79.99

German Silent e-wb @ 145.17 wow

Princess cf (not pink)  e-wb @ 127.50
sure-spin 640 exc- @ 53.25

common garcia 300 nib @ 75.00
     Japanese copies:
Crown Deluxe e+wb @ 103.17
Jorgensen mainliner e+wb @ 139.50

Ocean City 350 yellow exc- @ 87.00

704 first version nib @ 344.99 why?
722 e+wb @ 127.99

1770 cf exc @ 46.00

Sweden cast-elite cf ewb @ 237.97

55 cf ewb @ 64.00
Cardinal 3 3rd version nib @ 322.07

WHAT WAS NOT HOT--------------

Alcedo mircon early second version ewb @57.00

2 spinsters second version and a mk lV both exc- @ 17.50
FB 417 spinster exc+  @ 24.95

Au. early Alvey sidecaster w/bakelite spool,brass trim exc @ 22.77

mini-cast w/rod & case exc @ 14.50

Great Lakes early whirlaway ewb @ 43.99

Langley spinator 870 e+wb @ 27.99

(300) with yellow garcia sticker exc @ 14.50
A bunch of 300's re-paints with bright colors and some even with cut  glass
on the body and spools. prices ranged from 25.00 to 50.00 with no bids yet
most are re-listed come on you mitchell fans  !!!!????

Penn 706 ewb @ 112.50

2064 exc @ 29.11
2068 exc- @ 24.992091 ewb @26.00

last was an odd ball, sure looked old but home made no markings ??exc @

sure hope spring gets here soon


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The American Snell Part VII: Buhl & Sons' Guardian Brand

The Buhl Brothers were legendary figures in Detroit's long and interesting history. The founders of Buhl & Dacharme in 1855, the company became a titan in the wholesale hardware word. It eventually became koan as Buhl, Sons & Co. in 1880, and was located after 1925 in the art deco Buhl Building in downtown Detrot.

The firm sold a ton of fishing tackle, the majority under two different names -- Wolverine and Guardian. You can find a lot of tackle from this firm, ranging from Shur Strike lures in Guardian Boxes to Wolverine brand line spools.

1918 Buhl Catalog trade minnows.

1930 Buhl Catalog Heddon rods.

Snells from Buhl are tough to find, and even harder to find in good condition. Below is a snell I picked up recently; note it is missing the bottom part. I own a half dozen of these snells, and every single one has fallen apart due to enormously acidic paper. Very few other snell packets I own have this problem to this degree. Maybe Buhl got a batch of bad paper in their orders. I only own one complete Guardian snell packet.

They are fun to add to a collection of Michigan or Shur Strike lures. To learn more about Buhl, Sons & Co., see my article "Algonacs and Tashmoos: The Reels of Buhl Sons Co. of Detroit" in the September 2009 Reel News.
-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Voices from the Past: What is the Finest Fishing Lure in the World? (1922)

The following question was sent in to the fishing editor of Field & Stream in May 1922. It is an eternal one, in which the editor (Ladd Plumley) did a fine job of answering the question. Using the criteria below, I put the question to you: what is the best fishing lure in the world?

Editor, Field and Stream

"What is the finest fish lure in the world?"

-- S.J. Kelsey

ANS: Mr. Kelsey's question is certainly a very interesting one, and we are obliged to him for it. It is some question, all right! "What is the finest fishing lure in the world?"

Fishermen of different kinds have, of course, very different ideas as to tackle and lures. The sea and coast fisherman could not agree with his inland brother as to tackle or bait. If, however, we limit the question Mr. Kelsey asks to inland water fishing we can make it more simple, and perhaps arrive at an answer—that is for inland waters.

My own opinion is that the most productive lure in the world, the lure that in the past has caught the most fish of inland waters, if by lure we admit bait, is the ancient and always with us good old garden squirmer. Of course, if we do not admit bait to the class of lures. but regard all lures as artificial copies of living or dead things, then the question becomes still more narrow.

Anyhow, the question is not what is the most productive lure, but what is the finest of all lures?

Now for myself I consider fly fishing the finest kind of fishing for inland fish in the world. A personal opinion and that only. And, again as a personal opinion, I believe that there is one artificial fly which of the records of all artificial flies whatever stands at the very top. That fly is the Coachman—Royal and plain patterns.

Hence, and I speak for in personal opinion, as fly fishing, at least for inland waters, is the finest fishing in the world, and as the Coachman has made its record as the finest artificial fly in the world, the Coachman is the finest lure in the world.

But FIELD AND STREAM will be glad to hear the personal opinions of its readers as to this interesting question--What in their individual opinion is the finest fish lure in the world?


Sunday, March 23, 2014

1000 Words: Tyrone Power (1955)

Cincinnati native Tyrone Edmund Power, Jr. (1914-1958) was one of the finest actors of his generation. Known for his striking good looks, his matinee-idol persona masked an actor of considerable skill. At the height of his career, he transitioned to the stage and won accolades for his performance in Mister Roberts. Known for his swashbuckling roles like The Mark of Zorro, in 1942 Power enlisted in the USMC and became a pilot flying transport planes, participating in a number of campaigns including Iwo Jima.

Below he poses for a publicity still for the 1953 movie The Mississippi Gambler. Sadly, this fine actor passed away from a massive heart attack in 1958 while filming in Spain. He was just 44.

-- Dr. Todd

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Art of the Lure with Elissa Ruddick: The Arbogast Tin Liz

What I wouldn’t give to go back to the 1930s, just for the chance to get one of these cute little Arbogast Sunfish Tin Liz lures.  And to think I could get one, just for stopping at a Sinclair station to fill up the tank!  It appears that Sinclair used these little beauties to advertise their business, and I will be willing to bet these helped sell a many a gallon of gasoline.

Fred Arbogast introduced these life-like looking little Sunfish in 1932.  As his introductory advertising  stated, “The baby sunfish are the regular food of bass and pike, the idea of a sunfish bait is entirely new.  You’ll find the little Tin Liz Sunfish will get bass that are wise to ordinary baits.  Runs nearer the surface than the regular Tin Liz minnow—better for shallow water.  Natural colors—just the nearest thing to nature ever accomplished!”

Who says advertising doesn’t work?  I know darn good and well that I’d keep going back to Sinclair stations time after time, just for these lures!  As I always say, “a person can never have too many Tin Liz Sunfish!”

If you have any questions/comments, Elissa Ruddick can be reached at elissaruddick AT aol DOT com.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

Our own Robbie Pavey gives us the history of the Heddon Company.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This Montague Kosmic fly reel is insanely rare.

This South Bend 5-Hook Musky Minnow is a great lure.

Wow. This Eger Frog Skin lure box is very rare.

The Pflueger Supreme Model 2800 in the box is the real deal.

It must be reel week -- this Julius vom Hofe fly reel is pretty great.

This CCBC Baby Chub Wiggler in an intro box is great.

A Blue Head Pikie is a great find.

A Heddon Heritage 45 in the box is a neat find.

A Winchester Wobbler is a classic lure.

I will always love a Chippewa.

Instant Collection Alert: Roblex Flopys.

A Johnny Horton Fireball is a popular lure.

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

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Fishing Photographer with Doug Bucha: Mardi Gras Baits

Fun things to do when living on the Gulf Coast. Mardi Gras parades and hunting for Pier Baits.

-- Doug Bucha

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Fishing Advertisement: 1935 Lincoln

You know what makes me want to fish? This ad right here. It's a 1935 Lincoln advertisement that was widely used in the spring of that year. And it's AWESOME. Not only does it make me want to fish, it makes me want to fish in a hand tailored three-piece suit, complete with a pocket watch. You just know that's a pair of Thomas or Payne rods in his hands.

I love the little touches, too. Check out the wicker creel and wooden landing net. The car is a seven passenger touring automobile, made with "over five thousand operations held within 1/1000th of an inch." Just an amazing ad for an amazing car.

Sometimes when you hear the words, "they don't make them like that any more," it comes out of the mouth of some hipster doofus who wouldn't know quality if it ran over his fixed-gear bike. But sometimes, the saying means something, so when I declare, "they don't make them like THAT any more," I mean it.

-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Genio Scott, the First Anti-Spearing Advocate?

Ice spearing is still a fairly controversial subject. Some feel it takes too many large fish from a body of water, and that it isn't sporting. Proponents point out the long history and tradition of spearing. The following commentary, from Genio Scott's Fishing in American Waters (1869), is one of the early attacks against this practice.

Throughout the interior of our vast territory there is an ornamental tracery of running, sweet, and healthful waters, well supplied with food-fishes. The working of these waters is free to all fishermen, with the unimportant exception of a few depleted rivers, consequent on their having been overworked, but which are now being restocked and protected by legislative enactments during the process of recuperation. These are all near the sea-board. The lakes and lengthy rivers of the interior are still free; and where no regular fisheries are established,the inhabitants take what fresh fish they want, either with the angle, net, or spear. The poaching proclivity of some indolent persons has induced them to use the spear too freely in our small lakes during winter. In the State of New York there is a law against it, with fine and penalty attached, but it is still done in defiance of law. These poachers erect a board shanty on sleigh-runners, furnished with a foot-stove, and a hole in the ridge of the roof for the spear-handle. This shanty they draw out on the lake, cut a hole through the ice under it, lock the door, and commence spearing all the fish that come near their hole. If the constable raps at the door, no reply is meant to signify that the occupant is absent. Thus poachers squat in villages on our lakes in winter when the ice is thick, and spear the fish at a season when they are unwholesome for food. In Canada, for attracting the maskinonge to the spear, in one hand the poacher holds a line attached to an artificial minnow, which he keeps playing in the water, while with the other hand he holds the spear. The maskinonge darts to within a foot of the minnow, and, while hesitating there, the spear takes him.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, March 17, 2014

In the News: Treasure in a Tackle Box

About once or twice a year, an outdoor writer will pen a really good article about vintage fishing tackle. I'm not talking about one of those articles about an NFLCC show; there are a number of good columns about tackle shows that are almost an annual event. I'm talking about a nostalgic look at the history of tackle told through a personal point of view.

This is the case with Ed Godfrey's article "Finding Treasure in a Tackle Box" in the Sunday The Oklahoman. Godfrey was gifted a tackle box full of vintage lures, and hot on the news that a set of vintage lures was sold in Florida for $125,000, called NFLCC member Karl White to find out what he had.

I won't spoil the punch line, but it's definitely worth a read -- until the next time an outdoor writer finds a vintage tackle box.

-- Dr. Todd

Sunday, March 16, 2014

1000 Words

Wallace Beery (1885-1949) was one of Hollywood's greatest character actors. A veteran of 250 films, he began working in the silent film era and then moved seemlessly into talking film. He was so popular that at one point, he was the highest paid actor in Hollywood, and had a contract with MGM stipulating he was to be paid $1 more than any other valid contract at the time. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1930 for The Big House and won the following year for Best Actor for his role in The Champ. He was such a dedicated angler that he held the world's record for sea bass for 35 years, as we noted a couple of years ago on the Fishing for History blog.

Below he is shown from a publicity still from the 1930s.

-- Dr. Todd

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Art of the Lure with Elissa Ruddick: The Heddon "0" Minnow

This circa 1912 Heddon "0" Minnow is in one of my favorite Heddon colors. I am not alone, there are many collectors today that share my admiration for this color. I imagine this color, as well as “The New Superior Finish Minnow” flat surface and line effect body shape, attracted fishermen of the day to purchase them by the dozen! Seriously, what natural prey does this color mimic? Nicknamed “Strawberry Spot” by collectors, Heddon cataloged the coloration as White body, Red and Green decorations. Note that the front spinner is stamped “Heddon’s Dowagiac” while the rear spinner is not stamped.

Heddon had recently started stamping their spinners, as the side of the box states, “All Genuine Dowagiac Minnows have 'Heddon’s Dowagiac' Stamped on the Spinners." The red-bordered box is labeled "0" in the same red color, versus the usual product code stamping. I was told that in this era, Heddon was trying to decide what color to use on their boxes that would help attract more attention, and in the end sell more lures. They came out with a white border, blue border and red border box. Evidently, the red border was the winner, as that is the box that they stuck with, and even used in their brand name recognition in later advertising. Add the hand painted gill marks and life-like glass eyes to round out the details, and who wouldn’t want one, or two, or three? Before a lure can attract the attention of a fish, it must first attract the attention of the fisherman!

If you have any questions/comments, Elissa Ruddick can be reached at elissaruddick AT aol DOT com.

-- Elissa Ruddick

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

If you don't know what a "Sardine Ball" is, check out the video below. It's pretty cool!

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This Talbot 35 is just so good.

Holy Cozzones, baby!

A Case Rotary Marvel in a box is a rare beast.

Never fail, the Neverfail is here.

This 1889 Vom Hofe in box is soooooo rare.

A really great old CCBC lure is the Fintail Shiner.

This South Bend Minnow in the box is a nice combo.

This Tycoon Fin-Nor Gar Wood reel in the box is just the best.

Wow. This Shakespeare Uncle Sam is just so rare.

A Turbulent Fishing Lure by O.C. Schaefer in the box is a great find.

Can't beat these Moonlight Floating Baits in the box.

This Gregory Cleopatra is beyond cool.

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

-- Dr. Todd