Monday, June 30, 2014

In the News: Tycoon Fishing Tackle

As some of you know, I've been helping my friend Dr. Tim O'Brien relaunch the Tycoon Tackle Company, that legendary name from the Gilded Age of Big Game Angling. For those interested in how it's going, there was a great article in the recent Charlottesville Daily Progress that does a nice job of capturing where Tycoon is at the present moment. It's an interesting read (and not just because the article quotes me!).

A Tycoon fly rod in action.

-- Dr. Todd

Sunday, June 29, 2014

1000 Words

What can you say about this photo? The most famous actress in the world, Marilyn Monroe, walking hand-in-hand with her angling husband, who just so happened to be the most famous athlete in the world, Joltin' Joe Dimaggio. Talk about your power couples. Dimaggio could afford the Mitchell 300 he's using as the year this photo was taken -- in the summer of 1954 not long before the famed incident during the filming of the movie The Seven Year Itch -- he had been retired from the Yankees for three years and was still the most famous athlete in America. Sadly, their relationship did not last anywhere near as long as that Mitchell 300 did ...

-- Dr. Todd

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Art of the Lure with Elissa Ruddick: The Heddon 150

First manufactured in 1904, the Heddon 150 series five hook underwater minnows were produced until 1954. The one pictured here is circa 1907/1908, showing the era classic blunt nose with fat body, three hand painted red gill marks, glass eyes, nickel plated hooks and hardware with unmarked nickel plated props, in more than likely the most common color ever ordered, “Fancy Back.” From 1904 through approximately 1908, they came packed one each in a durable wooden box, although the earliest boxes had to be improved upon, as they were thin and would warp. The wooden box in the photo is the last phase they made before changing to pasteboard boxes, showing bold red printing on both sides, both ends and the top. Ok, you can’t see all the sides and ends in this photo, but I promise the red print is there! I suppose what I love so much about this particular era of the 150, is the all around “stocky” appearance of the lure. To quote a section in the 1907 Heddon catalog where they write about the quality of the lures they produced, they state, “We could state volumes of praiseworthy things about the “HEDDON” Minnows, but we prefer to let the goods speak for themselves.” I truly think this 150 does speak for itself!

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

-- Elissa Ruddick

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

You will not see a bigger Sardine ball than this!

12 Things I Would Buy If Only i Could Afford Them

These Polynesian fish hooks are pretty amazing.

A Stan Gibbs Cast-A-Lure is nice!

A Heddon 4-18 is SUPER RARE

This Heddon 4-Hook Slope Nose is a sweetheart.

A 1904 Heddon 100 is an incredible bait.

Winchester underwater minnows are cool.

A Heddon 3-24 is a nice reel, too.

A Heddon 00 in Strawberry is a nice find.

A clear Heddon Lucky 13 will attract a lot of overseas interest.

Ho boy, this CCBC Bug Wiggler is in nice condition!

Michigan Lifelikes are nice lures.

A Meek No. 4 is always a welcome sight.

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

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Spinning Reel Report with Ben Wright: June 2014

JUNE 2014


Featured Reels,
Another Seamaster with some wear and small chip in foot sold @ 3,600.00

A Zebco Zero Hour Bomb Co. CF 1A   w/Black spinner head NIB sold @ 450.00

Were some of the starting or Buy-it-now prices a bit high on the
following reels ?
there were NO BIDS on these----------------

Airex Larchmont no 3 exc - @145.99 and one @ 189.00
Airex Impala CF ewb @ 74.99
Alcedo mercury exc @ 325.00
CarGem 2-Pesci 4th version exc @599.00
Dam Quick 440N nib @ 200.00
Heddon 284 exc+ @ 124.99
Illingworth No 1 exc w/fitted case @ 3,180.41
 300 special  engraved presentation  like new @ 4,300.00
 Garcia 300 unpainted proto-type ?? unused @ 2,300.00
 Kingfisher GK10 nib @ 110.95
Kingfisher K55 nib @ 79.95
Orvis 50A exc @ 325.00
Orvis 75A nib @ 550.00
Penn 707 ewb @999.99
Penn 711 green ewb @ 350.00
Penn 712 nib @ 249.99
Zebco 99 combo CF nib @ 150.00

NOW for a few REEL DEALS:
Crack not marked 100 was marked Bernouville-Euro ewb @ 71.01
same   but also marked 100   exc- finish wear @ 9.99
Dam Quick 550N exc @ only 12.50
   "        " 2S-275 two speed nib @76.10
Mitchell 302 cut-a-way SS exc+ @ 89.00
Normally I do not list reels sold in lots BUT-------------- 6 spinning
reels all listed as parts reels some with paint
wear others didn't look that bad. one was a super rare Sportex Speed
Spin River with a MPU never seen b/4
the lot sold @ 158.48

More Reels and check out some of these selling prices:
Abu Cardinal:
3 3rd version ewb @ 315.00

Dam Quick:
Herters 73 e+wb @ 125.16
550N nib @ 100.99
5001 nib @ 280.00 wow

Allcock The Duplex w/twin guides exc @ 207.50
Odd Sidecaster 31/4" diam w/vented back plate and spool exc @ 744.51
Hardy Altex no 1 mk 11 exc+ @ 434.19
Illingworth No 3 some wear w/fitted case @ 255.68

Centaure Caribe black exc- @ 117.50
      "      Pacific 5-500 e-wb @ 222.51

Ofmer 212/LS exc @ 75.76
Zangi 3V first version paint wear @ 160.17

Compac Atlas exc @ only 9.25
Frank Hacking Featherweight exc @ 14.99
Jorgensen no 6 exc- @ 32.00
spin mitey exc- w/case @42.00
International mitchell 300 copy exc@ 45.10

300DL nib @ 662.87
508 exc @ 170.50
488 nib @ 154.45

704 second version ewb @159.00
716 ewb @ 160.00
716 nib @ 228.01
850SS slight wear @ 162.50

Zebco Cardinal:
4 4th version? e+wb @ 148.27

Other reels:
Line Caster SR3 exc @ 56.00
Montague 400 (OC) nib @ 31.00
Preciosa DGMA exc @ 150.00
and a True Temper 63L combo w/case exc+ @ 116.48

will next month bring more CRAZY prices ???

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How To Properly Clean A Fishing Lure by Bill Bailey

Years ago when I was in real estate I went to Atlanta to a sales seminar conducted by the #1 Real Estate trainer in the nation (at the time). I learned some things that have remained true until today. Mike Ferry said you can show people the proper and correct way to do things but 95% of the people STILL WILL NOT DO IT! ????

A question was raised a couple of days ago about how to get white mold off a plastic lure (Chalking).

There were 10 different suggestions on this subject.

I cannot believe collectors subject their lures to some of these suggestions. But here they are again:

#1 Boiled Linseed oil and a nail to clean in hard to reach places (A nail?)

#2 Vinegar

#3 Pledge

#4 WD-40

#5 Ammonia based glass cleaner

#6 Hair Dryer - (what does high heat does to plastic lures?) Why not set it on the dash of your car?

#7 Dawn soap and toothbrush (This is an acceptable start

#8 Semi-chrome polish

#9 Lens cleaner

#10 Mequiars color restorer car (paint) polish/cleaner

If you took the time to google what causes chalking to plastics (95% of you didn't) But if you did, you now understand the molecular structure of plastics. Scientist have studied this issue for decades and have proper solutions for cleaning, restoring and protecting aging plastics and paints. 9 of the 10 solutions above are improper if not detrimental to the lure surface. As time passes some of these chemicals will speed up the disintegration of plastics and paints. You old wood lure collectors would do well to pay attention at this point as it applies to the paints/clear coats on your wood baits as well! (Heat, Humidity and Temperature are additional factors to consider on wood baits) But we are focusing on the surface/finish of all painted baits. Metal painted bait baits also. So once again I would like to highlight the best way to preserve your investments. How many of the above remedies will remove light scratches from the surface of lures and how many leave a protective wax coating necessary to preserve the finish????????

So for the 5% of the collectors out there that really care to treat their lures the right way. I offer the following pictures to show you what to use on your lures.

Mequiars works on wood painted surfaces, plastic surfaces and plastic boxes/and or box sleeves.

**** One exclusion I can think of would be Gantron or matte finish baits ***

I am sure someone will chime in with other finishes that do not have a clear coat.

Here are a few before and after examples:

Try some of the above remedies on a Burke Flex Plug and see what happens?



Tools Used: Plastic Toothpic, Cotton Q-Tip, Cotton Cloth



TOOLS USED: Handle end of a skewer, cotton cloth (I use an old sock)

I am not trying to be a smartask! Just wanting my fellow lure collectors to use a little common sense instead of using whatever they can find under the kitchen sink!

Okay now I am ready for the 95% to chime in with their comments. This is a discussion board. I am always willing to learn something new and admit when I wrong so lets hear your comments.

-- Bill Bailey

Monday, June 23, 2014

In the News: An Uncle's Fly Rod

We often get largely unreadable love letters to bamboo fly rods. There is something about cane rods than lead seemingly normal people to purple their prose until it would make a Victorian girl blush. Sometimes, however, you find a little gem amid the overly verbose writings on bamboo, like this nice piece by Tim Talevich, published last weekend in the Seattle Times. It's short and to the point, and sentimental without being sappy. It's well worth a read.

-- Dr. Todd

Sunday, June 22, 2014

PRE-ORDER Bill Sonnett's Deconstructing Old Ads, Volume I

GET YOUR PRE-ORDER IN! Just finished proofing Bill Sonnett's forthcoming book Deconstructing Old Ads (Volume I) and it is going to be a cracker! So much info you will never find anywhere else, updated and revised versions of his legendary articles detailing the history of so many tackle companies.

In Deconstructing Old Ads (Volume I), Wild Bill will walk you through the history of tackle advertising, and along the way illustrate just what exactly collectors, historians, and fishermen alike can learn from them. Covering a span of over a century, Sonnett deconstructs 75 classic tackle advertisements for everything from Heddon and Shakespeare's first ads to the Mitchell and Ambassadeur Reels. Along the way, you'll learn a lot about tackle, collecting, and fishing with vintage tackle. Expanded and revised from the original columns, you won't find many books with this much to teach you about fishing tackle and history.

Just a FEW of the Tackle companies, advertisements, and personalities covered in this book include: Airex, Al Foss, ABU Garcia, Fred Arbogast, Ray Bergman, Bleeder Bait Co., Bache Brown, Benjamin F. Burgess, Champion Products Co., C.A. Clark, J.F. Clark, Cotton Cordell, Coleman Lamp Co., Creek Chub Bait Company, Croaker Bass Bait, Dalton Special, Byron Dalrymple, Dazzler Bass Fly, Dickson-Clawson, Clyde Drury, Lou J. Eppinger, Eric Fare, Jim Frazier, Fritz Friebel, Paul and Wallace Gallagher, Ben Gallinger, James Heddon, Charles Heddon, Carl Heinzerling, Helin Flatfish, A.L. Hobbs, Holzapfel Mushroom Bait, Holzwarth Minnow, William J. Jamison, Jensen Froglegs, Jiffy Ice Auger, Johnson Silver Minnow, Welcome Jones, Paul Junod, Herb Larsh, Robert Page Lincoln, Live Lure Co., Luxor Reel, L&S Bassmaster, Walter Marhoff, Clarence E. Markham, A.J. McClane, Millsite Daily Double, Mitchell #300, Moonlight Fish Nipple, Nifty Minne, Ocean City Manufacturing, Old-Time Nipple Dipper, Payson's Automatic Hook Co., George Perry, Pflueger, Prescott Spinner Co., Ernst Radke, Thomas Rawson, Repp's Sporting Goods, Jay Rhodes, Jim Schottenham, Scum Frog, Charles Schaffer, Shakespeare, Mack Shreve, Shur-Luk Manufacturing Co., South Bend Bait Co., George Walker Spear, William Stanley, Charles Staph, Superior Door Catch Co., A.F. Sydenstricker, Lloyd J. Tooley, True Temper Corp., O.C. Tuttle, UMCO, Hank Werner, Whirlaway, William Mills & Son, F.C. Woods, Worden.

CLICK HERE and pre-order your copy today! At only 24.95 plus shipping (for a full color book) you won't find a better bargain for the buck anywhere. When you do so, you'll be supporting Wild Bill and Fishing for History both! The book will ship the week the week after NFLCC Nationals, but all pre-orders get a signed copy!

-- Dr. Todd

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Art of the Lure with Elissa Ruddick: The Heddon "00" in the “Pine Tree” Box

Often times the beauty of an antique lure is not only about the lure itself, but also about the box it came packaged in. One of Heddon’s most sought after boxes by collectors today is commonly referred to as the “Pine Tree” box, due to the lovely green pine trees shown in abundance in the background. Also notice that the leaping bass, with no lure shown in its mouth, is pointing toward the left, and is not only outlined by the many pine trees, but also by the bright blue sky behind the pine trees. This is the only Heddon box that shows such scenery, and if I were guessing as to why Heddon didn’t use this box very long, my guess would be for just that reason; there was too much “scenery.” This box was only used by Heddon for a short time, around the 1911-1912 era. The next generation of boxes would focus more on the “game fish” by doing away with the lovely scenery in the background, and showing a largemouth bass leaping to the right, with a Heddon lure in its mouth!

The five hook “00” lure sitting on top of this box, although not pristine, is the original lure that was packed into it over 100 years ago. The proud owner used it, might have even caught a fish or two, then placed it back into it’s scenic home. Whatever Heddon’s reason was to stop using the “Pine Tree” box is anyone’s guess, but I bet if they would have had someone in charge like the late and great painter Bob Ross, there would have always been a pine tree on the box, and of course the pine tree would have always had a “little friend!”

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

-- Elissa Ruddick

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

This is an awesome 25 minute film from the 1950s produced by Wright and McGill about a portage to Alaska. Well worth the time to watch it!

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This is an awesome Tycoon rod!

This Lawrence creel is awful nice.

A Spindiver is an incredible lure.

A Gibbs Cast-A-Lure in the box is a nice find.

Original Fred Youngs are always great.

Wow. This Talbot is amazing.

This Pflueger 5-hook Minnow is great.

A Zebco 50th Anniversary reel is a great find.

Don't see many Arnold Fire Lacquer lures for sale.

A Pflueger Medalist in the box is a great reel.

A rare luminous Crazy Crawler would round out a collection nicely.

This Heddon Magnum in Yellow Anchovie is RARE.

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

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Lady!

Happy Birthday -- it's been a great 25 years. Here's looking at fifty more.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Voices from the Past: Heddon (1906)

The following article was published in The Western Field: The Pacific Coast Magazine for April 1906. It contained the accompanying ad which is an interesting piece of Heddon history in its own right. It's certainly hard to believe today, but in 1906 lures were still considered a "novelty."


A most artistic book showing the famous "Dowagiac" casting and trolling baits and their peculiar blended colors, is being distributed this year by Jas. Heddon & Son. of Downglac. Mich., whose advertisement appears in this Issue. The color plates, which must cost many hundreds of dollars, are simply perfect, and the perfect workmanship of "Dowaglac" bait is shown in a perfect piece of printing. Every sportsman will be interested in seeing this exceptional booklet. It will be sent free on request by Jas. Heddon & Son.

These manufacturers have certainly established themselves generally in the good graces of sportsmen throughout the United States and Canada by the high quality of their novel and unique productions. They have established a new standard in design and quality, all their products and their goods representing the very highest attainment in fishing tackle productions.

Reports reaching us from many parts of the country indicate that lovers of the rod are breaking records with the use of the "Dowagiac" casting and trolling halts. The advantages of artificial bait are being conceded more and more even by those who formerly thought that live bait alone served the best purposes. It is pretty well known that in the great majority of cases game fish strike only to attack the lure, and if the artificial bait is made right It will attract more fish and certainly will keep the fish on the hook when he might slip off ordinary bait.

A piece of painted wood with some twisted metal attached is no criterion for artificial bait, and the sportsman cannot judge the value of artificial bait by any such standard.

A perfect trial with the right kind of artificial bait quickly convinces you that you can catch more fish and bigger fish than with live bait, not to speak of the many conveniences of the artificial bait.

We are glad to say – and most sportsmen will agree with us – that the Dowagiac casting and trolling baits represent the acme of fishing tackle productions. The manufacturers Jas. Heddon & Son, of the Dowagiac, Mich., have set a new standard in the design and qualitv or their products. This year they are issuing a book showing their minnows from beautifully blended colors, the printing of which cost many hundreds of dollars. These color plates are as perfect and beautiful as any we ever saw. "Drop a line" to Jas. Heddon & Son Dowagiac, Mich., and you will catch one of the booklets.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, June 16, 2014

In The News: Ernest Hemingway, the Angler


This story hit several weeks but I wanted to wait for my friend Dr. Tim O'Brien to confirm a few facts.

Back in 1959, a famed angler visited Fort Walton Beach. His name was Ernest Hemingway, and to only was he the most famous writer in America, but the previous year his legendary novella The Old Man and the Sea had made the big screen, further pushing his status as the most famous angler alive.

Apparently, Hemingway and his wife Mary were on their way to Key West, where they planned to travel to his beloved Cuba. They stopped off at Fort Walton Beach, where they made the acquaintance of a local restaurant proprietor.

That would be that, as they say, except that Destin, Florida grew to be the home of the Destin Histry and Fishing Museum, where they have a fishing rod used by Hemingway in a marlin tournament in Havana.

What kind of rod is it? Well, according to Dr. O'Brien -- president of Tycoon Tackle, Inc. -- it was a rod built by his father, Frank O'Brien. Frank often fished with Hemingway (and a slough of other stars) and has a number of candid photos of him.

The rod pictured above from the museum is definitely a Tycoon rod, which is a cool thing, as Tycoon is still in business today making rods (check them out at Tycoon Outfitters).

I'm a sucker for anything dealing with Hemingway, so this is a fun story that reminds us just how iconic he was in the fishing world.

-- Dr. Todd

Sunday, June 15, 2014

1000 Words: Hollywood Goes Fishing

This week in Hollywood Goes Fishing we get a 1950s photo of one of the great celebrity anglers of the 20th century, Bing Crosby. Star of stage and screen and radio, Crosby was the biggest star in America in the 1930s and 1940s. He spent a lot of his free time fishing in California, where this photo was shot for one of the celebrity magazines.

-- Dr. Todd

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Art of the Lure with Elissa Ruddick: Samuel Friend's Frog

If you love vintage fishing lures as I do, you can’t help but love this one. Everything about this lure grabs the attention of we who appreciate the era of time when lure manufacturing was exploding with new and improved ideas of ways to catch fish, and of course, firstly to catch the fisherman.

The lure pictured here is a handmade wooden frog lure made by the F.A. Pardee Company of Kent, Ohio in about 1905/1906. The company had recently been taken over by F. A. Pardee’s longtime manager and brother-in-law, Samuel H. Friend. The two had been making lures together from around 1898, until Pardee’s retirement in 1905. After Friend took over, he made a few improvements to their first version “Champion Floater Frog” lure, so collectors refer to this second version as the “Samuel Friend Frog”. The nose of the lure body is more pointed and tapered, the “bow tie” props are now made of aluminum instead of the German silver they had previously been made of, and the length of the tube bearings on the aluminum “bow tie” props are longer and cone-shaped. Both the “Champion Floater Frog” and the “Samuel Friend Frog” lures came equipped with wire through body hook hanger hardware, yellow glass eyes with black pupils, and had a red glass bead placed behind each tube bearing to keep the props moving freely when retrieved through the water, as well as to prevent wear to the front of the lure body and to the rear hook hanger. This is the second version of what is commonly referred to as the “Kent Frog” lures. More changes to the lure would be forthcoming in the years that followed, and the rights to make them would eventually be handed over to the Pflueger Fishing Tackle Company.

The light rust on the hooks, the slightly bent hook point on one of the side treble hooks and the broken line tie only add to the “character” of this relic of the past, at least to me anyway. Besides…what fish, fisherman or collector could resist a cute little froggie like this?!

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

-- Elissa Ruddick

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

Yep -- this guy is just messing around with his GoPro camera, and then runs into a Great White. Pretty scary stuff.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

Yep. This CCBC Special Order is opening the flood gates of some incredible pieces on their way to market.

This Bingo Hump Tiger is in a pretty rare color.

Like this Heddon 00 in the box.

Haven't seen many closed leg Heddon Luny Frogs of late.

This herringbone is one rare Jitterbug.

An Old Pal Tow Bucket is awesome.

The Fintail Shiner is a neat Creek Chub lure.

Not going to find a nicer Heddon Pal P-41. than this one …

This Heddon Top Kick is pretty incredible.


A Musky Crazy Crawler is beyond awesome.

Love this Julius vom Hofe #2 fly reel marked Appleton & Bissett.

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

-- Dr. Todd