Monday, September 29, 2014

In the News: Fishing with Vintage Tackle ... in Britain?

It looks like we’re not the only ones here in America who like to fish with vintage fishing tackle. This article in Britain’s The Western Morning News, fishing writer Tom O’Reilly recounts his experiences carp fishing with vintage tackle.

The experience was in an effort to honor the late Richard Walker, a legendary figure in the British angling world. It’s a nice read and a nod to the idea that just because tackle is old, it doesn’t mean it can’t still be used.

— Dr. Todd

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Art of the Lure with Elissa Ruddick: Abbey & Imbrie “Glowbody” Minnow

The “Glowbody” Minnow marketed by Abbey & Imbrie in their centennial year, 1920, will be glowing long after I and all who are reading this are six foot under. The “permanently luminous material” used inside the crystal body is made from radium. Radium is said to have a half-life of over l600 years, so the term “permanent” works for me! Half-life is a complicated formula that requires someone who paid a lot closer attention in algebra class than I did, but trust me, it’s a really long time!

The tube of radium inside was described as having “every appearance of a wrigling worm”. Wait, I thought this was supposed to be a minnow. Hold on; the description goes on to say that, “The “Glowbody” Minnow has nickel-plated head and tail, with fins and propeller”. Ok, is this a minnow with a glow worm inside? Well, whatever this lure was supposed to mimic is a little unclear, but one thing is for sure, the body certainly still glows as spelled out on the box label. Speaking of the box label, they really should have used a spell-checker before it went to the printer. Every time I read it, I swear I find another mistake! And I sure hope I never drop and break this thing. I’d really hate to have to call a hazmat team to come clean up and properly dispose of it…

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

-- Elissa Ruddick

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

I love old home fishing movies. This movie shows fishing in Escondido, Cal. ca. the late 1950s. It’s a great slice of Americana.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This Shapleigh Hardware “Ultra” Casting Minnow by Heddon is the belle of the ball.

This is a damn rare Buel dated spinner.

Never seen a Partridge rod go this high in my life.

This Kenns Creel is really awesome.

A Shakespeare 5-Hook Minnow is always a nice find.

This Chippewa is a beautiful lure.

Never heard of this Star Salmon plug before …

An 1899 Farlow catalog is very rare.

You don’t see many of these Montague fly reels for sale.

An Allcock Aerial is always a superb find.

I do like this Hardy Princess in the box.

Hello, Chugger Spook!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ben Wright's Spinning Reel Report for September 2014


Listed were not one but two (2) super rare Cortland spin reels. both by same seller, both were exc+ but missing
sticker decal. they were made by Alcedo of Italy.
Did seller have a clue of what he was selling ? not one bit !! one was listed with a buy-it- now of $180.00 while the other one was  listed with a starting price of $9.99 not long after one was ended by seller because there was an error in  listing (sure there was !) and shortly after that the other one was no longer available !!

Did I email seller and tell him  what he had? YUP did I ever hear back  from him NOPE and didn't think I would.
sure wish I knew what they sold for and who get them oh well just another day on the bay !!

How about a Zebco Cardinal 3 First version NIB that sold @$406.01

check this one out-
An Abu Cardinal 77 First Version NIB was listed with a Buy-it-now of $2,475.00 not sold yet !!???

more reels that did sell--
Abu Cardinals:
33 second version exc @ 172.50
33 second version nib @ 276.89
33CDL re-pro nib @ 371.66
C-3 China nib @ 66.95
c4X special edition green nib @ 200.00

Bronson-- must be a collection being sold
All Closed Face all NIB
Classic 920 @ 56.99
Pilot 925 @ 53.01
Savage 910 @ 39.99
spin cast 880 @ 39.99
Wildcat 804 @ 45.00
others that did not sell were re-listed

Super 270 ewb @ 43.00
    "       "       "    @ 68.00
5001 nib @ 360.00 wow

J W Young Duco finish wear @ 62.02

Crack 100 fb nib @ 161.50
Crack 200 fb nib @ 113.00
Crack 300 fb nib @ 179.98
Lasso paint wear @ 145.49

Spin Pal 100 cf ewb @ 87.75 284 nib @ 60.00 Italian: Cargem-- Mignon 33 exc @ 152.50 " " UL exc @ 103.07 Zangi-- Holliday 40 ewb @ 132.49 " 60 exc- @ only 128.50 Orvis 75A exc+ @ 238.50 " " nib @ 281.95 Mitchell common 304 nib @ 91.00 Ocean City: two 350's yellow both exc+ @ 89.70 Shakespeare: 2080 second version nib @ 41.00 Pflueger Supreme 550 ewb @ 76.00 " " 600 exc @ 60.00 Pres 11 2840 ewb @ 83.00 Zebco Cardinals: 7 3rd version nib @ 168.50 model 1970 salesman sample clear plastic ewb but missing handle finally sold @ 204.50 other reels: Flo Line nib @ 107.50 Gliebe 20 by Sportex of Germany paint wear @ 130.50 J C Higgins 275-31190 by Tamco of Canada exc @ 35.00 J C Penny 275-31191 same as above exc @ 127.50 wow Spin Champ cf @ ewb @ 40.85 Stucki Swiss exc w/box @ 51.00 Reel Deals: Abu Garcia Cardinal 3BP nib @ 170.00 Flo Line ewb @ 37.00 H-I 1915 cf exc @ 12.50 Zebco Cardinal 557 exc @ 28.37 winter is around the corner Ben

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Voices from the Past: Fly Rodding for Bass (1917)

The following neat article on fly fishing for bass appeared in the July 1917 issue of Forest & Stream. It’s an early and interesting article on one of my favorite past times, fly rodding for bass.

Fly Fishing for Black Bass


We shall soon be thinking pleasantly of our favorite streams and lakes, where that lord of the waters—the black bass—is to be found. When the tackle box is being packed make room in it for a few flies; they will not add much to the weight of your tackle, but they may make a surprising difference to the weight of your creel.

There is an idea amongst men who have never used the fly for bass that only small fish can be caught in this way. But that is as true of any other way—the big fellows are not caught every time on any kind of bait. I have caught bass weighing four pounds on a fly, and no doubt many other fishermen have caught much larger fish in the same way. I find, too, that many have discarded the fly because they had no luck with it. When I see some of the contraptions that are sold as bass flies I am not surprised. One may as well bait his hook with a submarine.

The outfit for catching bass with the fly is very similar to that used for trout fishing: the only difference is the rod should be a little longer and heavier—say a rod weighing about seven ounces and ten feet long. The leaders should be six feet, and, of course, a little stronger than one used for trout.

THE flies should be large trout size, a number 5 or 6, tied on a Sproat hook. These are the sizes with which I have had most success. The usual bass fly is much too large and heavy and can only be used successfully as a troll with a spinner. This, I believe, is the reason why some have failed to get any good results with the fly—it has been too big. The four flies that have filled my creel, or helped in that direction, are Scarlet Ibis, Dark Montreal, Jock Scot and Royal Coachman.

This list might be lengthened considerably. Any fisherman could add some good flies to it; I am simply naming those that have done me good service. I would say to the beginner: Get these four flies to start with, have them tied on different size hooks, from Ss to 8s. A variety in size is far more important than a variety of colors.

Cast them as you would for trout and you will get fish in almost any lake or river. I have caught more bass on the Scarlet Ibis than on any other fly, and nearly always have one on my cast. Early in the season bass will often rise better to the Royal Coachman or Jock Scot, but about July the Ibis always takes the biggest fish. From about the middle of August the fly season is practically over — the fish have gone into the deeper water, and then it is more profitable to go after them with bait.

It is best to fish the fly from a boat, keeping about sixty or seventy feet from the shore, then one can fish both ways— towards the shore and the deep water. Get someone to row the boat and let him push you first, then cast to right and left ahead of you. If no one can be found to do the rowing let the wind drift your boat in the desired direction; should this carry you too fast lower your anchor stone about three feet; this will reduce the speed and steady the boat. When you come to a good place anchor your boat and fish all round, not fearing to cast three or four times over the same water.

The best places to fish are the rocky bars, any wall or disused pier. On a hot day cast around trees that overhang the water or near a boat that has not been used for some time. Do not pass any lily pads or the roots of sunken trees without casting over them. Above all, if there is a solitary post that sticks up out of the water, cast round it every time you go that way. You will often get some good fish there.

Early in the season do not hesitate to fish in a foot of water if it is on a quiet and rocky part of the shore. I have seldom had much success in water over twelve feet deep, though flies can be trolled over almost any depth of water, and at times with great success. In casting the flies it is best to let them sink two or three inches and retrieve them slowly. A gentle ripple on the water is very helpful, but it must not approach roughness. I have never had any success in a high wind, with rough water, on a lake.

The best time with the flies is from about 3 o'clock in the afternoon till an hour after sundown, though some of my friends have done well fishing in the moonlight; but then you need the larger flies. The best time of all is the afternoon, before the break comes after a spell of dry hot weather. Then bass will take flies as trout take worms when there is a freshet in the brook. If you are not a good weather prophet always take your flyrod with you and try a few casts every day.

If you have never had a healthy two pound bass on a flyrod with seventy feet of line out there is something owing you that I trust will be paid before this season closes.

— Dr. Todd

Monday, September 22, 2014

In the News: The Wonders of Wildlife Museum

Bill Bates sent this article in and it’s an interesting one, as it deals with the fate of the Wonders of Wlldlife Museum. Bill writes: “The Wonders Of Wildlife Museum has a curious history having opened a number of years ago and then closed for years for this make-over.   It is next door to the Bass Pro HQ store and it sounds like the Fishing Heritage Center will be open by the time of the 2015 Nationals in Springfield.  I don't know what the historical fishing artifacts will be but if it is like many of their other projects, it should be something to see.”

It will be fascinating to see if the Clyde Harbin collection will FINALLY see the light of day. Those of us who’ve been collecting since the 1980s have distinct memories of Clyde and his collection.

— Dr. Todd

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Art of the Lure with Elissa Ruddick: The Viking Frog

Although little is known about the Viking Frog, thankfully the box top and patent give us a fairly short, but decent history. Oscar Christensen, a shoe repair man, whose shop was located in the front of his home at 320 Robert St. in Saint Paul, Minnesota, applied for a patent for his Viking Frog on Aug. 1, 1935. Patent number 2,047,768 was granted to Christianson for “The Look-Alive Bait” on July 14, 1936. The size of the patented lure is 4-1/2” in length, although a few 3-1/2” non-jointed leg versions have been found. It is not known if the smaller ones were actually made by Oscar, or possibly by other family members, but the similarities to the patented lure seem to be unmistakable. Oscar must have used items from his shoe repair business, such as the leather for the rear feet, as well as the little nails that were used on the underside to hold on the rear legs and on the sides to hold on the front hooks, that also doubled as front legs. Some had single hooks attached inside each front quadrant of the rear legs, making them four hook versions, while others had a single hook protruding from the center rear of the body, making them three hook versions. The rear legs were designed to spread out and back in while being retrieved, mimicking the natural action of a real live frog.

I don’t know if the Viking Frog turned out to be a fish catching bait, or a novelty, but from the company name on the box top, it looks like Oscar had it covered either way!

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

— Elissa Ruddick

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

This is a nice short video of the great Charles C. Ritz.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only i Could Afford Them

Holy moly is this Meek No. 3 tournament reel sweet!

This Eger bait in the box is attracting big time interest.

This Westchester Bug is incredible.

This B.C. Milam No. 3 is really great.

A Heddon bamboo rod in great condition will always find a good home.

A Heddon Bud Hi-Tail is a rare find.

Who doesn’t love a Pikaroon?

The Smithwick Gandy Dancer is a really underrated lure.

I love this Heddon Abbey & Imbrie Big Joe lure in the box.

The K&K Animated is one of the all-time classic lures.

Love this Knickerbocker tackle box.

This Pflueger Hawkeye is an awesome fly reel.

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

— Dr. Todd

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Super Rare Creek Chub by Pat Washburn

I got the following note from Pat Washburn, an Ohio Creek Chub collector. The photos he sent in were of an amazing Creek Chub lure which I had not seen before. Here is his message:

As an avid antique lure collector, I constantly look at Joe's Old Lures Message Board and see your Fishing for History, which I very much enjoy.  As such, I have attached two pictures of a rare Creek Chub lure that you may want to include in "12 Things I Would Buy if Only I could Afford Them."  This is a mint #1910 Striper Strike in the amber flash color in the right box.  In his Creek Chub book, Harold Smith calls amber flash "the rarest of the Creek Chub colors." When I told him this summer at the NFLCC show in Ft. Wayne that I had found a #1910, he was amazed because he said that he had never seen this lure in this color even though it was a regular production color for the #1900 Striper Strike for several years.  So, I thought the readers of Fishing for History might like to see this.

I took the pictures in the large format on my digital camera so I believe that they are good enough quality for your online publication.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Wow! What a rare Creek Chub color! How cool. Thanks for sharing!

— Dr. Todd

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Fishing Advertisement: Old Gold Cigarettes (1939)

The Petty Girl became an American institution thanks to advertisements like this one, from the July 17, 1939 Saturday Evening Post. George Brown Petty IV was already well-known by this time (he began his series of "Petty Girls" for Esquire in 1933), but as he more finely honed his skill in pin-up air brush art, he would happen to peak at the exact right time, just as America was about to enter the Second World War. Few G.I.s did not have a Petty or Vargas print during those war years, art work produced specifically as pin-ups. But the earlier advertisements like this one show that the Petty style was already commonplace by the time the war began.

Interestingly, Petty (who used his daughter as the model for much of his art) maintained a hunting and fishing lodge near Hayward, Wisconsin, near where I grew up. While he was mostly interested in hunting, he did do some angling in those musky waters from time to time.

As for his artwork, I'll have to go with what George Lois, the famed art director at Esquire, once said: "I'm going on the record to swear that George Brown Petty IV consistently created better-designed women than God..."

-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Voices from the Past: James Grant (1878)

There is nothing more delightful than coming across a reference to a fishing tackle maker in an unexpected place. In my “other job” as a history professor I try to keep up on recent research. A fairly recent book I picked up called Gwen Raverat: Friends, Family and Affections by Frances Spalding had been on my reading list for some time, as I waited for my recovered hard drive to boot I decided to read it. Raverat was the granddaughter of Charles Darwin and an active member of the Bloomsbury Group, as well as being a fine writer and artist in her own right. It’s a great biography enhanced by the fact on Page 9 we get this reference:

In 1878 James Grant, a fishing tackle maker, wrote to [Charles Darwin], wanting to know whether or not his discoveries had destroyed the evidence for God, as found in nature’s phenomena. Darwin’s reply is lost; but from Grant’s subsequent letter it is evident that Darwin had replied in a “kindly spirit” with a solution that neither upheld nor destroyed his correspondent’s beliefs but encouraged independent thought. “I do not feel,” Grant replied sadly, “that I can plan any reliance upon instinct or intuition in relation to the existence of God.”

Grant was one of the legendary Spey rod builders and, as the ad below from the book Grantown and the Adjacent Country: A Guide to Strathspey (1895) shows, active in all aspects of the tackle field. That he was an inquisitive and intelligent man goes without saying.

— Dr. Todd

Monday, September 15, 2014

In the News: A Love Letter to The Tirthan River in India

Occasionally a fishing story comes over the wires from an unexpected place. Such was the case about Diya Kohli’s “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish,” published in the New Indian Express. You’re always going to get my attention with a Douglas Adams reference, but it’s also a lovely tribute to a place most of us have never been: the Tirthan River in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh.

What’s neat about good fishing literature is that the location is interchangeable; Diya could have been writing about the St. Croix in Northern Wisconsin or the Mad River near Urbana, Ohio or the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River in Idaho. It’s just a lovely piece and well worth a read.

— Dr. Todd

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sunday at the Beach with Dr. Todd E.A. Larson: The Ostracod

Is there anything more full of wonder than a child at the beach? Underneath the waves is an entire world waiting to be discovered. Join us every Sunday for a day at the beach, and learn more about the aquatic world!

Fish that shoot laser beams? According to this article it's brought about by one of the most spectacular defensive displays of any creature in the ocean.

Actually, it's not the fish that produces this bioluminescence, it's a tiny flat crustacean known as the ostracod. Certain species of ostracods produce luminescent chemicals commonly called "blue sand" or "blue tears" and when eaten by certain fish, like the translucent cardinalfish above, these ostracods release this glowing chemical in order to attract predators so they won't be preyed upon any more. The cardinalfish, sensing how dangerous it would be to be lit up in a totally darkened environment, spits out the ostracod, resulting in the fireworks above.

A typical ostracod.

Another example of the supreme coolness of nature!

To learn more about ostracods, click here.

-- Dr. Todd

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

This is a super cool vintage video of marlin fishing in New Zealand by the IGFA.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only i Could Afford Them

Who wouldn’t like a Turner Spider?

This is one cool tackle box full of stuff.

Kind of really like this Abbey & Imbrie JVH reel.

This Heddon #606 is a-ok.

This Nixon Aristocrat is really cool.

A Hornet Lure metal sign is a nifty find.

Ever see a minnow trap this big before?

Any J.B. Crook reel is a rare find.

This is a gorgeous Tiny Tim.

This is a genuinely beautiful old unknown fishing lure..

Love these Fish Orenos in the box.

Bet you didn’t know a Kencor 7’ Crappie rod would be worth this much.

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