Sunday, November 30, 2014

1000 Words: Hollywood Goes Fishing

This week in Hollywood Goes Fishing we feature a photo of Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, better known as Sting. Sting was a founding member of the legendary band The Police, and has sold over 100 million records worldwide. This press photo, dating from around 1978, shows that he at one point enjoyed angling. This attitude may have changed, if this article about how he tried to have a fishing shack torn down because it “ruined the view” from his $15 million 800 acre estate is to be believed. It’s still a nice photo of simpler times.

— Dr. Todd

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

The video of the week was sent in by Bill Sonnett. It is a very funny video about a cool fish.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This Chippewa is in a nifty color.

I do like this Heddon Spearing Decoy.

Any Heddon 150 in a wood slide top box is a great find.

Don’t know much about this Lenz Trolling Reel but I do know it is rare.

Well, this Frost Chippewa is pretty darn tough to find.

This old Arbogast Jitterbug in an apparent water wave color is amazing.

I’m not sure I have ever seen this color on a Heddon before.

I’ve always liked these Hardy Cascapedias.

Most underrated rods in the business: the Phillipsons.

A Winchester Multi-Wobbler is always a fun find.

A 29” Rapala in Blue Tiger is a great display piece!

A Shimano Bantam #100 in the box is a great collectable.

Thanksgiving Bonus

Well, this old wooden frog lure is absolutely going insane. Is it a Heddon? Who knows?

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

— Dr. Todd

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

A sincere Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! May your day be filled with good food and good fellowship.

— Dr. Todd

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Heddon Luny Frog Dealer Poster

The following image of a Heddon Luny Frog dealer display poster was printed in a 1927 fishing guide. It’s an outstanding image that I am 100% sure was printed in glorious color … the question is, has anyone ever seen this dealer display??? Note the treble hook on the Luny ... it was offered with both a double and treble belly hook direct from the factory.

— Dr. Todd

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Voices from the Past: Dixie Carroll on the Joe Welsh Telaranova Leader (1919)

Starting this week and continuing for the next several months, I’m going to feature the fishing tackle writing of one of my all-time favorite writers, Dixie Carroll (Carroll Blaine Cook). These famed pieces of tackle were featured in his great book Fishing Tackle and Kits. They are fascinating write-ups of the tackle from a contemporary perspective. Below is Dixie’s write up on the Joe Welsh "Telarana Nova" leaders. Telarana Nova is Spanish for "new spiderweb," as these were made from Spanish silk gut. As seen in the picture below, the name was retained in the post-war era with Nylon leaders.


Telarana Nova Leaders.— Imported by Joe Welsh, Pasadena, Calif. The Joe Welsh Telarana Nova Leaders are wonders in the leader line. They are made of one length, without a splice or knot in it, and any fisherman knows the value of this feature alone in a leader. They are quality goods and wear till the cows come home; they carry more strength in their make-up than one would expect in a leader and you never have to worry about leader troubles when using them. Besides the strength and durability of these leaders, they have a color that blends in with the water and are practically invisible; they throw no reflections whatever and seem to blend in with the water in such a way that they cannot be seen at all. I have one of these leaders that has been used two years and it has not shown up any weakness, fraying or bad spots; it should be good for another season or the openers anyway. They come in sizes for most any kind of fresh and salt water fishing and can be had up to nine feet in length without a knot. When you figure that you can use a Telarana Nova Leader all season you gotta admit that it is some leader. Without a doubt this leader is the greatest development in the leader line since old Daddy Walton was in the game. When the water is crystal clear and the light brilliant and you have tried the ordinary gut leaders, throwing their reflection like a bright streak in the water, just tie on a Telarana Nova Leader and note the results in the creel. For their strength, the fact that they are knotless and that they are practically invisible in the water these leaders are recommended as being right and they should be carried by every fly-fisherman.

Joe Welsh Telarana Nova leader.

Later nylon Welsh Telarana Nova leaders.

1921 American Angler ad for Telarana Nova leaders. Note the National Sportsman seal used by tackle articles approved by Dixie Carroll.

Joe Welsh photo ad from 1918.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, November 24, 2014

In the News: Combating the Asian Carp

Invasive species are a major problem facing our fishing waters in the 21st century. This is why new developments, like the one detailed in this article by Discover magazine on electric shocking of Asian Carp in rivers.

It will take lots of work and innovative ideas to deal with invasive carp, snakeheads, etc. and it’s great that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is developing new ideas to save our waters.

— Dr. Todd

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Art of the Lure with Elissa Ruddick: THE CHIPPEWA BAIT – CHIEF OF RIVER AND LAKE

Omer F. Immell of Blair, Wisconsin received two patents for his unique “Chippewa” lure, number 974,493 on November 1, 1910 and number 990,984 on May 2, 1911, with the latter more closely resembling the actual production lure. A very talented man, Omer held ten patents during his life, four of which were fishing related. After founding a manufacturing company in 1904, he must have been more interested in inventing and selling fishing items, as he sold the non fishing inventions and started the Immell Bait Company in 1906, then in 1909 he changed the name to the Immell Bait and Tackle Company.

He incorporated on April 30, 1912 with three others, selling 50 shares of stock for $5,000.00. There were several versions of the “Chippewa”, including floating and sinking models, in sizes ranging from 3-1/2” to 5-1/4” that were painted in 12 different known colors, all with beautiful, round, life-like glass eyes. All sizes of the “Chippewa” lures featured an integrated metal spinner in the center of the lure that spun in the water when the lure was being retrieved to attract fish, and I’m sure it was just as intriguing to the fishermen when shopping for lures! One side of the spiral spinner was painted red, while the other side was chrome plated and stamped with “PATDNOV11910”. It is believed that the Immell Bait and Tackle Company continued making the lures until sometime in 1915, and the company ceased to exist all together on January 1, 1918 when its charter was revoked by the state of Wisconsin. From late 1912, after Omer incorporated his company, until they ceased being produced, C. J. Frost of Stevens Point, Wisconsin was the sole distributor for Immell’s “Chippewa” lures, and may have actually produced the components, or maybe even the complete lure. The last advertisement known for the “Chippewa” was in 1915 by the C. J. Frost Company.

Regardless of the unknowns, Omer Immell’s “Chippewa” lure invention remains a favorite among collectors today, and I’m sure it will for many years to come. Hmmmmm … I wonder what politically correct name these “Chippewa” lures would have to be changed to if they were still being produced today?

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

— Elissa Ruddick

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

If you have an hour or so check out the documentary film (the whole thing is here) THE COMPLETE ANGLER by James Prosek

12 Things I Would Buy If Only i Could Afford Them

This Shakespeare “PIG” Glass Minnow Trap is really great.

Kind of really love this Brilliant Mullet Scale Husky Musky.

This 1852 dated J.T. Buel is beyond great.

This Shakespeare Barnacle Bill in the box is a great piece.

Weirdest looking great plug around, the Paw Paw Platypus.

A 1927 Maryland License Pinback is lovely.

This Meek #3 is blowing up.

Mint Outing Getums are rare as Hen’s teeth.

Love this set of two Enterprise Mftg. Co. Pflueger 2nd quality baits on the card.

A Globe in a maroon box is a nice find.

This Heddon Winona is a cool Indiana style reel.

Love this 1931 Creek Chub catalog.

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

— Dr. Todd

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Rare Pflueger Dealer Display

I was looking up other things recently and ran across this blurb in the June 1922 Hardware World magazine. It was above an article entitled “Dealer Cooperation” and showed what has to be one of the toughest Pflueger advertising pieces to find. The copy read:

The Enterprise Mfg. Co. of Akron, Ohio are offering to send to dealers, prepaid, a three-piece window display in color on heavy lithographic board, with double easels and complete instructions for setting up, as a means of helping to increase their sales and extend their trade on Pflueger’s fishing tackle.

These three display pieces consist of the fishermen as shown above a leaping bass and water, a counter pamphlet container. It is sure to attract attention at this season. They claim to be the oldest and largest manufacturers of fishing tackle in the United States making a complete line of everything the fisherman needs. They will be glad to send their catalog, No. 37, of some 400 pages of interesting and valuable information to any of our readers who have not received a copy.

I imagine this display was at least six feet tall, and I bet it had gorgeous colors! It’s a superb piece.

So … has anyone seen this dealer display?

— Dr. Todd

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The American Snell Part VIII: A.C. McClurg & Co. Superior Snells

We wrote up the history of A.C. McClurg back in the “52 for 52” days, when we covered the history of 52 trade houses in one year.

General Alexander Caldwell McClurg was a Civil War veteran who became a legend in the book business, being one of the largest book publishers and distribution houses in America. Best known for publishing Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan books, in the 1919 Sporting Goods Dealer the company was listed as a sporting goods jobber, implying they were in the tackle business a generation before I had previously thought they were.

This would explain why bamboo fly rods marked “McClurg's Challenger” have been found; they are Union Hardware products, a pre-World War II manufacturer of note that never got back into the business after Word War II.

These are ca. 1950 McClurg & Co. snells from the 1930s, likely manufactured for them by Pequea (who utilized that sylized “S” on many snells they made for other companies). They are fairly hard to find.

— Dr. Todd

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Voices from the Past: Dixie Carroll on the Pflueger Supreme (1919)

Starting this week and continuing for the next several months, I’m going to feature the fishing tackle writing of one of my all-time favorite writers, Dixie Carroll (Carroll Blaine Cook). These famed pieces of tackle were featured in his great book Fishing Tackle and Kits. They are fascinating write-ups of the tackle from a contemporary perspective. Below is Dixie’s pre-amble followed by the first installment on the Douglass Patent Pflueger Supreme.


During the past few years as editor of the National Sportsman Magazine, fishing editor of the old Chicago Herald, the Chicago Daily News, and author of a series of articles on fishing, hunting and the outdoors for over fifty of the leading daily newspapers of the country I have had thousands of requests from sportsmen asking for my opinion on this or that in the tackle line, or what I thought of this particular piece of kit, or would you carry this line of food in your dufile bag on a two-weeks' canoe trip. Although having fished from the bent-pin stage up to now and toted a rifle or shotgun from as far back as I can remember, there were many lines of goods that I had not used, therefore was not familiar with them and could not give an honest opinion on their value in the woods or along the waters.

To be both square with my readers and fair to the maker of a particular piece of kit about which query had been made and with which I had no experience or knowledge as to its material, workmanship or adaptability for the outer's use, I instituted in the National Sportsman a Tryout and Testing Department, giving the maker of any piece of outdoors outfit the privilege of submitting his goods, same to be put through whatever paces I wished to give it during the work-out, my report to be published, and from which I could base a definite and worth-while reply to a reader.

During the past year and a half I have tried out and tested 364 pieces of kit; of these I have favorably passed on and reported 168 as being in my judgment high class in material and first class in workmanship, and worthy of a place in any sportsman's outfit. On others I have reported either conditions that could be corrected, or that certain stuff was not of a grade or value enough to receive a favorable report.

Following is a selection of reports that have been made on goods that have been submitted by the maker, without any strings tied to them, and upon which I have passed as being right and of value to a sportsman who prides himself on having a kit that he can show to a pal and feel that it will stand the gaff in camp, on the trail or waters. These goods were all given a thorough workout under far more rigid conditions than they could ever receive with ordinary usage, some of the tests extending over a period of six months to a year before being completed, and it is a pleasure to me to place my unqualified endorsement upon them. The trying out of these different pieces of kit, under varying conditions, has been one of the most interesting and instructive things that I have ever handled, and if the outer derives any value from the many hours devoted to the work I will feel that the effort has been rightly placed and that the work has accomplished even more than the good that was originally intended.


The Douglass Patent Pflueger Supreme Casting Reel

Pflueger-Supreme Casting Reel. — Made by the Enterprise Mfg. Co., Akron, Ohio. For a reel that minimizes backlashes to zero and makes a clever caster out of an amateur in a day's casting, the Pflueger-Supreme reel which is combination levelwinder, anti-backlash, freespooler, certainly is a tool that takes all the work out of casting and adds pleasure to the sport. No more cussin' from tangled lines nor tired fingers from guiding the line evenly on the spool. The level-winding part of the reel remains stationary when casting, thus avoiding the frictional wear on the line and on the level winding part of the reel. As you start reeling in, the line is picked up by the carrier and laid on the spool as evenly as the thread on a new spool. The level winder is encased, which makes it dirt, sand and water proof and the carrier only works while the line is being reeled in. The gears which are generated spiral toothed are always in mesh which makes it impossible to strip them, the clutch taking hold automatically when the line is reeled in. The automatic thumbers set on the inside of the end plate make the reel anti-backlash; as the tension of the bait diminishes, these thumbers slow down the spool and as the bait drops on the water the spool stops. A mighty handy part of the reel is the adjusting screw with a dial regulator on the end plate by which the tension of the thumbers can be regulated to the weight of the lure. A complete twist of this dial and the reel is a free-spool, level-winder for the fellow who wishes to thumb the reel without the help of the automatic thumbers. The reel is finished in the dull satin silver which throws no flashing signals to the waiting fish. It is built right and of fine material and will last a fisherman a lifetime. For night-fishing, when the big ones are out, it is a wonder worker. The Pflueger-Supreme reel carries the usual guarantee of the Enterprise Mfg. Co. as to quality and service.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, November 17, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Haskell Minnow Sells for $8000.00

The recent fairly unpublicized auction of A Rare Haskell Minnow went to auction today; this beautiful lure sold for a hammer price of $8000.00. When the 18% buyer's premium ($1440.00) and shipping, taxes, and insurance are factored in, it looks like the lure sold for approximately $9500.00 -- not a record but a solid price for an auction with little fishing tackle.

What would this Haskell have brought at Lang's? A Baby Haskell Minnow brought over $20,000.00 with buyer's fee in 2012, so it's possible this one would have exceeded (possibly far exceeded) the $8000.00 hammer price. In fact, no Haskell Minnow sold by Lang's has sold for LESS than $20,000.00 with fees since Live Auctioneers began recording final value prices for Lang's auctions. So it's pretty fair to say that it went for a good buyer's price.

Regardless, the bottom line is someone added a really iconic piece of tackle to their collection!

-- Dr. Todd

In the News: Chip O’Brien, Fly Fishing Writer

I’m often asked by strangers about how they can break into the outdoor writing world. I always tell them the same thing: write a lot. Like, all the time. Learn how to research and write. But even good writers and researchers have trouble finding paying work.

The story of fly fishing writer Chip O’Brien is very telling. O’Brien got his first break in the early 1990s writing about something he knew well, the McCloud River. That one article helped spiral into a career that has culminated in over 500 articles over two decades.

I feel for budding writers today; it’s a brutal world out there and very few paying jobs for writers. But perseverance still matters, and with some luck you can make a name for yourself in the fishing world.
— Dr. Todd

Sunday, November 16, 2014

1000 Words: Hollywood Goes Fishing

There are few celebrities who enjoyed fishing more than Bing Crosby. The best selling crooner of the 1930s and 1940s, he was a superstar until his passing in 1977. His favorite hobby of all was fishing, which he often did with his children at his cabin in Idaho. As a major proponent of angling, he was featured in many press photos while angling, including the one below from 1952. It's a great "illustrated photo" of Crosby at his height.

-- Dr. Todd

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Art of the Lure with Elissa Ruddick: The Heddon #100

The actual ability of a specific color to attract or even repel fish has fascinated both anglers and scientists alike for many years. One thing is for certain, though, unless a fisherman is truly color blind, color undoubtedly attracts the fisherman! Red is the color that most attracts attention in humans, and I definitely fall into that category. How can one not be attracted to this classic red circa 1905 Heddon “High Forehead” 100 minnow, along with its red lettered wooden box and box paper?

Whether fish can or cannot see the color red, dependent upon the multitude of varying circumstances, may never be known, but I do know for sure that I will never use this old red wooden plug to prove or disprove anyone’s theories!

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

— Elissa Ruddick

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week

Watch this British collector break down a Haywood reel from 1810.

12 Things I Would Buy If Only I Could Afford Them

This is a great Black Sucker from Heddon.

Chippewas are always really awesome finds.

This Heddon #700 is unreal.

The Moore’s Yellow Plug is an often overlooked classic.

When’s the last time you’ve seen an 1835 engraved reel?

Horton #3 tournament reels are the best.

Oscar the Frog is always popular.

Love this Julius vom Hofe.

A 1927 Creek Chub catalog is a really rare find.

A Moonlight Pollywog in the box is a great find.

A Penn Model K from 1932 is going to go berserk.

Always like the Heddon #00.

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

-- Dr. Todd