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Thread: Old Time Fishing Lures

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Old Time Fishing Lures

    I see Fred Arbogast is no longer making the Sputterbuzz. They cleared the last of them out for $1.99 apiece a couple of weeks ago.



    Then again, Fred Arbogast is no longer an independent fishing lure company, but a product line of Lurenet, and I don't know why this bothers me, but it does.

    I liked the little bait and tackle companies, with their flagship lures and a half dozen quirky (or quirkier) designs that fluorished after World War II and up through the 1960s.

    Back when Kautzky in Iowa made the Lazy Ike (and the Mighty Ike, and Chug Ike, and Flex Ike and the Sail Ike, also known as the Shark Ike or even the Demon, depending on which box it was shipped), and Heddon had dozens of designs, including my favorite, the Heddon Cousin in a purple clown type paint job.

    Don't get me wrong about the state of the art with today's fishing lures, as they have far more going on with technology now than those small lure companies could hope to attain. I guess those lures of yesterday had more imagination than innovation. I have never met anyone who caught a fish on a Sputterbuzz or a Heddon Cousin. The Jitterbug did catch fish, and so did the Lazy Ike. But the Sputterbuzz was worth a dozen casts just because it looked so darnformidable going through the water. Maybe not formidable, but definitely neat. Same story with the Heddon Crazy Crawler and the South Bend Bass Oreno, they were neat looking going through the water...does anybody even use the word neat like that, or did it pop back into my vocabulary along with the names of 50 year old fishing lures?

    I remember going to Boy Scout Camp in the Northwoods, by Watersmeet, Michigan. We had about five lures to share between three brothers, and three of them were dinky gold Marathon gold spoons, which sold for 30 cents. Well, as my brother and I were hoisting our assigned canoe down from the rack, out dropped a Lazy Ike that had been caught up on one of the seats. A real Lazy Ike, not a cheap knock off from Japan (not to be confused with the present day Japan where $30 bass lures are normal, and would be at home in a modern art museum). "Kautzky" right on the lure, and best yet, it was in the deadly Perch color! The Good Lord might as well dropped a solid ingot of gold-nay, platnium!- in front of my brother and I as that Lazy Ike, with a full week of fishing for hammer handle pike in front of us, such was our good fortune!

    I can't say as I ever caught a fish on that lure. Maybe because we were too scared to cast it amongst the snags and lily pads like I would those little gold spoons. The spoons were death on little pike that had more appetite than substance, but they were expendable. After all, we had two more! But with that Lazy Ike, we were only one careless cast away from disaster, a risk we couldn't bear to take. We knew "The Good Lord giveth...", and we weren't going to test the other part that invariably follows . We always threw the Ike out on the deep side of the lake, and kept it towards the surface, clear of cover (and fish) There, we could see it seductively weave its way back to the canoe in the clear water, and that was enough to earn its place on the top tray, front and center of a small and pretty empty tacklebox.

    So what's the point? Not much, I guess. I liked Bombers that looked like a bomb, and Whopper Stopper lures, the Cisco Kids with the foil inserts molded into the transparent bodies and the odd paint jobs on the color charts that always followed the standard (01) Red Head with White Body that was the one paint jobe every self respecting plug maker had to have.

    I would like to hear of anybody else's "old time" favorites. Not the ones worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, not even the best fish catchers. Just whatever one brings back good memories when fishing was more art than technology...
    Last edited by bowfin; 07-09-2012 at 11:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master ammohead's Avatar
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    Joe Bucher still makes the awesome "Buchertail" spinner aka bucktail spinner. A 7 inch affair that looks like a roostertail on steroids. I fish for northern pike in Comins Lake near Ely NV. Having grown up in Wisconsin I knew about the deadlyness of bucktail spinners against pike and musky. In vain I searched high and low all over Ely and Reno for such a lure but alas none could be found. So to the internet I went and order them on line.

    The good news is that these particular northern pike have never seen a bucktail spinner before and I have been slaying said pike and am having a ball! They especially like the silver blade with black tail. Just ordered 3 more tonite. Now I need to find a fly tyer. Their needle teeth really tears up that tail and I have a bunch of perfectly good spinners with no hair left!

  3. #3
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    Caught by first large mouthed bass on a Bomber in the '60s with my Grandfather, just the two of us fishing after work one afternoon. It was a bit over 3 pounds. He's been gone for 25 years- what a memory to cherish!

    David
    There is only one way of compromising the on Second Amendment. That is when Liberals call for Conservatives to compromise. What they really mean "give up just a little more of your rights just this once"- every time they call for compromise. Molon Labe!

  4. #4
    Boolit Man 44deerslayer's Avatar
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    I'm a big musky fisherman I use Len Hartman lures I meet him years ago , swim whizz ,CIsco kids ,hot n tot ,buck perry spoon plugs meet him years ago too , wooden pike minnow ,rattle traps ,shad raps , I mostly troll I do very little casting

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    I still have my Dad loaded tackel box, full of Big mouth bass lures. Added to my own that hasn't been touched in decades. Among them are Hoola Popers, Crazy Crawlers, Jitter Bugs, and Hedon Sonics.
    When Dad (my fishing bud) could no longer safely ply the lakes and rivers, I lost interest. There are still several Oren push buttons, mounted on what at the time were the best flyrods that poor folks could afford. His first steel casting rod, along with the solid (clear) glass rod are stored just like he last used them.
    It wasn't about the fish caught, but rather the time spent with him, that mattered.

  6. #6
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    Heddon's Pumpkinseed brings back memories. Caught a nice Largemouth with it's first cast, lost it on the second. River Runts were kool looking but I can't say I've ever caught anything on one. As northern kids, we use to trade fishing lures as one would trade pocket knives down south.

    Winelover

  7. #7
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    The Gapen family still own and operate the family business in the small home town I grew up in.
    http://www.gapen.com/
    a close friend of mine works for them.
    The Ugly Bug and Bait walker are their most famous lures/rigs, used for Walleyes
    in the small streams and lakes of Central MN.
    Jon
    Last edited by JonB_in_Glencoe; 07-10-2012 at 07:28 AM. Reason: typo
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  8. #8
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    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    I caught largemouth bass on a Crazy Crawler, on several Jitterbugs, on Rapala's and had quite a collection of Mepps spinners. Largemouth in the ponds, smallmouth on the Shennandoah, and trout in the National Forest were our quarry.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  9. #9
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    Wordens Rooster Tails, in brown with the gold spinner, the smallest they made- deadly on trout in small streams. Never caught a single thing on a Mepps, but I've owned about 100 of them. Rapalas, the little Countdown model, not sure if they even make them anymore. Hula Poppers in yellow. Of course Dardevles in red and white in every size from tiny ultra lite to Dads Musky sized ones. For years Dad had a giant sized Dardevel that looked like it had been put in a metal press and almost folded in half! No idea for sure what did it, but it was in the St Lawrence and we figured it was a snapping turtle, one so big we really didn't want to run into it. Pikies, the good old wood ones, Creek Chubs, might be one in the same, I can't recall. Hinckley spiners, even though you had to re rig them. Little Cleos and Goldfish. I must have had gazillion Goldfish, great on cloudy days for trout.

    We must had had dozens of lures that never caught a single fish. There was one rig I tried for years, sort of a fore runner to a buzz bait. Never caught a thing. But then, I've never caught a thing on a buzz bait either. Never caught anything on a Jitter Bug, Heddon Sonic or it's imitators or many others. I've caught precisely one fish on a plastic worm! Never caught anything but Crappie and Rock Bass on jigs.

    In flies- my number 1 dry fly was home tied Irresistables. Tough, float forever, not impossible to see. In streamers the Muddler types ruled and in wet flies I think it was a Cow Dung. I can't even begin to count the Parmachene Belles I've bought and tied or the Coachmen, BiVisibles, Duns, etc. not to mention the Mickey Finns, and hundreds of other streamers we tried. Nymphs were another area where the folks at Orvis got a lot of my dollars and where I spent hours tying various designs. Pretty hard to beat something black and brown and small. We spent hours splitting duck quills and dying them to make the old style Wooly Buggers, not the newer style that use simple hackle. Never caught a thing but bottom.

    These days I don't even think about fishing, or hunting much for that matter. I wish I had the energy, but there's just too much going on.

  10. #10
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    375RUGER's Avatar
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    pop'r, the old ones seem to have more action than the new ones
    devils horse
    orange and black bomber caught my first bass
    lucky 13
    zara spook

    The one thing I've caught more fish on though from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico, bass, perch. crappie, pike, walleye, halibut, cod, catfish even--Fleck Weedwader.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Smile

    I've still got Arbogast Jitterbugs and a Sputterbuzz, and even a Hawaiian Wigggler. Even have a Flatfish (red orange). Unlike, Bret, I've had decent luck with Mepps spinners, but only with squirrel tails. In fact, I sold an original James Heddon Dowagiac wooden lure (with glass eyes) on eBay not long ago for a nice price. However, these days my "go to" lure is a Mister Twister with a spinner and yellow or white curly tail attached. Ahh, Bowfin's post really brings back memories!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master DHurtig's Avatar
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    I like the old style lures too! Here's one I made a couple years ago. Hope to get some more made before the summer is over.



    This is a copy of a Creek Chub Surface Dingbat that I carved from Eastern Red Cedar and left a natural finish. The legs are elk hair, Dale


  13. #13
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    Completely lost intrest in fishing after my grandfather past away . I've his tackle box ........what was left after the gold diggers got done. Plotzky balls o fire was all I ever caught trout on until just after he passed away. We went down to the sand point on the hyway side of Walker Lake , took my kids and another friend , we knocked the cutthoats dead that morning on his Rooster tails,6'6" Abu Garcia's and the old Mitchell 300s.

    We fished a bunch of local made 1oz leadheads on #1 or #2 hooks w/squid skirts for sea bass in the Pacific off the Bia San Quintien. Blacks,Sand,Sea bass,halibat,cod,and a 10lb bass turned bait for a fish I can only identify as bzzzzzzzpop! We had 4 generations in the boat that day...............
    In the time of darkest defeat,our victory may be nearest. Wm. McKinley.

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    onceabull's Avatar
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    As a teener,StepDad & I did considerable fishing in the Sacramento River Delta sloughs.. When focused on Black Bass,the Johnson Silver Minnow & attached Pork Rind,and the Shannon Twin Spinner Bucktail were particularly favored. Arbogast's Hawaian Wiggler,& Hawaian Spoon also seen fttt..Still lugging all of those around,and making a few casts with them for memories and grins... Onceabull
    "The Eagle is no flycatcher"

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Ah, the memories of a childhood fishing with those who have gone on now. My dad taught me to love fly fishing, haven't been in more years than I can count now, life and increasing age have gotten in the way. The ancient Egyptians had a saying: "The gods do not subtract from a man's allotted time the hours spent in fishing." Thanks for bringing back the memories. GW

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    Go to Evil bat and you will have a real walk down memory lane

    How about Heddon Punkinseed for a start but be warned hold on to your wallet.

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=...&_osacat=36145

    I have found almost every lure I have ever used listed there.

    Start looking here

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/Freshwater-F...-/36145/i.html

    After looking you might wish you had saved a few of your old ones instead of leaving them hung up in a tree or on a stump 6' under water

    ENJOY but don't blame me
    WE WON. WE BEAT THE MACHINE. WE HAVE CCW NOW.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Funny thing is I've found some of the best lures have been the simplest desings.

    Kastmasters



    Little cleos



    I do have some old mepps from my dads tackle box. I'd used and lost a good number of them until I realized I should keep a few for old times sake. I also have a pair of his bamboo rods that I should repair as the thread holding the guides has deteriorated.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Both Mepps and Rooster tails can be bought with silver plated blades. These reflect light as a whitish flash, which to me looks more like the reflection off of fish scales. The Johnson Silver Minnow is also silver plated on the silver models. With the price of silver, it has to be tempting to these manufacturers to just say, "Hey, who would notice?"

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Depending on water clarity and lighting conditions, silver/chrome can be the way to go one day, and brass/gold the next. I also like blue/silver, green/silver, red/silver and blue/brass, green/brass and red/brass. The 1/4 oz seems to be the perfect weight for my u/l rods and 6# test. I can cast them plenty far, and they are big enough to keep me from catching the tiny fish.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Seeing that story about the Lazy Ike brought back a flood of memories. As kids in the 60's, my cousin and I thought it was the best lure ever made. I remember a smallish yellow one with green spots that murdered the goggle eyes and sunny's in the local creeks. Out on the Susquehanna a couple of Heddon (I think) River Runts were the titz. I made the transition to fly fishing in the 70's and the old lures and plugs fell into disuse. I found my old tackle box a few years ago, and lo and behold, they were still there. I've been meaning to make a shadow box display of them. Not that they're worth anything but they do bring a smile to my face when I see them. Dreams of a mis-spent youth haunting the creeks that fuel the daydreams of a mis-spent middle age...

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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GC Gas Check