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...