Pflueger Antique Fishing Lures

Enterprise Manufacturing Company

Akron, Ohio

Pflueger is one of the nation's earliest, most prolific and most enduring tackle giants. Established in the 1860s as a fish hook manufacturer, the company blossomed well before 1900, offering a broad line of hooks, spinners and metal baits. The company also experimented with and marketed many rubber lures as well. By 1905, Pflueger, with various trademarks including the Four Brothers name, was well entrenched in the lure industry. Some of their classics include the Kent Floater and the Kent Champion Floater and a host of early underwater baits including the Monarch Wooden Minnow and the Neverfail Wooden Minnow.. The Pflueger maroon boxes discussed below are among the company's most desirable to collectors. You can never have enough of these great lures!

I Buy Antique Fishing Lures!

This is Page 1 of 2 Pflueger Pages.

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Pflueger's Electric Minnow lures were the company's top-of-the-line underwater wooden minnows. This green Pflueger Electric Minnow was found in Pennsylvania at an estate sale. It is one of the finest examples that has survived and is almost 100 years old! It was made as a competitor to the Heddon 300 Surface Minnow and is similar in size and design.  The Electric Minnow disappeared after just a year, so perhaps it was a Heddon infringement.

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The Pflueger Monarch Minnow lures were the company's top-of-the-line underwater wooden minnows. This green crackleback Pflueger Monarch Minnow specimen is in one of the nicest boxes I've ever seen. These lures were made in the early to mid teens. The box is correctly marked for the color of the lure. Pflueger Monarch lures are fat-bodied versions of the more common Neverfail underwater minnows.

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Four Brothers Neverfail Under Water Minnow is an early company  trademark, referring to the four Pflueger brothers involved at some point in the company. This  mint Four Brothers Neverfail Underwater Minnow lure in an unusual color was found  by my ex-wife's 91 year old grandmother in Missouri. It is an all-time favorite of the collection. This piece dates to the teens and never saw water.

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Prior to the maroon boxes, Pflueger Neverfail Wooden Minnow lures came in wonderful wooden slide top boxes. Unlike Heddon's printed wood box lids, many Pflueger Neverfail  Wooden Minnow boxes had a  paper label  applied to the boxtop. This Neverfail Wooden Minnow, made around 1908 to 1910,  turned up many years ago in central Florida.

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This is another hard to find box that says Pflueger's Neverfail Minnow. The apostrophe isnt always found. This Pflueger's Neverfail Minnow is in blended yellow-orange - a terribly unusual and hard to find color for the Neverfail lure. I would also like to find a Kent Floater box.

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This is a wonderfully painted early Pflueger Kent Champion Floater lure made to resemble a frog. The Kent Champion Floater would have come in  a box with the company's "Diamond P" logo on the boxtop. This bait has hand-paointed spots and the Diamond P on the front propeller. Note the wire-through hook hangers and the unusual, and very early, detachable hooks. 

This is a later, but nonetheless gorgeous, Pflueger Kent Floater frog lure. This one comes in its maroon intro box marked with the circa 1911-1912 Bulldog logo and the boxtop also says "Pflueger Kent Floater" on the label.  This lure has the words "Kent" and "Floater" engraved on the front propeller, which is made of aluminum. The Kent Floater box is one of my favorites.

The  Pflueger All-in-One Minnow is a classic among all lures, not just this company. Offered only for a year or two around 1916, the elaborate bait featured rhinestone "diamond" glass eyes and four interchangeable lips for "floating, diving, darting, wiggling or spinning." This crisp maroon Pflueger All In One Minnow box is one of only three I'm aware of, and this near-mint spotted red and green lure still has all four of its unique lips, stamped with the name of the lure and numbered 1 through 4.

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The Pflueger Surprise Minnow lures are a collectors' favorite. This is an early version with the hole eyes. Later versions have glass eyes. These maroon boxes are wonderful, and there is no substitute for a stunning Pflueger Surprise Minnow  finished in early electric rainbow. This is also the correct box.  This lure came from an unselfish fellow collector  (and friend) who knew I'd give his treasure a good home. Its body is similar to the Catalina.

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This is the oldest Surprise Minnow box, with the Four Brothers label. Other boxes, including the one above, carry the 1915 patent date. This box notes only that the patent had been applied for. Doing the math, with the patent application filed in 1913, would place this luminous lure within that window. The color papers have a picture of the lure and the giant  factory. The Surprise Minnow came in eight colors and many were used on the Electric Wooden Minnow.

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This is yet another of the early maroon Pflueger Surprise Minnow boxes, with a minty red and green spotted lure inside. The 24-page pocket catalog inside the box notes that the company was founded in 1864, and is in its 51st year, dating this piece precisely to 1915.  The catalog extolls the greatness of the Surprise and also mentions the Monarch and the Pflueger Neverfail baits. This nice addition to my collection was acquired from a visitor to this website.

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The Pflueger Champion Wooden Minnow dates to 1910-1912 and was Pflueger's cheap line of lures. They were usually sold on cards, not in boxes. Their paint job was poor,  and they had brass eyes, not glass. No gill marks on these baits either. This box, according to fellow collectors, is the only one around.   The Champion Wooden Minnow is sometimes hard to identify, as it has no markings to pinpoint its maker.

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The Pflueger Metalized Minnow was the Enterprise Manufactiring Company's effort to compete with Shakespeare, which also came out with a metal-plated line of wooden minnows in the early teen years. This bait was short lived, obviously, and is quite rare, as is the wonderful box.  The Pflueger Metalized Minnow was very short-lived. This lure is shiny like the Pflueger Electric Wooden Minnow, also known as the Portage Electric Minnow.

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The bulbous, revolving head Globe Bait is a classic. This early Pflueger's Globe Bait has side-hooked Neverfail hardware and is in its correct maroon intro box.  Note the early "target" logo that preceded the more common Bulldog logo found on many other boxes. The papers inside are an order form to buy tackle from the Enterprise Manufacturing Company in Akron. The Pflueger Globe is a classic rotary head.

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The Pflueger Palomine was made from the 1930s into the 70s, when the lure became a cheap, painted-eye version with "Hong Kong" stamped on the lip. Palomine lures are common but fun to collect. This group includes a dozen of the earliest glass eye versions made in Akron, which date to the 30s. The interesting colors include "scramble" finish made by mixing paint leftovers at the end of the day; green cracked back (looks like an argyle sock), green crackleback, redhead with pearl chips and other fun finishes. 

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I Buy Antique Fishing Lures!

Other Pflueger lures of interest include the Pflueger Palomine, Samuel Friend Frog, Kent Champion Floater, Conrad Frog, Simplex Minnow, Chum,  Portage Electric Minnow, Magnet, Wizard Wiggler, Wizzard Wiggler, O-Boy, Catalina, Mustang, Scoop, Meadow Frog and many others made by Four Brothers or Enterprise Manufacturing Company. The "Wizard Wooden Minnow" is an early lure altogether different from the Wizard Wiggler, sometimes spelled "Wizzard Wiggler." Other important and desirable lures include the Conrad Frog, the Pflueger Electric Wooden Minnow. There was also a monarch Floater and a Simplex Minnow. 

The company also sold lures under many trade names including the Ketch-Em Wooden Minnow by Simmons Hardware Playfair Wooden Minnow, Portage Electric Minnow, the Catalina and many others.