South Bend Bait Company, Page 2

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The huge Musk Oreno is the musky version of the Bass Oreno. There is an almost endless variety of Oreno lures that turn up. Just when you think you've seen them all... you haven't. This big lure has glass eyes, although the earliest models are found with no eyes.

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On the opposite end of the spectrum from the Musk Oreno is the tiny Trout Oreno, a wooden bait made for flyfishing. These little boxes are particularly elusive. South Bend also made these little flyrod baits in a package of 10 that came in a square box much like the Vacuum Bait box. Those sets are rare.

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This Midget Surf Oreno in its special box has the re-enforced hardware at front and back. Midget Surf Orenos are much harder to find than regular Surf Orenos, but the larger member of the family still attracts more interest among collectors.

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This early Nite Luming Surf Oreno in its special box has darkened with age. Perhaps the luminous ingredients in their secret early paint jobs was improperly mixed. Whatever the case, this unfished lure is no longer "Luming" but the box is certainly nice. The early flyer inside described South Bend's "new" line of Nite Luming baits, including the Woodpecker.

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The Feath Oreno was a popular flyrod bait made to compete with Heddon's successful Wilder-Dilg. The baits are almost impossible to tell apart without them being side by side. These cellophane window boxes were made in the 1930s. Usually, these boxes are missing the cello window.

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The  Best-O-Luck baits were made by South Bend in the late 20s through mid 30s as a cheap line of baits that cost about half the price of the company's premium line. This is a No. 918 Weighted Underwater Minnow in rainbow. These tack eyed lures, according to advertisements of the era, "do not carry our customary guarantee . . . but are exceptional values for their price."  The boxes are common.

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The Cal-Mac bug is another of South Bend's successful flyrod lures. This cigarette pack-sized two-piece box dates to the late 20s or early 30s. There are cloves inside the box to keep moths from damaging this fragile little lure.

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This glass-eyed Tease Oreno in yellow perch finish is from the 1930s, and its box is typical of the generic South Bend boxes that replaced the array of special "oreno" boxes made for the previous 20 years. 

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Last, but not least, is the special Nite Luming Bass Oreno in its original box. The newspaper inside is dated 1915, and a note is handwritten on the page about having caught several nice bass on this plug in a lake in central Michigan.

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