Miscellaneous Tackle Companies

I Buy Antique Lures!

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Dickens Bait Company, Ft. Wayne, Ind.

 The Duplex Darter, or "Liar Convertible Minnow" as it was first known, was made around 1919 and featured a removable belly hook that could be mounted one way to dive, and another to skitter along as a topwater bait.

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Dickens Liar Convertible Minnow

Here is the earliest Dickens - the Liar, in its hard-to-find original box. The convertible hook pin is shown partially pulled out in this photo so you can see how this bait works. The paperwork, like many flyers of that era, made plenty of promises. The lure is identical to the Duplex Darter.  

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Dickens Weedless Wonder, Ind.

The Weedless Wonder, a no-eyed chunk bait usually found in red and white, included a heavy, weighted tail hook covered in feathers. These lures date to around 1922. The flyer in the box offers casting and trolling suggestions.  

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Jim Donaly Baits, Bloomfield, N.J.

This famous tackle maker marketed his earliest lures before 1910 and was selling the famous "Wow" lure shown in this photo by the 1920s. This important lure was later acquired by Heddon and became the Crazy Crawler , a common lure found in most  tackle boxes from 1940 on.

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Jim Donaly Jersey Wow

The Jersey Wow, shown here in its original box sold by Alex Taylor & Co. of New York, has the same body as the Donaly Wow, but has one treble hook instead of three. The angle of the wings is opposite the Wow, with the line tie at the slender tail instead of the "head." The Jersey Wow is harder to find than the regular Wow. Note the folky paint job.

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Jim Donaly Redfin Floater, New Jersey

The Redfin Floater is an early Jim Donaly invention that featured a huge, aluminum prop mounted on a painted plug of wood. Donaly baits of this era were characterized by crude - but distinct and artsy - paint jobs. This example has a rare early paper flyer. Collectors love Donaly baits! 

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Jim Donaly Baby Redfin Floater

This is the Baby Redfin Floater, a smaller version of the one shown above. It is mint in the box with papers, and is one of my favorites of this collection due to its pristine condition.  It's hard to see in the photo, but Donaly boxes are very deep and the top piece slides onto a small portion of the bottom.

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Donaly Diver

The rare Diver has a larger, fatter body than the "Wow," and a notched chin fitted with a movable aluminum diving lip. The shovel-shaped lip is stamped "JIM DONALY, Bloomfield, N.J."  The Diver is much, much harder to find  than either of the two baits shown above.   This excellent example was acquired from a visitor to this website.

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Drake's Sea Bat, Milwaukee

This rattling lure was patented in 1931 and sold in Wisconsin for several years. The side fins were adjustable and could make the bait dive and wobble. There was also a BB rattle inside. There are lots of these lures around; some time ago a cache of new-in-box examples were uncovered.

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 Edgren Spinning Minnow, Chicago

The Edgren is an early classic first patented and sold in 1903 and 1904. The fish-shaped revolving lure is stamped with the lure's name and the patent date. The papers inside are printed in a wonderful early block style reminiscent of the turn-of-the-century baits that everyone wants to find.


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Edgren Spinning Minnow

The smaller-sized Edgren is equally as appealing as the bass size, and the papers offer suggestions that the feathered, or "dressed" tail hook can be swapped out for a pork rind attachment.  The minnow, it says, is "high grade Nickel Silver and ABSOLUTELY RUSTPROOF."

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Edgren Flyrod Spinning Minnow

The tiniest of the neat Edgren Minnow baits was marketed as a flyrod lure and came in a tiny, but very attractive, picture box. The label on this example is pasted over another label, but I haven't yet had the nerve to see what's underneath.  I have placed the quarter in the photo to show the lure's size.

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Eger Bait Co., Bartow, Florida

 The Eger Bait Company is one of Florida's largest lure makers, operating from the 1930s well into the 1950s. This Dillinger  lure has lead belly weights to make the bait sink. This special  "Victory" box was issued during the waning days of World War II to remind anglers to keep the faith.

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Electro Lure, Minneapolis, Minn.

These well-made pyralin lures with machined metal parts could be unscrewed to allow insertion of a battery that lit a bulb in the plug's tail. These baits date to 1938 and can be found in three different  boxes: Pal's Tool Company, Lloyd's and Paul Bunyan. The Pal's  label on this box is pasted over a  Lloyd's box.  The relationship is a mystery to me.

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 Evans Weed Queen, Detroit

This wonderful spring-loaded wooden lure has unusual milky glass eyes and dates to the early 1930s. They were made by E.S. Evans & Sons of Detroit, but the enclosed  paperwork is over-stamped Evans-Walton Co. The special hook is finely machined out of  wire to give it resilience. Later versions of this bait were sold on cards.

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 E-Z WAY Bass Bait, Newark, Ohio

Harlow & Steinbaugh, 1915

 This is unquestionably one of the most elaborate – and potentially dangerous – lures ever manufactured. The nicely cut wooden chunk bait features a grooved tail-end into which a spring-loaded double hook contraption is attached. The hooks, when set, make the lure weedless, but when the trigger mechanism releases the barbs, it springs open several inches. The flyer inside its purple-maroon box starts out with some important advice: “Look Out!” After repeated warnings about how not to injure oneself using this lure, it goes on to explain the directions for its use. The makers included William F. Harlow, a well-known outdoorsman and pattern maker for the Worley Stove Manufacturing Co. of Newark, Ohio – a riverfront town about 35 miles east of Columbus. Harlow also manufactured and sold duck decoys and duck calls around 1900 and his products are highly sought after by collectors of waterfowl memorabilia. Little is known about his partner, Johnny Steinbaugh, although his descendents operated a family sporting goods store for many years in downtown Newark. The E-Z-Way lure box includes an assertion that a patent was applied for to cover the unique features of this bait, but we're unsure if such a patent was granted. Although there is no date on this box or flyer, and no advertising has been found in sporting magazines to determine when these lures were offered, the E-Z Way bass bait is believed to date to the mid-teens or early 1920s. The lures were priced at $1.50, which is significantly more than most other lures of that era.

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 Falls City Bait Co., Louisville, Ky.

The Falls City Bait Co. of Louisville, Ky. made the Famous Snafu lure in the late 30s and early 40s. The bait resembles the Hootenanna Bait from Montpelier, Ohio. Falls City Bait Co. also made the Famous Michigan Tipper and the Deep Six (shown below the Snafu).  I need boxes for the Michigan Tipper and Deep Six, and also the Falls City Hinky.

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 Michigan Tipper, Falls City

The "Famous Michigan Tipper" is another lure from Falls City Bait Co. of Louisville, Ky. It was a topwater bait with a neatly carved head and a line tie on the chin. The Michigan Tipper lure had no eyes.  Other Falls City Bait Co. lures that can be found include the Hinky and the Deep Six.  I am always looking for other Falls City Bait Co. lures.

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 Falls City Deep Six

The Deep Six is another Falls City Bait Company product. The Deep Six was a surface lure with a four-sided metal headplate and cup hardware. These yellow boxes are earlier than the Falls City lures shown above.  Other Falls City Bait Co. lures that can be found - in addition to the Deep Six -  include the Hinky and the Michigan Tipper.


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