Hastings Sportings Goods Company, Hastings, Michigan

The Hastings Sporting Goods Works manufactured some of the most innovative early lures that were unlike any of their competitors. Created around 1910, the company offered the famous Wilson Wobbler and Wilson Fluted Wobbler lures for many years. Richard T. Wilson received several patents between 1910 and 1918 for his wonderful fish-catching inventions. Most Wilson lures came in picture boxes.

Click on photos to enlarge

Patented in 1913, the Wilson Fluted Wobbler remained in the company's production for many years. This is the introductory picture box that disappeared after 1918 or so. The flyer inside has color pictures of Wilson lures in beautiful colors, but for some reason they are most often found in red and white.

wilson2.jpg (39688 bytes)

The Cupped Wobbler, made in the mid teens, features a hollowed out head with a well-made nickel line-tie protruding from the opening. It was likely very noisy and successful as a plunking type lure. it was made only briefly, and came in its own picture box.

wilson1.jpg (37673 bytes)

The "Good Luck" Wobbler is almost identical to the Fluted Wobbler pictured above. Note the different box style, which dates to the early teens. There is a four-leaf clover on the boxtop that is absent on many other cartons by the same famous company.  Wobblers came in all shapes and sizes and  white/red flutes is the most common color.

wilsluck.jpg (39544 bytes)

Here is another Wilson's Fluted Wobbler in the earliest style white box with red and green lettering. THis box is slightl shorter and shallower than the yellow boxes shown above. Instead of a parent date, this hard-to-fing Hastings Sporting Goods Works box simply has the patent number,  1080873.  The Wilson Wobbler lure inside is yellow with red flutes, and the box endflap is correctly marked 631-Y.

wilsonwhitebox.jpg (197431 bytes)

The Algers Gets Em bait was acquired by the Wilson Hastings Company from another tackle maker, Franklin Alger of Michigan. The plug has an elaborate metal armature on the belly with a mechanism that supposedly makes it weedless. The boxes for this lure are exponentially rarer than the lure. I believe this to be the rarest Wilson box, as I have seen only one other example.

wilson5.jpg (42515 bytes)

The Six-in-One lure has a little ratchet and gearbox on the nose so the diving lip can be adjusted six different ways. This is a Michigan classic, and the company's most desirable lure. It was introduced in1915 and patented in 1917. Although short-lived in production, it came with its beautiful introductory picture box.

wilson7.jpg (38156 bytes)

The Winged Wobbler, or Flanged Wobbler as it was also called, featured metal wings that would make the lure behave strangely, like a wounded baitfish. This pretty box with cat tails on the cover is the Wilson company's later, generic box used for all the lures that remained in production by the mid 1920s.

wilson3.jpg (43862 bytes)

This all-red Fluted Wobbler is in another "cat tails" box, and correctly marked for somewhat  rare color. Later Wilson Wobblers all came in these handsome boxes, after the yellow picture boxes were phased out to make packaging easier.

wilson4.jpg (50814 bytes)

The Super Wobbler is a shorter, plumper variation of the Fluted Wobbler, and comes in its own special early box, dated 1913. These lures have two trebles instead of the usual three. Super Wobbler boxes are among the hardest Wilsons to find, and it is almost impossible to find the lure in colors other than red and white. This near-mint specimen, which came to us from a noted Ohio collector named Bill, is in brown scale.  

Wilsuperwob.jpg (41881 bytes)

This beautiful rainbow colored Fluted Wobbler is in  the hard-to-find white picture box with yet another variation of the Wilson Wobbler logo. These boxes may be a bit earlier than the relatively common yellow Wobbler boxes. White boxes are hard to photograph because of the glare they produce. 

Wilsonwhite.jpg (36427 bytes)

This early version of the Winged, or Flanged Wobbler, has unpainted wings, unlike the all-red example in the later box above. This yellow box dates to around 1915 and includes a picture of the lure and information about its action in the water. Although faded, this is the best example of this early box I've been able to find.

wilson6.jpg (39529 bytes)

 E-mail mrlurebox at

Return to the Lure Index page

We Buy Antique Lures!