F.G. Worden, South Bend, Indiana

Sometime around 1900, F.G. Worden began making and selling his wooden minnows, many of which has a hair "bucktail." That feature earned Worden the nickname "Bucktail," and a place in history as one of the most famous contemporaries of James Heddon and William Shakespeare. He was the impetus for Shakespeare's "Worden Bucktail" lure in 1903. Worden's business boomed, eventually becoming the widely known South Bend Bait Company discussed elsewhere in this site.


Click photos to enlarge

This is Worden's famous Combination Minnow, which had all the characteristics of a basic wooden minnow (belly weight, opposite spinning fore and aft props and side mounted hooks) with the added feature of a tied tail hackle. This bait and box date to around 1903. Note the brass screw hardware and hand-braided leader. 

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This is another Worden's Combination Minnow with a primtive glass-eyed lure inside, which dates to around 1909 or 1910. Note this box has black lettering, as opposed to the vivid blue used on the first lure boxes.  All Worden boxes are rare.

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You are looking at a piece of angling history. This 1903 or 1904 box, advertising Worden's "new patent spinner" contains a mint 5-hook, no-eye Worden Wooden Minnow in green crackleback. This is one of the first lures and boxes by one of the country's earliest and most famous tackle makers! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

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 This is one of the few surviving examples of the transition box that bridged the gap between Worden's lure company and the more formally named and organized South Bend Bait Company. There is a second label underneath the one on the boxtop, but I haven't had the nerve to try to look underneath to see what it says. You likely won't see this box in ANY other published reference!

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