Antique Fishing lures by

Miscellaneous Smaller Tackle Companies

Lurking in the shadows of the great tackle giants like Pflueger and Heddon  were a myriad of smaller, mom-and-pop companies that offered their own unique contributions to American fishing history. Although not as popular among collectors as the "big five" names, these smaller makers, known among collectors as "miscellaneous companies," made some true classic lures - and some awesome boxes.  Many of  these unique baits were sold only for a year or two before vanishing forever. Others were purchased by the bigger companies, either for addition to their product lines, or simply to eliminate potential competition.  Please enjoy the history on the following pages.

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Abbey and Imbrie, New York

This well-known Abbey & Imbrie sporting goods wholesaler was in business from 1900 on. The glass Glowbody Minnow was sold around 1920 and was filled with some sort of luminous liquid. This one still glows! I hope it's not radioactive.

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Abbey & Imbrie Moonlight Bait

This glass eyed 1920s Great Injured Minnow was made by Moonlight Bait Co. and sold sold by Abbey & Imbrie.  This box is unusual, and correctly marked 3208 on the endflap. The frogspot lure was acquired from a visitor to this website.

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Abbey & Imbrie Heddon lures

This remarkable cache of A&I baits made by Heddon sat unused in a New York home for eight decades before being acquired from a visitor to this website.  The Basser and Saltwater Special are stamped Abbey & Imbrie on the belly, while the No. "0"  Minnow and Vamp are stamped on the props and diving lip, respectively. The boxes are two-piece.

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Abbey & Imbrie, Silver Soldier

Although sold in an Abbey & Imbrie box, this beautiful metal lure is actually made by Kausch & Company. This piece dates to around 1907. The lure is stamped "Sterling."

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Abbey and Imbrie Fairy Minnow

This early devon-style minnow was found advertised in the 1885 A & I catalog, and was aptly named the "celebrated' Fairy Minnow. These lures are often found with hand painted silk bodies. The box, although plain and graphically simple, is one of the oldest to be found on this website.  

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Abbey and Imbrie, Go-Getter Lures

Sold in great numbers in the 1930s, the inexpensive, tack-eyed Go Getter lures cost only about fifteen cents when premium baits were fifty cents to a dollar. The colorful boxes are the endflap variety with a break-out window on one side. Unlike the 2-piece boxes shown with nthe Heddon lures above, these boxes are somewhat common

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Allcock's Tackle, England

Allcock's offered a broad line of casting and trolling baits from the turn of the century on into the 1950s. This is one of the few English companies whose products turn up in old tackle boxes in great numbers. This lure, circe 1924, is a Devon, or "Phantom."

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Anderson Minnow, Chicago, Ill.

This unique, spring-loaded Anderson Minnow  was made in the 1940s by Anderson Bait Co. and offered in frog spot, redhead and perch. The brochure claims the mechanical feature rendered it illegal in Missouri, Minnesota and Pa.  The brass diving lip is stamped "Pat. App. For."   The lure is heavy plastic. These handsome  picture boxes are rare.

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Arnold Tackle Co., Paw Paw, Mich.

These beautiful boxes are from the late 30s/early 40s. The Arnold Tackle Co. , thought to be related to the famous Paw Paw Bait Co., made only one really spiffy bait - a tack-eyed lure called the Hopalong. Shown here in mint condition, it looks like a cross between a Heddon Crab Wiggler and a Jitterbug.  It is well made with the name stamped into the lip.

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Al's Spec Lure, Indiana

Albert Replogle of Michigan City, Indiana manufactured the Al's Spec bait that bears his name sometime during the late 1920s or early 1930s. This is one of a number of simple, no-eyed speckled wooden lures indigenous to this lure-laden territory of Indiana.   The pamphlet describes the lure as a topwater plunking type bait.

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Apex Bull Nose Bait, Chicago

The Apex Bull Nose bait dates to 1911 and was made by Apex Bait Co., 62 E. Lake St., Chicago. These wooden lures can be found with screw eye hook rigs similar to Moonlight lures, or with shallow flat rimmed cups. This Apex Bull Nose lure is in luminous finish - the only example I've ever seen. Most are red/yellow or red/white. Apex lures are rare.

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Al's Speck, Al Speck, Al's Speck

Here is another, earlier example of Al's Spec Bait from Indiana. This one is in a more slender box. It would date to the 1920s or thereabouts. This simple Al's Spec lure was probably a great fish-catcher. Albert Replogle of Michigan City, Indiana, was the maker.   

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Babbitt Automatic Weedless, Michigan

The ingenious Babbitt Automatic Weedless was made in Grand Rapids and patented Oct. 12, 1937. It features a heavy weight that, when tilted, snaps open the hook. Its slogan: "Ballasted Like a Ship!" The lures have no primer and often are badly chipped. This specimen is mint in the box with papers. The lure also came in plain white and all red.

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Babbitt Metal "Deep Sea" Bait

This isn't a metalized or hollow metal bait; it's solid metal, and, according to the box literature, made of "highly polished swiss aluminum" and aimed at catching barracuda, marlin and albacore tuna, among other things. The 1937 patent date is engraved in the top of the lure. This very heavy plug must have sank like a rock!  

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Bag-O-Mad, Green City, Missouri

The Bag-O-Mad was a lively bait made by Bill Herrington in Green City , Mo. , in the 1930s. Made in two sizes, each has two holes drilled lengthwise into the mouth that connect with an exit hole on the side. Bill Herrington Bag-O-Mad lures were made in a half-dozen finishes.

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Bag-O-Mad, Missouri

The is another Bag-O-Mad also made by Bill Herrington in Green City , Mo., but notice that this one has an earlier box that is shallower and more square than rectangular. It also claims the lure was "patented" and we can assume the feature in question was the method of drilling holes through the nose to channel water out the sides.   

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The Bass-A-Lure

There is a great degree of conjecture about this box. Some believe it is an early Shakespeare Bass-a-Lure product, whose line included the Bass-A-Lure. Others believe it was made by Shur Strike.  I have placed a Shakespeare lure in the box, circa 1924.

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