Miscellaneous Tackle Companies

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Shuff's Jack Snipe, Kansas City, Mo.

This unique bait was patented in 1918 by William H. Shuff. The "Jack Snipe" or jacksnipe is indigenous to Europe - which makes its choice of a lure name more of a mystery. Shuff Jack Snipe s address was the Livestock Exchange Building in Kansas City, Missouri. Built in 1911, it remains intact today as a historic landmark.  

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Shure Bite Bait Co., Michigan

The ShureBite Bait Co. was headquartered in Bronson, Mich., and sold high-quality metal and composition baits in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The Metalic Minnow was designed to be used with a pork rind, if desired.   The bait was a well-made, machined metal contraption with a weedless armature near the line tie.

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 Schmelzer's Wood Minnow

 Schmelzer Hardware was a famous sporting goods wholesaler from Kansas City, Missouri that first opened in the 1870s. Schmelzer's was known to have sold South Bend and Heddon lures in their boxes, but this Six in One Wood Minnow box is a complete mystery to me. I would be very grateful to anyone who could help me figure out what lure goes in here. Got any ideas?

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Slim Sweeney Twinminnow, Cal.

I have no idea who Slim Sweeney was, or how he got his name. But the Slim SweeneyTwinminnow lure is a well-made, banana-shaped, glass eyed bait made and sold in Fresno, Calif., sometime in the late 1930s.  The lure had a metal head-plate and multiple line ties for varying action in the water. Twinminnows came in for colors.

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 Jack Smithwick, Shreveport, La.

The Louisiana lures made by Jack Smithwich are favorites among collectors and anglers alike. The Top-N-Bottom and King Snipe and Stud Duck are some of the earlier ones. The Top-N-Bottom baits were made from 1947 to 1951. The Stud Duck was one version of the Top-N-Bottom.  I am looking for an older Top-N-Bottom Smithwick box and older lures like these. Smithwick lures came in many colors.

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 Smitty Crawpappy, Cameron, Mo.

Made of mahogany, the Smitty Crawpappy was sold in the mid-1930s by Smith & Yelton Co. The two men were farmers - and also fishermen. Although the box is stamped Pat. Pend., I can find no evidence of a patent, but available literature indicates the inventors decided not to mass-market the lures - preferring instead to just fish with them.  

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Clewell Snakerbait, Canton, Ohio

Bob Clewell made and sold the ceramic-like rubber Snakerbait in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The Snakerbait  lures were rather unusual in appearance and surprisingly durable considering they were made of a hardened, overpainted rubber. The Snakerbait had a weight near the line tie.

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Clewell Big Mouth Min, Ohio

  Clewell also made this well-machined little metal fish bait, called the Big Mouth Min, which features an open mouth designed to "plunk" as it moved through the water. Big Mouth Min lures are rarer than Snakerbaits, and date to the 1920s. This orange box is similar to the carton Snakerbaits came in, but is much smaller and a bit harder to find. 

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Speckled Tipper, Montpelier, Ohio

The New Speckled Tippers appeared in the early 1930s and were sold in great numbers under several names, and in several different boxes. The simple Speckled Tipper plugs have no eyes and a crude,  spotted or "speckled" paint finish. This box called the lure "new." 

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New Speckled Tipper, Montpelier, Ohio

The Speckled Tipper was a forerunner of the popular collectible Hootenanna bait from from the same town.  This wonderful box, much nicer in condition than the one above, has an unusual Tipper with a slanted face instead of the "plunker" face seen on some models.

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The Speckled Tipper, Montpelier

This is an even earlier Speckled Tipper that the models shown above. This particular example belongs to a friend, and I don't yet have one for my collection. If you come across one like this, let me know. I'd like to buy it!  The Speckled Tipper box has great value.

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 Speck Bait, Fort Wayne, Ind.

The Speck Bait is from the late 1920s or early 1930s. It's a simple, folky design, with hand-painted "specks," hence the name.  Note that the yellow lure with black dots resembles the equally yellow box with black lettering. Coincidence, likely, but an attractive, wooden, no-eyed lure nonetheless.

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 Speck Bait, Macy & Nyona Lake, Ind.

This is the same box and lure shown above. The different, older looking label was affixed over the above box when this piece was found. Perhaps C.E. Beaird of Macy, Ind., took over production or bought the company. At this point, more than 70 years later, we can only "Speck-ulate." 

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Buck Perry Spoonplug, Hickory, N.C.

  Buck's Baits was founded around 1945 by Buck Perry. His Spoonplug lures became more popular as Spoonpluging books and seminars proliferated in the 50s and 60s. Spoonplug lures came in many colors and are usually found in a plastic window box. This 2-piece box is early and rare. Buck's Baits and the Spoonplug were in Hickory, N.C.

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 This rare photo, taken in 1954, shows Buck Perry (foreground) spoonplugging in Clarks Hill Lake on the Georgia-South Carolina border near Augusta with golfing legend Bobby Jones, who co-found the Masters Golf Tournament in 1934 and played each year until 1947. They both used Spoonplug lures and Buck Perry's Spoonplugging techniques to load a boat with bass.

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Stage's Reel Actor "Stage Frog"

  This unusual frog or mouse lure was made in Ohio, circa 1914-17. Little is known about the Stage Frog, or the "Stage's Reel Actor" lure as it says on the tall, heavy box. The Stage Frog Reel Actor is wooden with glass eyes, and has wonderful brushed paint job. It came in four colors including Green Frog and Pikie Blue, and two sizes.


Bud Stewart Tackle, Michigan

Bud Stewart, who passed away in 2003, was a famous long-time lure maker from Flint, Mich., whose handiwork dates back to the 1920s. His folky Bud Stewart Crippled Mouse baits were also effective fish catchers. This is a "pedigreed" example of Stewart's Crippled Mouse. Bud Stewart Tackle  made many unique lures, and their boxes are witty and handsome.   Stewart's Crippled Mouse is neat!

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Bud Stewart Crippled Wiggler

The Bud Stewart Crippled Wiggler is another favorite antique lure. Stewart's Crippled Wiggler was a fish-shaped wooden lure that came in many elaborate finishes. The Stewart's Crippled Wiggler shown here is in a perch scale pattern. Bud Stewart lures are fairly common; the Stewart's boxes are harder to find.  

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