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Tackle History

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1770: British reel maker Onesimus Ustonson advertises the first multiplying reels, predecessors to today's bait casters.

1859: The lure designed by Riley Haskell of Painesville, Ohio and was the first articulated bait ever patented, reciving Patent #25,507 on September 20, 1859. The 10-inch Haskell minnow has been refered to as the Holy Grail of fishing. This, almost pricless, artifact of fishing history brought $101,200.

1897: William Shakespeare Jr. patents a level wind device for bait casting reels, making their use easier.

1902: James Heddon receives his Fish-Bait patent for a floating wooden lure carved from a barrel bung, or plug. He was inspired by watching a bass engulf a floating stick he had whittled and tossed into the mill pond on Michigan's Dowagiac Creek.

1909: Ole Evinrude introduces the 1.5-horsepower "coffee grinder," which becomes the first commercially successful outboard.

1910: The Creek Chub Bait Co. offers the Creek Chub Wiggler. This is the first plug with a metal diving lip to make the lure wiggle. A later version, the Wiggle Fish, hooks George Perry's world-record largemouth.

1915: The William J. Jamison Co. introduces the Shannon Twin Spinner, a gaudy lure of red feathers, white bucktail, and two blades attached to a wire weed guard. This is the predecessors of today's spinner baits.

1920: When fishing Jordan Lake in Wisconsin and finding no natural frogs to use as bait, Alan P. Jones and Urban Schreiner head to the Oxford butcher shop, pick up some pork back fat, and carve the first pork frogs. Two years later, they form the Uncle Josh Bait Co.

1934: Fred Arbogast carves his first Jitterbug.

1934: The Minn Kota electric trolling motor began its life in Fargo, North Dakota. Mr. O.G. Schmidt, inventor of the trolling motor, was known to be a man of many diverse ideas. Prior to the trolling motor, Mr. Schmidt invented, produced and sold a copper soldering torch from his home in Wheatland, North Dakota. Due to its success, manufacturing operations were then moved to Fargo. Because of its proximity to the MINNesota-North DaKOTA border, Mr. Schmidt named the business The Minn Kota Manufacturing Company.

1936: Lauri Rapala invents the Rapala lure. Rapala lures are now sold in 140 countries and are responsible for more world record fish than any other lure.

1937: DuPont files patent for nylon, which later spawns nylon monofilament fishing line.

1938: Spinning reels are introduced in the U.S. and, along with nylon monofilament

1946: The Spoonplug invented by Elwood L. "Buck" Perry, then a physics and math teacher in Hickory, N.C... Perry combined science with a logical approach to fishing to create a "total fishing system." He is credited as being the father of structure fishing and was later inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

1947: Howard Lund turns his creation of a single aluminum duck boat into the Lund Boat Co..

1948: Skeeter builds a boat designed specifically for bass fishing, thus launching a new category of fishing craft.

1949: Fiberglass rods are introduced and quickly replace bamboo.

1949: Nick and Cosma Creme of Akron, Ohio, melt plastic on their kitchen stove, pour it into molds, and create the first modern soft-plastic worm- the Creme Wiggle Worm.

1954: The Zero Hour Bomb Co (Zebco) makes cast & retrieve fishing virtually foolproof with the introduction of the first closed-face spincasting reel.

1955: Outdoor writer Earl Golding holds the first ever organized bass tournament, the Texas State Bass Tournament on Lake Whitney, Texas; 73 anglers participate.

1957: Carl Lowrance introduces the first portable sonar units for anglers, capable of detecting both bottom and individual fish.

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Very interesting Catt. Thanks for posting.


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The 1910 reference to the Wigglefish is actually incorrect. The lure that George Perry used to catch the world record bass was the Creek Chub Fintail Shiner.

The company advertized the Wigglefish as lure that caught the world record and the "only lure" that George had but it was later determined in an interview with George that he used the Fintail Shiner to catch that fish.


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Catt, you ended too soon!

The GYCB Senko began a revolution in bass fishing for many.

I "discovered" the bait in 1997 and have heard it was introduced

to selected pros in 1994. Do you know when it first became

available to the general public?


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