Antique Fishing Lures

Antique Fishing Lures

Antique Fishing was created by Floyd Roberts with the help of Clyde Harbin and was one of the premier websites on old fishing tackle from around 1998 until late 2023.  With the help and permission of Floyd we have acquired the domain and rights to preserve these pages and articles so that they are not lost to the back alleys and archives of the internet.

We are proud to be continuing the tradition here at My Bait Shop.  Below you will find all of the original Antique Fishing Lure pages as closely as I could remake their appeareance, focusing on content over design and optimizing for mobile viewing.  We are also adding some updates to the pages as we are able to add value to any of them so be sure to check back from time to time.  Enjoy the archives.

It will take us awhile to add all of them, so stayed tuned and thank you for visiting.

Also be sure to check out our History and Fishing History sections!





Bee 4 James Heddon:  This page contains early history of the Heddon family before James Heddon and his lure company.  Learn about the Heddon ancestors at the Huxtable Farm in England before they immigrated to the United States and more Heddon information before the James Heddon and Son tackle company.

Creek Chub Bait Company Family History:  The information used for this Creek Chub Bait Co. History webpage was generously supplied to me by Anita Rolfe.  Anita's maiden name is Anita Dills, the daughter of Gordon S. Dills and her grandfather was Henry S. Dills one of the original founders of the Creek Chub Bait Co.

Heddon Big Buds:  This page offer history and the background of the Heddon, #9410 Big Bud lure.  There is also information along with great photographs of the many Japanese marketed Big Bud's

Heddon to PRADCO:  The EBSCO company purchased Heddon in 1983.  Today PRADCO is the largest manufacturer of fishing lures which includes: Arbogast, Bomber, Cotton Cordell, Creek Chub, Excalibur, Heddon, Lazy Ike, Rebel, Riverside, Silver Thread, Smithwick and Yum Attractants.

Heddon - WWII "E" Award:   Learn about the E - Award that our government presented to Heddon and its employees because of its efforts towards WW II war production.  See a rare photograph that was taken in the Heddon factory the night prior to the ceremony.

Non-Heddon Company's:   Heddon also made lures for "non" Heddon company's.  Learn about these retailers and how to identify these highly collectible Heddon lures.

South Bend, Bass-Oreno:  This page was developed for the serious Bass Oreno collector. There is detailed information starting from this lure's beginning in 1915 all the way to 1965 when the B.F. Gladding Co. purchased South Bend.  You will be able to identify the exact year an individual lure was manufactured. There is information on all the eye stages, hook hangers, body styles and all cataloged colors through the life of this famous bait.

South Bend Fishing Photo Contest:  The first South Bend Bait Co. Fish-Photo Contest was held in 1923 and continued through the 1930's, & 1940's.  Learn about the 1945 Fishing Photo catalog and more.

Practice Casting Weights:  This page offers information on casting weights starting in the early 1900's.  I was unsuccessful in locating written information for casting weights THUS the reason for creating this page.  If you collect Practice Plugs or interested in Tournament Casting Medals this is a page you will want to visit.


 Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr. Information


Just an editor's note from My Bait Shop before we get to these links.  I befriended Mr. Harbin very early on in my lure collecting journey when I had very young children and little to no extra money to spend on lures but a ton of passion for this hobby.  I never met Clyde in person but we met online via email and quite a few times after that on the phone.  He was a generous man with his time, knowledge and material.  He helped me out immensely in my young collecting journey and I considered him a friend.  It is my honor to host this section of his work and hope to pay forward knowledge for future generations in this hobby.


Clyde A. Harbin Sr. Archive:  Information from the archival material of Clyde A. Harbin Sr.  Many of these lure photo's were used in the first edition of Old Fishing Lures and Tackle by Carl Luckey  and many more famous books.

BASSMAN™ Books & Videos:  This page features Mr. Harbin's great Heddon Footprint book, a must for all Antique Lure Collectors. There are more of his great books and a complete Library of Videotapes all by The Famous BASSMAN.

Bassman™ Visits Bass Pro Shops:  Bass Pro Shops opened a new store the "Sportsman's Warehouse" in Memphis, Tennessee.  Bass Pro Shops presents a special lure exhibit at the new Sportsman's Warehouse Store in honor of Mr. Harbin.

Carmen Baldacchin Sculpture:  The Little Bassman created by Mr. Carmen Baldacchin

Clyde's Call Collection Value Catalog:  The Bassman™ has listed his entire RARE collection of Game Calls.  Hundreds of Game Calls illustrated along with a collector value.

Evidence Group's "Footprints":  The Evidence Group interviews Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr. in his Memphis home for their magazine article for Japanese readers.

Famous BASSMAN™ Footprints:  After I started to read and study Mr. Harbin's books and material I was intrigued by his accomplishments and involvement not only in the tackle industry but also as a very successful business man.  I decided to do my own research on The Bassman and write this page.

First All-American Invitational Bass Tournament:  Learn about the Birth of the First All-American Bass Tournament later to become The Bass Masters.  Read about how Ray Scott came up with the idea of hosting a honest bass tournament.   Read about how Mr. Clyde A. Harbin helped Ray Scott promote this event and why the First All-American Bass Tournament was a success.

Four Rare Heddon Catalogs:  Four Old and Rare Heddon Catalogues.  Most collectors will never get an opportunity to see just one of these rare catalogues.  Mr. Clyde Harbin Sr. (The Bassman™) has supplied the prints and photo's of the 1911, 1913, 1914 & 1916 Heddon catalogues to put on the website so more collectors can have access to this Heddon information.

Franklin A. Alger Lures:  Franklin A. Alger of Grand Rapids, Michigan made a variety of lures around the turn of the century.  All of the Alger lures are considered rare and very difficult to find.

Joe & Clyde Bartlesville Meet:  Clyde Harbin and Joe Courcelle made their way to Bartlesville, Oklahoma NFLCC Swap Meet in 2004.  For many years Joe Courcelle invited Mr. Harbin to ride with him to the Bartlesville swap meet and this year Mr. Harbin accepted.

Heddon "Iola" Wisconsin Footprints-Part I:  This first part of Heddon Wisconsin Footprints offers new information about future publications of Mr. Harbin's "James Heddon Son's Catalogue" and "Heddon Historical Footprints" books.  Read about Mr. Harbin's involvement with Krause Publications and where Mr. Harbin leaves his Footprints.

Heddon "Chetek" Wisconsin Footprints-Part II:  The second part of Heddon Wisconsin Footprints deals with The Heddon Factory and W. T. and Laura Heddon and how Mr. Harbin brought this knowledge to the city and towns people of Chetek, Wisconsin.

Heddon "Roberts" Wisconsin Footprints-Part III:  Learn in part three of Mr. Harbin's Wisconsin Footprints the gifts to Floyd Roberts (Antique Fishing Lures Website Author) and the history behind the gifts.  Also news on Dan Basore from Warrenville, Illinois about his Chetek discovery.

Holly Grove Footprints:  After many years of photographs and now a HP digital camera Mr. Harbin put together this handmade Essay book of his "Holly Grove Footprints".

Jacob Hansen Lures:  Jacob Hansen from Michigan made the Michigan Life-Like Minnow and Spoon Jack Minnow.  His lures are considered rare and hard to find.  Follow this link to learn more about the Jacob Hansen Lures.

NFLCC The Beginning:  These pages cover the beginning or the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club - Springfield, Missouri. I have studied and researched the early days of the NFLCC and in my own words documented the early days of the club the way I understood the events to have happened. The photographs were all taken and supplied to me by The BASSMAN. I enjoyed designing these pages and I am proud to present to you the The Beginning Years of the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club.

Old Lure Japanese Story Part I:  This terrific page Features Mr. Tsutomu Wakabayashi an early Japanese pioneer that was in on the beginning of old lure collecting in Japan.  Read about Mr. Wakabayashi's early contribution to Japanese bass fishing and old lure collecting.  Read about Mr. Clyde A. Harbin's involvement with his close long distance friend Mr. Wakabayashi and much more.

Old Lure Japanese Story Part II:  This section of the Old Lure Japanese Story contains information on Mr. Mitsuru Sato President of Glass Eye International and his involvement in old lures.  Terrific information when the EI Publishing Co. visited Mr. and Mrs. Harbin at their Memphis home to interview Mr. Harbin for an article in the Old Tackle magazine.  Interesting information when Mr. and Mrs. Harbin field tested Mr. Sato's Glass Eye Stick fishing rods.

Old Lure Japanese Story Part III:  This part of the Old Lure Japanese Story deals with more Japanese old lure collectors that Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr. had communications with and aided them along their way of collecting old lures in Japan.  Here you will find many pictures from Japan along with information on the Heddon/Smith special lures.

Old Lure Japanese Story Part IV:  Part IV the Final Chapter of the Japanese Story has information on The Florida Antique Tackle Collectors meets.  A terrific story with the footprints of Mr. Hiro Naito by Mr. Lanny West the Senior Director of Marketing and International Sales for PRADCO.  Information when Mr. Hashima Shoichi visited Mr. and Mrs. Harbin at their Memphis home.

Performance Package/1972 Catalogs:  Complements of Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr. this page offers twenty three 1970's lure catalogs and many miscellaneous one page catalogues.  Among these are PRADCO's Famous Brands such as Rebel, Heddon, Cotton Cordell, Smithwick, Creek Chub, Bomber and Arbogast.  This area offers over 311 printable Mint Condition Catalogue Pages.

Sandbar Footprints:  The Sandbar page is a two story line page.  The first story is about Bass Pro Shops acquiring Mr. Harbin's Duck Call Collection and the second story is Mr. Harbin's Sandbar Footprints & Marketing Duck Calls.

Tackle Collectors of Arkansas:  The TCA is a newly formed club by David R. Stainaker.  Just like the NFLCC, ORCA and the FATC the TCA is an organization that promotes and supports the collection of antique fishing tackle and the preservation of its history.

Water Walkin' Blade Article:  This article was written by Clyde A. Harbin Sr. sometime ago around 1976. Clyde never had it published and has given me permission to publish his story and now presenting for the first time anywhere the Water Walkin' Blade Story.

Ye Olde Bass Lures by The Bassman™:  Here you will find information on Heddon's very first and early baits.  Including the 1898 Heddon hand made Frog along with the early Dowagiac Underwater Minnow, The Missing Link lure, The Dowagiac Expert and more.