Helin Tackle Company - Detroit, Michigan
The "Fishcake" lure was made by the Helin Tackle Company of Detroit, Michigan, a company best known as the manufacturer of the "Flatfish." (As a sidenote, the 1958 Helin catalog reported that at time, Helin had sold 20 MILLION+ Flatfish!! - I know I've found about half that many in tackle boxes I've bought...) It is a topwater lure with a front spinner which caused considerable disturbance when retrieved.
The Fishcake was made from 1956 to 1971 and was only made of wood. They came in 3 different sizes, and offered different treble hook configurations. The #7 spinning size was 1-3/4", 1/4 ounce and came with a 2 treble hook configuration. The #9 light casting size was 2-1/4", 3/8 ounce and was offered in a 3-treble or 4-treble hook configuration. The #11 standard casting model was 2-3/4" and 5/8 ounce and also came in a 3 or 4 treble configuration. The single treble hook was offered because some states,(especially on the east and west coast), limited the number of treble hooks to three. An illustration of the different Helin treble configurations is shown below.
Helin Treble Hook Configurations
In addition to the sizes and hook configurations, the lure could be gotten with either a red or black spinner. In an interesting bit of political commentary, the 1958 Helin catalog states, "The red spinner, like commies, turns left; the black spinner turns right..."! The idea of the different spinner was to combat line twist and it was suggested that you fish in the AM with one spinner and the PM with the other to avoid line twist.
Helin Fishcake Colors
The Fishcake was made in 12 cataloged colors as shown in this chart.. These were:
OR - Orange
LO - Light Orange
YE - Yellow
FR - Frog
BL - Black
WH - White
WR - White/red
SI - Silver
BSS - Black/silver specks
SS - Silver Scale
RYF - Red & Yellow Fluorescent
SCW - Scale, white belly
These two Fishcakes, one in size #7 and the other size #9, are silver with black dots, a uncataloged color for the Fishcake and is evidence that Helin made at least one uncataloged color!
Fishcake lures boxes & dealer box
The box for Fishcakes remained the same throughout its production period. The box had a green and yellow cardboard bottom with a clear plastic top. The dealer box was a plain yellow box marked "Fishcake".
- First a quick note that not everybody knows. Helin is pronounced Hee-lin.
- The patent for the Fishcake was applied for in 1956 and granted in 1961. You can see a copy of it here.
Status still unknown.
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