Helin Fishcake

Helin Fishcake

Helin Tackle Company - Detroit, Michigan


Original Lure Lore Article:
Helin Fishcake 
Helin Fishcake


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 Patent

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

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

Helin Fishcake Uncatalogued Color

 Uncataloged Color

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! 

Helin Fishcake Lure Box

 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".


My Bait Shop Updates:

Here are some updates.  Additional ones will be added over time so be sure to check back.
  • 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


Test Your Knowledge:  Helin Fishcake FAQ's:

Who made the Fishcake fishing lure?
The Fishcake was a wooden fishing lure made by the Helin Tackle Company out of Detroit, Michigan.  They were made from 1956-1971.

How many sizes did the Fishcake come in?
The Helin Fishcake was made in three different sizes.  They were casting, light-casting and spinning.

Where can I find more information on the Helin Fishcake?
You can find more information on our website My Bait Shop where we have a full page dedicated to the Helin Fishcake.

Related Articles / Pages:

Lure Lore:  More great Lure Lore articles on My Bait Shop featuring in depth lure reviews and historical data.  An ever-growing section started in 1997 and continued on today at My Bait Shop.

Helin Tackle Lures for Sale:  Check out our current stock of Helin Tackle lures for sale including our current stock of vintage Fishcakes.  Note our inventory changes frequently as we find new lures.

Helin Tackle History:  See our Helin Tackle History page at My Bait Shop.  We are updating this page on an ongoing basis as well so be sure to check it out and keep coming back.

Lures For Sale:  See what we have in stock at My Bait Shop for vintage lures.  Our ever changing inventory makes this worth repeat visits.

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If you have any further information on any of the items displayed on this page which you'd like to share, please send your comments to me and I'll update the page accordingly. Contributions of interesting items and/or unknowns are encouraged.

(Originally Published on LureLore.com on April 4, 1999 - Vol. 4, No. 5)
Moved to My Bait Shop in 2021 and updated as applicable

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