Nifty Minnie Lure

Nifty Minnie (Nifty Minne) Lure

Ness Company - Minneapolis, Minnesota


Original Lure Lore Article:
Nifty Minnie Lure 
Nifty Minne Lure


In response to a request from a reader for something in the area of live minnow lures, our featured lure is the "Nifty Minnie" glass tube lure, made by Joseph M.Ness Company, of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Minnow lures came in a variety of forms which were designed to keep the minnow alive and 'undamaged' since these lures 'trapped' the minnow inside rather than hooking the minnow. Glass tube lures such as this one were made around 1914 by both the Ness Company and Detroit Glass Tube Minnow Company as well. Variations of this type of lure included metal wire "cages" which also worked in much the same way. A number of other companies made such lures as well and collectors specialize in just these types of lures.

The Nifty Minnie lure shown was originally given out as a salesman's sample, hence the lack of hooks. Four treble hooks were attached to the tube using the two rods which you can see inside the tube, two to each side.

Because such lures were made of glass, it is safe to say their survival rate was low! The owner of this lure and box, rated NIB, valued the pair at $3,500. (Note:  these price estimates are from the original 1997 article.)



My Bait Shop Updates:

  • You will see this lure referred to as both the Nifty Minnie and Nifty Minne depending on which resource you refer to.  Be sure to search both spellings.
  • Below is another example of this great lure:

Nifty Minne

Nifty Minne Glass Minnow Tube Lure

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.

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.


Unknown Lure

This edition's unknown is a identical pair of wood lures, at least in shape and size. There is some difference in color as the red in both lures is different. Suggestions as to their maker includes the Moonlight Bait Company and Hastings (Chicago).

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 on April 20, 1997 - Vol. 2, No. 8)
Moved to My Bait Shop in 2021 and updated as applicable

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