Pflueger Zam Weedless Spinner
Zam Weedless Spinner
Pflueger - Akron, Ohio
Of all the major lure manufacturers prior to 1950, Pflueger was probably the single largest producer of metal lures with the exception perhaps of Eppinger who was making the Daredevle! Still, in terms of variety Pflueger easily made many more different model metal fishing lures than Eppinger. One of these is a lure called the "Pflueger Zam", a metal lure that incorporated a weed guard with spinner blades attached to protect the single hook configuration.
Pflueger Zam Patent 1937
Patented under patent number 2,069,724 in May of 1937, the patent reveals that it was first applied for in May of 1929. According to Karl White's Fishing Tackle Antiques and Collectibles (3rd edition), it was first produced in 1941. As you can see from the patent drawing, the production model varied quite a bit from the conceptual model which lacked the bucktail, had a spinner on the single hook and quite different spinners on the weed-guard.
1-7/8" & 2-1/8" Sizes with All Yellow Bucktail
The Zam came in two sizes, the 2-1/8" length that weighed 5/8 ounces and the 1-7/8" length that weighed 1/2 ounce. Despite the differences between the two, Pflueger used the same lure series number for both and therefore a silver Zam with a red bucktail had the series number '4851' regardless of the size. The metal body is in the shape of a small fish and in the case of the White Enamel, Red Head model, had a painted eye. According to Dick Streater's book, The Fishing Lure Collector's Bible, there are known examples of Zams' with glass eyes, though whether or not these were factory produced is not known.
Bucktail Varieties: All Yellow, Natural, Black & White, All Red
The Zam came in two finishes, silver or what Pflueger called "Polished Diamolite" and "White Enamel, Red Head". In addition, each finish came with four (4) different colored bucktails. The series numbers for each finish and their corresponding bucktail color were:
No. 4851 - Diamolite with All Red Bucktail
No. 4852 - Diamolite with Black & White Bucktail
No. 4853 - Diamolite with Natural Bucktail
No. 4854 - Diamolite with All Yellow Bucktail
No. 4861 - White Enamel, Red Head with All Red Bucktail
No. 4862 - White Enamel, Red Head with Black & White Bucktail
No. 4863 - White Enamel, Red Head with Natural Bucktail
No. 4864 - White Enamel, Red Head with All Yellow Bucktail
Pflueger Zam Boxes
The Zam was packaged in three different box styles and also came on a card (shown above). One was the traditional Pflueger 'Canoe' box and the other two are cardboard boxes with a plastic top.
Zams were produced by Pflueger for many years so these lures are relatively common. Without a box, they range in collector value from $5 to $15 with with White Enamel/Red Head models being the more difficult to obtain, particularly in excellent condition as the paint has a tendency to chip off the metal. With box or on the card, $15-$30. (Additional note: these price estimates are from the original 2004 article.)
If anybody has additional information or paperwork such as early advertisements they would share it would be greatly appreciated.
Don't bother sending your $1.35 to LLoyd & Co. of Chicago, Illinois as this ad dates to the early 1930's and the company is long gone! Of course, had you lived back then you would have had the good sense to buy a dozen or so in their original boxes and tucked them away for a rainy day! Your $1.35 investment would garner around $500 or more just for the lure today in excellent condition and who knows what it would bring with the box!
UPDATE: As an added note, there were two patents issued for the Hungry Jack, both of which were issued to Llyod C. Striet of Chicago, Illinois, according to fellow collector Laurie Bingham. The patent number were D115,571 (1929) and 2,233,684 (1941). Thanks to Laurie for the information!
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.
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