Steel's Wigglefrog Lure
Frank Steel - Chicago, Illinois
Not hard to figure out how this little guy got his name! This plastic lure was made by Frank R. Steel of Chicago, Illinois, in the late 40's and early 50's, probably between 1949 to 1955. It has a clear plastic lip and two legs, both fastened to the main body of the lure by joined screw eyes, allowing the legs to 'wiggle' when retrieved. Each leg has a single hook embedded in the leg covered with a white silk-like material.
What sets this lure apart from other frog lures is that it came in a plastic tube, quite different from the usual cardboard or plastic boxes. The tube is marked with the name of the lure and the maker's name but the printing is easily rubbed off so well-marked tubes would be hard to find.
I know of no other lure made by this company and this is the only known color this lure came in. The collector rated this lure as excellent condition and valued it at $65. (Note: these price estimates are from the original 1997 article.)
Update, 8/8/2012: In each tube, came this paper instruction sheet on how to fish the lure! Special thanks to J. Robbins for providing this neat document!
Wiggle Frog Fishing Instructions paper
- The company also made the Steel's Gurglefrog and the Steel's Fish Finder.
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.
Our 'unknown' falls into the category of a fly spinner, having a gold metal spinner which is marked "Hildebrandt 3." Black and yellow in color, it has a yellow eye with red iris, black hair on top and over the single hook. The head is plastic but the body is made of soft material. Two thin metal wires extend from the head rearward to make this a 'weedless' lure. John J. Hildebrandt & Co., an Indiana firm is most likely the manufacturer.
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.
© 2021, My Bait Shop, LLC