Worth Flutter Fin
Worth Flutter Fin
Nova Tackle Company - Wild Rose, Wisconsin
Worth Tackle Company - Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Below is the original Lure Lore article written by Terry Yorker on March 14, 1999:
What follows is a unique story of what I feel collecting is all about:
Somewhere about mid eighties, my friend Steve Kuchman, (SK-1), Birdlure, as he is better known, introduced me to lure collecting. He collects frogs and mice and at that time, miscellaneous odds and ends. Steve purchased three Flutter Fins from a promotional ad in Fishing Facts magazine. He gave me the Flutter Fins after I expressed interest in some of his unusual baits. My interest seemed to center around mechanical, electric and novelty lures.
One day, I thought it would be fun to collect a color set of Flutter Fins and as luck would have it, Steve calls and says, "my brother has located five (5) Flutter Fins NIB" in a Rhode Island tackle shop 75 miles away. I said, "when do we leave?" The following Saturday, we made the trip. The store was painted camouflage and had no windows and yellow doors. You must ring an outside bell for service and from nowhere appears a little white haired lady asking how she can help. We ask to go in and look around and she says "sure come in". I immediately find the five (5) Fins and ask if she has more. "You know," she says, "I think there is a case in storage, let me call my son." Now the son appears. Mom tells him what to get and he disappears for five minutes or so. Upon his return he has a factory case of Fins! He asks how many I want. I tell him all of them. (Ninety-six) We strike a deal and I go home happy.
As I unpack the lures, I realize that there are two models: standard hollow with rattles and standard hollow with rattles and weed guards. My six lure color set has now become twelve (12) lures.
A couple months later on E-Bay a post for a wood flutter fin - WHAT! E-mail and bid brings me the lure. (As it later turned out it was not wood at all but dense plastic).
I'm not sure where to go for further information so I called the Worth Company and spoke to Tom Zabrowski, the Sales Manager. Tom was much more than helpful. He sent pictures and copies of brochures and also spoke to his employees on my behalf. There is hope for humanity - Thanks Tom. He was able to tell me the following things about flutter fins:
1. Between 1960-1962 the lure was solid with no rattles - it came in 6 colors and had pin eyes. Pictured below:
2. Between 1962-1963 the lure was changed to hollow plastic; some had rattles in and some didn't; the eyes were molded.
See the ones with no rattles below:
Below for a picture of the different eye styles:
3. From 1963 and later, they were hollow with rattles with some having weed guards. See below:
4. The first box measured 2 1/2"W x 3 1/2"L x 1 5/8"D and had a clear plastic removable top. See below:
5. The later box measured 1 3/4"W x 6 1/2"L x 1"D and had a clear plastic slide box.
6. The colors are the same six they started with:
Brown body, Yellow spots, Yellow and Brown Hackle
White body, Red spots, Red and White Hackle
Black body, White spots, Black and White Hackle
Green body, Yellow spots, White and Green Hackle
Orange body, Black spots, Black and Orange Hackle
Yellow body, Black spots, Black and Yellow Hackle
Worth Flutter Fins in Boxes
On a lark, I decided to collect a six color set of hollow fins - no rattles. My collection now numbers seventeen lures that includes 6 hollow with rattles, 6 hollow with rattles and weed guards, 3 hollow no rattles no weed guards, and 2 solid with pin eyes.
I will continue to look and any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks to Tom Jacomet for allowing me to do this page.
- The Worth Flutter Fin was actually originally the Nova Flutter Fin. First created by the Nova Tackle Company out of Wild Rose, Wisconsin in 1959. A patent was filed by Delbert F. Patterson, a retired Wisconsin Game Warden, in 1959 and granted in 1961. You can see a copy of the patent, number 3,003,276 here.
- The original Nova lures were wooden and egg shaped with glass eyes. They were presented to Bob Worth of Worth Tackle Company who suggested a round design for production. Early production at Worth was wooden but was soon replaced with plastic. Early wooden production at Worth on Nova's behalf was probably less than six months before the transition to plastic.
- Before too long Worth bought the rights to the Flutter Fin and began full production of the Worth Flutter Fin.
- Below is a photo of an original wooden Nova Flutter Fin with glass eyes courtesy of Robert Slade:
This edition's unknowns come to us from NFLCC member Tom Schofield who brought these to my attention while at the NFLCC Milwaukee show in January. These three metal spoons all are marked "Hornung Pat'd Sept 27.04" and "#3".
UPDATE 1/31/2015: These metal spoons have been identified as having been made by Rudolph C. Hornung of San Francisco, California and were referred to as the "Trolling Spoon." Hornung received a patent on the lure, #770,858, dated September 27, 1904.
(Special thanks to Chuck Arnold for providing information identifying these lures!)
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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