Zink (Zinc) Screwtail

Zink (Zinc) Screwtail

Zink Artificial Bait Company - Dixon, Illinois


Original Lure Lore Article:
Zink Screwtail 
Zink Screwtail Lure


Now how do you imagine they came up with the name for this lure? This unusual bait has some interesting features, the first of which was that the body rotated as the lure moved thru the water courtesy of the screw-shaped body. Next, the metal piece on the head of the lure consists of a lip on the front and metal fins on either side of the head. This was adjustable so that the fishman could set the lure to either surface or underwater retrieval. A wire weed guard was also attached.

The Zink Screwtail (not Zinc as listed in White's), was made starting in 1946 by the Zink Artificial Bait Company of Dixon, Illinois. It measured 2 1/2" in length, had painted eyes, and is made of a plastic material. Advertisements indicated that there were four colors for this lure but didn't list them. Known colors include orange-brown & black, yellow & green, red & white, black scale, and black & white (more grey or silver than white actually)(shown). However, there was an article in the NFLCC Gazette sometime back by a collector who reported having this lure three additional colors plus knowing of two more. Unfortunately, I've been unable to locate that information.

Although the standard references books list the value on these from $20 to $50, I've yet to see one for under a $100 with most priced in the $125-$150 range.


My Bait Shop Updates:

Here are some updates.  Additional ones will be added over time so be sure to check back.
  • Walter Zink invented the Zink Screwtail in 1941 and filed for a patent in 1943.  The patent, number 2,435,993 was issued in 1948.  You can see the patent here.
  • The lures were manufactured from 1946-1950.
  • With variations there are 16 total colors along with some rare special colors.
  • Below are some additional photos of the Zink Screwtail:

Zink Screwtail with Box

Zink Screwtail with Box


Different Colors of Zink Screwtails 

 Different Colors of Zink Screwtails



Test Your Knowledge:  Zink Screwtails FAQ's:

When was the Zink Screwtail fishing lure made?
The Zink Screwtail fishing lure was made by the Zink Artificial Bait Company out of Dixon, Illinois from 1946-1950.

How many colors did the Zink Screwtail come in?
The Zink Screwtail came in at least sixteen colors.

Who invented the Zink Screwtail fishing lure?
The Screwtail was invented by Walter L. Zink in 1941.

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

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

Unknown Lure

So who made the "Gold Seal Wooden Minnow"?? That's what our collector who submitted this lure would like to know. It has 'see-thru' hardware, 3 red gill marks on either side, yellow glass eyes, and the prop is unmarked. The printing on the wooden box reads, "Gold Seal Wooden Minnow - Heavily Coated with Porcelain Enamel which will not crack or peel off. Hooks and spinners are detached by unscrewing the screw eyes at the head and tail of minnow - Once Tried - Always Used."

Unknown Update: From Jerry Martin of Wisconsin, comes this information: The Gold Seal Wooden Minnow is a 'contract' lure made by Pflueger, commonly referred to as a 'trade bait.' Many of the major manufacturers made lures under other names which were sold to big hardware stores or other retail outlets, and the lure shown was one such bait. He also points out that the rear spinner is missing from the lure.

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 June 1, 1997 - Vol. 2, No. 11)
Moved to My Bait Shop in 2022 and updated as applicable

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