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Vintage Tackle Contest: Froglegs Mechanical Lure

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April 21, 2011

Vintage Tackle Contest: Froglegs Mechanical Lure

By Joe Cermele

Before you know it, the summer bass season will be upon us and we'll be tossing frog lures in the lily pads. At least that's what I was day dreaming about when I picked this week's winner in our ongoing vintage tackle contest. This old-school Froglegs was a lure I'd never seen before, and if I were a hog largemouth, I'd probably crush it. The photo was sent in by Ken Davis, who wrote: 

I have had this lure in my possession since I started fishing at age 5. It was given to me by my grandfather who was an avid fisherman to start my tackle box. I am not sure how old it is or if it has any monetary value. Regardless, it is priceless to me.

Well, Ken, let's find out what vintage tackle expert Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog, had to say about your froggy treasure:

"People have been trying to build a better frog lure for almost 150 years. What you have is a great mechanical frog--when you pull on the line tie, the rubber legs move. Froglegs was originally manufactured by Modern Sporting Goods of Austin, TX, which changed its name to Jensen and later moved to Waco. Early Jensen frogs were made of wood; yours dates from the late 1940s and is referred to as the Surface Model (there were a number of different styles). It came in at least six colors. In this condition, it would be worth $75-$100 due to the very early box. But as you rightly assert, it is priceless to you. For a picture of an advertising sheet for the Jensen Froglegs lure, click here."

That's a very intriguing lure, Ken. Thanks for sending the photo and congrats on the win! Keep that Froglegs in a safe place, both because it's worth some coin and because it's something I'm sure you never want to lose. As for the new pliers headed your way, take them out and beat 'em up.

If you've already sent me photos of your vintage tackle, keep checking every Thursday to see if I chose it for an appraisal by Dr. Todd. If you haven't and want to enter the contest, email photos of your old tackle to fstackle@gmail.com, along with your name, mailing address, and story of how you acquired the gear. If I use it in a Thursday post, you get a pair of Berkley Aluminum Pliers (above)


Comments (6)

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from Mike Plotner wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

looks kinda like a hola popper with rubber legs!

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from MLH wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

I am continually amazed that Doc Larson can pull up the original ads and information on so much of this vintage gear.

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from whitefishpress wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

Now that you mention it, it does look a bit like a Hula Popper...there were lots of mechanical frogs, from the turn of the century to today (anyone recall those Pow-R-Pack battery operated frogs from a decade ago). My favorite is the Halik Frog from Moose Lake, Minnesota. Maybe someone will send in a photo of one of those!

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from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

Thats cool! I have the same lure (minus the box) and my grandfather gave me mine also! I've never used it because its so unique I don't want to chance losing it!

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from 2Poppa wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

Love the sky blue color and the box!

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

The rubber legs are in great shape for being 60 years old.

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from Mike Plotner wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

looks kinda like a hola popper with rubber legs!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

I am continually amazed that Doc Larson can pull up the original ads and information on so much of this vintage gear.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from whitefishpress wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

Now that you mention it, it does look a bit like a Hula Popper...there were lots of mechanical frogs, from the turn of the century to today (anyone recall those Pow-R-Pack battery operated frogs from a decade ago). My favorite is the Halik Frog from Moose Lake, Minnesota. Maybe someone will send in a photo of one of those!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

Thats cool! I have the same lure (minus the box) and my grandfather gave me mine also! I've never used it because its so unique I don't want to chance losing it!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

Love the sky blue color and the box!

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 51 weeks ago

The rubber legs are in great shape for being 60 years old.

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