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.
"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 email@example.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)