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Vintage Tackle Contest: The Spinno Minnow

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April 28, 2011

Vintage Tackle Contest: The Spinno Minnow

By Joe Cermele

The most fun part of picking through entries in our ongoing vintage tackle contest is finding the oddball items that leave you scratching your head. Of course, old Rapalas and Pikie Minnows are cool, but they're not exactly strange or unusual. Reader Jim Flynn sent in a whole bunch of vintage lure photos, many of which were handed down from his dad. I looked through them all, but none gave me pause like the one below. Even Jim wasn't sure what to make of this lure. He simply wrote:

...This one was just weird. It's from my dad's old tackle box. I never caught anything on it.

Naturally, the more bizarre and outlandish the tackle, the more vintage tackle expert Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog enjoys checking it out. So let's see what this "weird" green machine is all about. Dr. Todd says:

"Some lures catch fish, others fishermen. Yours caught a lot of anglers. What you have is a very interesting and collectible lure known as the Spinno Minnow, one of a select few baits patented by a woman--in this case Violet Van Buren of Carlsbad, New Mexico. She applied for the patent in 1944 and it was granted on April 13, 1945. Harry and Violet Van Buren operated a typewriter supply store in Carlsbad, and the original Spinno Minnows were produced by the Pecos River Tackle Co. (a division of Uniline Mftg. Co. of Carlsbad, NM). Later, around 1947, the address for the company changed to Dallas, TX, and they dropped the Pecos River Tackle title. They appear to have gone out of business by the mid-1950s. Spinno Minnows are very collectible (with over 20 colors available) and yours is worth $35-$50. To view the patent, a rare variation, and a color chart, click here."

With an appraisal like that, Jim, I'd stop trying to catch something on it and send it to the shelf. A most excellent find I must say! Congrats and keep an eye out for your new pliers. I'd also like to thank Berkley, who just sent another batch of pliers so we can continue this contest, as it's gotten such a great response.

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 ($50, above).


Comments (10)

Top Rated
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from 2Poppa wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

That is without a doubt one of the most amazing vintage lures I've seen! What is even more amazing, is Dr. Todds amazing detailed information. One can sense his passion and excitement between the typed lines in this blog!

Jim, I had to chuckle when you said you "never caught anything on it." I would bet the farm that the Spinno Minnow would be very productive. After all, most fish have seen everything tossed at 'em, excluding the kitchen sink.

Just reading this blog, causes strange sensations that are leading me to flea markets and garage sales.

Thanks for sharing Jim!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

You guys are picking the lures right out of my box! Thats the second lure you've posted that I have! guess I better send you some pictures, have you ever seen a copper flyrod??

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

i'm in the same boat with walt. this is the third item picked that i own. guess i sent in the wrong ones.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

You know you have a bad design when other companies do not copy it.

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from Zach wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

I cant shake the feeling that it would actually work if it was given a modern update

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dave63go wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Cool old lure, and I too am impressed by Dr. Todd's knowledge. Further, I agree with Zach - I think this lure has potential. That flashing, spinning disk it the lure's tummy, spun by the water jet flowing in through its nose during retrieve, would be different and interesting to a fish. Or at least a fisherman.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DD10 wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

This is what happens when a rattletrap and a buzzbait have babies.

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from AHTISCH11 wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Very cool lure. Thats the first one like that I ever saw.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BobMead wrote 38 weeks 3 days ago

I have to admit it gave me a chuckle when our resident expert the good Dr spelled the lure's name incorrectly:) It is Spinno Minno. There is no W on the end of minno.

Still, always interesting and enjoyable comments.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BobMead wrote 38 weeks 3 days ago

I have to admit it gave me a chuckle when our resident expert the good Dr spelled the lure's name incorrectly:) It is Spinno Minno. There is no W on the end of minno.

Still, always interesting and enjoyable comments.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from 2Poppa wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

That is without a doubt one of the most amazing vintage lures I've seen! What is even more amazing, is Dr. Todds amazing detailed information. One can sense his passion and excitement between the typed lines in this blog!

Jim, I had to chuckle when you said you "never caught anything on it." I would bet the farm that the Spinno Minnow would be very productive. After all, most fish have seen everything tossed at 'em, excluding the kitchen sink.

Just reading this blog, causes strange sensations that are leading me to flea markets and garage sales.

Thanks for sharing Jim!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

You guys are picking the lures right out of my box! Thats the second lure you've posted that I have! guess I better send you some pictures, have you ever seen a copper flyrod??

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

i'm in the same boat with walt. this is the third item picked that i own. guess i sent in the wrong ones.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

You know you have a bad design when other companies do not copy it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zach wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

I cant shake the feeling that it would actually work if it was given a modern update

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dave63go wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Cool old lure, and I too am impressed by Dr. Todd's knowledge. Further, I agree with Zach - I think this lure has potential. That flashing, spinning disk it the lure's tummy, spun by the water jet flowing in through its nose during retrieve, would be different and interesting to a fish. Or at least a fisherman.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DD10 wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

This is what happens when a rattletrap and a buzzbait have babies.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from AHTISCH11 wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Very cool lure. Thats the first one like that I ever saw.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BobMead wrote 38 weeks 3 days ago

I have to admit it gave me a chuckle when our resident expert the good Dr spelled the lure's name incorrectly:) It is Spinno Minno. There is no W on the end of minno.

Still, always interesting and enjoyable comments.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BobMead wrote 38 weeks 3 days ago

I have to admit it gave me a chuckle when our resident expert the good Dr spelled the lure's name incorrectly:) It is Spinno Minno. There is no W on the end of minno.

Still, always interesting and enjoyable comments.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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