February 02, 2012
Vintage Tackle Contest: The Larson Fishtrap
By Joe Cermele
The lure below was entered into our ongoing vintage tackle contest by Bob Brown, who tells me he found it in his grandfather's tackle box. Not only is this one cool looking spoon, but I had to pick it because it shares a last name with our very own Dr. Todd Larson of the The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog. Was the Larson Fishtrap produced by the Doc's great grandad perhaps? Let's find out.
Dr. Todd says:
"Well, of all the coincidences! You are the proud owner of a lure bearing my surname and made about fifty miles from my hometown of Duluth, Minnesota. Of course, up there you can't throw a rock and not hit a Larson (only a Swede who spells their name Larsen would actually throw a rock at a Larson, but I digress). You've got a genuine Larson Fishtrap Weedless Spoon made in the late 1940s and 1950s and on down to the present. It was a product of the fertile mind of Karl R. Larson of Aitken, Minnesota, who held a number of important weedless lure patents, and was covered by Patent #2,629,199 issued on Feb. 24, 1953. The Fishtrap must have caught fish because not only are they common, but the lure was manufactured by at least three companies--the Larson Bait Co. of Aitkin, MN, the Weedless Bait Co. of Rogers, MN in the 1970s, and Fred Arbogast in the 1980s and beyond. The spoon itself is not rare and worth about $10-$15; however, yours has the very rare frog trailer (there was also a minnow trailer) and that alone is worth $50-$75. It's a classic weedless spoon with space age aesthetics. To see the original patents, the proper box for this lure, and an advertisement from the May 1975 Field & Stream, click here."
Nice find, Bob. Who would have thought that little frog would bump the value up $60? Thanks for sending, and enjoy the Rapala Classic Collector Fillet Knife that's headed your way.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 Rapala Classic Collector Fillet Knife (below, $70).