Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Vintage Tackle Contest: HICO Topwater

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

The Lateral Line
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

May 31, 2012

Vintage Tackle Contest: HICO Topwater

By Joe Cermele

This week's entry into our ongoing vintage tackle contest comes from Tracey Johnston, who acquired this lure when he purchased an old tackle box full of rusty baits. Though he identified a bunch of the lures, this striped topwater left him a bit stumped. No worries, Tracey...vintage tackle expert Dr. Todd Larson of the The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog to the rescue.

Dr. Todd says:

"The Horrocks-Ibbotson Company of Utica, New York is largely forgotten today, but there was a long stretch when H-I (HICO) was the largest fishing tackle manufacturer in the world--dwarfing even Pflueger and Shakespeare. They manufactured everything from rods and reels to lures, lines of tackle they got into over the course of decades by purchasing numerous other companies and folding them into the H-I family. You have a HICO Bait dating from ca. 1950. They have a distinctive paint pattern that is impossible to mistake for any other lure. In nice condition like this one, it is worth $10-$15. To see a picture of a HICO bait in the box, click here."

To be honest, $10 to $15 isn't much more (and it's less in some cases) than what you'd pay for a similar lure nowadays. If I were you, Tracey, I'd try to stick a pike or bass on that thing! Thanks for sending, and enjoy the Berkley Digital Tournament Scale 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 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 Berkley Digital Tournament Scale (left, $40).

Comments (4)

Top Rated
All Comments
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Very unique color scheme and I really like the translucent scales over the paint.

I would think this lure would be worth more. I'm guessing Ebay has inflated the prices somewhat?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from whitefishpress wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

@buckhunter There just doesn't seem to be as much collector interest in Horrocks-Ibbotson. They made a lot of tackle, but most of it was low end. So it is readily available, and not well made -- many lures seemed to have been shipped without primer (this style has a durable paint scheme used first by Shur Katch which H-I purchased). Interestingly, tackle marked Abbey & Imbrie (which H-I owned and operated since the early 1930s) is very collectible, even the tackle from the H-I era, but similar or exact H-I stuff doesn't sell well.

Nice bit of trivia here--a whole bunch of the tackle marked "Winchester" was sold by H-I. Horrocks purchased the entire Winchester fishing tackle division in the late 1920s and continued selling it until the 1950s. Many people page HUGE amounts of money for Winchester lures that are actually made and sold by H-I. I once watched H-I guru and budding bass pro angler Chris Labuz point out 100+ pieces of H-I Winchester in a massive display...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from twa32 wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Very cool lure. I can see why the color scheme is so distinctive. I was drawn to it right away without really knowing why. It was just striking I guess. I hope you get that thing out on the water Tracey. Good luck. Thanks guys for another interesting post!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

i bet that would be a killer on pike! it's in good shape too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from whitefishpress wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

@buckhunter There just doesn't seem to be as much collector interest in Horrocks-Ibbotson. They made a lot of tackle, but most of it was low end. So it is readily available, and not well made -- many lures seemed to have been shipped without primer (this style has a durable paint scheme used first by Shur Katch which H-I purchased). Interestingly, tackle marked Abbey & Imbrie (which H-I owned and operated since the early 1930s) is very collectible, even the tackle from the H-I era, but similar or exact H-I stuff doesn't sell well.

Nice bit of trivia here--a whole bunch of the tackle marked "Winchester" was sold by H-I. Horrocks purchased the entire Winchester fishing tackle division in the late 1920s and continued selling it until the 1950s. Many people page HUGE amounts of money for Winchester lures that are actually made and sold by H-I. I once watched H-I guru and budding bass pro angler Chris Labuz point out 100+ pieces of H-I Winchester in a massive display...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

i bet that would be a killer on pike! it's in good shape too.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Very unique color scheme and I really like the translucent scales over the paint.

I would think this lure would be worth more. I'm guessing Ebay has inflated the prices somewhat?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from twa32 wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Very cool lure. I can see why the color scheme is so distinctive. I was drawn to it right away without really knowing why. It was just striking I guess. I hope you get that thing out on the water Tracey. Good luck. Thanks guys for another interesting post!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment