May 24, 2012
Vintage Tackle Contest: Soap-A-Lure
By Joe Cermele
Here's a direct quote from resident vintage tackle expert Dr. Todd Larson of the The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog regarding this Soap-A-Lure scent remover entered into the vintage tackle contest by Steve Crismon: "This was the toughest nut to crack to date. But I did crack it eventually." Strong words coming from the man that knows all things old school fishing gear, but I must admit this was one of the oddest entries I ever recieved. Steve found it at a yard sale 10 years ago.
Here's what was in that nut once once Doc Larson cracked it:
"For at least a hundred years, anglers have tried to remove or mask the smell of human scent and man-made chemicals, but it wasn't until the late 1960s and early 1970s that inventors began to take the subject seriously. In the span of six years, no less than three separate "Fisherman's Soaps" were granted patents, as far as I know the only such patents granted in American history. So…which of these three belongs to your "Soap-A-Lure?" After checking the patents, only John Paul Noordam Jr.'s patent not only removes the fish smell, but also applies an attractant to the hands. Noordam was granted Patent #3,666,669 on May 13, 1972, and as your bar is marked "Patent Pending" I would surmise it was probably sold in 1970 or 1971, while the patent was being reviewed. Since so few have survived intact, I would say your soap is worth $10-$20. To view some other angler's soaps from the back pages of Field & Stream, click here."
Far as I know, that's the most valuable bar of soap ever! Nice find, Steve. 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 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 Berkley Digital Tournament Scale (left, $40).