September 05, 2013
Vintage Tackle Contest: Herter Spoonplugs
By Joe Cermele
This week in the vintage tackle contest have a couple old-school spoons submitted by Jim Gray, who picked up the pair at a yard sale for a crisp dollar. I was originally thinking we had some classic Buck Perry Spoonplugs here, but Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog says that's not quite the case. Hey Buck Perry collectors...watch out for knock-offs!
Dr. Todd says:
"At first glance, it would appear you have an iconic lure known as the Spoonplug, invented by the late Buck Perry in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Perry, a pioneer in structure fishing, was granted a patent for his lure on April 15, 1947 and it became a very big seller, as it did (and does) catch fish. When the patent ran out in 1964, however, a number of companies began manufacturing knock-off versions of the Spoonplug. You have a pair of such lures dating from ca. 1970 sold by one of the kings of the knock-off tackle world, George Leonard Herter of Waseca, Minnesota. There was a time when two generations of sportsmen would eagerly await the annual Herter's catalog, filled with every outdoor and tackle item under the sun, all complete with his breathless prose (every lure was the greatest fish catcher ever invented). I'd value these lures at $5-$10 each, which is a nice return on your $1 investment. And I'm sure if you took them out, they would catch fish! To learn more about the eccentric G.L. Herter, click here."
Good find, Jim. Though I've never trolled Spoonplug, I know a few people who swear by them and catch everything from bass to catfish on the metals. Thanks for sharing, and keep an eye on your mailbox, because there's a set of Berkley Aluminum Pliers 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 pair of Berkley Aluminum Pliers (above) worth $50.