Baits, Lures & Flies photo

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This week in our vintage tackle contest we have an interesting lure submitted by DeAnna Todd. She says this Multi-Wag, complete with its own test-tube-like housing, was fished near West Yellowstone, MT, by her father in the 1940s and 1950s. I had to laugh, because considering there is a fly shop on every corner of West Yellowstone these days, I know for a fact it’s not easy to come by hardware like this in the area anymore. Let’s see what Dr. Todd Larson of the The Whitefish Press and “Fishing For History” blog thinks of this old-school metal.


Dr. Todd says:

“You have a very interesting lure called a “Hayden’s Multi-Wag” manufactured by Boyd Hayden & Co. of Chestertown, Mass. A “spoon wobbler,” as these kinds of metal lures designed to swim like a plastic or wooden lure are often called, the Multi-Wag was very popular in the early 1950s, getting write-ups in magazines such as Popular Mechanics and the New Yorker. It was a “13-in-1” lure in that it came with three additional “quick change fins” made of Nitron, and was made in sizes ranging from fly rod to musky. It was manufactured as early as 1946 and sold through at least 1965, so considering the cut-throat nature of the lure business of the time it must have been a popular lure for its day. It is usually found (like yours) without the extra fins. In its original celluloid tube, it is worth $10-$20. Click here to see the lure as depicted in a 1953 Popular Mechanics article on spin fishing.”

Excellent find, DeAnna. Unfortunately, if you wanted to retrace dad’s steps and chuck that thing on the Gallatin or Madison near West Yellowstone, be prepared for a few rude stares…but be prepared to catch bigger trout than the fly guys. I’ve thrown metal around there and crushed it! 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, 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).