Vintage Tackle Contest: Burke Pop Top Flexo Plug

By Joe Cermele This Pop Top Flexo Plug was entered into the vintage tackle contest by Owen Brown, who found … Continued

By Joe Cermele

This Pop Top Flexo Plug was entered into the vintage tackle contest by Owen Brown, who found it in a tackle box that was donated to the fishing club at the school where he teaches. I picked this one because, while I don’t own a lot of vintage lures, I happen to have one of these new in the box. I found mine at a flea market years ago. What’s cool about these Flexo Plugs is that they’re made of soft foam material. So let’s see if Owen and I are big money winners per Dr. Todd Larson of the The Whitefish Press and “Fishing For History” blog.

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Dr. Todd says:

“Charles I. Burke of Traverse City, Michigan was a research chemist. In 1949 in his Detroit basement, he began to play around with a new soft plastic he had helped developed to manufacture flexible work gloves. He etched a mayfly nymph into a steel plate, poured the plastic into his crude mold, and a legend was born. At first Burke Lures, as it became known, only made fly rod flexible plastic insect lures, and they were hugely successful — he sold $100,000 worth of them in 1954. He moved the company to Traverse City, Mich. and continued expanding. In 1960, he launched the soft, flexible line of plastic (not rubber, a common mistake) lures known as Flexo Plugs. Your Pop Top #2014 Flexo Plug was one of the most popular and successful Burke lures, made for over three decades in a number of colors. They are worth $5-$10, and still catch fish. You can see a picture of Charlie Burke, as well as a Burke lure in the box, by clicking here.”

Ten bucks isn’t buying us new Ranger boats, Owen, but considering yours was free and I paid 50 cents for mine, I’ll take it! Thanks for sending and enjoy the Berkley Digital Tournament Scale that’s headed your way.

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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).