Field & Stream Online Editors
The Gear Hall of Fame These items are not new, but the are supreme examples of hunting and fishing gear. They all perform their jobs unfailingly. None of them has been around for less than 30 years. Some of them are continuations of ideas that have been around for a century or more. That is why these products are the first to be inducted into the Field & Steram Gear Hall of Fame. They are indispensable to the success and enjoyment of our sports. THE PRIME CUT: Clifford Zwicky created the Eskimo broadhead in 1942, and it hasn’t changed. The secret to its longevity is its simplicity: an elegantly shaped wedge of carbon steel that flies true, cuts deep, and has a multilayer tip strong enough to break heavy bone. It needs hand-sharpening, but running a whetstone along its cutting edge is pure pleasure. Dan Saelinger
THE HOT HAND: It’s 2 below zero and you’re 20 feet in the air. Your fingers should have passed numb and gone straight to bag it long ago. But your digits are basking in tropical heat and ready to snap off a safety or draw a bowstring, thanks to Grabber Mycoal Hand Warmers, little packets of iron filings that cost 99 cents. Dan Saelinger
THE PENNSYLVANIA TUXEDO: If you don’t include loincloths, there probably isn’t a garment that has been worn by more deer hunters than the Woolrich Classic Wool Field Coat. Woolrich’s trademark red-and-black plaid pattern is considered by many to be the first commercially made camouflage for hunters. Essentially unchanged since before the Civil War (the Woolrich Co. has been in business for over 175 years), this iconic wool garment is still stitched from wool that sheds rain and snow. The difference between today’s coat and your great-great-granddad’s is that you can toss yours in a washing machine, and it won’t shrink to fit a 10-year-old. Dan Saelinger
THE PERFECT PLUG: The Jitterbug has been glub-glub-glubbing across America’s bass ponds since 1938, when Fred Arbogast of Akron, Ohio, first marketed his original carved-cedar version. It got a plastic body in the early 1940s, but otherwise not much has changed. Bass still love the lure. Notably, and perhaps because the plug is designed to be fished slowly, the Jitterbug is not a hot bass-tournament lure. Its enduring success has more to do with ease of use by novices, plus the patience of old hands who know how to tease a bass into striking. Beyond the glitz of pro bass fishing are the millions of us who know that bass fishing with a Jitterbug is just plain fun. Dan Saelinger
THE SURE FOOT: In 1911, Leon Leonwood Bean decided to improve the typical hunting shoe by stitching a pair of waterproof shoe rubbers to leather tops. He sold 100 pairs that first year, satisfaction guaranteed. Within weeks, they began coming back; in all, 90 pairs had their bottoms separate from their tops. L.L. quickly refined the shoe, made it stronger, and replaced all of the defective merchandise. Today’s L.L. Bean Maine Hunting Shoe comes in a variety of styles and heights but still carries L.L.’s original 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. Dan Saelinger
THE OLD FLAME: The first disposable Bic lighters appeared in 1973. Because of their size (small), shape (handy), flame height (adjustable), and price (cheap), Bic lighters found their way into the pockets of hunters and anglers. In 2005 the Museum of Modern Art placed the Bic in its permanent collection. More important are the lighters of untold sportsmen who survived in the wild because they had one to easily start a fire. Dan Saelinger
THE SHINING LIGHT: In 1901, W.C. Coleman’s invention could illuminate the far corners of a barn. In 1915, the U.S. government declared the Coleman lantern an essential item of World War I, and more than 70,000 of them were distributed so farmers and workers could extend production hours. In the 1920s and ユ30s, the lanterns lit expeditions from the Sahara to the South Pole. Not long after the company’s 100th anniversary, Coleman made its 60 millionth fuel lantern. Many sportsmen use models purchased by their grandfathers, but sales of new ones are on the increase. Dan Saelinger
THE GREAT WEIGHT: Ka-chook, ka-chook, ka-chook. The rattle of a container of split shot is a welcome sound of spring to a spinfisherman striding toward pond or stream, and the Water Gremlin Sinker Selector “Fry-Pan” dial pack has been making angling music since it was developed in the early 1960s. Dan Saelinger
THE THICKEST SKIN: Originally sewn for the timber survey crews of the Pacific Northwest in 1914, the nearly indestructible Filson Tin Cruiser was so novel for its day that the U.S. government awarded it a patent. Hunters realized the jacketユs benefits immediately: The oil finish is waterproof, and the 12 1/2-ounce double-layered Tin Cloth is strong enough to offer protection from anything you can brush against in the woods. Every part of the garment is utilitarian, right down to the compass compartment and the four pencil slots inside the upper pocket. Things do change; hand-warming pockets and buttons for a removable hood were added in the 1990s. Dan Saelinger
THE FAVORITE BLADE: Two things of note happened late in 1963: The Beatles had their first gold record in the United States and Al Buck had a smash hit that is still a smash hit today. Buck took an old idea – the folding knife – and put it in a striking new form. It had a brass frame, macassar ebony handle insets, and a stainless clip-point blade that locked open. It was too big and heavy to fit in a pocket, so it came with a leather belt sheath. There have been eight versions of the Buck 110 Folding Hunter over the years and more than 12 million sold. Dan Saelinger