During the late 1800s, one of the first fishing lure manufacturing companies was originated. The company was the Enterprise Manufacturing Company, which later became the world renowned Pflueger Company. Enterprise began as a maker of fish hooks and by 1900 it had grown into a producer of metal baits, spinners and rubber lures.
Before many other lure companies had even begun, Pflueger had established several popular brands such as Four Brothers and Ketch-Em Wooden Minnow. Collectors of vintage fishing equipment may recognize several of their classic lures, which include the Kent Champion Floater, the Monarch Wooden Minnow and the Neverfail Wooden Minnow.
German born Ernest F. Pflueger immigrated to the United States during the 1850s. Pflueger settled temporarily in Buffalo, New York, and found employment as a molder. After marrying Julia Dunnebeck, the couple moved to Akron, Ohio, where he began the Enterprise Manufacturing Company.
During the 1880s, Pflueger requested patents for over 50 different inventions including luminous paint for fishing lures and a reel. However, the equipment inventor mainly produced lures and hooks throughout the early years of his company. Ernest F. Pflueger died in 1890 and it was his son Ernest Andrew Pflueger who took over and grew the business.
Once the 1930s had arrived, the Pflueger Company had grown to include a large number of fishing reels, which was a popular product for the company. At its peak production, the company was manufacturing several hundred million hooks each year. The company introduced its spinning reel in 1954 and about 10 years later the Shakespeare Company purchased Pflueger and created a line under the famous Pflueger name. Fishing equipment is still produced under the brand today.
One of the first lures built by the Pflueger Company was the Maybug, which was constructed to look like a large radiant dragonfly. It is bright gold with treble hooks located underneath, and its size will tempt a large fish hovering near a lake's bottom to swim up for a bite.
The combination orange and yellow Neverfail Minnow constructed by Pflueger is a unique vintage lure for collectors to add to their assortment of classic fishing devices. The lure features realistic glass eyes and water disturbing spinners. Furthermore, the lure is equipped with four fish snagging treble hooks.
The Kent Champion Floater was manufactured to resemble a frog. The lure is painted green with hand-painted brown specks. Additionally, the hooks are removable, and the spinners will help attract fish as will the white feather tail.
Around 1916, Pflueger added the All-In-One-Minnow to its product line. The lure was only available for a short time, but offered anglers a new convenience. The lure included four separate lips, which gave fishermen the means to change the bait according to their fishing conditions. Basically, the lure could dive, wiggle, spin and float. The Minnow is painted a light cream color with orange and green spots.
Pflueger's vintage Electric Minnow lure is still a favorite product for anglers. The underwater wooden minnow is painted deep green with a light yellow belly and collectors can find 100 year old editions of the lure. The fish tempting device includes a spinner at the nose and tail along with two hooks.
Another Pflueger collectible is the Monarch Minnow lure, which was introduced before 1920. The lure can be found in a light crackled green with a yellow belly. Additionally, it features spinners at both the nose and tail to disrupt a fish's environment and grab its attention.
The Metalized Minnow was also released before 1920 and is a rare lure for collectors to find. The lure is bright shiny silver and includes water disturbing spinners. Furthermore, the lure was produced with four treble hooks. Fish are sure to be interested enough in the shiny silver lure to try a taste.
The Pflueger Company released a line of Surprise Minnow lures in several design styles. Early models have eyes that were simple holes and the body color varied. Anglers can find green, orange and cream colored Surprise Minnow lures along with versions that were white with red embellishments. The lures were equipped with three treble hooks and are a popular piece to collect.
The Palomine lure was introduced in the 1930s, and the company continued to manufacture the popular bait until the 1970s. Collectors will find a large number of these vintage lures on the market today. Fortunately, they were manufactured in a wide variety of color combinations to help anglers find the perfect enticement for fish. Color options include a jumble blend in which the manufacturing plant would mix the paint remaining at the end of the day and coat the lures. Other colors combinations include orange and yellow, differing shades of green with a net pattern and grey stripes. The lures are prepared for a fish to strike with three treble hooks.
The Wizard Wiggler is a classic lure that originated over 90 years ago. The company airbrushed the lure's eyes on older models while newer versions have glass eyes. The lure is green and gold with a crackle pattern. Also, the lure contains two treble hooks along with the name Wizard Wiggler engraved on a silver label.
The Luminous Tandem Spinner is a vintage Pflueger model that the company manufactured until the 1950s. The lure was designed with two spinners and a flashy red, white and grey feather that trails out behind it as an angler reels it in with a nice sized trout attached.
Pflueger's Meadow Frog can be difficult to find in good condition as the lure's material was rubber. Unfortunately, collectors will often find that this vintage item has split apart, shrunk down or has missing legs. Therefore, lure collectors who find a Meadow Frog in good condition will be adding a unique piece to their lure collection. The frog is painted moss green with yellow and black spots.
Pflueger constructed the Magnet Minnow Bait with its brand of Neverfail hardware. Most of these lures were covered with a gleaming fish attracting varnish. Furthermore, it was equipped with three treble hooks and was sold without eye detailing.
Pflueger lures have proven to be an enduring tackle item with many of today's anglers having acquired them from their fathers and grandfathers. Furthermore, the company's lures are still tempting fish to bite.