The Smithwick Lure Company began in 1947 with Jack K. Smithwick, from Shreveport, Louisiana, carving lures at home out of old broom handles. At the time, Smithwick worked as a machine salesman for a local business and carved the lures as a hobby.
After Mrs. Smithwick grew tired of replacing her brooms and banned him from the kitchen, Jack began buying wood from a nearby lumberyard and went to work carving his lure designs in the garage. By 1949, word of mouth brought anglers to his door with requests to purchase the successful Smithwick lures.
Jack cleverly recognized the potential business opportunity and found a way to produce his lures in greater quantities by investing in a wood lathe from the Sears and Roebuck Company. Smithwick also moved his new business into a shop garage.
Smithwick's first fishing lure constructed with his new equipment was the famous Devil's Horse lure. Jack designed the lure with added weight, which caused it to sink down slowly into the water. Furthermore, the lure was easy to cast. However, when reels with spinners were introduced, Smithwick updated the Devil's Horse and made it lighter.
Lure collectors interested in adding the Devil's Horse to their bait display should look for a long slender lure, which features a tail hook and spinner in addition to one treble hook on the bottom. Paint colors for this classic lure vary and collectors can find the lure's base painted yellow with black stripes and red highlights around the nose and tail. Another color combination is the gold base with a black net pattern or the lemon yellow base with black spots.
The Smithwick Company also produced a wood lure named Carrot Top. The piece of fishing equipment is painted green with yellowish green highlights. Additionally, the lure was built with two treble hooks and black eyes were painted on. Collectors of classic lures may also find this lure painted white with a gold scaling pattern. This color combination has black spots with red enhancements for catching the eye of a big fish along with eyes that are painted black and yellow.
Vintage lure aficionados will appreciate adding classic Smithwick lures to their collections with choices such as the Top-N-Bottom lure, which was produced from 1947 to 1951. The fish enticement's base was painted cream with the designer adding red around the yellow painted eyes and down the body of the lure. Additional features of the lure include spinners at the nose and tail along with two treble hooks. One hook is set at the tail while the other is located on the belly.
The Smithwick Lure Company released a lure called the Suspending Rogue in a four and a half inch size. Additionally, the lure has a shiny silver scale pattern on its body with a red head and yellow painted eyes. The lure was constructed with a lip, which prevents lake debris from snagging it. Also, the three treble hooks located on its tail and belly will keep a fish from dropping off the line.
Another classic lure that will appeal to collectors is the Smithwick Water-Gator lure. The fish fooling device was produced in a three and a quarter inch size with rainbow trout coloring. Additional lure details include scale enhancements, a treble hook at the tail and the belly along with yellow painted eyes and black detailing. The lure was created to realistically mimic a small tasty fish and help anglers convince larger fish to have a nibble followed by a big bite.
The Smithwick Lure Company has grown into a large corporation that continuously creates superior fish tempting equipment while a vintage Smithwick lure will add value to any angler's tackle box.