We’ve posted five separate Bomber catalogs so far and a couple other articles on Bomber ads from 1975, 76, and 77. Today in Bomber Ads 1979, we continue to look back at old Bomber ads, a subject I know many of you out there enjoy.
All the ads we’re going to present today came from the 1979 year of Bassmaster Magazine. Between the seven issues printed that year, these were the four that were run, some in multiple issues.
The 1979 model year was a big year for Bomber in that they introduced their version of natural colored baits as well as the Bomber Long “A” and the Paddle-Whacker buzzbait. All of these lures we’ll go over in the following paragraphs.
Starting off with the lead-in image is an add I think everyone over the age of 50 will remember. This ad was released in the February 1979 issue and was touting the new life-like photo print on their Model A series. The image features two colors, Bream and White Perch, that look more like a crawfish and crappie patterns to me.
The Model A was released in 1977 as part of Bomber’s Alphabet Series. They were offered in medium and deep-diving models with a molded lip. Over the course of time, the Model A has continued to perform and has become one of the icons in the crankbait world.
The next ad features one of the most heralded jerkbaits ever designed, the Long “A”. This ad was released in the May/June issue and visually provided something jerkbait fishermen didn’t have at the time. That missing link was a jerkbait that could be thrown on casting gear and Bomber was sure to show a casting reel in the ad.
Prior to the Long “A”, jerkbaits were extremely light and generally thrown on spinning gear. Rapala, Rebel, and the Norman baits were all light and designed to have the density close to balsawood. The Cordell Red Fin was a little heavier and could be fished on casting gear but it had its best action when fished slow or while using it as a topwater bait.
The Long “A” brought great castability and an action never seen in a jerkbait at the time. The molded lip was a completely new design in this genre of lure, not thin across the width like its predecessors. The lip was shaped more like an oval, that added roll into the side-to-side movement of the bait. It was super buoyant which meant you give it a fast jerk on slack line and the bait would barely move. Rip it hard and fast and the bait would hunt but never come out of the water.
The bait worked equally as well on 8-pound line in “finesse” situations as it did with 20-pound in the grass and wood. Coupled with its innate action, Bomber put a couple small BBs in the head chamber to provide a little sound.
The original bait came with molded in hook hangers in the forward and middle position, while the rear hook hangers was an eye screw. These first-generation baits would become know as tail-screw baits and are sought after by collectors or anglers who think the original works better. Personally, I have fished this bait since the early 1980s and catch-wise I can’t tell the difference in the two.
Moving in chronological order, the next ad again shows Bomber moving with the times, although, this time they were a little late showing up. Bomber for years had produced spinnerbaits but 1979 would mark the first year it produced a buzzbait. In this case, it was the Paddee-Whacker.
Since Rick Clunn’s near win at the 1976 Tennessee Invitation on Cordell Hull and his win at the 1977 BASS Champs event, where he used a Harkin’s Lunker Lure for his successes, every bait company followed the trend and introduced a buzzer. Bomber waited over two years for their addition to the genre.
Looking at the buzzbait, it had a flat planning head and a serrated blade that would provide more bubbles, according to the ad. But Bomber also claimed that their blade spun at a higher RPM than their competitor’s buzzbaits. I’m not sure how they accomplished this or how they measured it, as the blade looks to have the same pitch as all the other blades.
One thing for certain was Bomber had an indestructible finish on their heads. All their spinnerbaits and jig heads had an ABS plastic coating that held up to hitting rocks and docks. They also used a crimped rivet for the blade to rotate against. Harkin’s Lunker Lure also used a rivet, but their model didn’t crimp the rivet. By crimping the rivet, it stayed stationary while the blade turned and made a lot more noise.
The final ad we’re going over today is from the November/December issue of Bassmaster Magazine and is another classic featuring their Original Bomber. In this ad, several Bombers, in their natural crawdad pattern, are placed around a real crawdad. The headline of the ad states, “Will the real Crawdaddy please stand up.”
Minus the claws, it’s really kind of uncanny how much the silhouette of the bait mimics the real thing. It’s no wonder the Original Bomber was one of the most productive lures ever designed.
I have stated before in this blog that if an angler would just throw this once prolific bait, they would catch fish on it. Unfortunately, today all the remaining Bombers are in collectors hands and rarely, if ever, see the water.
That about ends today’s look back at the 1979 Bomber ads. This year was a big year for Bomber with respect to two new baits and a new paint scheme. Bomber would continue on for another decade, producing top-quality lures and pushing the boundaries of bait design.