Bomber Baits have been a mainstay in anglers’ tackleboxes since the late 1940s, starting with the original Bomber. By the late 40s and early 50s, Bomber had a large selection of lures that included not just the original but a couple topwaters as well as a spinner in their lineup. Today we’ll take a look at the earliest catalog I’ve seen, Bomber Baits 1953 catalog.
The catalog itself is only eight pages in length but included an insert to make the total page count up to 10. The catalog I have was a mailer, requested by the angler it was sent to, and has the dimensions 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches tall. The catalog is glue bound and was folded for delivery by the USPS. The stamp on the cover was a 2-cent stamp and the postmark date was August 5, 1953, thus providing the date of the catalog.
As stated above, I assume this catalog was ordered either from a magazine ad or possibly from the inserts that came in the early Bomber boxes. In any event, I’m glad I have the catalog to share with you all.
Unfolding the catalog, you’re greeted with directions on how to use Bomber Baits. The company gives some decent directions, based on water depth, which of their lures to use. They even tell the angler to fish away from the bank unless it’s the early morning or late evening.
Turning the page, Bomber continues with directions and descriptions of how to use the lures. They state specifically that fish tend to be near cover and not to be afraid of fishing in the thickest cover as their lure is relatively snagless. It’s a very thorough writeup on their baits and how to fish them.
The next page is an awesome display of their original Bomber. Twenty-one colors in four sizes from the 300 to the 600. The Bomber is described as a floater when at rest but quickly dives upon retrieve. They also claim it’s a good topwater bait when twitched on the surface.
The 300 series, Midget Bomber weighed 3/8-ounce and measured 2-3/4-inches in length. It dove to four feet and was recommended to be used with a light rod in shallow water.
The 400 series, Small Bomber weighed 1/2-ounce. The length of the bait was listed incorrectly as 1/2-inch. It dove to a depth of 7 feet. The 500 series and 600 series are listed as 5/8-ounce and 3/4-ounce respectively, again their lengths misrepresented with their weights. The 500 series bait dove to 12 feet and the 600 series bait dove to 15 feet on a cast and up to 30 feet trolled on a long line.
Page four of the catalog lists the baby Bomber, the smallest version of the original Bomber. This bait weighed in at 1/4 ounce and was 2-1/2-inches in length. It was a slow sinker and was offered in 30 colors.
At the bottom right of page four is the Bomberette. This bait was offered in two different sizes, the 700 series and 800 series. The 700 series weighed 3/8-ounce and was 2-3/4-inches long while the 800 series bait weighed 1/2-ounce and measured in at 3-1/4-inches. Both were divers but nothing is stated whether they floated at rest or sank. Both were shallow runners with the 800 series running shallower than the 700 series.
Page five lists the Midget Bomberette, a 1/4-ounce, 1-3/4-inch-long bait. The Midget was offered in 16 colors, but it doesn’t state how deep the bait ran or if it floated or sank at rest.
Page six lists Bomber’s topwater offerings, the Top Bomber and the Knot Head. The Top Bomber came in two sizes, 2-3/8-inch (4000 series) and 3-1/4-inches (6000 series). The 4000 weighed 3/8-ounce while the 6000 series weighed 1/2-ounce. Each model was offered in 19 colors.
The Knot Head also came in two sizes, the 1200 series (2-1/4-inches) and the 1300 series (3-1/4-inces) and weighed 3/8-ounce and 1/2-ounce respectively. The Knot Head was a chugger-type bait with two hooks. It was offered in 13 different colors.
The next page of the catalog was actually an insert describing what I assume was their new lure, the Gimmick. The Gimmick was a spinner that claimed not to twist line due to the fact the line-tie was offset from the centerline of the main wire and the head had a counter-balanced design. The bait was dressed with a feathered treble hook and spinner. It came in two sizes 1/4-ounce and 1/2-ounce.
The final page of the catalog was adorned with a few pictures from anglers using the products sold by Bomber.
I hope you enjoyed this look back on the history of Bomber Baits and a pretty rare catalog. If any of you reading this have old manufacturers’ catalogs you’d like to share, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to scan your catalogs and share them on the site.
Click on the first image below to open the gallery of Bomber Baits 1953 Catalog.