1961 DeLong Catalog Front Cover

Back in July 2022 we posted a piece on the 1960 DeLong catalog.  Since then, I have been I contact with the new owners of the company and even did a print article in Fishing Tackle Retailer about the resurrection of the earliest plastics companies.  The new owners were kind enough to send me some other old catalogs, and today in DeLong Lures 1961, we’re going to look at one of them.

As in the 1960 catalog, the front cover provided a great color look at some of the baits offered in 1961.  Included on the front cover are the “NEW” Squirm and the Shad.  The Squirm was originally designed for Jigger Poling or Doodle Socking.  It had a plastic body where a weight was attached to the head and six appendages that made the bait look like an octopus – or should that be hexapus?

The cool things about this is the new owners of the company brought this bait back from the crypt when they assumed ownership.  So, you might want to break out your 16-foot doodle socking pole and give them a try.

The Shad came in two sizes, small (3 inches) and large (4 inches) and two different setups.  The standard Shad came without a jighead where the Jigging Shad came rigged with a jighead.

Page two of the catalog provided a color chart for some of the baits like their Fat Dew Worms, Frogs and Tadpoles.  After page two, the catalog turns black and white and provides full descriptions of each bait they offered.

1961 DeLong Catalog Page 2

Page three was reserved for several of their new baits like The Squirm, The Dancer, Dragon Flies, and the Sneel, which was a cross between a snake and an eel.

Pages four and five were reserved for one of their top sellers, the Tadpoles.  This bait remains one of their top sellers today.  Out west copies of this mold were made and local hand pourers sold tons of them to the split shot community.  String a couple strands of living rubber through the body and it provided another look that also caught fish.

When we posted the piece on the 1960 catalog, we mentioned the mention of a tip they called the adjustable depth floating rig.  This is the original New Free Rig that came out of South Korea a few years back and in this catalog is shown on page nine.

1961 DeLong Catalog Page 19

Another interesting rig on page nine was what they called the Jigging worm.  This bait looks an awful lot like the swing head developed by Gene Larew back a decade ago.  If not for the head shape, this would be an exact copy of the Hardhead, although it can’t be a copy since it came out more than 50 years prior to Larew’s head.  Nothing is new folks.

Page 11 shows several different packaging configurations DeLong worms came in.  I love seeing the jars of Dew Worms as I vividly remember these jars at the tackle shop when I was a kid.  Opening the lid your olfactory system was hit with the scent of anise as you picked single worms out of the jar to purchase.

From page 12 through 13 DeLong was touting their Eel rigs, which must have been popular.  I can’t say I ever saw these baits in the west but based on the number of different sizes and rigs, they must have been popular somewhere.

1961 DeLong Catalog Back Cover

Pages 14 through 16 were the DeLong insects and crustaceans.  Talking with the new owners of the company, they said as soon as they bought the company, they started getting calls from shops to continue making the insects.  I always saw them as a gimmick, but I guess they sell.

The remainder of the catalog features hair jigs, marabou jigs, and more dealer displays.  It’s hard to tell if the catalog was meant for retailers or the buying public.

Finally, the inside back cover and back cover offer more color images of the baits.  The waterdogs on the back cover look like they’d work well on a Texas rig while the Tadpoles again take me back to my childhood.

That about covers this DeLong Lures 1961 catalog.  Shortly we’ll be posting the 1962, 1966, and later versions of DeLong.  Meanwhile, if you have the desire to buy some DeLong baits and smell that good old anise small, head on over to DeLong Lures and place an order.  They’re the same old bait, made the same old way, and they still catch fish.

For the full catalog, please check out the Gallery below.  Click on the first image and use the arrows to scroll through the catalog.


Gallery – DeLong Lures 1961