Early last week we introduced a couple pieces that contained the major bass tackle in the Garcia Fishing Annual 1962. In the first post we looked at the ABU 5000, 6000, and the Tournament Reels offered by the once leader in the reel industry. The second post was about the Mitchell series of spinning reels offered by Garcia.
But this Annual Fishing publication was so much more than a catalog. It was literally a magazine with helpful hints, how-to articles, articles on destinations, all written by the subject matter experts of the day. It just happened to have product information within its pages too.
Last year we posted the 1960 version of this Annual and its full 82 pages. This Annual was printed on 7-inch by 10-inch paper and was mostly black and white. This 1962 version, on the other hand, was printed on normal magazine stock and from cover to cover had 100 pages of amazing information for the angler wanting to learn.
Again, the catalog was primarily black and white with nice colored images of the products. But, like I said above, this was much more than a product catalog.
This is apparent on page four of the Annual, where you’re first greeted by Stan Fagerstrom and his article on how to improve your casting. I remember talking with Stan many times about his relationship with Garcia at the time. He told me it was one of the most professional and rewarding relationships he ever had in his 70-year industry career. Garcia, at the time, treated all their employees and writers like family. They did the same with their customers.
Stan’s lead-off piece in this magazine is right up his wheelhouse. He was a master caster, performing trick and accuracy casting demonstrations from the mid-1950s through the early 2000s, all over the world. In this article he goes into detail what needs to be done in order to learn to cast accurately and why it’s important. The bottom line – practice.
Turning the page, we are met with two pages of customer pictures, all anglers holding or standing next to their trophy catches. This isn’t the only place in the 100-page annual that Garcia did this. They have four more two-page spreads featuring anglers who made impressive catches on Garcia tackle. You don’t see that these days.
It isn’t until page 8 where we finally see some products, and Garcia started out with their Mitchell series of spinning reels. Six entire pages dedicated to the French-made spinning reels, some of the best made of the day.
Then on page 14 we come to another article, this one written by famed writer Tom McNally. Tom’s article was about the use of hair-thin lines and ultralight spin fishing. At this time, ultralight angling was just getting its start. Spinning reels were finally gaining in popularity and with that, the use of hair-thin lines was starting to take off.
McNally writes of the fun one can have using ultralight gear to catch smallish fish. How the light gear levels the playing field and teaches the angler how to correctly play a fish, or lose it. And how it can lead to catching wary fish where other techniques with heavier tackle fail. Of the articles in this magazine, I think this is the one that has the most historically significant topic.
Next is an article by national casting champion Johnny Dieckman on how to fish the Jig-N-Eel for bass. In this piece, Dieckman is talking about a 3/8-ounce hair jig adorned with a 7-inch pork eel. He describes his daily routine of fishing the eel all over a standard lake, starting early in the shallows, moving to deep water in the mid-day and then moving back shallow right before dark. It’s a good article that has information that would still work today, if applied.
Moving through more customer fish catches and the ABU spincast line of reels we come to another article that at first glance appears to be about catching white bass in Texas. Written by L. A. Wilke, this article is more about catching any bass in Texas. It’s a good article for those interested in the history of Texas bass fishing.
Two more pages of angler photos and the annual moves onto the ABU baitcasting reels we covered last week. Then there’s an article on yellowtail fishing off of southern California, a piece I read word for word because of all the things I don’t miss about my home state, the saltwater fishing isn’t one of them.
The next two pages, 34 and 35, are essentially a sales pitch for the Garcia Companion rods, designed by casting champion Johnny Dieckman.
By 1962, Garcia had become one of the largest tackle dealers in the world. They were creeping up on the stalwarts of the industry like South Bend, Heddon, and Pflueger. Although their terminal tackle offerings weren’t as big as the aforementioned, they were big when it came to rods as well as line.
Garcia wasn’t a manufacturer, they either became the sole distributor of other manufacturers’ goods, or they bought the companies outright and sold their wares. A good example of this is the Conolon Rod Company, which they bought in the late 1940s. On the other hand, ABU and Mitchell were still owned by their parent companies at this time and their Platyl line was a product they purchased from a manufacturer in Germany. Of course the Reflex line of spinners were made by ABU.
And so the Garcia Fishing Annual 1962 goes. A couple pages of useful articles on how to fish, a couple pages of fish porn, and a couple pages of products and repeat. These Annuals were something every serious angler would gladly pay the 50¢ for at the local tackle store. And, with as many that are found in the online auctions today, they were very popular in the day.
I hope you enjoyed this look back at the Garcia Fishing Annual 1962. I have nearly every single issue from 1960 through 1979, when they discontinued the annual, and I will be posting them to the site as time permits. In the meantime, check out the entire Annual below in the gallery.
Gallery – Garcia Fishing Annual 1962