While going through all my 1979 bass tackle ads I ran across this gem of an ad from the Miles Lure Company. What struck me about the ad initially was its artwork, a great image of a largemouth amongst a stump and vegetation turning on a spinnerbait. It’s a beautiful piece of art, something I’d hang on the wall of my office.
But a deeper look into the ad made me realize I had no clue who the Miles Lure Company was. Based out of Louisiana, Miles placed this ad in National Bassman only months before the organization folded. Having gone through hundreds of magazines by now, I have to say this is the first ad I’ve seen from Miles Lure Company. I’ll be looking in Bassmaster for them from here on out.
Back to the ad and the company. Doing a search for them, I determined they were founded in 1976 at the address provided in the ad. The owner was James Miles and according to their filing, they’ve been inactive since November 1990.
Let’s look into the baits they offered in this 1979 ad.
Starting with the Mr. Mean spinnerbait, it’s a unique for the time. What makes it unique is it has two wires coming out of the head and each carrying its own blade. One of the wires is bent about halfway up the second wire, while the second wire is bent in normal spinnerbait fashion. This created a stair-stepped blade and wire configuration. Since 1976, I can only remember one other company to make something like this, that being Hart and their X2 Double Wire Spinnerbait.
But the Hart bait is different in that the wires come out of different sections of the head. The wires on this bait come from the exact same spot. It also appears the lower wire is bent around the shaft of the upper wire. I like the design of this bait.
The second bait at the top of the page is for a topwater lure called the Racketeer. The Racketeer looks as if the body is fashioned out of wood with a silhouette of a Jitterbug. But instead of a Jitterbug style lip, it has a buzzbait blade attached to the front. Two hooks hang off of hook hangers to make up the rest of the bait. It’s not that original since Dick Kotis had designed a bait called the Sputter Fuss for Fred Arbogast a few decades earlier, utilizing a buzz blade in front of a wooden body. Still, it’s a cool looking bait.
The final bait in the spread is the Weed-Eater Double Buzz, a bait that looks like a Snagless Sally. Again, this isn’t a new concept as other companies were marketing baits like this long before this ad was placed.
Also notice the skirt material on the spinnerbait and buzzbait. It’s the old vinyl material that had as much action as a nail in the water. It did provide some bulk, which aided in creating a silhouette, but that was about it.
If any of you out there have more information on the Miles Lure Company, or even some of their old baits, please leave a comment below. It’d be nice to get more of an idea how long they were in business and what all they made.
I have a couple of Racketeers that were purchased maybe in the late 70’s or no later than the early 80’s. One is in the original box with the company info. I have tried a few times to find out more about the company as well, to no avail. I think they are plastic, but they are pretty light for the size. Looks like the body is two pieces, as there is a seam where they were glued together. They don’t have a rattle. The card in the box shows 5/8 oz and 1/4 oz options. Mine are 1/4 oz. They were a “hot” bait here in central Kentucky for a while. Guys I knew that fish Lake Cumberland and other central KY reservoirs were killing them with it. I personally don’t remember doing that well with them, but it was hard for me to put down the traditional buzzbait. I do remember hearing folks were jerking it hard and fast more like a double prop bait. I probably wasn’t fishing it correct. LOL!!!