Original Caption: George Perrin, head of Rebel Bait Company, unveiled his new 'Ringworm' bass bait at the Great Lakes of the South Outdoor Show in Nashville. According to Perrin, the annular rings around the worm's body give off air bubbles and a 'vibra-sonic' sound as the bait is retrieved. McLean County News, March 1976. No photo credit

In today’s Friday Finale historical photo, a trip back to 1976 and the introduction of one of the more popular soft plastic worms of all-time.  George Perrin’s Rebel Ringworm.

If you watched/listened to the recent “Bass After Dark” podcast, there was a great discussion on lure retrieves and lure design.  One of the names that came up in that discussion was that of George Perrin.  For those that may not recall, George was the head guy over at Plastic Research and Development, better known for their lure brand, “Rebel,” back in the 1960s through early 1980s.

In 1976, Rebel was big into promoting their ‘R’ series brand of crankbaits, along with their new line of “Bass’n Box” tackle boxes.  But in the long run, the greater impact on bass fishing was probably the soft plastic lure they also introduced that same year, the Ringworm.

In a 1976 story write-up of new products by then outdoor editor Wade Bourne, he wrote, “The ‘Ringworm’ is Rebel’s ‘better mousetrap in plastic worms.’  The body of the worm is thin and lined from head to tail with annular plastic rings.  The rings, according to Rebel promotion, ‘produce a vibra-sonic sound as the worm passes through the water.’  As the worms hit the water, air bubbles are trapped by the rings and then released during the retrieve.  The Ringworm will be available in seven solid and eight two-tone colors.”

The design is still popular among a cohort of anglers to this day, being used for years as either a spinnerbait trailer, such as Rick Clunn’s frequent use of this plastic, or as a “secret” finesse/flipping bait among many pros.