Bernie Schultz with his "The Blade" made by Hildebrandt. This blade was one of the first lifelike spinnerbaits to come out on the market back over 30 years ago. Photo Terry Battisti.

The lowly spinner blade may just be an accessory to a myriad of baits bass anglers use, but without them, there would be no flash and no vibration.  What’s a spinnerbait or a tail spin without a blade?  Not much more than a hunk of lead.  Blades have been around for more than a hundred years and to get a good idea of their history, I sat down with Hildebrandt pro Bernie Schultz and Jarod Higginbotham of Yakima Baits.  Today we’re going to learn a little bit about spinner history with Bernie Schultz and Hildebrandt.

Hildebrandt got their start in 1899 through patriarch John J. Hildebrandt.  Hildebrandt was owned by the family into the early 2000s before selling out to Yakima Bait, another family-owned business.

Hildebrandt started with straight shaft spinners and then ventured into other forms of spinners.  Where Hildebrandt really shined, though, was in the way he made his blades.  He stamped them out of thick brass and then plated them with pure gold, silver, and genuine copper.  The thick metal base coupled with the pure elemental silver and gold made for a blade that wouldn’t tarnish and would hold up to hitting rocks and other debris.

On top of the use of pure gold, silver, and copper, the plating of the base blade is done the same way it was done 100 years ago.  The plating is thicker than the competition and the cup on the blades puts out a tremendous amount of vibration.

I hope you enjoy this look back into a little history of the lowly spinner blade.