Recently I’ve been going through all my 1977 magazines in preparation for a number of articles to be posted soon. We’ve already started posting the 1977 Bassmaster Trail and we’ll soon have the old boats from 1977 posted too. Before that, let’s look at what was available in spinnerbaits in 1977 – a bait that played a huge role in the first six Classic wins – either as the main bait or as a supplement to the winning angler.
In 1971 Bobby Murray won on a Zorro, in ’72 Don Butler won on an S.O.B., in ’74 Tommy Martin used a Fleck Weed Wader, as did Jack Hains in ’75 and Rick Clunn in ‘76.
It takes more than two feet and hands to count the wins that KVD and others have had on the spinnerbait. The crazy thing is, as great as the bait is, few contemporary events have been won on the lure. In fact, the only recent win on a spinnerbait I can recall was Jacob Wheeler’s win on Euafaula, AL a couple years ago. Makes you wonder how much the pros use it anymore.
While going through all the 1977 magazines, the sheer volume of spinnerbait ads really stood out. It makes sense when you think of the year. Everyone was winning on them and, therefore, everyone was making them. Some of the more well-known manufacturers were:
- Bass Buster (Virgil Ward)
- Jackson Lure Co. (Little Jewel/Billy Phillips)
- Bumble Bee (Bill Huntley)
- Cordell (Cotton Cordell)
- Lindy/Little Joe (Lindners)
- Nasty (Doc Moorehead)
- Norman (Bill Norman/Jimmy Houston)
- Rogers (Jim Rogers)
It kind of surprised me that with all the Strike King ads in that year’s worth of magazines (over 30) that I didn’t find one spinnerbait ad from that hulk of a company. There are others I was surprised not to find such as the Bomber Bushwhacker.
Then there were the companies I’d never heard of, such as:
- Hustler Tackle
- Kobra Head
- Laddie Lures
- Scamps Lure
- Tennessee Tackle
Most of these smaller companies I found in magazines such as National Bass Association, American Bass Fisherman, Bass Casters Association, and other organizations who probably didn’t have the ad costs that Bassmaster Magazine did.
In all, there were 21 different ads trying to get you to buy spinnerbaits, many from smaller tackle companies that not many knew about unless you were in the general area they were produced. Cutting my teeth in the waters of the West, we had our own local favorites such as Rip Nunnery’s Bush Hogs, Tom Markey’s Bushmaster and the Ross’ KR spinnerbaits.
A quick look at any tackle store or online shops reveals tens-of-thousands of blades for sale. You know people are still catching fish on them. But the results from the second-tier events up through the top-tier wouldn’t let you believe it.
Below are a number more spinnerbait ads from the 1977 era. If you know anything about the more obscure baits, we’d like to hear about them. Just drop us a comment in the comments section below.