For those of you who have a need for speed, here’s a blast from the past that might have you reminiscing the days when you really had to work to make your boat the fastest on the water. Although Michigan Wheel is still in business, I hadn’t thought of them for probably 20-plus years until I saw this ad in a 1976 vintage Bassmaster Magazine.

Think about that folks. Back in 1976 most boats were powered by 85-hp machines and very few had anything above a 150. Still, bass anglers were doing everything they could to get every ounce of speed from their machines and one of the easiest and least expensive was to re-prop your motor.

Michigan Wheel was one of the first companies to target the bass industry offering a wide array of performance props along with custom balancing and tweaking. Not only did they offer stainless steel, which holds its shape better under the stress of high rpms, they were experimenting with lacquer coatings to decrease the friction of the prop while it rotated in the water.

Gone are the days of checking out all the cool props at the ramp after a long day of fishing. When was the last time you saw a Michigan Wheel or a Cleaver or a Chopper Prop on a bass boat? Gone too are the days of the over-the-hub exhaust props that took 100 yards to plane out but when they finally bit, knocked you onto the back deck.

A 1976 Michigan Wheel ad. With today's amazing stock props, there isn't much need for anglers to buy custom props anymore. Back in the '70s and u0s, though, if you wanted to be fast, you looked at the racing industry.