Last week we posted a piece about Bill Dance and his book, There He Is – a book solely dedicated to fishing the plastic worm. In light of that, we thought you might like to see more vintage plastic worms via some early plastic worm ads – in this case ads placed in Bassmaster Magazine in 1969.
In the 1969 issues of Bassmaster, five companies felt it was important to place ads in what would eventually become the cornerstone magazine of the industry. These companies – Bagley’s, Burke, Creme, Flip Tail and Mann’s – all are still in business except for Burke, which was bought out by Creme. Although Bagley’s is still in business, they no longer produce soft plastics and Flip Tail was recently brought back to life by the Partee family of Arkansas.
You’ll notice that many of the ads, even back then, were capitalizing on recent wins of B.A.S.S. pros. Bill Dance, John Powell, Harold Hays, Pete Henson and Blake Honeycutt, all winners in ’68 and ’69, are shown in a number of the ads. Another interesting thing is Dance is shown not only in a Bagley’s ad but also in a Creme ad, which also states that he and Powell had just joined the promotional staff. Dance was also a member of the Burke fishing team at the time. I guess companies back then didn’t mind you double or even triple dipping.
The ad that strikes me as the craziest, or at least the craziest worm, is the Burke Chain worm. The bait actually had chain that ran through the plastic, tip to tail, in order to keep it from tearing apart. Imagine what that’d do to the action of the bait. I’ve seen and held these baits up close and they have the action and weight of a hose.
Then there’s the Creme ad where they show the jig-n-worm. Remind you of anything from today? What about the reference to the “Self-Weedless” Rustler rig in each of the smaller ads – known today as the Texas Rig?
The Flip Tail ads all have their worms rigged with a weedless hook through the head of the bait, much like an angler back then would rig a pork eel in the day. Today, that method of hooking is one of the favored methods for those who split-shot leeches (Reapers) or drop shot.
Well, we hope you enjoy looking at and reading these old ads. Let us know what you think by dropping down a comment!
Past Reader Comments:
Bob Thomas: Always fished the Mann’s jelly worm while I was in the West Valley Bass Masters. Caught nice bass using the black blue and green jelly worms.
Joe J: Love the old ads, even though these were still a bit before I started bass fishing…my first worms were the rigged Jelly Worms.
Rich: There was a period of at least two full seasons back around ’70 -’71 that I didn’t throw any worm other than a 9″ Flip Tail Daddy in Violet. Caught a squatload of pigs on it, too. I still have a couple hundred of them in my tackle closet, and still rig one up and catch a fish or two on it from time to time.