South Bend Antique Lure, the Vacuum






South Bend Antique Lure, the 3 Hook Underwater Minnow





South Bend Antique Lure, the Plug Oreno

South Bend Antique Lures

With its roots and complete biographical history yet to be written and completed. This major maker of now antique and old fishing lures and sporting goods finds its part of its roots, or at least its location in its name sake, South Bend, Indiana .

   While the evidence of early South Bend antique lures leads directly to Mr. F. G. Worden, it is unknown on how the transition from the Worden buck Tail Bait Company. Worden is credited for his famous use of the buck tail. Worden who was infamous and instrumental in the fishing tackle industry for adding deer hair to the trailing treble of artificial fishing lures.

There lies a lot of uncertainty as to South Bend's role in the antique lure industry and how it was formed early on. There have been documents recently found showing relations between other old antique lure makers such as Heddon, Shakespeare, Creek Chub and Paw Paw. Showing the outsourcing or jobbing of painting antique lures, using certain paint patterns and even using  similar if not the same hardware early in the South Bend Antique Lure company life. There is some great reading on this in a few articles of  recent NFLCC magazines; another great testament to the role a club can play in any hobby. (If you are not a member please take the time to visit the club section of this site to find out more information about the various old fishing lure and antique tackle clubs that are available.)

One of the most beautiful old fishing lures in my opinion is a South Bend Vacuum Bait. Shown in the first picture on the upper left, the South bend Vacuum bait initially was brought to life by Dr. Francis Howe in 1909, from North Manchester Indiana. An example of Dr. Howe's lure can be found in the Misc. Lure Gallery #2. This lure was added to the South Bend fishing lure line in approximately 1921.

As time progresses I will add to the South Bend pages, adding more history, to the evolution of some of their antique lures, from the vacuum bait, to the underwater minnows and possibly on to the fly rod lures, the Callamac Bug. There will be pages on this website to help distinguish colors painted on South Bend antique lures, boxes and the series numbers South Bend used to identify their baits. All in effort to provide a enjoyable education website devoted to the Old Fishing Lure.

South Bend Antique Fishing Lure Resources