Ohio Made Fishing Lures and Tackle


Vermilion Bait Company

Frank Knill started making his Vermilion lures in Vermilion, Ohio in the early 1920's. By 1935 he had moved his company to Cleveland Ohio where he continued making Vermilion lures into the late 1940's.  Frank Knill sold the company to Pat Patterson who ran the ad on the bottom right of the picture in 1949.


Montpelier Bait Company

  The Montpelier Bait Company started out in the garage of Sherm Ozum, 808 E Main St., Montpelier, Ohio in in 1922. His most famous bait, the Hootenanna came out in 1934. Sherman made his baits untill he took ill in 1955. He sold the company to Bruce Carter and Dan Mullens in 1958. Bruce Carter and Don Mullen ran the company in Montpelier for 11 years before selling it to Bill Peters, who owned the Manta Ray Lure Co. The company was sold again in 1980 to Craig Money and John Shephard. This time the company was moved to Sidney, Ohio and the name was changed to the Hootenanna Bait Co. The company was sold one more time before it closed in the late 1990's.


Al Foss

 In 1915, Al Foss turned his interest to the the manufacture of fishing tackle. He had already been sucessful in a number of other business ventures. Al Foss designed a number of metal lures, almost always using a single hook and intended for use with a chunk of pork rind. He was the first person to market pork rind that was already shaved down and cut to size for fishing. He was an excellent bait caster and was active in the bait casting tournaments that were very popular at the time. He designed a couple very nice fishing reels to go along with his very sucessful line of lures.
 Al Foss always seemed to live a charmed life. He sold his company to the American Fork & Hoe  Co. in 1929, just weeks before the stockmarket crashed.
  The American Fork & Hoe Co. started a product line it called True Temper. This Line became so popular that the company changed it's name. True Temper designed a number of new lures that it added to the Al Foss line as well as making lures, rods and reels that would be marketed under the name True Temper throught the 1960's.


Tony Accetta

   Tony Accetta was a 5 time bait and fly casting champion. He began making fishing lures in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1930's. Tony Accetta designed a number of nice lures in Cleveland before moving the company to Riviera, Florida in 1956. His son Ray took over in 1958 and later sold the company to George S. Agnew in 1970. Luhr Jensen bought the company in 1988 and moved it to Hood River, Oregon where the Pet Spoon is still made today. Tony's Tackle Box held Tony's 5 favorite lures, The River Devil, Spin Dodger, Jigolet, Pet Spoon and the Weed Dodger and was marketed from both Cleveland and then Florida.


Al Foss's earliest boxes were cardboard. He soon came out with his famous matel tins that American Fork And Hoe continued to use for many years before cost forced them to change to cardboard and plastic.


Fred Rinehart

  In 1935, Fred Rinehart and his wife and his wife Dorthy began selling Flys they tied in their home in Newark, Ohio. By 1938, Fred began designing lures that would be made out of a hard plastic called Tenite. In 1946 the company moved into a small factory where it stayed untill it was sold in the late 1950's



C. W. Handel Associates

C. W. Handel Associate research and development advertised this bottled fish attractant in 1952 in Outdoof Life Magazine. The company was located at 171 Neal Ave. Newark, Ohio.


Paul Junod

   Paul Junod came to America from Switzerland in 1885. Already skilled as a watch and jewelery maker, he setteled in Celina, Ohio in 1895. There he designed an improvement to a familiar spinner. In his design the spinner blades would pivot freely on the shaft. This would allow the blades to deflect off of weeds and rocks and keep on spinning. Paul spoke mostly German so he relied on another man, George Austin, to prepare the patent for him. George Austin added his own name to the patent that was filed in 1898. In 1903 Paul Junod filed for an almost identical patent but this time George Austin's name was not listed.


Ernest Liotta Jr.

   Like so many lure makers of the time, Ernest ("Sib") Liotta Jr. started out in tournament casting. He first entered into tournament casting at the junior level in 1928 at the age of 11. He won state and national junior championships before joining the adults in 1934. He was the youngest person to win the National All-Around Bait and Fly Casting Championship at the age of 20. Sib won over 40 titles including a worlds record of 407 feet 4 inches in a 5/8-ounce distance event. Sib made bamboo fishing rods and designed lures such as the Spin-Tail, Master-Weedless and Tu-Lip spoons.


Genuine Crankbait Co.

   The Crankbait Corp. made a full line of lures in Garfield Heights, Ohio during the 1980's. These lures included old favorites that they had purchased the rights to along with a fresh assortment of lures designed by Tom Seward. By 1989 the the Company had moved to Hood River Oregon where it remains today as part of the Luhr Jensen company.


Assorted Ohio Lures Companies

   These display contains lures from a number of different Ohio based companies. Included in this group is the American Display Company better known as Dunk's. Milton S. Dunkelberger made Stubby Brand rods and reels along with his Dunk's brand lures beginning in Stow, Ohio around 1913 and later in Dayton, Ohio untill 1963.
  Bill Grube sold his Swastika Brand fishing lure beginning before 1920, at that time the Swastika did not have any bad meaning. After WWII the Swastika Brand had to be dropped because that simble held a whole new meaning.
Also included is the Spiral Lure Co., The Vex lure company from Dayton, Helwig Bait Co. from Geniva, Ohio, Tanta Lures and the Broadcaster Lure Company 4 in 1 lure both from Youngstown, Ohio, Lucky Devil lures and the Mermade Bait Company where Gib Waite made his Scatback lures in Cleveland, Ohio.


Splitfish Lure Co.

      The Splitfish Lure Company was from Cleveland Ohio. The Lure in the 1950 ad shows 3 treble hooks. I have found lures with 2 treble hooks or just 1 treble hook and 2 spinners.


Weezel Bait Co.

  Max Weizner started making his Weezel Feather Minnow in his basement in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1932. The lure quickly became a hot seller and Max turned to J. M. & W. J Shilling and their company S & S Products to take over production. In 1936 Max Weizner took on new partners and incorporated the Weezel Bait Co.
  In 1939 Max left the Weezel Bait Company. He was on his own again and began making the Weisner Casting Spinner. The next year he came out with the Rex Spoon and with new partners he formed the Cincinnata Bait Co. A year later the two companies merged under the Weezel name.

Fly Rod Feather Minnows


Email the author at: scott@ohiolures.net

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