Clewell Snakerbait Lure
The Clewell Snakerbait Lure was first introduced in 1926. Robert L Clewell from Canton, Ohio came up with this strange looking antique fishing lure that is very sought after by antique lure collectors. This painted early form of plastic or rubber wound or built onto a wire harness, in the shapes of a snake, or an earth worm measures 4 1/4″ in length. The antique lure features three standard removable or detachable hooks was well as a suspended weight that acts as a keel to prevent line twist upon retrieval. The Snakerbait was available in only three different colors, the red shown in the gallery and a green color and brown.
The Snakerbait shown below comes with its equally tough to find Orange and black border box. The box states “Snake Em Out With a Snakerbait”. Exclaiming, “For bass, pike or any game fish that will eat eel or a night crawler or that will fight a snake, the natural fish enemy. Reel Slowly. Give the fish a chance to wollup it”. It calls the weighted keel a “Roller Bearing Swivel”. The end flap of the lure box read that it’s a number 4. I assume that it’s for the burnt red-ish orange color.
Mr. Clewell also patented a Jointed head Snakerbait antique fishing lure, however non has ever been found to my knowledge. However, a picture of the patent for the Jointed Snakerbait can be seen in the Patent gallery below. Mr. Clewell also created the Big Mouth Min Lure, a Frogerbait and a few fly fishing lures. Robert was a one man show working out of his house to create and sell his antique fishing lures. Its written he was only in business less than a decade exiting around 1934.
This actual Snakerbait Lure, Box and Bait combo came out of Mr. Clewell’s estate with a group that had been in a safe deposit box for decades, thus explaining it’s wonderful condition and lack of box fading. It’s a wonderful honor as a lure collector to own a piece of history like this and to share the story and history of Robert Clewell and his Snakerbait.