Pflueger Helgramite Lure
The Pflueger Helgramite Lure shares its name partially with another more valuable brother inside the Pflueger antique lure lineup. Yes, the Flying Helgramite. The Pflueger Helgramite was originally named the Dobson. The Dobson lure dates back to roughly 1885. I say roughly as when were discussing things that are 130+ years old finding factual documented details becomes gray. The Dobson fly itself is a scientific name of the larvae of the, yes you guessed it, the flying helgramite. The Helgramite’s natural environment is water based, streams, larger pools found throughout America.
There is a cliche saying in Fly Fishing that is based in 100 percent truth when they say, “Match the Hatch”. So when discussing fishing and angling in the mid to late 1800’s, we are not discussing the way the majority fish today. We are talking about about fly fishing, skittering, and bobbing. Fly Fishing the definition is: Fly fishing is an angling method in which an artificial “fly” is used to catch fish. Skittering which is where the Helgramite fits in, is drawing or moving quickly the lure over the top of the water using a long pole. So, in the late 1800’s Mr. Pflueger is providing products to match the hatch, the angling era, and his local resources, to provide rubberized and luminous baits.
What do you mean using his local resources? I’ve been in the lure hobby for a long time and I’ve never heard anyone discuss the obvious reason Mr. Pflueger provided tons of rubber baits. With a little research about location one runs smack dab into another industrial giant. Akron Ohio in the 1870’s, we see another inventor, and the beginning of another industrial giant, B.F. Goodrich. The Excerpt below is taken from a 1905 copy of the Centennial History of summit county.
The BF Good rich Company Akron is best known today as the world’s center for the rubber manufacturing industry. It is the chief of all our industries. It has more capital invested more hands employed larger factories and a larger value of output than any other line of manufacture in the city. Most of this growth has taken place in the last twelve years all of it since 1870 The origin of rubber working in Akron goes back to the advent of Dr BF Goodrich in our midst. The date is 1870 He was the original rubber man of Akron and without him there probably would have been no rubber industry here. In 1870 Dr BF Goodrich came from the East and associated himself with Colonel George T Perkins ,George W Crouse, and others of this city and started what was then known as BF Goodrich and Company the Akron Rubber Works. The business slowly grew and prospered until in 1880 a co partnership was formed and the business incorporated under the name of The BF Goodrich Company with a capitalization of $100,000. The growth of the company was continuous from that time on and the capital was increased creased from time to time as the demands of the business required until at present the capitalization of the company is $10,000,000.
So while we look back we see that Akron was a hub of Rubber as well as Fishing Tackle so to speak, and I’m sure obtaining that resource with neighbors like BF Goodrich helped inadvertently.
We see a Pflueger Helgramite Lure in the gallery below in its unmarked purple box on a card. Though the Dobson bait dates back to the 1800’s the lure in the gallery is 30 years later to the teens. The Pflueger Helgramite lure was made from 1885 all the way through 1941. You will find different versions of the Pflueger Helgramite lure, whether it be in size, tail shape, leader length and other changes. How did it make it over 50 some years? Simple, it matched the hatch.
I’ve always had a fancy for these purple boxes and rubber lures so if any of my readers have any available feel free to drop me a line.