This tin of Woods Lollacapop is one of those things people can find to ad depth or character to their antique lure collection. Those that know me well know that I love a good story, and a ancillary item such as this as much as I love the antique fishing lures themselves. This Woods Lollacapop brand comes from one of my favorite pre 1800’s retailers of Sporting and Fishing Goods Reuben Woods of Syracuse NY.
Harken (I’m not sure if that is correct English but its #mystorytotell) back to a day when when you couldnt reach down in your fanny pack or Orvis or Simms Sling Pack, and grab your trusty aerosol can of deep woods off filled with great things like (Insert joke) DDT. You may ask yourself what anglers and woodsman of yesteryear would use, to fight off those pesky mosquitoes,or even worse if your a northern angler, those black flies. You’ll be surprise to find a funny named product called Lollacapop. One can first see its similarity to a child’s favorite candy name and why it may have never really caught on. Can you imagine accidentally mistaking this as a kid?
Lollacapop is a form of a salve or ointment which one of the ingredients was camphor. For those who have not been blessed with great grandparents our great aunts who had that distinctly medicine type wiff about them, you may have missed out on Camphor type smell. One might just then think of Vicks rub. Haven’t heard of that? O Well, just keep reading, and on your next trip to CVS or Wallmart look it up open it up and take a good sniff. Lollacapop itself was made by a few companies but most seemed to sell it in a a adorned or japanned (blackened) enameled tin. This specific item has been floating around my collection and cases for some years, my good friend Joe is a believe in the Wood’s Lollacapop accessory to antique lure collection as well, and every time we visit or attend a show, one of us has this or an extra tin in one of our cases for sale. It turned into a good joke between us kind of like our dear friend Gus Mellons and his Slope Nose who I will feature in a later write up.
You can find old Fly Dopes and insect repellent jars and bottles usually with not much effort and do make a great addition to any antique fishing set up along with reel oil containers and such.
The fly problem is serious in some sections of the country and at some times of the year. A head net is sometimes useful about camp or riding in the open never when walking in the woods. The ordinary mosquito bar is too fragile. One of bobbinet that fits ingeniously is very effective. This and gloves will hold you immune but you cannot smoke nor spit on the bait.
The two best fly dopes of the many I have tried are a commercial mixture called lollacapop and Nessmuk’s formula. The lollacapop comes in tin boxes and so is handy to carry but does not wear quite as well as the other. Nessmuk’s dope is:
Oil pine tar 3 parts
Castor oil 2 parts
Oil pennyroyal 1 part
It is most effective. A dab on each cheek and one behind each ear will repel the fly of average voracity while a full coating will save you in the worst circumstances. A single dose will last until next wash time. It is best carried in the tiny one drink whiskey flasks holding I suppose two or three ounces. One flaskful will last you all summer. At first the pine tar smell will bother you but in a short time you will get to like it .It will call up to your memory the reaches of trout streams and the tall still aisles of the forests.