South Bend Midget Surf Oreno Lure
The South Bend Midget Surf Oreno Lure is a model series 962. This lure is touted as being one of the South Bend Bait Company out of South Bend Indiana’s longest lasting lures. The lure first appearing in 1916 and lasted all the way through 1952. Its no wonder that during this span the lure would be produced in over a whopping 21 different standard colors. That doesn’t take into account all the special order and non-standard colors. The Midget Surf Oreno lure is a smaller version measuring in at 2 3/4″ in length, and topping the scales at 1/2-3/4 oz.
The lure lasting 36 years would experience all the same changes that many lures that have longevity in their corner would. The lures most notable changes would be having Glass Eyes, then transitioning to Tack Eye, and Finally on to a Painted Pressed Eye. The props are unmarked and are different from their underwater brethren. The lure would come with 2T one hanging from the rear screw eye, the other from the standard cup rig. The lure being able to spot has its name stenciled across the upper back of the lure.
The 1921 South Bend Bait Company Catalog States: “The same comments applying to our New Babe Oreno have also been so pronounced for a baby size of the well known Surf Oreno Minnow. This bait is of the same general design and construction as our #963 Surf Oreno minnow, except smaller in size. Rides very high on the water surface, and the commotion and churning of the spinners is a great fish attraction.”