Although the Fred Arbogast Company was not founded in until 1930, Fred Arbogast, the avid angler, was making and selling fishing lures as early as the mid-1920s. Working by day at the local Goodyear plant in Akron, Ohio, Arbogast spent evenings in his basement, perfecting metal and rubber lures with names like the Weedless Spin-Tail Kicker and the all-metal Tin Liz, both of which had real glass eyes and tails that spun. Some Tin Liz lures were named after sunfish and minnows, with detailed painting on their surfaces to better mimic their namesakes. Later, a Big Tin Liz made for catching giant muskies would be a short-lived addition to the Arbogast catalog.

In the 1930s, Arbogast introduced a number of new lures, including the flat-headed Wiggler, which Arbogast dressed up with a patented rubber skirt to create the Hawaiian Wiggler. But Arbogast’s biggest contribution to the world of fishing lures was probably the wooden, peanut-shaped Jitterbug, introduced in 1937 and patented in 1940. In fact, the Jitterbug began in the 1920s as a failed attempt on Arbogast’s part to create a plug lure similar to ones being made by Heddon. Arbogast’s prototype had been carved from a piece of broomstick attached to the bowl of a spoon, but it was only after tinkering with the lure a decade later that it became the Jitterbug.

During World War II, Jitterbugs gave up their metal lips for plastic ones due to wartime rationing. Around the same time, Arbogast made a number of lighter lures for bass fly fishing, which was gaining in popularity. These included the Hula-Spinner, Hula Dancer, and Hula Popper, whose prototypes were carved from white poplar by Brooke Ortell before being cast in plastic. Arbogast also made the most of a technique called buzzing, in which a lure was reeled in quickly by the angler to mimic the behavior of a large bug skittering along the water’s surface. Thus was born the Sputter Fuss, which resembled a skirted Kicker with a weed guard.

Arbogast died in 1948, but his company continued to innovate in the 1950s and ’60s. Plastic Jitterbugs were introduced, while fly-rod size Tin Liz lures were produced in a number of sizes out of lightweight stamped aluminum. The Arbo-Gaster was developed to catch bottom-feeding fish, as was the Mud Bug, which resembled a backward-crawling crawfish when it was being reeled in.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Joes Old Lures

Joes Old Lures

Joe Yates' website is a great showcase for hundreds of old fishing lures, providing high resolution photos and in m… [read review or visit site]

Take a big bite - you won't want to just nibble at Robbie Pavey's gallery of over 300 antique fishing lures, many w… [read review or visit site]

This extensive site features over 500 pages of information on pre-1940 wood fishing lures and lure boxes. Start wit… [read review or visit site]

This site is sure to snag you with its great collection of fishing lures from the early 1900s. Includes lures from … [read review or visit site]

Larry Nicholson's site dedicated to vintage fishing lures. Features beautiful images of lures and boxes from Fred A… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Rare Vintage Fred Arbogast Northern Pike ''snake'' Tin LizRare Vintage Fred Arbogast Sunfish Tin LizVintage Fred Arbogast Akron Ohio Ornate Alligator Gar Minnow Antique Lure74 Vintage And Modern Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing LuresVintage Fishing Lure Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Yellow Plastic Lip Motor Oil1944-45Fred Arbogast Musky JitterbugsVintage Fishing Lure Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Red Plastic Lip Yellow 1944-1945Vintage Fred Arbogast Hula Popper Lure 6 Package Dealer Display, Nos C.1960'sLot Of 16 Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Top Water Lures Vintage Colors Rare Find FrogVintage Fishing Lure Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Yellow Plastic Lip Frog 1944-1945 A12) Early Vintage Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing Lure W A Box Uses Wide HardwareLot Of 18 Top Water Lures Vintage Colors Heddon Torpedo Arbogast Hula PoppersVintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Lure Old Plastic Lip Yellow And Silver FishboneVintage Arbogast Lure, Jitterbug, Rare Color, Silver Flitter, Yellow MarkingsJitterbug Lure Nice Color From Arbogast Employee FactoryFred Arbogast Jitterbug Wwii Vintage Fishing Lure Exc+.cond With Early BoxVintage Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing LureVintage Old Fred Arbogast Wheedler Fishing Lure For Your Tackle Box Black Nice!Vintage Fred Arbogast Musky Jitterbug Fishing Lure-yellow/black-3 Treble-plasticVintage Fred Arbogast Tin Liz Mib Anniversary EditionVintage Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing LureWwii Era Arbogast Jitterbug 2.5" Frog Paint W Yellow Plastic Lip, Wire HardwareArbogast "special Order" JitterbugFred Arbogast Limited Edition JitterbugArbogast Jitterbug Jointed Rainbow Trout Gorgeous Unfished Hot Color Read TextLot Of 7 Vintage Fred Arbogast Arbo-gaster Lures Rare Find Colors New Skirts Fred Arbogast 5/8 Oz Jitterbug In Natural Cedar #37Vintage Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing LureVintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Lure, Excellent Nice Rare Color PatternFred Arbogast Jitter Stick Jitterstick Lures Plug Tackle BaitVintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing Lure Lot Tuff Colors Plastic Lip Ww2Nice Luminous Night Bait 1/4 Oz. Fred Arbogast Hula PopperVintage Old Metal Fishing Lure Fred Arbogast Tin Liz #2 Rainbow Ge Tackle BoxArbogast Jitterbug Fishing LureVintage Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing LureFred Arbogast Jitterbug Clear Plastic Lip Silver Flash Rare Vtg Fishing LureVintage Old Pal 1450 Tackle Box Full Of Fishing Gear Lot - Arbogast, HeddonLot Of 10 Vintage Fred Arbogast Mud Bug Lures Rare Find Colors New & Used Nice Tough 1/4 Oz. Ghost Coachdog Hula Popper By Fred Arbogast . Clean BaitLot Of Two Nice Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Lures Rare Vintage Orange Dots Coach BugVintage Fred Arbogast Chrome Hula Popper Top Water Bass Fishing LureVintage Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing LureNice 5/8 Head Borden Dairy Advertising Hula Popper. Fred Arbogast Vintage Tackle Box Loaded With Vintage Lures Reels Tackle Fred Arbogast Heddon +Beautiful 1/4 Oz. Clear Red Mouth 1/4 Oz. Hula Popper. Fred ArbogastArbogast Jitterstick In Frog Spot And Rapala Skitter Pop, Both Are Real Nice!Fred Arbogast Hustler Brand New Lures Crankbaits Vintage Plug Tackle Bait LotFishing Lures 11/8" Fred Arbogast's 1940s Plastic Lip Jitter Bug Yellow Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing LureFred Arbogast Buzz Bomb Vintage Plug Crankbait LuresVintage Fishing Lure Fred Arbogast Fly Rod Size Hula Popper Red Head White Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing Lure 1.75" Body Tuff Glittered Clear Finish!Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing LureFred Arbogast Jitterbug Jitter Bug Purple Lures Plug Tackle Bait LotVintage Arbo Gaster Stencil Lip From Arbogast Employee FactoryA7) 2 Vintage Fred Arbogast Fishing Lure Booklets Catalogs EuphemeraFred Arbogast Hula Skirts Dealer Card Fishing 12 Large Stock 4000 Black VtgVintage Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing LureVintage Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing LureVintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing Lures Lot Of 4