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    

125 Old Lures Heddon Pflueger Shakespeare Creek Chub Arbogast Arbogast Vintage Fishing Lure Jitterbug Plastic Lip + BoxVtg Heddon,rebel,arbogast,rapala,storm,fishing Lures,estateArbogast Vintage Fishing Lure Jitterbug Plastic Lip Vintage Box Only - Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Arbogast "kicker" 1920' 1-1/4" W/glass Eyes #3 Akron, OhioVintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing Lure Orange Sparkle - Pocket CatalogFred Arbogast Vintage Jitterbug-2-3/4" LongLot Of 24 Fishining Lures Crankbaits Hardbait Rebel Arbogast Cordell Heddon BassVintage Fishing Lure Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Plastic Lip Rare Hardware Old78 Lures New In Packages Mirro Lure Rebel Mister Twister Fred Arbogast Jim BugVintage Old Fishing Lure Fred Arbogast Spinning Jitterbug Clear Glitter In BoxL@@k (tough!) Vtg Arbogast Medium "jitterbug" (bone White) Crankbait Plug LureLot Of Vintage Frog Lures - Heddon - South Bend - ArbogastVintage Fred Arbogast - 3 Jitterbug Lures 2 1/2" Tuff ColorsVintage Tough Cloth Patch Fred Arbogast Bait Of Champions Jitterbug PicturedFishing Lure,crankbait, Fred Arbogast,jitterbug, Clear,akron,ohioVintage Old Fishing Lure Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Red Head Early Version In BoxLot Of 14 Fishing Lures Crankbaits Hardbaits Rebel Arbogast Cordell Heddon BassRare Jitterbug Fishing Lure Rare Pink Jitterbug Lure Vintage Fred Arbogast LureVintage Old Fishing Lures 9 Arbogast Lures Jitterbugs Hula Popper Sputterbug Vintage Arbogast Rare Sparrow Hula Popper W/ Original Skirt Bait Fishing Lure Vintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug YellowFred Arbogast Musky Jutter Bug No 700 Color 37 New In Box6 Vintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing Lures ~ Lot AVintage Fred Arbogast - Hula Popper Pumpkin 2 1/4" (nice Color)Vintage Jitterbug Fred Arbogast Correspondence - Set Of 3 LettersVintage Fred Arbogast Hawaiian Wiggler 2 Dual Spinner Fishing LureFred Arbogast Jitter Bug Bull FrogVintage Jitterbug Fred Arbogast Correspondence - Set Of 3 LettersH-218-lot 7 Fred Arbogast Fish Lures Vintage W/ Boxes Jitterbug,pug Nose,hulaLot 10 Vintage Fishing Lures Higgins, Arbogast, Shakespeare, Paw Paw Some WoodVintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Hula Dancer Fishing Lure Arbo-gaster Lot Of 10Vintage Fred Arbogast Lure Lot Of 8..Tuff (dis-continued) Vtg Arbogast Weedless "hula Diver" Crankbait Plug Bait LureLarge Arbogast Musky Jitterbug LureFred Arbogast Buzz Plug Jr.(l@@k!) Vgc Vtg Arbogast "hula Dancer" Crankbait Plug Bait Bass Fishing Lure NrVintage Fred Arbogast Jitter Tail Fishing Lure W/box And Catalog 8 Fred Arbogast Large Hula Popper Topwater Lure Lot Tuff Group - 2 SizesVintage Arbogast Jitterbug Picture Style Box W/insert - Graphics On Bottom AlsoVintage Arbogast Arbogaster Tuff Tough Color In Box Marked 950ss W/catalogRare Jitterbug Fishing Lure Rare Bone Jitterbug Lure Vintage Fred Arbogast LureVintage Fred Arbogast Hawaiian Wiggler Silver Shad Spinning Fishing LureFive Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing LuresA+ Vtg Arbogast (allen Cole) "a.c. Plug" (black W/stripes) Wood Crankbait Lure***nos*** Vintage Fred Arbogast Co. " Hula Popper " Lure No 760 Color 273 "bird"3 Fred Arbogast Hula Popper Topwater (1 1/4" ) NibVintage Fred Arbogast Jitter Bug Weedless Bait Green Baby Bass 2 1/8" Body VgFred Arbogast Hula Popper Lot-3Vintage Arbogast Arbogaster Introductory Box Marked R952bVintage Fred Arbogast Jitter Tail Fishing Lure W/box And Catalog Vintage Arbogast Bastian Co Home Rendered 5lb Lard Can Allentown Pa PennsylvaniaVintage 3-fred Arbogast Jitterbugs Fred Arbogast Tin-lizLot Of Vintage Frog Lures - Heddon - Arbogast - Bomber - Hawk - VoodooLot Of 5 Arbogast Jitterbugs 2 Fred Arbogast Vintage Topwater Lure Lot Sputterbug & Sputterbuzz Nice 2000 Pradco Lurenet Catalog Smithwick Cordell Arbogast Heddon Creek ChubVintage Fred Arbogast Phred's Shadeaux Fishing Lure Lot Of 2 Wooden Crankbaits