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]

Mrlurebox.com

Mrlurebox.com

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]

AntiqueLures.com

AntiqueLures.com

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]

Oldfishinglure.com

Oldfishinglure.com

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]

TackleCollecting.com

TackleCollecting.com

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    

Arbogast 5/8oz Jitterbug - Spotted Ape - UnfishedFred Arbogast Jitterbug, ClearFred Arbogast Rare Pattern Jitterbug Boxed Combo - Look!Vintage 15 Old Metal Fishing Lures Pflueger Arbogast Foss & MoreFred Arbogast Jitterbug Lure Chipmunk ColorFred Arbogast Rare Jitterbug And Box Combo! Look!!!Fred Arbogast Plastic Lipped Jitterbug LureVintage Anniversary Arbogast Musky Fishing LureFred Arbogast Bug Eye Lure Lot Of 5Fred Arbogast Ww2 Plastic Lip JitterbugVintage Antique ? 5" Arbogast Musky Jitterbug Fishing Lure Tackle Bait Mint Two Vintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing Lures / Plastic LipVintage Antique ? 5" Arbogast Musky Jitterbug Fishing Lure Tackle Frog Mint Nice Group Of 3 Fred Arbogast Jitterbugs With Good Finishes Vintage Fred Arbogast JitterbugFred Arbogast Antique Jitterbug LureVintage Arbogast Hula Popper Fishing Lure Awesome * Arbogast Jitterbug* & Matching Arbo-gaster In * Orange W/ Black SpotsFred Arbogast Plastic Lip, W.w. Ii JitterbugVintage Fred Arbogast Hula SkirtsVintage Arbogast Twin Liz ,old Fishing Lure.Two Vintage Fred Arbogast Tin Liz Fishing LuresVintage Old Plastic Fishing Lure 7 Fred Arbogast Hula PoppersVintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Lure - Clear ColorFreshwater Lure Lot Loaded Tackle Box Livetarget Rapala ArbogastFred Arbogast Jitterbug*******very Rare******white Herringbone*******5/8oz****Super Tough Color Fred Arbogast Pug Nose (look At This One)Vintage Dealer Display Card Of The-eye Spinner Bait By Arbogast Of OhioVintage Arbogast Lure Lot .... 7 Topwater Poppers New In Packing1941 Hawaiian Wigglers By Fred Arbogast Tackle Lures Fishing AdverismentVintage Fred Arbogast Small Lures (4x Hula Popper)Arbogast Jitterbug Seein's Believen' 3/8 Oz Sparrow Lure - Mint In The Package Extremely Rare Fred Arbogast Jitterbug****1941-45****wooden***peanut Size**wwii*Huge Fred Arbogast Jitterbug & Hula Popper Lot*********15lures***************Vintage Fred Arbogast Lures (hula Popper+jitterbug)Fred Arbogast Jitterbug 5/8 Oz. Red Wing Blackbird1942-1949 Ww2 Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Lure Plastic Lip Frog Color10 Brand New Fred Arbogast Hocus Locust Surface Lures Fish - In Shadow BoxFred Arbogast Orange & Frog Pattern Jitterbugs Nip - Look!! Original 1978 Fred Arbogast Fishing Lure Catalog With Prices 22 PagesVintage Old Plastic Fishing Lure 6 Fred Arbogast JitterbugsFred Arbogast Hula Popper Skirts 3 Sets Of 4 ColorsVintage Lot Of 4 Arbogast Jitterbug Topwater Fishing Lures Different Suze/colorsVintage Arbogast Jitterstick Lure Black Shore Old Display Tackle Box Bait Vintage Arbogast Arbo-gaster/rare Color!Limited Arbogast Wood 5/8oz Jitterbug - Blue Head/white Body - Unfished In BoxLimited Arbogast Wood 5/8oz Jitterbug - Yellow Shore Color - Unfished In BoxOrange Plastic Lip & Devil Horse Old Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Old LureVintage Arbogast Green Bay Packers Pug-nose Fishing LureVintage Arbogast Chicago Bears Pug-nose Fishing Lure***fred Arbogast Jitterbug/ Jitter-stick******very Rare*********chartreuse******C16) 16 Vintage Metal Fishing Lures: Joe Pepper, Skinner, Arbogast And More*******fred Arbogast Jitterbug***** Rare******** Grey Mouse*******in Box*******B25) 7 Vintage Empty Fishing Lure Boxes: Creek Chub, Eppinger, Arbogast MoreVintage Fred Arbogast Bug Eye Plastic Fishing Lure Hard To Find Red Black Coach!Lot 2 Fred Arbogast Mudbugs Tuff Rainbow Trout Color Vtg Fishing Lure CrankbaitB23) 5 Vintage Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing LuresTwo Fred Arbogast Musky Jitterbug Yellow Coachdog & Frog Lures & Boxes Look!Fly Rod Tin Liz Unused On Original Card By Arbogast Of OhioVintage Arbogast Sputterbug Fishing Lure