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    

Vintage Arbogast Fly Rod Peanut Jitterbug Fishing Lure Invincible Iron Man 118 Nm- 1st App James Rhodes Mr. Arbogast Marvel Comic 1979Vintage Lot 180+ Wood, Glass Eyes, Heddon, Rapala, Fred Arbogast, Cordell Plus.Fishing Lures Vintage Lot (7) Heddon Arbogast Persal South BendFred Arbogast Jitterbug Wild Blue ColorVintage Lot Of 20 Fred Arbogast Jitterbugs. All Sizes And Colors Great Lot!Fred Arbogast JitterbugVintage Fred Arbogast Mud Bugs W/boxesVintage Arbogast Jitterbug Lure Sparrow 5/8 Oz.Nice Arbogast 5/8 Oz. Jitterbug In Blue Scale On Silver ExGroup Of 15 Vintage Plastic Lures Arbogast Hoage L&s W&m And MoreVintage Lot Of 5 Fred Arbogast Hula Poppers Tough Colors Great Lot!Vintage Fred Arbogast, 3 Jitterbugs, Frog Sputterbuzz, Black Sh. Jitterstick3 Vintage Arbogast Lures In Boxes4 Rare Vintage Jitterbug Lures-great Condition-fred Arbogast-akronArbogast Vintage Lures - Group Of 13 Lures & 3 CatalogsArbogast Fly Rod Hula Poppers - 2 Early Cork Body & 2 Early Plastic BodyThree Different Vintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing LuresLimited Arbogast Wood Jitterbug - Blue Head/white Body - MintVintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Weedless Stanley Hardware. Tough Bait. Fred Arbogast Hula Squid Lures Lot Of 3 New Out Of Pack Salt Water Big Game NiceVintage Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing Lure Vintage Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing Lure Vintage Fred Arbogast 5/8 Mud Bug In Tough ColorVintage Fred Arbogast Jitterstick 3/8oz Fishing Lure Nib Green(lot Of 3) Arbogast Jitterbug 3/8oz G600-508 Cricket FrogVintage Arbogast Wooden Jitterbug Lure, Older HangarsEstate Lot Vintage Fishing Lures Arbogast Hula Popper Diver Hawaiian Heddon ZaraAntique Fishing Lures... Lot Of 5..... Heddon, Arbogast, Eger + More2 Vintage Fred Arbogast Fishing Lure Musky Jitterbug White Red Head Black 1 Vintage Fred Arbogast "bait Of Champions" Fishing Patch Jitterbug Arbogast Vintage Sputterfrog In Pack ScarceFred Arbogast Scudder Plug Nib Red/whiteArbogast Fly Rod Hula Poppers - 4 Cork Body & 2 Plastic Body4 Vintage Arbogast Fishing Lure Hula SkirtsVintage Arbogast Arbo-gaster Fishing LureRare Lot 5 Vintage Fred Arbogast Hula Popper Fishing Lures Topwater Box Insert AVintage Arbogast Jitterstick Fishing Lure TackleVintage Arbogast Pug Nose Nfl Buffalo Bills Fishing Lure Vintage Arbogast Weedless Jitterbug Fishing Lure Arbogast..hocus Locust...surface Water..nip..bass...discontinued.. Vintage Fred Arbogast Dealer Card 24 Midget Hula Skirts For Fishing LureRare Lot 2 Vintage Fred Arbogast Arbo-gaster Fishing Lures Crankbaits Box InsertLot 2 Vintage Fred Arbogast Sputterbug Fishing Lures Crankbaits Mud Bug Coach VgLimited Arbogast 5/8oz Jitterbug - Red Head/black, Yellow, Red Polka Dots - MintLot Of Three Arbogast Jitterbug Bull Frog 3/8 Oz Great Deal Low ShippingOld Vintage Fishing Lure Plastic Lip Jitterbug Fred ArbogastVintage Fred Arbogast Tin Liz Factory Blanks Lot Of 15Vintage Fred Arbogast Lot Of 3 Fishing Lures Arbo-gaster Flashdancer Hula DancerVintage Fred Arbogast Arbo-gaster 5/8oz Fishing Lure Black W/ Original BoxLot Of 3 Old Arbogast Jitterbug Lures(3) Arbogast Topwater 3/8" Jitterbug Cricket Frog Lures G600-608Vintage Fishing Lure Lures Arbogast Hula Popper White/ Red Black Skirt NiceArbogast Jitterbug (.35 Oz.) Fishing Lure Crank Bait I Combine ShippingFred Arbogast Mud Bug Tiger Stripe.2 Very Nice Fred Arbogast Fly Rod Tin Liz Lures - 1-1/2" & 1" Bodies!Vintage Lure Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Wood Topwater Fishing Lure - 2 3/4" BodyAntique Arbogast #3 Hawaiian Lure Lot Old Display Tackle Box Baits Fred Arbogast Mud Bug Used Flourescent Vintage Fishing Lure Lot Fred Arbogast Jitterbug