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 Fred Arbogast 2 Fin Sunfish Tin Liz 1930s Fishing Lure Lot Spoon Lures Limited Edition Cedar Jitterbug In Box - Fred Arbogast Fishing LureArbogast Lure Group, 10 Jitterbugs And More.Jitterbug Fred Arbogast 216 Brown Leopard/ White Belly• Vintage Fishing Lure •50+ Fishing Lure Lot & Box Rapala Cordell Storm Rebel Bomber Arbogast Bagley'sFred Arbogast Jitterbug Wwii Version "plastic Lip" Vintage Lure+correct~papers !Vintage Arbogast Musky Hula Popper Fishing LureVintage Arbogast Musky Jitterbug Fishing LureVintage Arbogast Bass Fishing Lures Jitterbug Bait Lure Lot Used Old Frog GroupVintage Jitterbug Fred Arbogast Akron Ohio Fishing Lure Vintage Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing LureVintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing LureVintage Arbogast Jitterstick Fishing LureVintage Arbogast Hula Popper Lure LotVintage Fred Arbogast Purple Jointed Jitterbug 3 1/2"Lot Of 7 Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing Lures T3) Vintage Arbogast Fly Rod Size Tin Liz Fishing Lure In Original PackagingFred Arbogast Weedless Kicker Frog, Glass Eyed Frog Lure, Fishing Tackle25+ Sm / Ul Lure Lot & Box Rapala, Rebel, Heddon, Cordell, Arbogast, HelinNice 5/8 Oz. Fred Arbogast Jitterbug With Yellow Plastic Lip, 5th Style Hdw, Ex-Vintage Fred Arbogast Lures Jitterbugs Hula PoppersVintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Brown Leopard Frog Fishing LureFred Arbogast Jitterbug Hula Popper Sputterbug 1 Of Each Lot Of 3 Tackle Box FinVintage Fred Arbogast Hula Popper Fishing Lure, New Old Stock Antique Tackle Vintage Old Fred Arbogast Plastic Lip Jitterbug Fishing Lure Nice Color Nr!!Lot Of 4 Old Arbogast Hula Popper Lures-rare ColorVintage Fred Arbogast Hula Popper - Tough ColorLot Of 8 Vintage Fred Arbogast Mud Bug Crawdad Crankbaits-rare Colors!Vintage Never Been Opened Fred Arbogast 1/2 Oz Hula - Hoople Fishing Lure NosFred Arbogast Jitterbug "tuff" Purple Sparkle Coach Dog Color Mint Fishing LureVintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing Lures, New Old Stock, Antique Tackle Box6 Fred Arbogast Mini - Ul "jitterbug" Topwater Fishing LuresVintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Seein's Believin' Brown Sparrow Fishing LureTuff Color! ! Arbogast "jitterbug" Solid White Tackle Box Find Lot Of 2Vintage Fred Arbogast Bug Eye Fishing Lure, New Old Stock, Antique Tackle Box Lure Lot, Vintage Jitterbug, Hulapopper, Fred Arbogast LuresNew In Box Fishing Lures Fred Arbogast Fly Rod Hula Popper, Burk Ant, Zebco Fred Arbogast Co. Lg Mud Bug Snake Scale Pattern / Orange - MintVintage Three Soft Lures Arbogast Hawaiian Propellers ++Jitterbug Fishing Lure Plastic Lip By Fred ArbogastVintage Fred Arbogast Fishing Lure New Old Stock Antique Tackle Box BaitOld Fred Arbogast Jitterstick Lure 5/8 Oz. Black Shore New In Box!Vintage Arbogast Wheedler Snake Rubber Fishing Lure, Arbogast's WheedlerFive Arbogast Hula Popper Fishing LuresVintage Jitterbug Fred Arbogast Akron Fishing Lure Green Yellow Silver DotsJitterbug Fred Arbogast Rattles Old Fishing Lures Collectible Crankbait Black W6) 4 Vintage Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing Lures And 2 BoxesLot Of 3 Old Arbogast Jitterbug LuresVintage Arbogast Jitterstick Fishing Lure PerchRare Arbogast Hawaiian Wiggler In Box Tin Liz Tail SpinnerHustler Orange Fred Arbogast • Vintage Fishing Lure •Fred Arbogast Lot Of 7 Vintage Fishing Lures 3 Mint In Boxes~great Mix~l@@k !!!!Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Wwii Version "plastic Lip" Vintage Fishing Lure Exc.condBrand New Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing Lure Topwater Lure For Night Fishing 5-8 OzVintage Arbogast Sputterbuzz Fishing LureFred Arbogast Mud Bug Lure (new )Vintage Jitterbug, Fred ArbogastVintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Yellow Belly Frog Fishing Lure 1960 Hard To Find Fred Arbogast Co. Med. Mud Bug Snake Scale Pattern - Mint Fred Arbogast Co. Lg Mud Bug Snake Scale Pattern - Mint