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    

Scarce Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Lure Pearl W Herringbone Stripes Made 1 Yr. OnlyArbogast Dekalb Flying Corn Vintage Fishing LureExcellent Plus Fred Arbogast 5/8 Oz. Jitterbug In Beautiful Chrome Bug Eye Nib Vintage Arbogast 5/8 Oz. Jitterbug/very Rare Orange With Black Spots Color!Very Rare Fred Arbogast Jitterbug 5/8 Waterwave Phantom Pearlized Brown Lot Of 13 Arbogast Lures Including 8 Arbo-gasters & 5 Hula DancersSturdibilt Tackle Box Full (20+) Vtg Lures Arbogast Ccbc Shur-strike Heddon - NrNew In Box W/cat.~ Jitterbug Lure Lot (3) Fred Arbogast Vintage Surface BaitsFred Arbogast Weedless Kicker Frog, Vintage Metal Frog Lure, Fishing TackleVintage Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing Lure Orange With Black Spots. Used Plano Tackle Box Loaded With Heddon, Arbogast , Corndell, Bomber10 Vintage Arbogast Jitterbug Fishing Lures Fred Arbogast 3/8 Oz. Jitterbug In Beautiful Sparrow Nib, Catalog (none Nicer) Pristine 5/8 Ounce Fred Arbogast Jitterbugs In Brown ParrotLot Of 8 Eight Fred Arbogast Hula Popper Jitterbug New Fishing Lures -lot BJitterbug Lure Lot (3) Tough Color Baby Bugs & Plastic Lip Frog, Fred Arbogast40+ Fishing Lure Lot & Box Rapala Cordell Storm Rebel Bomber Arbogast HeddonLot Of 19 Arbogast Jitterbugs And Jointed Jitterbugs In Various Sizes And ColorsFred Arbogast Arbo Gaster Fishing Lure 4-lot 2- 2 1/2'' Body 2-2'' BodyFred Arbogast 750 02 Hula Popper 5/8 Oz. Fishing Lures 1 Dozen +219 Fred Arbogast Jitterbugs + Hula PoppersLot Of 13 Arbogast Hula Poppers Including Fly Rod Size & 2 In Fireplug FinishVintage Arbogast Wwii Plastic Lip Jitterbug Red White Lip Original Box & Paper 5 - Fred Arbogast Jitterbugs Plastic Lip, Luminous,frog Spot & Jointed Nice LotExcellent 5/8 Ounce Fred Arbogast Jitterbugs In Frog With Yellow Plastic LipFred Arbogast 1/4 Oz. Hula Popper Fishing Lures Nos Set Of 6Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Lure - 5/8 - Brown Scale Orange Body - Nice OneLot Of 8 Eight Nib Fred Arbogast Hula Popper New Fishing LuresFred Arbogast Jitterbug Lures - Lot Of 4Vintage Arbogast Jitterstick Fishing LureVintage Old Fred Arbogast Sputterbug Fishing Lure For Your Tackle Box Nr!!Vintage Arbogast Hula Dancer In Nice Picture Box With PapersVintage Arbogast Jitterbug Lure - Silver Flash - 3/8 - Old Style Package Lot Of 8 Eight Fred Arbogast Hula Popper Jitterbug New Fishing Lures -lot ALot Of 4 Four Nib Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Jitter Bugs Topwater New Fishing LuresVintage Arbogast Sputterbug Fishing LureTough! Vtg Arbogast Jitterbug "jitterstick" (gray Shad) Crankbait Plug Lure NrOld Antique Vintage Arbogast Jitterbug Lure Bait In Box With Rare Catalog L@@kL@@k~tough! Vtg Arbogast (ww2) Jitterbug (old Hdwr/plastic Lip) Crankbait PlugVery Early Fred Arbogast Tin Liz CatalogFred Arbogast Sputterbuzz Fishing LuresLot Of 4 Four Nib Fred Arbogast Hula Popper New Fishing LuresFred Arbogast Tin Liz-mint Condition!16 Arbogast Lures Including Sputterbuzz, Jitterstick, Mud Bugs & Company PatchArbogast Vintage Jitterbug Plastic Lip LureOlder Used Arbogast Jitterbug Catalog Bass Fishing Lures Tackle Box Bait VintageFred Arbogast 5/8 Oz Green Frog Jitterbug And Yellow Jitterbug 3/8 Oz LuresFred Arbogast 2 1/2oz Hammerhead Fishing Lure Akron OhioNew Arbogast Musky Jitterbug 6"(tough Color!) Vtg Arbogast "jointed Jitterbug" 620-sf (#54 Silver Flash) Plug3 Arbogast Hula Popper 2 Crappie Bass Small Mouth Trout Fly FishingVintage Old Fred Arbogast Mud Bug Fishing Lure For Your Tackle Box Nr!!Vintage Fred Arbogast Jitterbug, 2 3/4” Akron, Ohio.Fred Arbogast Hawaiian Wiggler 1 1/2 Fishing Lure W/ A Box + ReceiptLot Of 4 Arbogast Jitterbugs. Fly Rod , Spinning LureFred Arbogast Plastic 3-hook Musky Jitterbug In Beautiful Red Head Ex+New Arbogast Musky Jitterbug 6"Vintage Arbogast 5/8 Oz. Wwii Plastic Lip Jitterbug!Old Fred Arbogast 5/8 Oz Jointed Jitterbug Lure Yellow Coach Dog6-pack: Bagley, Storm, Rebel & Arbogast