Antique and Vintage Pflueger Fishing Tackle

Founded in 1881 in Akron, Ohio, E. F. Pflueger’s Enterprise Manufacturing Company was not the first company to manufacture a fishing reel—that honor goes to the Meek Brothers, whose Kentucky reels predate 1840. But Pflueger was the first major commercial tackle company—its 1900 catalog, produced two years before James Heddon hung out his shingle to sell handmade wooden fishing lures, featured 126 pages of "Fish Bait and Anglers Specialties."

Pflueger’s company, which was taken over by his son and renamed E. A. Pflueger Company in 1906, was the first to commercially produce wooden fishing lures. In 1883, the elder Pflueger patented a luminous lure paint designed for night fisherman. A lure from that period, the Luminous Flying Helgramite, had wings and feathers, but was only made for about a year, making it a highly collectible antique fishing lure.

In the 1890s, Pflueger produced rubber decoys, the rubber Muskallonge Minnow (it had three single hooks and metal fins), and, in 1899, the Trory Minnow, which had three treble hooks, propellers at its head and tail, and yellow glass eyes.

Throughout the early part of the 20th century, Pflueger produced numerous minnows and bugs, some weighted, some designed to float. But the competition from Heddon and others proved too much for the company. Fortunately, lures were not its only source of revenue. Indeed, Pflueger reels would keep the company independent until well after the middle of the century.

The product that secured Pflueger’s reputation for reliability and dependable action while casting was the Baitcasting Reel, introduced in 1916. The brand for this new line of fishing reels was Four Brothers, who were E. A., Joseph, George, and Charles. Models included the Delite fly reel, in 40-, 60-, 80-, and 100-yard sizes. The reels’ plates were made of hard rubber and covered with either polished nickel or satin gun metal. Also available in that introductory year was a double-multiplying casting reel called the Medina, so named for the county west of Akron.

By 1924, Pflueger had largely dropped the Four Brothers name in favor of the model names themselves. The Regal, Elinor, and Pastime reels were still marketed as Four Brothers reels, but the Delite reel was now sold on its own. So were the Eclipse and Mohawk reels, which were salt-water models. Two other smaller salt-water reels, Sumco and Beacon, were introduced in 1927, and the Castwell came along in 1931 (it was introduced as the Comrade but that dull name was quickly changed).

Other antique and vintage Pflueger fishing reels sought by collectors include the Skilcast ("Blister Proof" is the guarantee on the side of the box), the Supreme, and an Orvis-like fly reel called Taxie...

In the 1930s, Pflueger all but discontinued its line of lures, which is what helps make those lures so rare today. In 1954, Pflueger introduced its first spinning reel, and in 1966 the company was sold to Shakespeare. Today, reels, rods, and combos bearing the Pflueger name continue to be manufactured in South Carolina.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

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    

Four Brothers (pflueger ) Delite Fly Reel 100 Yard Size Vintage Pflueger Four Brothers Delite Fly ReelPflueger Atlapac Enterprise 9/0 Heavy Deep See Ohio Large Vintage Fishing Reel Vintage Pflueger Neverfail Minnow 5 HookPflueger Templar 1420 1/2 Big Game Reel With Factory Box Excellent Shape Pflueger Palomine2 Musky Old Fishing Lures Pflueger & Unknown5 Old Fishing Reels Pflueger, Utk, & UnknownsOld Vintage Engraved Pflueger Summit Reel In Box W Low Amplitude Wave Vry Nice!!Old Vintage Engraved Pflueger Summit Free Spool 1995 Reel Very Nice! Tackle BoxLot 4 Old Vintage Fishing Rod Reel Pflueger Summit Akron Skilkast CollectibleOld Vintage Exc Pre-war Engraved Pflueger Summit Reel In Box Marbled KnobsOld Vintage Narrow Pflueger Supreme Leaping Bass 1577 Reel Nice! Tackle Box RodOld Vintage Gorgeous Early Engraved Pflueger Summit Reel1495 Model Pflueger Medalist Fly Fishing Reel In Box ,tag, Flyer Made In 1965Old Vintage Pflueger Everlaster Surf Casting Reel - Nickel & Hard RubberPflueger Medalist 1494 Fly Fishing Reel With Pole And Line In Good ConditionHuge Lot Of 15 Vintage Ocean Fishing Reels - Penn, Pflueger, Bronson, Ocean CityVintage Antique Box Pflueger No 4001 Assorted Fish Hooks FishingVintage Pflueger Medalist No. 1495 Fly Fishing ReelVintage Pflueger No. 84 Saturn Spin-cast Reel Made In UsaPflueger Medalist 1494 1/2 Da Fly Reel Right Hand 1970's Vintage Excellent!Wow! Vintage Pflueger Capitol No. 1785 Fishing Reel Excellent Condition (#2)Old Vintage Pflueger Narrow Free Spool Reel Not Leaping Bass Super Scarce ToughOld Vintage Beautiful Early Engraved Pflueger Summit Reel C 1929 W Amber Knobs1955 Pflueger Pelican No. 1020 Model A Freshwater Spinning Fishing ReelOld Vintage Excellent Pflueger Free Spool Supreme Leaping Bass 1576 Reel TackleFly Fishing Reel Pflueger Medalist 1495 Da With Two Extra Spools Made In Usa90 Vintage Lure Lot: Heddon, South Bend, Pflueger, Creek Chub, Rinehart Jinx....Vintage Old Wood Fishing Lure Pflueger Surprise Minnow Hole Eye Golden Chub3 Old Fishing Reels Pflueger, Portage, & UnknownOld Vintage Red Pflueger Nobby Free Spool 1965 Reel Nice!! Fishing Tackle BoxPflueger Summit No. 1993j & Bronson "modern" No. 100 Fishing ReelsVintage Pflueger Medalist 1492 Da Made In The Usa Good ShapePflueger Lure No. 5087 Vintage Lure Pflueger Pal-o-mine, Glass Eyes. Frog ScaleVintage Pflueger Breakless Devon Minnow No 290 Polished CopperVintage Pflueger Summit No. 1993l Casting Reel Pflueger All In One Minnow Lure Rainbow Old Vintage Fishing Rod Reel Pflueger Supreme Free Spool 510 Collectible LureNo.1893 Pflueger Akron Fishing ReelVintage Pflueger Chum Spoons Size 4 No. 7132 Dealer Box Complete Old StockPflueger Champion 5 Hook Underwater Minnow Brass Tack EyeFly Fish Reel Pflueger Medalist 1498daOld Vintage Engraved Pflueger Summit 1983m Reel Lmtd Prodction Tackle Box FishinVintage Pflueger Fishing Lure~mustang Minnow~mibVintage Pflueger Summit Model # 1993l Fishing ReelVintage Pflueger Summit No. 1993l Casting Reel Pflueger Medalist 1494 (akron, Oh)Vintage Pflueger Palomine Rainbow 9073 In BoxVintage Wood Fishing Lure - Pflueger Palomine Minnow In RainbowVintage Fishing Lures, Spoons, Large Lot 25+, Daredevle, Blue Fox, Pflueger MoreVintage Pflueger Summit Model No. 1993 Fishing Reel, Bait Casting, Great Cond.Vintage Pflueger Medalist Reel 1494 ModelVintage Pflueger Summit #1993l Casting Fishing Reel Jeweled, Engraved2 Old Fishing Reels Pflueger & Tarpon#96 Vintage Pflueger Progress #1774 Flyreel In Box Dated 1959.Fishing Lure Vintage 35/8" Pflueger Wood Globe Bull Dog Yellow & Gold SpotsVintage Fishing Lure- Pflueger Famous Bait-#3770 Lum Gold W/ Orig BoxPflueger Rocket No. 1375 Vintage Baitcasting Reel - Nice!