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    

1911 Patent Pflueger Four Brothers Five Hook Underwater Minnow And Original BoxVintage Pflueger Medalist No. 1494 Fly Fishing Reel / Ring Guide / Leather CasePflueger 5 Hook - Excellent Green Crackle Back - Nice Looking Lure!!Pflueger Five (5) Hook Minnow - Perch - Marked PropsVintage Tackle Box Loaded With Heddon Pflueger Al Foss South Bend Wtj Lowe &Pflueger Medalist Fly Fishing Reel Model 1494 Da Made In UsaPflueger Musky Globe In Correct Box! Vintage Pflueger Golden West 60 Fly ReelPflueger Medalist Single Action Fly Reel 1492Vintage / Scarce Pflueger * Pippin Fly Rod Wobbler Easel Back Display Card W/boxVintage Pflueger Medalist No. 1494 1/2 Da Fly Fishing Reel Usa Trout Salmon BassVintage Lures - 2 Fred Arbogast 'tin Liz' - Pflueger 'pippin' - Mouse - MinnowVintage Pflueger Medalist Fly Reel, Model 1495 Da U.s.a...appears UnusedPflueger Summit Reel 1993-l W/original Box, Booklet, Cloth Bag, Tags. Mint!Nos - Mint Never Used Pflueger Fly Fishing Reel #1494 Medalist Original Box VtgVintage Pflueger Pal-o-mine Minnow Rainbow #5078 With Box And Instructions WowVtg Pflueger 5 Hook Red Neverfail Under Water Minnow Fishing Lure Wooden SpinnerVintage Rare Pflueger Summit Fishing ReelPflueger Conrad Vintage Rubber Frog Fishing Lure With Box (no Top)4 Vintage Lures ~ Pflueger, Creek Chub ~ Crawdad, Minnow, Rainbow, 3 HookerVintage "pflueger 600 Nl Supreme Salt Water Spin Reel With Box And Pouch! "1965"Vintage Lot Of 21 Bait Cast Fishing Reels Pflueger Higgins Shakespeare EtcVintage 1939 Pflueger Fishing Tackle Pocket Catalog 159 W/ Original EnvelopeVtg. 25+ Fishing Lure Selection Includes: Heddon Creek Chub South Bend PfluegerVintage Pflueger Akron, O. Fish Gaff Hook, Wood Handle.Vintage Pflueger 1492 Da Medalist Made In Usa Fly Fishing ReelOld Early Wooden Pflueger Globe Blue Border Box With Paperwork Lure Minnow BaitVintage "ocean City Viscoy" Fly Reel With Ring Guide! Made In Philadelphia, Usa!Vintage Pflueger Peerless 3-hook Wood Minnow Lure - L@@k!Pflueger 1494 Da Medalist In Box With ExtrasSuperb 1962 Pflueger No.1993-l "summit" Highly-engraved Level-wind Casting ReelMint! Vintage Never Used Pflueger 1885 Interocean Reel With Tags/box/oil/manualSouth Bend Pflueger Shakespeare In Falls City Tin Tackle BoxVintage Pflueger 5 Hook Sienna Crackle Back Underwater Minnow Hpgm Ge2 Pflueger Globe Yellow Gold Strawberry Spot Wood Lures Pike MuskieLot Of 7 Reel Boxes Pflueger South Bend Shakespeare Wonder Cast Captain MedalistVintage Nib Pflueger No. 1000 Freespeed Spinning ReelVintage Pflueger Gem No. 2094 Fly ReelPflueger Never Fail Minnow C1930's 5 HooksEarly Rare Style Antique Hastings Frog Lure Green Fishing Bait PfluegerPflueger Pfltrion 66 Fishing ReelVintage Pflueger Supreme Fishing Reel Original Box & Bag + Instructions Vintage 4" Monarch Pflueger Wood Fishing Plug LureVintage Pflueger Akron 1893 ReelVintage Pflueger Norka 1335 Baitcasting Reel Excellent Plus No Reserve Look Vintage Collectible Pflueger Akeright No. 2068 Saltwater Fishing ReelAntique Fishing-penn Fishing Reel. 2-pennVintage Pflueger Medalist No. 1495 W/diamolite Line GuardVintage Rare! Pflueger Summit 1983 M With Box,instructions,hang Tag, Cub Handle Vintage Pflueger Sal-trout No. 1554 Fly Fishing Reel Vintage Pflueger Mustang Fishing Lure Vintage Pflueger Tandem Spinner Fishing Lure Antique/vintage Fishing Tackle Box Finds,bobber Lures,jig,pflueger & _no ReserveVintage Pflueger Pippin Wobbler Copper Fishing Lure Usa Trout Bass SteelheadVery Old Patriotic Fish Spearing Decoy Lure Heddon Pflueger Creek ChubVintage Pflueger Supreme Levelwind Fishing Reel 1920's Model 1573Pflueger Medalist 1494 1/2 Fly ReelVintage Pflueger Skilkast No 1953 Casting Fishing Reel In Box W/paper L@@kLot Of 9 Vintage Old Pflueger Spinning Fishing Lures For Your Tackle Box Nice!!Vintage Pfluger Akron 1893l Fishing Reel & Bristol Square Steel Rod Rod Combo