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]

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 Pflueger Medalist No. 1494-1/2 Fly Fishing Reel With Box Akron OhRare Pflueger Hawkeye 60 Yard Early 1900s Era Fly ReelRare Pflueger 2600 Db Bait Casting Reel.Rare 1919-1923 Pflueger #1573 "supreme" Douglas Patent (2nd Version) Free SpoolVintage Pflueger Summit No. 1993-l Bait Casting Reel With Box, Bag, WrenchPflueger Templar 1420&1/2 Fishing ReelVintage Pflueger Medalist Shakespeare Usa 1494 1/2 Da Fly Reel W/fenwick LinePflueger Medalist #1494 Fly Reel/ Cadno 1/2 Silk Fly LineVintage "excellent Pflueger Progress 80 Yard Raised Pillar Fly Reel! Made In UsaPflueger Summit 1556 Fly ReelVintage Montague Tarpon Reel With A Pflueger Leather Thumb Drag,usa 450Vintage Pflueger Progress 60 Brass Fly Fishing Reel Nice Condition Supreme Fishing Reel By Pflueger Oil, Key, Paper And Bag 1573Vintage "pflueger Medalist 1495" Fishing Reel; Box & Paperwork Only Spare Spool For Pflueger Medalist 1494 1/2 Da Fly Reel Made Usa, Looks UnusedWorking Vintage Pflueger Medalist 1495 Fly Reel Diamolite Line Guard FishingVintage Pflueger 1495 Fly ReelPre 1966 Pflueger Medalist Fly Reel Model 1494 & Wf-6-f Line Trout PanfishVintage Pflueger Medalist 1494 Da Single Action Fly Fishing Reel Made In Usa1930's Pflueger Fishing Lure Advertising Fish Postcard Or Handout Pittsburg Vintage Pflueger Trade Minnow Fishing Lure And Wood BoxEarly Pflueger Metalized Underwater Minnow 5 HookPflueger Glass Eyed Wizard Wooden Minnow 1902 - 1910 Vintage Wood Creek Chub Heddon Pflueger Rotary Fishing Lure Lot DeckerPflueger Supreme No.577 Fly Reel Made In Akron Ohio U.s.a. With Suede Reel CasePflueger Progress 80 Fly ReelVintage Fishing Reals Penn Shakespeare Pflueger Gear Lot Old Antique True TemperVintage Early Pflueger Summit With Amber Knobs - Nice !Vintage Pflueger Supreme 511 Free Spool Bait Cast Reel - Near Mint - 1970Old Vintage Collectable Fishing Rod Reel Engraved Pflueger Summit 1993l With BoxVintage Pflueger Supreme Model 1576 Free Spool Reel In CaseVintage Early Model "pflueger Supreme" With Patent Date And Serial Number2 Pflueger Summit 1993l Engraved ReelsPflueger Medalist 1492ak Fly Reel Old Vintage Fishing Rod Reel Engraved Pflueger Summit 1993l CollectiblePflueger Medalist Fly Reel Vintage 1495 1/2 DaVintage Pflueger Neverfail Wood Minnow Glass Eye, Fishing Lure, Vgc - NrVintage Pflueger Sal-trout Reel 1558 - Fly/trolling - Real Nice!Vintage Fishing Reals Pflueger Shakespeare Jorgensen Mitchell Lot Old Antique Fishing Lure Wood Vintage Pflueger Globe Bait In Correct Box Yellow/gold DotsVintage Pflueger Summit 1993l Fishing Reel Excellent Clean ConditionPflueger, Martin, J.w.young, South Bend, Fly Fishing Reels Vintage Pflueger Supreme 510b Bait Cast Reel - Very Good - Early 70'sVintage Pflueger Globe #3796 White Red Head, With Original BoxVintage Pflueger Fly Fishing Reel/1495 Da With Second Spool1936 Pflueger Fishing Catalog Nice !!Vintage Pflueger Summit Engraved Casting Reel-with Bag-nice!Vintage Pflueger Medalist Fly Fishing Reel/1495/akron/w Spare SpoolVintage Fishing Accessories Pflueger Fishing Rod Holders,fishmate,spin Fly Box +Vintage Wright & Mcgill, Marathon, Pflueger, Lot Of 12 Spinners On Orig Cards.Lot Of 16 Vintage Fishing Reels Pflueger Zebco Heddon And More!Antique Fishing Lure Pflueger Underwater Minnow Wood Glass Eyes SpinnerLot Of Penn Pflueger Shakespeare Fishing Reels And 3 Vintage Fishing LuresVintage Old Wood Fishing Lure Pflueger Globe Yellow Gold Dots Nib9 Vintage Wooden Fishing Lures, Heddon, Pflueger, Lucky StrikeVintage Old Fishing Lures (4) Pflueger Metal Baits Pippin Wobbler Chum Zam Spoon3 Pflueger Spring Loaded Reel Seat Casting Rod Handles!5 Vintage Fishing Lures & Boxes Heddon. Pflueger. Bomber. L149 Vintage Pflueger 1420 1/2 Templar Deep Sea Fishing Reel Made Usa5 Vintage Fishing Lures F6 Rubber Lobster Pflueger Fred Arbogast Jitterbug Etc