Vintage Lures



Winchester Repeating Arms Company made a major impact in the general sporting goods business in the United States. From 1920 through 1930 Winchester was one of the major manufacturers and retailers of fishing tackle in this country. Winchester got into the reel business by purchasing the Andrew B. Hendryx Co. They continued on the lines of lower quality reels manufactured by Hendryx, and also added some designs of their own, producing some quality level wind and non level wind reels made of nickel silver. Most of the other Winchester fishing tackle items sold in the famous Winchester Stores was contracted to be produced by other makers. At this time I have seen no definitive proof as to who produced Winchester’s wooden lures. This lineup consisted of an underwater 3 hook and 5 hook minnow, and a crab type Multi Wobbler. Winchester also had a line of cheaper second-line baits, but little is know about them at this time. Their very complete line of metal spoons and spinners were a carryover from those produced by Hendryx for over 40 years. A great deal of animosity was aroused among jobbers and dealers, who had sold Winchester firearms for year, because they were not allowed to order Winchester fishing tackle unless they franchised as a complete Winchester store. Finally, in 1922, Winchester added some generic name tackle to their line that was made available to these dealers. This tackle was of the same quality (and was the same tackle) as the Winchester labeled items, but it was stamped Armax, Crusader, Barney & Berry, and even the Hendryx brand was resurrected. Winchester’s venture into the hardware and general sporting goods business was great for collectors today, but a disaster to the company. With the world wide depression intensifying in the late 1920s, they sunk deeper in debt until they approached bankruptcy. In 1931, John Olin of the Western Cartridge Company made an acceptable offer to the holding companies that now controlled Winchester, and became the owner of this great American firearms company. Olin liquidated all the fishing tackle within a few years, but nothing was manufactured after 1931. The tackle sold under the Winchester brand name was very high quality. In today’s frantic market of collectible fishing tackle, and Winchester products, almost all their tackle brings very high prices. Excellent to Mint items in boxes have brought some unbelievable amounts in the past few years.


(Click on thumbnails)

Armax Minnows