Honest Appraisals on Fishing Tackle
Looking for MN Tackle and Company History
Retired Lures
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Lure of the Month
April 2024
Each month, I feature fishing tackle on my website that I find interesting.  If you have a lure that you would like to see featured or have any comments on the lures I have already featured, please let me know.  I would like to hear from you!
In 1952, Elmer “Doll” Thompson founded the Thompson Fishing Tackle Co. The first bait that he produced was the “Doll Fly” which was an immediate success. In fact, he sold millions of them…every year!

In the mid-1960s, Elmer introduced the Doll Top Secret and it was patented in 1968. Many collectors call this a “Heddon Punkinseed knock-off”, but I think that is unfair as Heddon was more famous for copying and buying out lures than probably any other manufacturer in the tackle industry.

The bait was advertised as “for sure fishing success” and “scientifically proven to catch all species of fish”. While Heddon no longer made the “floater” punkinseed, but only the “sinker”, Thompson went back in time to offer a floating bait that would only dive on retrieve. There is no doubt that this lure caught fish.

In 1972, Thompson sold his company to the Brunswick Corporation who had acquired Zebco Corporation in 1961, which put Brunswick into the tackle business. Elmer Thompson continued to be involved in the company and served on the Board of Directors of the firm until 1975. Thompson's line of baits were manufactured into the 1980s and at one time Heddon even helped color some of the lures.

The collector value of these lures are still fairly low. With many colors available, I am surprised they haven’t taken off…especially when people over 50 years old may want to display them as memories of their childhood.

Doll Top Secret
Thompson Fishing Tackle Co Inc
Knoxville, TN

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Welcome to my Retired Lures Website!

This site features antique and vintage fishing lures as well as some other bits of information.

If you have information you wish to share, especially on the history of MN tackle companies, please contact me. 
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