March of 2016 is the 7th anniversary of my retiredlures website! To commemorate this occasion, I am sharing a lure and story from my past.
The Rebel company was started in the 1960s by George Perrin after he become “frustrated” with the lures currently on the market. He figured he could do better and a new company was born. He named the new business after the high school mascot where his daughter attended school…Rebel.
It was not long before his lures were in demand and several more styles and colors were invented. In the 1970s, he came out with the Top-Prop lure. It featured bright reflecting colors and two propellers for great topwater action.
Sometime in the 1970s, a young boy was in his local Hardware Hank Store in Alexandria, MN. This store, along with Mills Fleet Farm, were his favorite places to find fishing lures at a good price. Hardware Hank had only few lures way in the back corner of the store. The boy didn’t have much to spend and was only going to buy one lure. He decided on a shiny green and silver lure with props. The price was cheaper than most of the other lures there, so this aided him in his decision. Yes, that lure was the Rebel Top-Prop…and that boy was me.
It wasn’t long before I was fishing with my Dad in an old wooden boat on the “Mud Lake” and I decided to try my new lure. I put it on just as my dad moved his oars-only-powered boat to the cove right next to my grandparents mailbox on the shore. After spying a small clump of reeds out of place in the deeper water I thought, “A bass could be next to those”…so I threw a long, high cast just over the top of them.
The Rebel hit the water with a splash. I paused for just a second, and then game is one little twitch. The props spun and glistened in the morning sunlight and I heard the “thrrrr” all the way back at the boat. Then…WHAM…a huge large-mouthed bass exploded out of the water and grabbed my bait.
“Dad, I got one….” I said softly.
I tried to contain my excitement and be “cool”, but I knew it was a nice fish. I tried to reel it in, but it dove and was immediately tangled in the weeds.
Now I was worried. I could lose the fish…and also my brand new lure on the first cast.
“Dad, it is stuck in the weeds….”
“Keep the line tight”, answered my dad as he began to oar towards the fish.
We slowly crept up to the fish, and I could see it tangled in all the weeds a little over a foot under the water. It would not break free…and I kept my line tight…being careful not to attempt to “horse it in” and break my line.
Then, just as we got right next to it, it was free! I reeled just a few turns on my trusty Zebco 404 reel…and Dad netted it.
There it was, my first big bass. While I had caught many bass before…this one was my first over 4 pounds. Sadly, a picture was never taken…and the fish was promptly cleaned and eaten.
However, even though I don’t have a photo…I have something worth more…the memory. I still know the exact spot where I caught this fish and still catch bass there to this day. And, I still have the lure. After a couple more years of fishing with it, I decided to “retire it” after seeing it was no longer being offered in stores. A few more years went by, and I starting collecting fishing lures. The obsession had started!!!!
I wish I could go back in time and fish with my dad again. However, those days are gone. But, I have the next best thing…fishing with the next generation of our family on the same lake. Then, I can tell them my stories over and over and over and over again and relive it all each time I am out fishing.