British Baits and Fishing Lures

Allcock, James Gregory, Hardy, Farlow Baits

It is known that fishing lures have been made in England for a long time. Some of the earliest English baits can be read about in Izaak Walton's book "The Complete Angler" which was published 1653. The majority of the British Baits are metal lures. Occasionally you will find one made of gutta-percha (hard rubber). With the exception of the later Hardy Bros Jock Scott lures, wood was not used for making lures.

An interesting design feature found on most British Baits is one that causes the lure to revolve as it is pulled through the water. Most have opposing left and right side fins with one curved up and the other curved down. Exaggerated curved tails were also used to cause the bait to revolve in the water.

It is rare to find a catalog for a particular lure maker. Almost all of the baits were sold through one of the three main tackle suppliers - Allcock's, Hardy Bros, or Farlow.

The prize British baits were those made by James Gregory from Birmingham. He introduced his first spoon baits in 1878. His subsequent lures were jewel-like replicas of minnows with faceted glass eyes. Allcock's also sold lures made in the 1870's that are also very desirable. Their cut glass lures are particularly sought after by collectors. The workmanship on these lures is excellent and highly sought after by collectors.

William Brown is credited with inventing the Phantom Minnow in the mid-1800's. In the late 1890's, the bait incorporated Philip Geen's Patent Swivel to keep the line from twisting. They were made up until the early 1900's.


A Collection of British Baits


The JAMES GREGORY Minnow, circa 1880


The JAMES GREGORY Windsor Bee, circa 1880's


The JAMES GREGORY Superior Flexible Minnow Made For C. Laight & Co., Redditch, circa 1880

The JAMES GREGORY Superior Flexible Minnow Made For C. Laight & Co., Redditch, circa 1880


JAMES GREGORY Superior Flexible Minnow, circa 1880


The JAMES GREGORY Minnow, circa 1880

The JAMES GREGORY Minnow, circa 1880


Cut Glass Bait Sold by ALLCOCK's, Circa 1870


Page From ALLCOCK's 1866 Catalog


The HOWARD LIVESEY Patent Bait, circa 1886

The HOWARD LIVESEY Patent Bait, circa 1886


The JAMES GREGORY Paragon Lures, circa 1880's


Gutta-Percha Glass Eyed Lure, circa 1900


The ALLCOCK Dazzle Bait, circa 1923


Norwich Glass Eyed Spoons, circa 1900


The PHILIP GEEN Combination Spoon Phantom & Spiral Minnow, circa 1900


The Allcock Water Witch Baits, circa 1910


The Tit-Bit Spinner, circa 1913


The Swallow Tail Lure, circa 1920


William Brown's Phantom Minnows, circa 1895


The WILLIAM BROWN Phantom Minnows 1895 Ad


HENRY MILWARD & SONS 1894 Magazine Ad


WM. BARTLEET & SONS 1894 Magazine Ad


J. WARNER & SONS 1895 Magazine Ad


S. ALLCOCK & COMPANY 1922 Ad


To see a January, 1896 "The Fishing Gazette" Article about the ALLCOCK & CO. Products, click on the link below.

Link to ALLCOCK & CO. Magazine Article



For any questions about vintage antique fishing reels, lures or tackle, please feel free to Email or Call me. I always like to talk about old tackle.

Remember, I'm always buying old vintage fishing lures and reels!

Email me at: ron@luresnreels.com or Call or Text me at: 407-496-7940

Thanks!

Ron Gast

Orlando, FL



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