The Tin Liz, Fred's first commercially produced lure, was
trademarked in 1932. Fred described this metal minnow as "the most
natural cripple ever made." His fishing friends thought so, too. Demand
for the lure grew so quickly that he started his own fishing lure
company. Fred eventually produced over a half dozen models of this lure
including a fly rod Tin Liz in three sizes; the Twin Liz, a tandem
bail; a "snake" Tin Liz, which resembled a two-inch pickerel, a
"sunfish" Tin Liz, which swam on its side, and a "Kicker."
In 1936 Fred added a second lure to his product line and introduced
the now famous Hawaiian Wigglers. These featured the nw and
revolutionary Hula Skirt -- a flexible rubber skirt, attached at the
rear, which provided a lively, swimming action. This family of lures
quickly acquired a fine reputation and made the company famous.
There probably isn't a bass fisherman alive who hasn't heard of or
used the famous Jitterbug. The wobbling surface bait immediately
captured the attention of the fishing fraternity when it was introduced
in 1938. As soon as the Jitterbug hit the water, letters of praise from
enthusiastic fishermen began pouring into Fred. Fishermen throughout
the country wanted to share their successes with the inventor.
In 1940 fly rod fishing for bass was becoming popular. To
accommodate these interests, Fred introduced the Hula-Spinner, a
Hawaiian Wiggler type of lure that weighed only 1/16 oz.
After the Hula Popper was introduced in 1941, it quickly established
itself alongside the Jitterbug as a surface classic. It was the first
surface lure to feature a Hula Skirt.
When Fred added the Hula Dancer to the Arbogast product line in
1944, he said, "I have experimented with and tried out the Hula Dancer
in northern and southern waters for several years. It is a sinking bait
that runs at medium depth. This little honey is small, but no
impractical toy. In open water, she does her stuff!"
A variation of the popular Hawaiian Wiggler was brought to the
fishing market in 1946 when Fred announced the creation of the
Sputterfuss. This noisy surface lure had a double-bladed front spinner
and came equipped with a large skirt and trailer hook assembly. It was
designed by Fred to be quickly retrieved or "skittered" across the
water surface. Skittering, sometimes referred to as "buzzing," became a
very popular fishing technique just recently but Fred recognized it
effectiveness 34 years ago when he invented this original "buzz" bait.
What better idea than to follow the Sputterfuss with the Sputterbug?
That's exactly what the Fred Arbogast company did in 1955. A noisy,
splashy surface bait, the Sputterbug featured the famous Hula Skirt for
The Arbo-Gaster was designed in 1956 to solve deep water impoundment
fishing problems. The extended lip of this fast-swimming, floater-diver
allowed it to go down deep and also acted as a guard to keep it from
snagging on under-water obstructions.
The Scudder, Prancer and Dasher are large wooden wire-through lures
designed for ocean species. The Scudder is a surface popping plug; the
Prancer is a surface bait with buck tails for surface action; and the
Dasher, introduced in 1962, with propellers fore and aft, creates a
surface commotion, similar to a floundering food fish. The Dasher was
named in memory of Mr. "Dash" Gowen, a longtime Arbogast sales
representative and saltwater fisherman, who passed away in 1974.
The Mud-Bug created a sensation from the moment it was introduced in
1968. It resembled a crayfish in appearance, even to the extent of
being retrieved "backwards" to simulate a fast-moving or retreating
crayfish. This deep-diving lure has been a winner in numerous bass
fishing tournaments. By 1980, the Mud-Bug was available in five
different sizes for fresh and saltwater fishing.
Jitterbug and a Japanese Jitterbug made under license from Arbogast (Pradco). These lures are of the original quality of jitterbugs from the late 40's through the 80's. Odd that the jitterbugs we buy today are cheap compared to the Japanese lures that maintain the vintage details...Go Figure.
Model No. 700 - This is the largest of all Jitterbugs, 1 ¼ ounce and 4 ½ inches long.
Model No. 650 and 655- This is the standard baitcasting size, 5/8 of an ounce and 3 inches long,
Model No. 600 and 605 - This is a scaled down version weighing in at 3/8 of an ounce and 2 ½ inches long.
Model No. 630 and 635 - This size Jitterbug weighs ¼ ounce, light spinning size.
No. 680 - This ¼ ounce Jitterbug has only one double hook attached to
the tail section of the lure so it can be fished over weeds and
Model No. 670 and 675 - Larger of the jointed Jitterbugs. These lures weigh 5/8 of an ounce
Model No. 620 and 625 - The smaller of the two jointed Jitterbugs weighing in at 3/8 of an ounce
Model No. 610 - This weedless Jitterbug weighs 5/8 of an ounce . It has an attached hula skirt
Model No. 690 - This is a spinning version of the weedless Jitterbug
Model No. 645(discontinued) - This is a longer version of the famous Jitterbug
Model No 750 - This popper weighs in at 5/8 of an ounce
Model No. 760 - This is a scaled down version of the 750 and is 3/8 of an ounce and 2 inches long with 2 trebles
Model No. 770 - This ultra light size Hula Popper. It weighs ¼ of an ounce and carries a single #5 treble hook.
No. 730 - This is the smallest of all Hula Poppers weighing in at 3/16
of an ounce and carries a very small single #8 treble hook.
Fly Rod Hula Popper
Model No. 1000 (discontinued) - This lure is 1 ½ inches long and weighs 3/32 of an ounce and carries a #1/0 hook.
Model No. 1050 (discontinued)
- This model boasts a weedless hook and can be fished closer to and
around vegetation and cover. It is 1 ½ inches long and weighs 3/32 of
an ounce and carries a #1/0 weedless hook.
Model No. 1150 (discontinued) - This Fly Rod Hula Popper is 1 3/16 inches long and weighs 1/16 of an ounce and carries a #2 hook.
Model No. 1400 (discontinued)
- This is the smallest of the Fly Rod Hula Poppers and is fished mainly
for panfish and bluegills. It is only 7/8 of an inch long and weighs
a mere 1/32 of an ounce and carries a tiny #8 hook.
Model No. 22 - This model Mud-Bug weighs 5/8 of an ounce
Model No. 20 - This smaller size Mud-Bug weighs in at ¼ of an ounce.
Model No. 1805 - Sputterbuzz is the largest model - 5 inches long and weighs 5/8 of an ounce.
Model No. 1835 - The 1835 is 3 ½ inches long and weighs 3/8 of an ounce
Not vintage or old but shown for Reference
This is the Arbogast "Hocus Locust". One look and you see something very similar... The Jitterbug lip. This is a relatively new lure for Arbogast, but then again, weren't they all NEW at one time? Show here simply for reference. Any knowledgeable collector will tell you reference is invaluable.
205 Black Gold, 206 Spring Leaf, 207 Yellow Insect, 208 Summer Locust,
209 Cool Bug, 210 Fire Locust
Jitterbug Colors for 1941
A vintage musky size Jitterbug, Wooden with the box.... Nice find!
Some rare Arbogast lures
This Jitterbug in Black Herringbone is extremely rare.
Jitterbug goes to war!
Below is a pic of a recent addition to my collection. a WWII era
As part of the war effort, all metal went
towards the military machine, thus leaving our poor Jitterbug with a
Not to be confused with a "wax lip"
The Hula Dancer!
Fred Arbogast introduced the Hula Dancer in 1944, and the way we fished was changed forever. The Hula Dancer was the first lure introduced by Arbogast since his successful Jitterbug. Small and heavy, at 5/8, oz., this little dynamo is great for the long cast, and the dance this little lure does in the water drives fish insane. Lately the Hula Dancer has been starting to drive collectors insane. The Hula Dancer is a lot more complex than first thought, with many color and hardware variations. With its one-of-a-kind styling and unique design, it is rapidly gaining popularity among collectors. Hula Dancers are getting harder and harder to obtain as popularity drives prices up.
I would like to share the information I have compiled over the last four years to help answer some Hula Dancer questions. With the wartime metal restrictions lifted, it was the right time for the Hula Dancer’s birth. The lure has a Tenite/plastic body attached to a wide metal keel with a front and rear lip, two treble hooks, a tail/skirt holder, and the skirt itself. I’m going to share with you the differences in colors (35 so far), metal keels (4 so far), and tail holders (3 so far). Starting with First Generation… First Generation hardware has a narrow, slightly concave front lip, and the rear lip is wide with a deep indentation in the center. The body is held to the keel with screws. The first tail/skirt holder was a flat and narrow shape and a poor design to hold the tail in place (examples are rare), and it was quickly changed and widened at the base, giving it a trapezoid shape. The first generation hardware was used from 1944 to 1946.