Antique Fishing Lures by Floyd Roberts

Holly Grove Footprints

  Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr. now at age 87 plus is not new to the computer era.  He already has purchased several systems and now he is even using a Dell Laptop to connect on line at his summer cabin on East Lake.  After many years of photographs and now a HP digital camera Mr. Harbin put together this handmade Essay book of his "Holly Grove Footprints".  Mr. Harbin said this was a great experience and an enjoyable Modus Operandi.

  The Harbin Cabin is located on East Lake in Holly Grove, Arkansas.  The cabin is just over 100 miles southwest of their home in Memphis, Tennessee.


Spider Lilies

  These Spider Lilies were planted over 10 years ago which are found throughout the White River area.  The bloom occurs in the last week of July or the first part of August.  The seed pods form at the base of the bloom, mature, then fall off and float to another place with higher water or they grow where they have fallen.

  East Lake bank Spider Lilies with some blooms showing the seed pods at the base of the bloom stems.

  Many years ago Mrs. Ellie Polk Harbin hand carved this sign to identify their 90 feet of leased lake frontage.  Once, after making the 105 mile trip from their Memphis home to their Arkansas cabin they found fresh Black Bear prints.  The black bears were searching for mussels in the pile of fresh White River gravel.

  This past 2003 season under the farm road bridge from East Lake to Forked Lake Mr. Harbin  fished this Beaver Hut for bass that always "guard" this spot for crawfish, huge bull frogs, small snakes or small and large size Bream. 

  Years ago this NFLCC stature was handmade for sale.  With an electric glue gun a Heddon #3400 series "Little Luny Frog" was attached in proper position, thus.. the Beaver Hut needed this photograph.

  The White River water level controls where fish locate in the 11 miles of East Lake.  At this level you can motor up to Red Cat Lake thru the East Lake Bayou.  The water level is too high to get under the road bridge to the Forked Lake.  The boat had to be hand carried over the farm road bridge.  Please notice the red circle at the top rail....the bird feeder.  The river gage is at 19.86 on 6/14/2003.

  Mother Raccoon found the bird seed in the feeder therefore her three babies also had their picture taken.  Note the center Raccoon is looking at you.

  This 1978 Ford 4 x 4 pickup truck has a topper with a rack to carry Mr. Harbin's small aluminum boat.  In 1970 Mr. Harbin purchased the cabin.  The front porch had a roll-up canvas rain shield, later windows were installed as you can see.  Mr. Harbin did not remember the exact year when the Spring Flood of the White River when he tied his boat to the top step to look inside the cabin to see if there was any water damage.  The water did lap the underside of the floor but no water made it inside.  The Clarendon river gage read 34 to 35 feet.

  Six feet of clearance, railroad cross ties supported with heavy cross brace timbers protect the cabin from being flooded.  There is enough room to walk under the cabin and Mr. Harbin's 15 HP Mercury  motor and 14" aluminum flat bottom boat used to fish other lakes is stored there.  The cabin has a living and dinning room, two bedrooms, hall, bathroom, kitchen with front and back porches.  It also has it's own water well and propane gas for heating and cooking.  The cabin is equipped with a phone, air conditioning, computer phone jack and local TV.  Mr. Harbin said its not home but very enjoyable.

  Their first 1970 single boat dock is not shown here.  The White River level was bank,,,Clarendon River Gage at 28.3 feet on January 28, 1988.  The Clarendon water level is now monitored regularly with it's new computer system.

  Some very bad storms damaged both boat docks.  The original 1970 boat dock is upright and Mr. Harbin first two boat dock built  by Brown Lumber Co. was destroyed by high winds.  

  C. A. Harbin II, while visiting his parents at their Memphis home is in the backyard filling his mother's (Ellie Polk) casting rod and reel with 20 pound monofilament line.  The rod and reel was recently purchased at Bass Pro Shops "The Sportsman Warehouse" in Memphis, Tennessee.

  In the spring of 2000 these front steps and porch were built to make it easier to enter the cabin with supplies for Mr. Harbin because of his recent right hip replacement.  It also proved to be a beautiful spot to watch feeding birds and raccoons.

  C. A. Harbin II is in the doorway between the main room and the cabin kitchen.

  Clyde the II is also the Chief Cook and Dish Washer!!!

  This is the only picture of Mr. Harbin's second boat dock which is upside down.  Sunk in East Lake it was destroyed by high winds on June 6, 1998.  The roof now rests on the lake bottom facing upward.  It is a great place for fish to hide...just right of the new dock which was built by Kelly Builders of Holly Grove, Arkansas June 28, 1998.

  Mr. Harbin's new double boat dock with a 40 foot walkway down to the parked boat.

  Mr. Harbin's 15 foot by 42 inch  #1542 Monarch aluminum boat powered by a 2002 25 HP Mercury motor with PT-130 power trim/tilt.  It is equipped with manual or auto bilge pump, running lights, depth finder, sound whistle, paddles, limb saw, big fish gaff (bass or gars), trolling motor and custom pedestal bass seats.

The Harbin boat dock is empty again.  MUST BE GONE FISHING!

   Clyde and Polk Harbin enjoying a beautiful day fishing together.

   7/1/2002 Polk Harbin caught this 4 pound bass with 10 pound light line.

  On July 23, 1967 guided by friend Bill O'Connor of Albany, Georgia, Clyde and Polk Harbin caught these four very large bass on Lake Jackson.  This picture was taken on the return from lure collecting and a fishing trip in Tallahassee, Florida.  They were traveling in Mr. Harbin's self contained Ford van equipped with a cooking stove, ice box along with a charging device from the van's generator that would charge the boat battery.  

  On April 23, 1966 Ellie Polk caught these seven bass on a Bassman Spinner Bait while bank fishing a private pond in Northern Mississippi that weighted an average of 4 1/4 pounds.

  1. Caught by Polk Harbin - 13 Pounds

  2. Caught by Clyde Harbin - 9 1/2 Pounds

  3. Caught by Clyde Harbin - 10 1/2 Pounds

  4. Caught by Polk Harbin - 8 3/4 Pounds

  5. CAH's 7 1/2 Pounds on Horseshoe Lake, Arkansas

  6. CAH's 6 Pounds Coro Lake, Memphis

  Robert Edward Ferguson, 1966 Bas-Tek-Neke Instructor, 40 years fishing partner, wood carver, personal lure artist, cabin cook and Mr. Harbin's excellent friend.

Art work by Ed Ferguson

  Charles Clay Lewis, Bas-Tek-Neke Instructor, 40 years fishing partner, phone installer, trolling motor garu, electronics' expert, camp cook and Mr. Harbin's excellent friend.

  Charles Lewis completely re-wired the ear and mouth pieces while installing this rotary phone upside down so it could be used.  This 5 magnet old phone rings every day in the kitchen of their home in Memphis, Tennessee.

  In his own boat or fishing partner's boat Clyde's favorite seat is in the back.  Fishing behind Ed Ferguson or Charlie Lewis is a pure pleasure.  You learn where the bass live by watching.  Ed leaves no spot un-fished which you have too live with and Charlie shares the best spots.  However, from the rear seat the " get away cast" from a different angle does call'em up!!  Bass do count, one more presentation makes the strike.

Left - Front of the first Harbin "13 Lure Patch Jacket" now RETIRED!!  Right - Back side of the first "13 Lure Patch Jacket".  However, some first patches have been replaced as the NFLCC made them.  In fact, the present day jacket is filled and Mr. Harbin stopped purchasing club patches because there is no more room to sew them on.

  As of August 20, 2003 on the front of the second Harbin Lure Jacket there are 21 patches with 7 metal buttons now in "Play"!  On the front of the jacket are two very rare patches.   These rare patches are Footprints of the Bassman.   The rare patches are Ray Scott's Heddon Patch for Beaver Lake fish off by PRADCO Outdoor Brands and Clyde's only "Water Walker" patch.

  As of August 20, 2003 there are 26 patches on the back of the second Harbin Lure Jacket which is now filled.  It was Mr. Harbin's pleasure to appear in the NFLCC Swap Meets wearing one of the first "Patch Jackets" before the club began offering club patches.

  This is one of five Bas-Tek-Neke Jump Suits used for Seminars and Promotions.  Mr. Harbin donated this jump suit to Rick Collins, Wildlife Manager, Bass Pro Shops, Springfield, Missouri on February 17, 2003.

  July 4, 1971 Johnny Tate and Clyde Harbin were promoting the JTC Pistol Grip Casting Rod Handles patented by Johnny Tate at the Crondlet Creme Worm seminar.

   Crondlet Stores Outdoor Bas-Tek-Neke Bassmen Seminar by Johnny Tate, instructor and photographer with assistance by Clyde A. Harbin, Sr.  The wading pool is filled with water and limbs to demonstrate the art of fishing Creme Worms.

  On October 21, 1971 the Bas-Tek-Neke Seminar by Johnny Tate and Clyde A. Harbin, Sr. was held at the Monroe Civic Center.  They were promoting the JTC Pistol Grip Handles and the Bassman Spinner Baits.  Johnny was Clyde's bass fishing mentor from the beginning of 1963.

  Fishing Experts Clyde Harbin, left, and Johnny Tate, second from left, both of Memphis, Tennessee., gave helpful hints to officers of Clean Water Bass Masters at an invitational seminar for officials of area bass clubs Wednesday night.  Bass Master officials are Dr. Bill Miller (center), president, Mrs. Gwen McCann, secretary, and Wayne Boyd, vice president. (Staff photo by Tom Talley)  Thursday, October 21, 1971  Monroe News-Star.

  The Johnny Tate Corporation obtained a patent for the pistol grip fishing casting handle.  However, failed to protect it, soon everybody else was coming out with them.  Mr. Harbin still has the original JTC design on his casting rod one pictured in the October 21, 1971 Monroe News-Star newspaper picture and write-up.

  Mr. Harbin made this map of the weigh in station and the five departure boat docks with driving times for the Memphis Bassmen Team to fish in Ray Scott's first "All American Invitational Bass Tournament" in Roger, Arkansas, on June 5, 6, 7, 1967.

  May 5, 1967 Springdale, Arkansas on Beaver Lake Mr. Harbin caught this 5 pound bass while scouting out the five boat docks to be used for the upcoming Ray Scott's All American Invitational Bass tournament.  June 4, 1967 in his 1951 Ford self contained beds, cooking and sleeping for three Tate, Bill O'Conner and Clyde A. Harbin Sr.


  Mr. Harbin snapped this picture of Ray Scott and Johnny Tate (4th place).

  The Tulsa Bass Team came to Beaver Lake with this sign on their front bumper.  "The Memphis Bassmen beat'em" and in 2002 this sign was donated to Bass Pro Shops, Rick Collins, Wildlife Operations Manager.  Further, "BASS-NAPER" was changed to "BASSMAN" after this fish off.  As captain of the Memphis Bassmen Mr. Harbin applied for a trademark registration. 


  August 28, 1979 Wolfgang and Sharon Obst filmed Mr. Harbin's lure collection for a segment for the Glen Lau Productions to be shown in the TV Series, "Outdoorsmen".  Later they spent sometime with Mr. Harbin at his East Lake cabin in Holly Grove, Arkansas to film him fishing an antique Heddon "Lucky 13" lure.  Mr. Harbin only caught one bass that day, however they did not manage to get it on film.  

  In 1980 Mr. Harbin watched on TV "The Birdmen of Tehachapi" featuring Wolfgang Obst piloting a Glider Plane in excellent patterns which made an interesting flying TV presentation .  He flew the glider plane above a mountain range in California because of the great up lift of air currents in this area.

The Harbin Lures

  At the Big Bass Seminar, Orlando Sports Show "Ye Old Fishing Lure Collection" and a "30 Minute Antique Lure Presentation" Mr. Harbin received an invitation from Glen Lau, Glen Lau Productions to be filmed by his camera crew of  Wolfgang and Sharon Obst.  Mr. Harbin said it was a pure pleasure to accept this invitation.

  1979 Outdoor Writer Association of America registration area.  Clyde A. Harbin Sr. Antique Lures on display in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  Bill Dance & Clyde A. Harbin, Sr. on March 26, 1988 at the Rapids Coliseum, Alexandria, La. for the KALB-TV Sports Show.  They are looking at the Lucky Baby 13 gift  of July, 1965.  Mr. Harbin's lure collection began in 1964.  Thanks Bill,  Keeeppppa Pluggggin

  This 1910 Valentine Girl was found on the west coast and is the courtesy of NFLCC member, Dave Smith.  He thought it had a Heddon/Stokes connection because the two black & white casting pictures were from the 1910 Heddon Catalogue.  June 12, 1986 Jim Heddon and Dick Stokes gave Mr. Harbin  no clue who she was.  The "Girls" by Clyde A. Harbin, Sr. and Casting Rods by James Heddon's Sons?

  Leigh Moffatt,  Thank you for your fine art work that fits my demeanor most accurate.  It is greatly appreciated!  You got it right that "I think Pure Heddon".  It is greatly appreciated.  Keeepppa Plugggin,  Clyde A. Harbin, Sr.  The Bassman

  Circled in red "Uncle" Homer Circle (upper left) and Lanny West (lower right) are members of the James Heddon Sons 1961 Catalog Team.  Courtesy of Joe Stagnitti.  Also on page #380.01 of The Heddon Historical Footprints Book.

  Lanny West accepting a gift Heddon #210 for his personal Heddon lure collection from Mr. Clyde A. Harbin on October 4, 1988.  As of August 1, 2003 Lanny West is now the Senior Director of Marketring and International Sales, PRADCO Outdoor Brands of Ft. Smith, Arkansas.  Also on page #381 of The Heddon Historical Footprints Book.

  February 27, 1997 a visitor to the Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, MO. for the "Spring Fishing Classic" took this photograph of Mr. Harbin along side the one that Rick Collins, Wildlife Operations Manager had gotten from the 2nd Edition of Carl Luckey's Value Guide and ID book.

  At the 1997 BPS, Spring Fishing Classic "Uncle" Homer Circle was a featured speaker at this event   Mr. Harbin presented him with a check for the sale of his old lures from Homer Circle's old aromatic cedar tackle box.  

  Bob Jones, James Heddon Sons Lure Manager made a request to Mr. Harbin if he would clean the board and only display Heddon lures. Mr. Harbin gladly accepted and worked for nine hours to remove the Non-Heddon lures and performed his miracle and rearranged the Heddon Display Board. Clyde enjoyed himself rearranging the Heddon board and commented at the end that he just spent nine hours of pure pleasure researching in the "Candy Store".  Clyde Harbin was granted permission to swap some of his Fancy Back Heddon lures of his choice with factory acceptance.

  Starting on page #236 of the Heddon Historical Footprints Book you will find close up pictures of the 8 Handmade Heddon Frogs.  PRADCO Outdoor Brand, Ft. Smith, Arkansas owns the "Toad and the "Stick" Handmade Heddon Frogs which are now stored in their safe.  The "Stick Bottle Cap" frog is the rarest of the eight frogs and the second rarest is the "Stick" frog.

  C.A. Harbin II and his Father at Bass Pro Shops "Sportsman's Warehouse Store in Memphis, Tennessee.  They purchased four rods and one reel for Son and Mother use at their East Lake cabin, Holly Grove, Arkansas.

  Mr. Harbin received the only trophy for the "Best Lure Display" in Dowagiac, June of 1977.

  Joe Courcelle viewing the Harbin lure collection (no further displays) at the Dowagiac High School in July 1979.  Joe was elected the next NFLCC President at this event.

  Mr. & Mrs. Harbin's "Open House" NFLCC membership gathering on July 17, 1981.

Heddon Vampire History

Artwork by Mr. Robert Edward Ferguson



  Mr. Harbin's, June 1, 2003 letter to Dudley Murphy, John Goodwin and Jerry Routh was printed in Vol. 28, No.98 Fall Issue of the NFLCC Gazette.  It can be found in the center of the magazine after page 18.  The below photograph of Dudley Murphy also was printed in this issue.  It can be found on page 30.  Compliments of Clyde A. Harbin, Sr.

  Dudley Murphy, Founder and First NFLCC President with his lure collection.

  John Goodwin, Founder and Vice-President of the NFLCC with his lure collection.

  Jerry Routh, Founder and Sectuary Treasurer with his lure collection.  Jerry later sold his huge lure collection to Mr. Harbin before the next swap meet in 1977 in Dowagiac, Michigan at the James Heddon's Sons Factory.

  All of the antique lure collectors appreciated the Founders making a " Modus Operandi" for all to "Play In"!

  June 28, 29, 30, 1978 Larry Mayer A free lance Outdoor writer spent time viewing Mr. Harbin's lure collection.  Mr. Mayer and Mr. Harbin made a fishing trip out of it to Mellwood Lake (Mississippi River Oxbow) just out of Elaine, Arkansas.  Larry made this picture of the only bass caught...on a green skirt Water Walker buzz bait.  Notice the 1971 vest patch.

  Jerry Dean & Clyde A. Harbin, Sr. after shooting a segment on "Old Texas Lures" for the Honey Hole TV Magazine in Lake Fork, Alba, Texas on April 25, 1991.  Jerry is holding a small Livingston Hinckley "Phantom Float" made out of aluminum that is marked January 12, 1897.

  Check for lures loaned for the picture "The Firm" by John Grisham

  Business cards of Mr. Hiro Naito, PRADCO Outdoor Brands and Mr. Go Takao, Editor, Evidence Group.  Notice the logo of the group.

(Left) Mr. Takao (Center) Mr. Akira Yoshizawa, Photographer (Right) Mr. Naito

Selecting color slides offered from the Harbin files for their use in the Evidence Group Magazine.  November 18, 2001

  Mr. Takao watching Mr. Naito surf Floyd Roberts website for The Bassman Section which host's a four part story of "The Old Lure Japanese Story".  Mr. Roberts also has his own pages which contain detailed lure information and other lure related topics.

  Mr. Akira Yoshizawa made this photograph of Mr. Harbin with the Bassman logo shown on his computer screen.

  March 28, 2001 Mr. Suzuki and Mr. Tamakoshi were each mailed a signed copy of "The James Heddon's Catalogues" book as gifts for the signed Smith Co. Ltd. Heddon Cap from Mr. Harbin.  However, Mr. Kazuo Tamakoshi's June 17, 1979 letter requested a copy of the same book which was air mailed to him on June 25, 1979 as signed #152 book.  Both gentlemen hold important positions in the Smith Co. LTD of Japan.

(Left)  Mr. Tamakoshi  (Right)  Mr. Suzuki

  At a Tokyo Fishing Show Mr. Tamakoshi and Mr. Suzuki signed this Smith Co. LTD Heddon Cap as a gift to Mr. Clyde. A. Harbin, Sr.  Mr. Harbin greatly appreciated this esteem honor by mail from Mr. Shoichi.  Photograph by Mr. Shoichi.

(Left)  Mr. Tamakoshi  (Right)  Mr. Suzuki

  Mr. Tamakoshi is holding The Bassman Spinner Bait Lure Card at the Tokyo Fishing Show in February.  Mr. Tamakoshi and Mr. Suzuki signed the Smith Co. LTD Heddon Cap on the table as a gift for Mr. Harbin.  Photograph by Mr. Shoichi.

  Along with the Heddon Cap was this additional gift of the Smith Co. LTD's Fishing Towel with an informational flyer. 

  Thank You my "Friends of the Word Factory" for signing the back cover photograph of the VI Edition of Old Fishing Lures by Carl Luckey and Clyde Harbin, Sr. "The Bassman".  Special thanks for Mr. Brian Earnest, Mr. Don Gulbrandsen (Senior Acquisitions Editor Book Division), Mr. Paul Kennedy (Acquisitions Editor Book Division) and Ms. Kris Kandler (Corporate Photographer) all of Krause Publications, Inc. Iola, Wisconsin.  Keeeppppa Plugggin,  The Bassman

  Everybody that lives North of Natchitoches, Louisiana is a "YANKEE" or locally called a Freshwater Coonass.  However, all that live in Natchitoches or below are called Cajuns Coonasses.  Now, on the other hand by having fished with several Louisiana "Bas-Tek-Neke" Instructors and local bass fishermen, I have this to say:  Cie La Vie and Les Bon Temp This is Life and Let The Good Times Roll!

  Four pages of the "Saga" in Grits Greshan's 1966 book.  Page 108 caused Dudley Murphy to invite Mr. Harbin to become the 5th lure collector to form the collector's lure club (NFLCC).

  Tim Watts (Grandson of the Bassman) and Clyde A. Harbin, Sr. at Natchitochee-Northwestern Folk Festival in Natchitoches, Louisiana, July 18, 19,  20, 1986.  Grits Gresham invite.  Photograph by Bob Dennie.

  Tim Watt & Clyde A. Harbin II on a 2003 fishing trip on East Lake, Holy Grove, Arkansas.

  Tim Watts with a keeper bass caught with a "Water Walker" buzz bait.

 Lonnie Smith (Son in Law of CAH II) and Clyde Harbin, Sr. are just returning from fishing on East Lake to park the boat in their first Brown Lumber built dock.  Months later the dock was destroyed by high winds.

  Tim Watts and The Bassman (Pap-Paw)

  Five pictures of bass on different fishing trips by different family members this 2003 season on East Lake.  All cleaned and frozen for cooking!!

  Equipment set up to make and pour blank baits for the Bassman Spinner baits and Water Walker Buzz baits.

Close up picture of the mold ready to close up for pouring

  As the original Herters Catalog went out of business in 1978, Mr. Harbin had a few hundred of their 5/0 95% Sheffield Steel hooks.  They are much better than the kitchen stove small lead pan method.

  Mr. Harbin's tackle box has the cut out pattern positions for twisting the stainless steel .045 into a finished bait.

  How and When Mr. Harbin acquired the Hank Werner Arbogast Sputter Fuzz Original aluminum blade pattern.

Hank Werner's Flat Propellers and Prop Wire.

  The Bassman's Water Walker Buzz Bait equipment, tools, efforts and parts.  The tool die used to stamp out the flat buzz blades cost $600.  After stamping the edges had to be cleaned, holes drilled, then placed in the flat item in the upper left wood and plastic mold made by Ed Ferguson.  After many re-do's the next wood mold show's the buzz blade hammered into the first shape.  Then the final shaping is done by hand.  It may take some fine tuning to make the correct sound and water spray, essential for raising bass, gar, crappies, smallies or chain pickel which makes them strike.

  Water Walker #1 & #2 lures caught most of the bass in the pictures.  #3 is a unassembled first style Buzz/Rex spoon.  #4 is a "Sputter Fuss" propeller on first style of the Bassman Water Walker.

  The "Candy Store Spare Parts" supply for Mr. Harbin and friends.  Take notice of the landing net with a new net.  Mr. Harbin has owned this net since 1954.  The solid color skirts and the dual colored skirts were obtained from Mrs. Ben Bacon, Ridge Runner Lures in Shreveport, La.  Her husband made many collectible wood lures.  The Candy Store remains in the Mr. Harbin's garage in Memphis, however in his traveling days it traveled along with the Bassman.

  The small plastic box contains parts for the ultra light spinner baits.  The small rubber skirts are not pictured.  The two colored 20/20's skirts have one color of the skirt shorter.  The large box are the nickel style spinner of Colorado and Indiana style blades.

  Here are the real parts supply.  It shows the brass blades which are preferred because they shine better.  Mr. Harbin uses all sizes and shapes.

The Bassman Spinner Baits, English Chamois Skin Wiggle Tail pattern and the Ultra Lite 1/16th oz. Spinner Baits.

CAH II is holding a large bass that he caught.

"Senior" is cleaning the large bass.

  Mr. Harbin did only Fly Fishing from 1950 - 1962 then he started casting in 1963.  CAH II at age nine is netting a 1954 Poppin Bug 3 1/2 pound bass out of Horseshoe Lake, Arkansas just 30 miles west of Memphis.

  Tim Watts, Grandson of the Bassman and Floyd Roberts which Mr. Harbin calls him his Great Wisconsin Friend at a swap meet  January 19-20, 2001 in Milwaukee, Wi.  Photo was take by Floyd's wife Terry Roberts.

  View the many other "Bassman Section Pages" and the "Floyd Roberts Informational Pages"  Mr. Clyde A. Harbin, Sr. and Floyd Roberts would greatly appreciate your visit.

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