Antique Fishing Lures by Floyd Roberts

 

Practice Casting Weights

  It is not known exactly when the sport of casting actually began but it can be tracked all the way back to the 1860's when the New York Sportsmen's Club held their first fly tournament.  The first bait casting competition wasn't introduced until 1883.  In 1881 Robert B. Morston editor of the Fishing Gazette in London organized England's first casting tournament.  Next the casting sport spread throughout many European Countries and around the world as far as Japan.

  In 1907 the National Association of Scientific Angling Club (NASAC) was formed in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Since then there has been a national tournament nearly every year.  By the 1930's tournament casting had become a legitimate and popular sport.  Open tournaments for professionals and amateurs were held regularly by the NASAC.  Sometime around 1938 the NASAC changed it's name to the National Association of Accuracy Casting Competition (NAACC).  Most of the official weights were now marked NAACC. 

NAACC Class Casting Metals

  The NAACC ranked casters by classes.  They would classify groups of caster by A, B or C caster.  They had metals for each class and stamped the class A, B or C in bold on the metal front. 

   

  After World War II sport casting grew considerably and many of the U. S. military personnel serving in Europe competed in casting tournaments.  It soon became apparent to American and European casters that uniform rules were needed for the success of international competition.  In 1953 the NAACC sent out invitations to numerous casting clubs asking them to join the proposed International Casting Federation (ICF).  The proposal was very well received and Myron C. Gregory was elected president of the International Casting Federation (ICF).  The constitution and rules were developed and in 1957 the first World Casting Tournament was held in Kiel, Germany.

  Tournament Casting Medals were given to winners of each casting competition.  There was different competitions such as casting for distance, casting for accuracy, fly casting, dry fly casting, etc.  This (OASAC) first place medal was given to the champion caster for fly distance by the Ohio Association of Scientific Angling Club. The Association of Scientific Angling Club  metals were utilized from c.1920 until 1938.  

  This Ohio Association of Scientific Angling Club (OASAC) 1st place metal was won by C. E. (Eddie) Braddon of Cleveland, Ohio.  Mr. Braddon was the National All Around Casting Champion of the United States in 1927, 1928, 1935 and 1936.  

 

  Casting Metals - Set of three casting metals from c.1950

  In the early days of casting the clubs did not have any rules regulating the amount of weight the caster would use.  These early casters mostly used frogs or two to three inch minnows.  Later on as weight regulations were being established lead weights were starting to be used.  It wasn't until the early 1900's that American tackle company's began making casting weights.  These casting plugs were ideal for casting on lawns or casting pools.  Many lure company's such as Heddon, Shakespeare, Pflueger, Creek Chub and South Bend made Practice Casting Plugs.  Starting in their 1906 catalogue Heddon gave instructions for choosing the correct rod, reel, line, bait and specific instructions for learning to cast.

  The 1902 Shakespeare Tournament Frog was designed for practice, exhibition and tournament bait-casting. Shakespeare was advertising competition for accuracy and distance tournaments in their 1902 catalogue.  It was painted to exactly resemble a real live frog.  This frog was the standard weight and shape and has been adopted as official by most of the leading bait casting clubs in the country.  
  This frog was used in the "Grand Bait-Casting Contest," that was given by William Shakespeare Jr. every month in 1902.  Every angler or caster in the United States and Canada could compete in this contest without expense at their own home for $500. cash, diamond medals and beautiful reels as prizes. 

 

 This casting frog first appeared in the 1906 Pflueger catalogue.  It was made of pure rubber and painted white.  It was adopted by all of the large Bait Casting Clubs in the country as an official Casting Frog.  It was made in two sizes 1/4 oz and 1/2 oz.

  The National Association of Accuracy Casting Competition (NAACC) changed it's name again in 1960 to the American Casting Association (ACA).  The name was changed mainly because the club was receiving complaints that their name was so closely related to the NAACP.  

  The association conducts the ACA National Tournament which includes fly and bait casting competition in accuracy and distance.  The ACA also coordinates the casting tournaments held by individual clubs.  The ACA encourages the development of casting on the international level.  

  Today in 2003 John Seroczynski is president of the ACA.  Mr. Seroczynski is also president of the Chicago Angling and Casting Club (CACC) which was founded in 1892.  John started casting when he was seven years old and been an active caster for over 50 years.  Mr. Serocznski is highly respected and Champion Caster.


  Heddon -   Heddon  first advertised a casting weight in their 1913 catalogue.  They were made of wood, covered with white porcelain enamel and were available in either 1/4  or 1/2 ounce.  The Heddon casting weights had an advantage over the aluminum casting weights
because of their white color that could be easily seen at a distance.  Heddon designed their casting weights to have minimum air resistance and countersunk the eye to prevent the line from fouling. 

   Heddon also made a series of practice plugs that were painted red and had a decal of a bass or trout on the side of the plug.  This red casting plug was produced c.1910 and is extremely rare and difficult to find.

 

Shakespeare - This Shakespeare tournament casting weight appeared in their 1909 catalogue.  It was made of wood and covered with a water proof finish.  It was made to conform to the rules of the International Bait 
Casting Association and most of the local Bait Casting clubs in the country.  The improved countersunk eye prevented the line from catching or tangling.  It was made in two sizes, 1/4 oz and 1/2 oz.

 

Pflueger - This 1906 casting weight was made of wood and enameled white.  Ballasted with lead on one end and equipped with a brass eye on the other end.  Made in two sizes, 1/4 oz and 1/2 oz.

 

Creek Chub Bait Co. - Creek Chub also made casting plugs for tournament casting events.  Creek Chub made casting weights from 1939 - 1962.  The first ones weighed 5/8 ounce and the metal endplate was made of nickel but brass ones have been found.  A smaller 3/8 ounce was available from 1953 - 1962.  Rubber casting weights 
 were also available from 1957 - 1962.  The Creek Chub casting teams were frequent winners in the state and national tournaments.  In 1939 one of the Creek Chub teams won first place in the Indiana State Casting Tournament.

 

South Bend - In the 1935 catalogue South Bend advertised practice casting weights.  This official 5/8 oz. tournament casting plug was made of wood with nickel plated end caps.  They also advertised Aluminum casting weights in 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 ounce.  In the 1942 catalogue they showed a all wood 5/8 oz. casting plug in red bottom and white enamel finish.  
  Also new in 1942 was a 5/8 oz casting weights molded in Tenite.  This Tenite casting plug was called  Cast-Obite  and it had a red bottom with a white finish.  

 

P & K Incorporated - The 1947 5/8 oz. P & K casting plug.  This casting plug is made of Tenite which is very durable.

 


5/8 oz. Weight Shakespeare 1/2 oz Early 5/8 oz. Official Varmac NAACC 5/8 oz. Official Varmac NAACC
5/8 oz. Weight 5/8 oz. ACA Weight Shakespeare 3/8 oz 5/8 oz. Weight
Creek Chub 5/8 oz 1939-1952 Creek Chub 5/8 oz 1939-1952 Shakespeare 3/8 oz ACA Approved
Shakespeare 5/8 oz 1947 P & K - Tenite

5/8 oz. NASAC

Pelcan - International Tackle Co.

 

1921 -1926 Early South Bend Practice Plug

  This rare early South Bend Casting Weight is 4" long.  It was made from the #973 Bass Oreno blank before the head was fluted.  It was painted white and had one lead weight.  The lead weight was the same as a belly weight used for their bass lures. 

  The South Bend Bait Company offered this practice casting weight as part of a package with their South Bend no. 1200 Level-Winding Anti-Back-Lash-Reel from 1921 through 1926.  The reel was packaged in a genuine leather case.  A watch charm screw driver, one extra pawl and a practice casting weight were included with every reel.  

Definitions

  My special thanks to Mr. John Seroczynski president of the ACA & CACC for his information that helped me complete this page.


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