Skeeter

Bagley Questions

47 posts in this topic

I just bought a dozen DBII and DBIII baits. They are older ones in a orange and white pkg. They are all made in the USA. I got them in a Homer and another color called LG9. It is a yellow bait with green painted down the back (no scales) and an orange stripe down the belly. Does anyone know what color this is called? The DBIII's have a shaved lip. I have never seen this before. Also... Why does everyone love these baits so much? Not one has a lip that is straight. Some of the bodys are crooked too. I just don't get it. But I want to straighten up he lips on them. Does anyone have a slick way to get the lips out of one of these plugs without any damage? I would like to straighten them up and do some custom work on them.

Thanks,

Skeeter

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Jeff, good to see you're still hanging around. I use a long blade razor knife and heat the blade with a tourch. Slide the blade along the bottom and top of the lip and it should come pretty clean.

I can't help with the name of the color.

I still can't figure out what all the fuss was/is over the Bagley baits. One of the cheapest made baits I've ever worked on.

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You guys have them pegged. I have 3 Bagleys that I have cut in half so people can actually see how they are made, love it when they say they are through wired and when you show them how they are really made. Really like the rear hook hanger, a screw inserted in a piece of plastic about 3/16"dia. and glued in with what appears to be hot melt glue.(same thing for the lip)

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Hey Skeeter!

LG9 is just Lime Green on Chartreuse as far as I know...Hot Belly Limon? Citreuse? It is a color that has been around longer than some of those too-cute names.

Have you thrown them? Doing repair and repainting on some of my own, and making a lure builder's inspection of them for the first time, I noticed several which were obviously crooked, yet ran fine, and caught a lot of fish. Having the line-tie on the lip gives a certain degree of forgiveness to a bit of misalignment in these baits, as long as the line tie is perfect in the lip itself. I was amazed to see how crooked some of my good fish-catchers actually were!

:yay:

Dean

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Funny...I am building some Bagley II replicas for a friend of mine. People really love these baits. I am building them with true through wire and weighted bellies. I hear the reason for all the hype is that they can be fished in the same water as a spinnerbait when bass won't hit a spinnerbait. I hear calm water use this, windy..use a spinnerbait.

My friend is willing to pay $25 each for them when completed. Not hard to make but balsa is a pain to work with since I normally use basswood and pine.

P.S. I still get air bubbles in my top coat because I cannot seal the baits well enough. One reason why I hate balsa.

WHITTLER: CAN YOU SEND ME A PIC OF THE INSIDE THAT YOU CUT APART? I WOULD REALLY LOVE TO SEE IT AND COMPARE MINE TO IT (MY LONER WAS NOT TO BE DAMAGED)!

GO4BAS

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Oh, and Benton, concerning the fuss over some of the Bagley baits: You're correct about them being on the fragile side--In fact they were my inspiration for building a durable lure! Why they had such a following is that they were unique in their time--when nearly everyone else was NOT making balsa crankbaits, Bagley persisted, with great colors, unique actions, and innovative designs like their Small Fry Series. But the biggest reason for their popularity was simply due to tournament anglers reaching for them and making a lot of money with them. They are the reason now that that square-bill crankbaits are all the rage, due in no small part to Takahiro Omori's breathtaking last-3-casts victory in The Bassmaster's Classic with one just a few years ago.

And they had to be built to a price point in several years ago in order to stay in the market at all with the proliferation of cheap-to-produce plastic lures--which in fact was their eventual demise, and the reason a lot of guys like me began building balsa cranks. In only 2001 you could Google Bagley Baits, and get no current results.

Ironically, the demand you have for your own lures is due in no small part to Bagley! And the reason we know how to make them more durable, is that they made them at all.

:yay:

Skeeter,

the shaved lips were quite popular for awhile--this was Bill Dance's performance & depth enhancing idea, and was used on several series of deep-lipped lures for a time--I'm guessing a couple of years---As Bill Dance had a sack full of lures, it didn't matter to him if they wore out quicker!

Dean

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Funny...I am building some Bagley II replicas for a friend of mine. People really love these baits. I am building them with true through wire and weighted bellies. I hear the reason for all the hype is that they can be fished in the same water as a spinnerbait when bass won't hit a spinnerbait. I hear calm water use this, windy..use a spinnerbait.

My friend is willing to pay $25 each for them when completed. Not hard to make but balsa is a pain to work with since I normally use basswood and pine.

P.S. I still get air bubbles in my top coat because I cannot seal the baits well enough. One reason why I hate balsa.

WHITTLER: CAN YOU SEND ME A PIC OF THE INSIDE THAT YOU CUT APART? I WOULD REALLY LOVE TO SEE IT AND COMPARE MINE TO IT (MY LONER WAS NOT TO BE DAMAGED)!

GO4BAS

I use balsa 99% of the time for cranks--I seal balsa with E-tex mostly or Devcon for a particularly thin lure that needs a bit more structural rigidity. Bubbles are not a problem, or weren't when i still used E-tex for clear coating.

A correctly-built shallow lipped Balsa bait will come through laydowns even better than many spinnerbaits--another reason Bagley baits got real popular among tournament anglers years ago, and why top tournament anglers still seek out the old baits today--Boyd Duckett for example.

Dean

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Thanks for the replys. Does anyone have an idea of the year of these baits? Personally I do not think that the bait Takahiro was using was a Bagley. I think it was one of Jeff Thompson's baits. I think that same bait was the one that Clunn used on Beaver lake also.

Skeeter

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Hey Thanks Dean! I just happen to have some envirotex in the cabinet that is just sitting there. I use it for making clocks as gifts but was not sure how well it would work on sealing lures. Do you also use this as a topcoat?

go4bas

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go4,

I used to use it as a topcoat, a lot of guys do topcoat with it--it does need to turn several hours, and I heard your turner :eek::?. (I use basically a noiseless rotisserie motor.) I switched a couple of years ago to Dicknite's topcoat.

Skeeter,

I know, I know, but the public perception is that it was a Bagley bait. I remember back when, I got a bit aggressive claiming that it was one of Hughsey's and Thompson's baits, and Hughsey deleted the whole thread: although I'm sure he appreciated our position, I'm also sure that he didn't want to be in that controversial position especially as a TU moderator at the time. He followed the old gracious, "Discretion is the better part of valor", adage rather than stir that particular wasp nest, a testament to Hughey's character for sure.

As far as when those shaved lips came out, I think it may have been about 1982 or so, and I'm going on when and where I bought them in Louisville at that time, which I think was at Billy Bob's on Preston. Of course, I don't know how long they may have been in a warehouse either...I'll try to research the packaging a bit more.

Dean

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Skeeter,

I am new to this site but find all the commentary and posts extremely interested. I've done a lot of work with people who worked at Bagley's when they were the uncontested innovator of crankbaits. I've heard some amazing stories of those days that have convinced me those were special days in the lure industry. It is safe to say Bagley's was to the early 70's lure market what 60's rock is to the music industry.

I don't know that a through wire was every employed at Bagley's. Rather 3/32 holes were drilled, injected with a core of epoxy then a wire of various lengths was installed. Later a plastic plug was glued in the tail with a screw eye inserted.

As anyone knows who's worked in balsa, it's a tempermental wood notwithstanding it's great properties in water. For my money, I still like Jelutong (when I can get it).

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A few things about Bagley that I have been associated with.

His BALSA baits were all good with thru wire construction.

When they went with Jelutong is when they dropped the thru wire construction and the baits were not as good.

Example the Bango lure was made thicker .. in my opinion the BALSA Bango Lure was better than the Rapala .. it was thinner and sat higher in the water and its reaction to a twitch was faster and more pronounced ...

The DKBII (which I am most acquainted with) while made with thru wire construction and the FLAT Lip with "Tuning Button" was entirely different than the Jelutong (The flat lip would break) ... I must confess that the sales for the newer one were just as good as the older model .. here in NW FL for years was the number one selling Crank Bait it "jumped" logs and snags ... dove quickly on retrieve and caught a lot of fish.

Some of the lures by Lee Sisson .. who worked for Bagley for quite a few years .. are along the same lines but not an exact match of the DKBII.

I would never expect a mass produced Bagley Lure to come up to the quality of the handcrafted lures you guys make but the design and results of the old DKBII and Bango lure are outstanding.

My :twocents:

JSC

:)

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Birdman,

In addition to the hook hanger and wire-tie techniques you mentioned, the early Honey-B's were thru-wire, and the Bango-lures were also thru-wire for many years---normal Bagley practice was to solder the harness back to itself for strength. They also used screw-eyes into hardwood dowels which were glued into the body.

As far as balsa being "tempermental"...I consider balsa the easiest wood with which to work, and find nothing about it tempermental. I like different woods for their respective unique qualities, but my favorite crankbait wood is balsa. Of course every lure-building material has its own particular learning curve; working balsa isn't like cedar anymore than working redwood is like maple.

JSC,

:yay: Exactly, no way should a production Bagley bait be compared in quality to a custom built lure. Bagley always struggled to meet a competitive price point, and when it became impossible to do so, it lost significant market share, despite its loyal following. One could easily say that Bagley lures were ahead of their time, because unlike now, in the eighties, enough fishermen to keep the company solvent were unwilling to part with a couple of extra dollars for a unique product, whereas today, obviously that market exists.

Dean

Edited by Dean McClain

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Hey, Dean, thanks for your respsonse. I wasn't aware of Bagley's use of a thru-wire and I happily stand corrected.

I realize a lot of the lure makers at this site favor balsa. So when I used the term 'tempermental' I was referring to the many times injected epoxy has oozed through the pores only to come out on the other side. Or the many times a bait has been returned with the top half split off, nose to tail. Now I know the customer slapped the bait on the water to knock weeds off but I can't prove it.

I've learned if careful steps are not followed to the 't' with balsa, accidents will happen. I agree when speed in production outweighs the original intent of building a quality lure (as the case in Bagleys), market share will eventually drop off as complaints continue to roll in.

You mentioned cedar. Oringally I started with white cedar, went to Jelutong, then balsa and now I'm happily back with white cedar. Even though it's specific gravity is considerably higher than balsa/elutong, I almost never hear complaints regarding durability from friends and customers. I find it flakey and miss the soap like quality of jelutong when carving. Still white cedar (and I wish to specifiy the difference from red cedar) in my opinion is a more durable and fish-resistent material.

Short on time but would love to continue this you.

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Just a side note on cost & profit.

Lets say the DKBII .. SRP is 4.95

Dealer Cost is 2.97

Jobber cost is 2.23

FET 10% - 22

Leaves 2.01

Less 10% Sales Rep Commission .22

Leaves 1.79

And out of that comes cost of Materials, Labor and all other overhead including of course advertising.

Cuts it down pretty small ...........

Hope this helps yall to have a broader oversight of the whole thing.

JSC

:huh:

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JSC, I think you bring up a really good point. Several weeks ago, a friend and I worked out the math to underscore how far off track lure pricing really is.

If you take a well made wooden bait at 1974 prices $4.95 and add in a conservative 3% cost of living (more like 3.7%), added to 34 years=$13.25.

Competitive pricing, overseas manufacturers and chain retailers who undercut their own vendors is why I left that business several years ago. I chuckle when I hear someone wants into that industry-be careful what you wish for.

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"I chuckle when I hear someone wants into that industry-be careful what you wish for."

I retired from being a "Jobber Salesman" in the tackle business about 6 years or so ago .. and am "piddling" with some "stuff" now .. From what I can see it gets harder every year ... fewer retail outlets .. taken over by the chains .... tough.

JSC

:)

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we loved our trips to bagleys factory. yearlly we made runs from canada. we would buy up all the dis continued colors and others. jo anne would bring out straxberry flats. . we never returned to ontario without 2-5 mhundred lures for custom paint. great lures but muskies ate them..the world now with global trade and asian influx, has decimated the industry.

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Woodie you were the one that bought them up !!! :angry:

Just jokeing did not know that they ever offered them up for sale ... I would have been knocking on there door ... :lol:

-------------------------------------------------------

Birdman ..Had not thought of the inflation in relationship to this subject but that was right on. :yay:

-------------------------------------------------------

Good Thread ... like info on this type history ... Did U know that bagley made a rattle trap lure at one time ??? I have a couple of them. :rolleyes:

JSC

B)

Edited by JSC

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yes jsc. we got incredible deals. . those folks were awesome. they even told us. bring in your labrador and visit. . . the nu.5 bagleys for salmon and the bangobees db006 for muskies. the bagley perch,s were aewsome but no longer available.. then we would go in the swamp to lakeland rubber and pick up rubber. . i miss the days of wandering and dealing in florida.

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Woodie, did you ever fish any B-Flat 8's (the 8 was for 8 inches)? I have one left, should have kept more! It has one heck of a side flash!

JSC, Bagley made 2 different rattle baits, the wooden one being a Chatter Shad, while the plastic one was a Shad-A-Lac. I have 3 of the Chatter Shads myself.

Dean

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:) hi guys all my woodlures that i fish i allways take one of each apart to see how it was made bagleys i have are 1-LINE SCREW 1-TAIL SCREW 1- BELLY SCREW WITH WT. :wink:

Hey, Dean, thanks for your respsonse. I wasn't aware of Bagley's use of a thru-wire and I happily stand corrected.

I realize a lot of the lure makers at this site favor balsa. So when I used the term 'tempermental' I was referring to the many times injected epoxy has oozed through the pores only to come out on the other side. Or the many times a bait has been returned with the top half split off, nose to tail. Now I know the customer slapped the bait on the water to knock weeds off but I can't prove it.

I've learned if careful steps are not followed to the 't' with balsa, accidents will happen. I agree when speed in production outweighs the original intent of building a quality lure (as the case in Bagleys), market share will eventually drop off as complaints continue to roll in.

You mentioned cedar. Oringally I started with white cedar, went to Jelutong, then balsa and now I'm happily back with white cedar. Even though it's specific gravity is considerably higher than balsa/elutong, I almost never hear complaints regarding durability from friends and customers. I find it flakey and miss the soap like quality of jelutong when carving. Still white cedar (and I wish to specifiy the difference from red cedar) in my opinion is a more durable and fish-resistent material.

Short on time but would love to continue this you.

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dean i never got into the b-flats. the guys up here wanted trolling baits. . i still have a few of the nu.5 bagleys and the top guns in my boxes. we loved the tennesee shad pattern and fire tigers on salmon and walleyes. we called them tourney baits, cause they were only run on them days. salmon tore them up bad. . they offered me 10,000 smoo bodies at one trip down. i still have a couple of them. . one thing that bummed me out.

i could not get permission to go into the shop.

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Hey guys, here is the deal on the bagleys stuff: the baits in the orange and white packaging is from the mid 80s. these baits were not through wire construction, they had an stainless steel eye screw in the tail like the ones you guys cut in half. the best bagley baits were pre 1980. these had all brass wire, through bait construction which was 3 brass wires glued in the center with fiberglass resin, and the lead in the lip. I have cut one of these baits in half, and thats how i build my balsa b copies. these bagley baits from the 70s clearly run better, have better action, and catch more fish than the newer (1980-94) baits.

I collect these baits, and have fished with them all my life. I started building baits to copy these so i didnt destroy my originals.

The guy from japan who won the classic? was throwing a 1970s era BB2 with brass hardware, in color AG9 (red eyes), or LG9 (same color, yellow eyes) its called lime green on chartreuce. Dion Hibdon personally told me this guy (from japan) claims he has 2000 of these balsa bs from the 1970s.

The rattle trap bagley? was called a balsa shiner. Made from balsa with no rattles. The early ones were brass wire (70s), and the later ones were eye screws (80s)

If you guys have any questions about ANY of the bagley stuff let me know.

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Thanks everybody for all the cool info.I have been very interested in "crank" history lately.I have a question..I am trying to figure out the Big B. Is this basicly a BB3 ? the way it was first made? It also seems that there were different tail diameters thru the years making it somewhat confusing . I am also thinking that the older ones were not labeled. A skinny tail on a BB3 can look similiar to a KB3. I have seen one Bagley cut thru were the tail wire ran to the back of the lip with a "J" bend for the lip to snap lock into. On todays terms they definetly were not made well..but the fish liked em. There is something about them even today that the big fish love. They were under weighted becoming unstable at high speed but this high bouancy made it come thru timber so well. With the older rods and reels back then they were hard to cast in the wind and the plastic cranks became the rage. I am glad to see Bagley finally getting some recognition. This time frame is really when bass fishing as we know it began. I have met the man that gave Omori the Bagley baits but I was not in the boat the day of the Classic.

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