Skeeter

Bagley Questions

47 posts in this topic

DeHeron,

You are correct that the tail diameters varied through the years--as did the head diameters. Remember that Bagley Baits were always made to a price point, and Jim Balgey was always looking for less expensive methods to enhance production, which was the impetus for different sealing and clear coats, and especially the various methods of constructing hook-hangers and line-ties.

It was also price-point which finally did-in the original company after Jim had sold it--they simply were not able to maintain profit margin versus the plastic lures, and still had to normally sell retail for a couple of dollars more against a literal onslaught of cheaper-to- produce new plastic lures entering the market. The original company, with Bill Stuart as president from 1988 until 1994 was still a viable company, and still maintaining production in Florida, although near the end of this time, production costs were bringing the end near...and in 1988, there were of course, a lot of baitcasting reels on the market that would throw everything Bagley made.

The original Lew's Speed Spool baitcasters, manufactured by Shimano, hit just about the same time, in the early to mid 1970's, that Bagley was really hitting its stride, so having reels to cast Bagley Baits was never an issue...plus I was throwing a lot of 3/8ths ounce wooden lures on an Ambassadeur 5000 in the early 60's, and a few 1/4 ouncers---and I really had no problem with Honey B's, and never Big B's.

The original Big B won 3 national events in 1973. The first Big B's were both, and either, the BB3 (3") and the BB4 (3-7/8") The BB4 was made until 1975. The Big B became the Balsa B in 1975.

Dean

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dean. thats a lotta neat history. i do enjoy reading the past to the present. up here on l.st clair we always admired the bagleys..the db-06 and 08 series ran great. they were always on the edge from blo-outs. the monster shads were very tempermental to tuning at trolling speeds.

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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.

Bullet,

I was on Bagley's field test staff, and did promotional work for them. As I said in my previous post, Bagley made 2 different rattlebaits, a wooden one called a Chatter Shad (I have 3, they're like a wooden Rattletrap, in beautiful photo-finish colors, like the Small Fry Series), and later they made a plastic one called a Shad-A-Lac.

The Balsa Shiner wasn't a rattle bait, so uh, it wasn't a rattle bait. I think mine may have been built from Jelutong, but they weren't balsa. And according to Johnny Garland's detailed Bagley book, they were never made from balsa. The name of the bait was eventually changed to the Bagley Shiner. I wish I still had some, they were a great schoolie bait! I lost bost of mine fishing for Stripers and Hybrids below an Ohio River dam...I shouldn't have even had one tied on:censored::nono:

Dean

Edited by Dean McClain

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At the 2008 Bassmaster classic on Lake Hartwell the new owner of Bagley was sitting at his booth all alone. I started talking to him about early construction of Bagley baits. If I remember correctly, he told me that the only regular production Bagley that was ever thru wired was the Bango Lure. I assume he had the full history on the production but I don't know.

He also pulled some baits out from under the table and told me that if I was a collector I might like them. They were some Bagley Big B's in the original plastic hinged boxes. He told me that they were a special production he ran sometime after purchasing the company. They also came with the original paper inserts that came in the boxes. (price was $20-$25 range)

Shortly after that show I started to see them on the auction site, and they were being bid up to $50-$100+. I wish I would have purchased one or 2 just to fish with but they were a little big. They were all painted the same but I don't remember the pattern.

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Thanks Woodie!

The Monster Shads were kind of a cult bait. Some tournament anglers used them for upgrading their weight after catchin a limit. I liked the one with the deep lip that had lead in it...I still have one, but it's not in the best of shape. I still have a DB-08 Chartreuse and black, that 's never hit the water, and I suppose never will now.

Palmetto B,

In addition to the Bango Lure, the original Honey B was thru-wired. I wish I'd kept all my original boxes from the early 1970's!!!

Dean

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Just to add a little more.

The Bagley "Rattle Trap" that I am speaking of was only a run or 2 made ... they are Plastic .. I have 2 of them .. they were given to me by the Bagley Sales manager who was traveling with a Freeman Wholesale Salesman back in the early 60's while I was in the Retail Business. This was during the big days of the Bango Lure and Ol Jims "Hard Head" Worms .. Really I never saw any of these "Rattle Trap" type on the market ... If I had to geuess it was in 63 .. I still have one of those old Bango lures (Purple Back Silver) ..

Now on the DKBII the first ones were "Thru Wire" constuction (I have one with a broken lip) that one was from the 70's .. I will look and see if I have a good one from back then. The DKBII was the most popular of the Diving Baits here in the Panhandle of FL. We all tried the others but none produced as well ... Xcept my all time Favorite of the Bagley Baits which is the "Mighty Minnow" in Black on Silver or on Gold. .. I understand that this was Jims favorite as well.

At the end of the 80's I think that they were being made in Gouatomolo (SPELLING Central America) ... kinda of fuzzy on that because I think Lee Sisson was having some done there as well ... The paint they were using was very flamable and once the paint room caught fire and burned most of the factory which included several thousand cane poles.

JSC

:)

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Bagley,Shmagley, Bagley built great baits for approximately 4 or 5 years, everything else they have produced has been suspect at best. I have worked on a couple thousand old Bagley baits and there are very few around that are worth a darn!! Most have the lip slot cut at a crooked angle, the belly weight installed crooked, YADA,YADA,YADA. When they reintroduced the Big B they did not even get that right. They used a shorter lip than the Original Big B. If I want to buy a Square Lipped Bait I will stick with a WooDream or JawJacker Crank

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JSC,

The Mighty Minnows were a real sleeper! They came through cover well, and also cast well; they replaced a Shad-Rap in a lot of my fishing for those 2 reasons alone. I have a couple still in their packages.

Blackjack, Thank you for your :twocents: worth. It was a nice addition to this discussion, even though your intent was slightly vague...did it have something to do with Skeeter's original question, or were you filling gaps in our information?

Regardless, I think that the point has been made that their production quality suffered somewhat as they endeavored to stay alive in a marketplace that was ruled at the time by very specific price points: Certainly someone can come to this website today and learn to build higher quality lures than Bagleys were in the 1980's--they inspired me personally to build lures with as much quality as I can put in one. I keep a B-1 in my lure room that was destroyed by both fish and bluffs in one windy day on Lake Cumberland. And we weren't even discussing the "new" company that isn't as old as TU.

But there's no denying that Bagley baits caught a lot of fish over many years, and was historically significant to all of us who build wood crankbaits today, because they kept the production balsa crankbait flag flying when nobody else was building them. And as many fish as I caught in the 70's on the square-bills that I thrashed, I expect I caught many more on the Deep Kill'rs and DB Series in the 1980's--when the baits were "bad"--and I almost never bought one that needed tuning, even those with a crooked lip install!

I'd say too, for people to bring you and pay to have 2000 Bagley baits fixed, those lures must have been pretty meaningful to those fishermen, otherwise why would they have bothered, when they could have purchased new lures for less?

:yay: Dean

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Well, there are "fondle baits" and "fishing baits". RIGHT NOW is the renaissance decade for crankbaits. There are more choices, myriad designs, innovations, better quality, hundreds of color patterns, etc. I'm not a sentimentalist and don't much care how a lure stacked up against others 25 years ago. If it doesn't catch fish, out it goes. If it was made in 1984 and still catches fish like crazy, well, gimme one! I understand sentiment for historically important crankbaits that were "leading edge" 25 years ago. No harm in that. Collect them, value them, reminisce about the fish you caught on them, pay big bucks to have a preservationist work on them. But I just want to catch fish NOW.

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Being a youngin', I find these discussions of older lures very interesting. I had to look up almost all the lures discussed in this thread because I had no idea what any of them looked like. If I was interested in learning more about Bagley lures, in particular, does anyone know of any collectors websites or anything like that with pictures and histories, etc. of different Bagley lures? (Sorry if I am a little off topic)

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Dean,

Who crapped in your coffee this morning? My point and 2 cents worth were to point out to those not in the know that the majority of baits produced by Bagley in the past 30 years are not what they are hyped up to be. I sure would hate to see someone pay $50 or $75 bucks on a bait that is not worth going for a boat drive! :popcorn:

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Blackjack said:

Bagley,Shmagley, Bagley built great baits for approximately 4 or 5 years, everything else they have produced has been suspect at best. I have worked on a couple thousand old Bagley baits and there are very few around that are worth a darn!! Most have the lip slot cut at a crooked angle, the belly weight installed crooked, YADA,YADA,YADA. When they reintroduced the Big B they did not even get that right. They used a shorter lip than the Original Big B. If I want to buy a Square Lipped Bait I will stick with a WooDream or JawJacker Crank.

Blackjack, it sure sounds like you are crapping on the whole discussion. We were discussing Bagley Bait company's lures and history in an objective manner including several posts where we talked about their quality problems: Several of us made several personal observations about our personal experiences with some different baits we found effective, but it was hardly hype! Your above comment has a condescending tone that that not only disputes some factual comments we made, but insinuates that our topic is hardly worth discussing!

You were the one with the hype when you said said most Bagley Baits have the lip slot cut crooked. Now that grossly exaggerated statement more fits the definition of hype than anything we said prior to your comment.

And why do you feel obligated to let everyone know that Bagley Lures are nearly worthless when the market does not bear this out. The truth is, is that for me, I'd rather have several of your's or Jawjacker's baits than one old Bagley if I'm going to the lake, because I know they're better made, and that they catch fish.

But be sure to tell Boyd Duckett that he's being taken advantage of when he pays $50 to $75 for an old Bagley bait on the internet to fish with, or tell Takahiro Omori that he's stupid for thowing a bait that won him the Bassmasters Classic on his final 3 casts of the tournament. (and apparently has been throwing thousands of dollars away on old Bagley lures since then)

Did you even read the whole thread? Your above post sure sounds as though you are attacking everyone who has been involved in this discussion.

Who crapped in your coffee indeed!

Dean

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Dean,

as I mentioned in my previous post, not all Bagley Baits were created equal. I was not trying to ruffle any feathers or promote some other guys baits it was my observations as a whole of working on and restoring old baits for the past 15 years,There were 4 or 5 years where the baits that were made were excellent. The rest are as I said are suspect. Alot of people come to this board to gather and share information. My post was to let people know that there are many many years of baits that are not worth the wood that they were made out of. I have a whole box of Bagley baits that I have purchased over the last 30 or so years. But that box represents only a very small portion of Bagley Baits that I have purchased and collected that were produced with quality in mind. If Boyd Duckett wants to spend $75.00 on an old bait, bravo. He also endorses a crankbait with a laser light in it. Does that mean the average joe needs to buy a lure with a laser light in it? Buyer beware know what you are purchasing before you hand that hard earned cash over!

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Blackjack,

Thank you. I really don't throw whole years of production out to the garbage dump, until they started being made South of the U.S.A. in the 1990's, when Jim Bagley had nothing more to do with the company, but that's just how I feel. Some people don't like anything past when they quit putting lead in the lips, but I prefer the reinforced lips myself (except for those 1977 wedge lip turkeys)... I like a lot of the baits they made in 1980's too, in the Small Fry Series, and the DKB's and the DB's, and some people think they're crap. The finishes had a tendency to crack on those, but I bought a lot, and caught a lot of fish on those baits, and never bought one that didn't perform. I thought their quality was still way better than Poes, for example, who seemed to put their screw-eyes in somewhere on the back end, and somewhere near the belly. So opinions vary.

Regarding Boyd Ducket, I will make the distinction that he pays his own money for certain Bagley baits he has confidence in to help him do his job in tournaments--- He gets paid to promote Lazer Light Baits as part of his job (probably not his favorite part). I'd say, that is an important distinction.

:) Dean

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Glad Yall got that straighten out.

You know even those Bagleys that were made later on with the inserts ... I have put them thru some rough use and never have I had one to pull out .. lips mess up ... yes ... paint crack .. Yes(mud and jack fish are really bad on them) ... never had to tune one and yes I had a DKBII that was a sinker (still caught fish) ..

I think they have inspired a lot of You guys who really make some great cranks to do a better job ... and to give you a pattern to go on ... most of the plastic as we use today came after the Big "O" inspiration (remember they were all custom to start with) ... The "Rs" the "As" & etc (albhabet lures ... spelling again) came on us in an explosion of cranks ...

Just :twocents: more cents worth.

Really enjoy this thread

JSC

:)

Edited by JSC

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Uh.... I just wanted to know how to remove the lip.:) I really enjoyed reading all of this. Just got to it tonight. (I work 7 days a week). Some of you guys still have alot of pepper in ya. Reminds me of the old days on the site. :teef: Craig.... Ouch! You are still brutal. :twisted: I will be back to put in my :twocents:. We all know that it will be tastefull because I am such an :halo:.

Skeeter

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Good to see ya back, Skeeter. You once being such a ardent advocate of devcon epoxy for a lure clearcoat. I was suprised to see you here again. Especially, since I hear that you are spraying urethane for a clearcoat :P

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AHHH.... KC.... It has been a long time my friend. BUT.... You need to squash the bird that told you that I was spraying urethane. I did on 9 baits this past winter. I was having some trouble with my beloved Devcon. But I found out what the trouble was. I need to test this new stuff that the bird has. He may be onto something. He did some beautiful paintjobs for a guy in Mo. He clearcoated them with the "New Stuff". I liked what I saw. The bird did a killer job as always. But I have not committed to it yet. I am still using Devcon. Ask the bird who I will be making crankbaits for next. Those baits will be clearcoated with Devcon. After 9 yrs. I am still clearcoating with Devcon. :yay:

Skeeter

Edited by Skeeter

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What you looking to do with them Bags Skeet? save the lips or do a transplant job?

Myself I like to trash the old lips and go with a new fiberboard lip on them classic cranks...

So its a bit of Crankenstein's lab work time... First off, snip that old lip off with a sidecutter about an 1/8 inch out away from bait and rip out the old line tie hanger carefully so as not to damage bait, then use file or dremel and smooth back to balsa. Now you can use dremel and clean out lip slot, or better yet use a jig to hold and bandsaw the slot. If you are going with the new fiberboard lip which is much thinner you only need a couple passes to make the new slot. Better yet, first pre drill a hole on drillpress for the new line tie wireform where the old hole is at bottom area of lip slot about an inch or more back into the balsa, then make your new bandsaw cuts just above into the existing plastic lip portion still in bait. create your new micarta lip with wireform and epoxy the whole thing up and slide in.

Everyone follow that??

Check these out... A original 70's lead in lip DB3 with lead hardware re-used, an original first generation poes that had brass line tie in lip, and a old original TAPP bait. All were classic fish catchers!

All were sanded smooth and new epoxy primer aplied, ready to paint, though Im a bit torn between leaving their beat up yet classic hues, or giving them new colors...

Comments?

And if you are looking to use the original Bagley DB2 or DB3 style injection molded 80's lips, I have a good supply of old stock new ones I could fix you up with... maybe what you might need...

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I bought a bunch of old DBII and III's. Some of the lips are crooked. I want to straighten them out and leave the original paint job. I am going to rework some of them and repaint them also. Long ago Calvin Johnson taught me how to weight them. I want to play with them and see if all of the work is worth it. I have my own lip that is actually better than the originals, but I want to use the originals in some of the others. You did a good job replacing those lips.

Skeeter.

Edited by Skeeter

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Some very interesting reading on this thread!

It was somebody's lost, floating, DB3 that was my introduction to crankbaits. I fearlessly fished that bait EVERYWHERE for the rest of the year - - from stumps in 2' to timber in 10'+ and caught some of the biggest strings of my life to that point (I think I was a wee teenager at the time).

Eventually the bait was claimed by a big flathead catfish.

Still a fan of both the 70's straight-lipped DB3's and the 80's version - - as well as the B-Flat and round-lip KB1. I dare say the KB1 has been my most productive shallow, round cover bait in life (though the custom baits I've gotten from 'Jacker and Marty are definitely on pace to give it a run - - and obviously are built far more competantly).

Gotta give a shout out for the baits that started it all for me, though...:wink:

db3.jpg

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Newbie here who just found the place!

I ran across this thread about Bagley while Googling for something else so I figured I'd join and throw my two cents in as well.

I have many,many old Honey B's from way back in the day that are still great smallmouth lures.I use em more than any other crank bait in my tackle box, but I have to say that the square lip does not hold up well in fast water and rocks!

I also used to fish with the Eager Beaver worms and between them and Jelly worms I have caught my share and them some.Sure wish I could locate some of those EB worms today.

Cheers

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