Early Fishing Tackle: Vintage Old Fishing-Floats-Bobbers-Corks

Ideal Fishing Float advertising Sheet circa-1911Promoting their newly patented fishing float with the knob
patent Dec.5, 1911

Olson Patented Snagless bobber Pat. 9-7-01

Nels Olson Bobber box paper

Carolina washboard
Company Maroon Cork fishing float box

era Carolina Washboard Float catalog advertisments

Hardware Diamond Brand Cork fishing Floats Box

Dewitt Pyrashell Floats  catalog page


Dewitt Pyrashell floats

C.J. Carlisle Co.
Coldwater Michigan

Coldwater Bait Company- Coldwater , Michigan is best known among antique
tackle collectors for their line of  early wooden plugs. Such names the
Coldwater Wiggler ,King, Helldiver, Ghost and Skipper come to mind.
Coldwater Bait Company  also sold a line of fishing floats and display
equipment such as rod stands. Their line of rod displays were bought by
many of the large well known Tackle manufacturers of the day including
Shakespeare, Heddon , Horrocks & Ibbottson, and many small sporting
goods stores and bait & tackle shops. If any of you have an early
example of one of their floats with provenance, I’d love to see a
picture of it.

Red,White & Blue
patriotic Carnival Cork Company, Float,Fishing line on card.St.
Louis , Missouri.

1942 Pool Red Head
Automatic Casting Float Envelope

Red Head Automatic
casting Float & Box

Pair of Tiny Pflueger
Catch- Nibbler Floats on cards

F.E. Chester,
Providence , Rhode, Island

F.E. Chester Wooden Egg

F.E. Chester Co. Display
card catalog ad 

   Redfield Patent fishing floats had a
unique spring cap design.

If you have been collecting fishing gear
for a while, there is no doubt you have seen those older Imported
Japanese Bamboo  Fly-Casting Rods sets that came in a hinged wooden box.
Most of these rods were furnished with accessories such as flies, hooks
and these tiny 3- 1/4″ and under  floats(all which are usually long
gone by the time these fishing rod sets hit the table at the flea market
or garage sale). I’ve seen these floats in all combination of colors –
green,red,blue,white and even pink.

On August 25, 1942 William W. Brown of Warren, Indiana received  patent 2,293,800. The
patent covered the line hitch and the method of forming it.The langauge in
the patent papers states that the object of the invention is to provide a
hitch especially adapted to be attached to articles of fishing tackle
such as floats, sinkers, spreaders and lures to provide means whereby a
fishing line can be quickly and easily attached thereto without forming a
knot in the line and from which the line may be readily removed.

Most bobbers and floats are found without  their original box or
display card. This makes identifying old bobbers and floats  difficult.
When trying to identify a bobbers maker, one of the best keys is to look
at the hardware or method of line attachment. This often times is the
only thing that makes a bobber unique. Willliam Brown’s line hitch was
created from a single strand of resilent wire formed to make a spring
coil in which the end convolutions of the spring were wound in the same


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