Retro is all the rage

Several companies have reintroduced some of their older products at 2012 ICAST, much to the delight of anglers everywhere.

Bagley’s, one of the storied companies in our sport, has introduced their complete line of old baits with some minor engineering modifications that change their looks very little but do improve their efficiency.

Anyone with any bass fishing experience is familiar with this line of baits. The old ones were sometimes called blue-collar lures because they were made to work heavy timber and brush. Finesse was not their thing. The new baits are no different. They’re made tough for tough conditions and tough fish.

The company was first created by Jim Bagley back in 1954. After a series of ownership changes over the years it was purchased in 2010 by Bill Cullerton and Jarmo Rapala. Cullerton, a businessman with three-generation ties to the fishing industry, and Rapala, the grandson of Lauri Rapala, created a disciplined manufacturing process that emphasizes quality and performance. The result is a collection of vintage lures that are ready for the modern angler and, more importantly, for the modern bass.

As of this writing, the following baits are available — the Balsa B (10 colors), the Bang O Lure (9 colors), the Deep Diving Shad (9 colors), the Diving B (10 colors), the Finger Mullet (7 colors), the Honey B (9 colors), the Killr’ B (10 colors) and the Small Fry Series, which is available in variety of body styles and 10 colors, total.

Following this same trend is the well-known rod and reel company Lew’s. Their BB1 baitcasting reel was a staple for many anglers over many years. It was a rare angler who didn’t own at least one of them. In business since 1949, Lew’s was inactive for some time. That changed a few years ago and they’re now going full steam ahead.

The reintroduction of the BB1 is proof positive of that. The “new” model is a true reproduction of the old with the exception that they too made engineering changes to meet the needs of the modern angler. The current version has a one-piece die cast aluminum frame, a U-shaped large capacity spool and is available in right-hand or left-hand retrieve models.

It also has a 10 bearing system and a multistop, antireverse that allows anglers to easily and simply position the reel spool and the crank when he or she feels a strike. The BB1 weighs 7.4 ounces and is available in three gear ratios.

Many anglers will tell you that looking back is a good thing. It isn’t so much that they think it was better back then. It wasn’t, and they know that. It’s that somehow they seemed to have more fun with the old stuff. The laughs were louder, the bologna sandwiches tastier and the sodas colder. Memories are a funny thing…