Antique Lures



A Comparison of early, c. 1910

Pflueger vs. Shakespeare fishing lure minnows

It's easy to confuse early Pflueger underwater minnows with Shakespeare minnows unless you know the difference in the hardware and cross section shape of the bodies.

In the c. 1905-1910 era, the Pflueger and Shakespeare companies were both using a gem clip "see-through" hook hanger hardware attachment. Eventually, the two companies went to court over the patent for the gem clip and Shakespeare won that battle. Pflueger switched to the "Neverfail" hardware (named after the Neverfail minnow), and Shakespeare switched to flat plate hardware about the same time. After 1910 Pflueger was using only Neverfail hardware and Shakespeare was using the flat plate see-through hanger.

Gem clip hardware:

The line-tie screw inserts in the center hole to lock the gem clip system within the see-through hole in the wood body.  The "paper clip" shaped wire is the gem clip hardware.

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For the sake of argument, let's just concentrate on 1910. In the three hook minnows, the difference between the Pflueger and Shakespeare is easy to spot. Pflueger used a much smaller see-through cup. Shakespeare a larger cup.

Pflueger supplied many contract companies with the smaller cup minnows for repackaging with their own label. An example of this would be the "Ketch-em Wooden Minnow" from the Simmons Hardware Company.

Shakespeare's three hook minnow has a different shaped body which allowed for the larger cup. Pflueger's three hook gem clip minnows are round bodied and Shakespeare bodies are elliptical shaped with flatter sides.

Pflueger Monarch bodies are triangular when viewed front the nose. Three hook and five hook Monarchs both display this feature when viewed from the nose. The cup size is not definitive for the Monarch's because they used the larger cup and see-through gem clip hanger with the larger body. Both the Monarch and the Neverfail minnows were offered in 1910 with gem clip hardware. The difference in the two is the shape of the body: triangular vs. round.

1910 version five hook gem clip hardware Neverfail underwater minnows also have the round body, but the cups are the larger variety.

The most noticeable difference in the two types of gem clip hardware used in the Pflueger and Shakespeare is the actual clip is slightly smaller in the Pflueger as well as the smaller cup in the three hook models.

Click on photos to enlarge

Round body Pflueger with gem clip see-through hardware and a small cup

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Shakespeare shaped body with gem clip see-through hardware and larger cup.

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Pflueger Monarch with gem clip see-through hardware and larger cups

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Pflueger Metalized Minnow with gem clip see-through hardware and larger cups

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