By Doug Bucha, Antique tackle historian
The other companies that were a part of the "big six" were South Bend, Paw Paw, Heddon (Dowagiac), Shakespeare (Kalamazoo), and Creek Chub (Garrett, Ind.).
The company started out as the American Fish Hook Company in 1864. They manufactured fishhooks only, as the name implies. In 1886 the company was incorporated and renamed the Enterprise Manufacturing Company of Akron, OH, and under the leadership of Ernest F. Pflueger, the company changed its logo to "Pflueger" at the turn of the century.
The next gathering for antique tackle collectors will be held at Heddon Museum August 12 at 6:30 p.m.
The meeting will be held at the former Heddon factory at 414 West St. in Dowagiac, Mich. The Museum is located two blocks north and two blocks west of the Mc Donald's.
Two retired Michiana school teachers have presented their historical displays of antique tackle at the Niles Riverfest for 23 years and theyll do it again this year at the Riverfront Park Aug. 2-3 from 9 a.m. until dusk.
Ric Ladonski will display over 100 fishing reels ranging in age from the turn of the century through the 1950s. Ric also has also become a national expert on the St. Joseph Rivers mother-of-pearl antique button industry. He has put together an extensive display of fresh water pearls and mother-of-pearl items for everyones enjoyment.
Doug Bucha presents an extensive display of antique fishing lures, which were manufactured by various local companies such as Heddon (Dowagiac), South Bend Tackle Co.(South Bend), Shakespeare (Kalamazoo), Paw Paw Bait Co.(Paw Paw) and Creek Chub Bait Co. (Garrett, Ind.).