IFish Fishing Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
9,052 Posts
Antique collection of three fly rod flatfish lures. Manufactured by Helin tackle co, Detroit, Michigan. Patent granted March 10, 1936. One marked F4, 2 marked F5, and two original boxes with one insert/instructions. These lures are 75 years old and are in mint condition.
Charles Helin invented the Flatfish in 1933. The plug possesses the most natural swimming movement on a slow retrieve that is possible to design. The Flatfish is lightly built to retain its lifelike action. The F5 measures 1 3/4 inches in length while the F4 measures 1 1/2 inches in length


I believe the flatfish was first.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
They've both been around for along time, but I'd say the Flatfish was first after reading above me. I just bought a Flatfish from an antique store that says it's from the 60's. It's made of Tenite, and is still in excellent condition. It comes in original box with paper instruction insert. If it were wood it'd be way cooler, but still an awesome find.

 

· Registered
Joined
·
7,034 Posts
I just spent about $50 a couple weeks ago on Ebay for some vintage flatfish. Some of them are made of wood and I have every intent to use them. As a matter of fact I'm going to drown a couple of them this weekend.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
12,969 Posts
Kwikfish is a knock-off. A GOOD knock off, but a knock off.

I've always felt that a Flatfish will outfish a Kwik ESPECIALLY in the U-20 & smaller sizes.


:twocents:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
857 Posts
The K and U series of true Flatfish never let me down and given the choice I always buy them over the knock-off of Kwikfish. I believe Luhr Jensen copied the flatfish just like they have with most of their line of lures.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
11,262 Posts
I remember my grandfather in Mississippi using Flatfish, Abu Garcia levelwind reels and braided line for bass in the early 60s. My grandmother was one of the first in the state to use a rubber worm....

I remember fishing in the very early 70s on Lake Washington with the standard Sockeye set up (Red U-20 Flatfish, 6 - 8 oz. banana weight trolled 60 - 90 "pulls") and a big red boat with two cute gals in their 20s and a guy at the helm yelling to us "HEY, want to try a new lure? It's called a Kwikfish!" and they handed us about three double handfuls of brand new, red, K-11s (knock off of U-20).

I still use the Flatfish U-20 for steelhead and chinook in the fall and summer runs. My red T-4 is my goto lure when nothing else is working and both catch fish when backbounced or trolled to 72 ft. deep.

Kwikfish work well for springers and summers. In chrome versions the paint lasts longer than the more recent Flatfish.

Kwiks come with excellent VMC hooks. The bronze hooks on Flatfish suck and must be swapped out.

C.W.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
Been a long time since I've been in the business but I recall that the rights to the flatfish went through a couple of hands before Worden's ended up with it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
My question is.......did Worden's (who makes the current Flatfish) buy out Helin and if so, roughly what year did that happen? Or did Helin's just go out of business?

Here's a short history I prepared in 2006:
Charlie Helin hand carved the original FlatFish in the early 1930s and patented his design in 1936. Legend has it, and most agree, the FlatFish is the original banana shaped plug and other similar lures like the Kwikfish and Lazy Ike are just copies of Helin’s design. He claimed to have sold 5 million of them before 1950. Yakima Bait Co. purchased the FlatFish in 1988 and since then it has grown into one of the best known salmon plugs on the market.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Here's a short history I prepared in 2006:
Charlie Helin hand carved the original FlatFish in the early 1930s and patented his design in 1936. Legend has it, and most agree, the FlatFish is the original banana shaped plug and other similar lures like the Kwikfish and Lazy Ike are just copies of Helin’s design. He claimed to have sold 5 million of them before 1950. Yakima Bait Co. purchased the FlatFish in 1988 and since then it has grown into one of the best known salmon plugs on the market.
You are right, is it Yakima that bought out Worden's or the other way around? Anyway when you go to their internet ads I still see both names being used.

And now we have Brad's Killer copying all of them. I just wish we could buy some of these in the Great Lakes area.

It's alot easier to buy Flatfish on the web than Kwikfish........you can go to the Yakima Bait Co website and order any peculiar model they make, order it in just about any size and any hook configuration you want, single hooks, treble hooks and spreader bars. I know of no easy way to order Kwikfish other than catching the specific model you want on eBay or stumbling upon it on some takle shop's website.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,864 Posts
Caught many a steelhead on a green frog flatfish in the late 50s early 60s on the Alsea River. My Uncle , who introduced me to this fishing, had been using some of those lures since WW11. I hope to inherit his collection of these and also the 10 quart bottles full of old Oakies!!
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
21,742 Posts
Ahhh.....Lazy Ikes! First plug-caught steelhead on a white/redhead...Favorite plug.

(Copying, or "eat their lunch," as it's known in the trade, is a tackle industry standard.)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,040 Posts
Ah, Lazy Ikes indeed... I remember one day when I was a kid we were fishing the coastal lakes for bass; our normal gig was using minnow plugs in the shallows so my dad tied me up a Lazy Ike (same white/redhead, in fact) to fish off the other side where it wasn't so weedy while my folks focused on the 'prime' spots. Well, apparently the fish were still in deeper water yet that season as I ended up getting 4 keepers while they only got one between them.

When I got a little older, after losing the original wooden one, I got one of the newer versions (this was still back in the 70s or 80s) but the plastic body just never seemed to have the same mojo.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top