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?
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.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.