South Bend Bait Co.

South Bend Bait Company started sometime around 1895 by F.G. Worden manufacturing & patenting his original lures from his home in South Bend, Indiana. Collectors with a good eye can recognize Worden’s early inventions, to include the Buck Tail & Wooden Minnow. Worden’s buck tail addition to his fishing lures was a unique innovation that placed Worden in the same creative sphere with the likes of James Heddon & William Shakespeare. Prior to 1920, Worden started the South Bend Bait Company, known for the Oreno & Calmac trademark lures. The first lures in the Oreno series were constructed in a minnow body style and sized appropriately for bass & trout. Oreno series lures were in production for around 40 years. Collectors always search for vintage bait boxes like the South Bend white box with blue lettering, the gold box with dark grey lettering and the tan box with dark brown lettering. When collectors find any of these boxes with a South Bend lure, they have located an old piece of fishing history. Lure collectors have numerous options when adding South Bend lures to their collections. The variety of lures that make up the company's history, proves the endurance of early lures, and shows the advances over the years of fishing lure creators.

SouthBendCat1926
SouthBendCat1926

South Bend Fishing catalog 1926.

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SouthBendCat1926
SouthBendCat1926

South Bend Fishing catalog 1926.

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SouthBendCat1926
SouthBendCat1926

South Bend Fishing catalog 1926.

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SouthBendCat1926
SouthBendCat1926

South Bend Fishing catalog 1926.

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This early 1926 South Bend Fishing catalog is in great shape for it's age. Inside is a great section on a photo contest worth $2000. Listings for Bass and Babe Oreno lures with color chart. This is a great Catalog.

SouthbendBabeOreno
SouthbendBabeOreno

Early Glass Eye Babe Oreno in Pearl.

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SouthbendBabeOreno
SouthbendBabeOreno

Early Glass Eye Babe Oreno in Pearl.

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SouthbendBabeOreno
SouthbendBabeOreno

Early Glass Eye Babe Oreno in Pearl.

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SouthbendBabeOreno
SouthbendBabeOreno

Early Glass Eye Babe Oreno in Pearl.

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This early Glass Eye Babe Oreno 972 comes in the Pearl color with black shaded eyes. We've dated this lure to the 1930's The Babe Oreno series by South Bend is believed to have started in 1916 and was available up until 1964. The original lures had no eyes. Glass Eyes were added in 1926 and later changed to tack eyes. 

OrenoBassBug850-2
OrenoBassBug850-2

South Bend Oreno Bass Bug #850-2 Black Gnat

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OrenoBassBug850-2
OrenoBassBug850-2

South Bend Oreno Bass Bug #850-2 Black Gnat

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OrenoBassBug850-2
OrenoBassBug850-2

South Bend Oreno Bass Bug #850-2 Black Gnat

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OrenoBassBug850-2
OrenoBassBug850-2

South Bend Oreno Bass Bug #850-2 Black Gnat

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The Oreno Bass Bug #850-2 Black Gnat. A much more common South Bend offering the Oreno Bass Bug was available from 1936  to the mid 1940's. Originally coming in 6 color patterns and 3 hook sizes Hook size 1/0 was #850 Hook size 4 was #851 and Hook size 8 was #852. 

SurfOreno963RH
SurfOreno963RH

Surf-Oreno #963 RH Red Head and White with Script Box.

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SurfOreno963RH
SurfOreno963RH

Surf-Oreno #963 RH Red Head and White with Script Box.

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SurfOreno963RH
SurfOreno963RH

Surf-Oreno #963 RH Red Head and White with Script Box.

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SurfOreno963RH
SurfOreno963RH

Surf-Oreno #963 RH Red Head and White with Script Box.

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 South Bend Surf-Oreno #963 RH. This Red head and White Surf-Oreno was crafted in the mid 1920's and comes with the original box with the script lettering. The Surf-Oreno was one of the major baits offered by South Bend and was part of the companies line up from 1916 through to 1964. An absolute classic and a great add to our collection.

SouthbendBabeOreno
SouthbendBabeOreno

South Bend Babe Oreno 972 Tack Eye in Perch

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SouthbendBabeOreno
SouthbendBabeOreno

South Bend Babe Oreno 972 Tack Eye in Perch

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SouthbendBabeOreno
SouthbendBabeOreno

South Bend Babe Oreno 972 Tack Eye in Perch

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SouthbendBabeOreno
SouthbendBabeOreno

South Bend Babe Oreno 972 Tack Eye in Perch

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This Tack Eye Babe Oreno 972 comes in the Yellow Perch color with black shaded eyes. We've dated this lure to the 1950's The Babe Oreno series by South Bend is believed to have started in 1916 and was available up until 1964. The original lures had no eyes. Glass Eyes were added in 1926 and later changed to tack eyes.

SouthBendOrenoCrab867
SouthBendOrenoCrab867

South Bend Oreno Crab #867

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SouthBendOrenoCrab867
SouthBendOrenoCrab867

South Bend Oreno Crab #867

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SouthBendOrenoCrab867
SouthBendOrenoCrab867

South Bend Oreno Crab #867

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 Tough South Bend Oreno Crab #867. The South Bend Oreno Crab was available in two sizes a #4 hook size model #866 and a #2 hook size model #867. The Oreno Crab was available from 1936 to 1942 not a long run, the Oreno Crab is a tougher find these days. When you find one of these great South Bend flies buy it before it's gone!!

More great Lures coming Soon.