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.
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.
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.
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.