Before ABU fully developed all its capability with respect to lure design and manufacturing, it imported and included products such as these spoons from Norway and life like plastic insect baits from A. Horgard (famous for their split cane rods) in the 1951 Napp och Nytt catalog.
The real Norwegian lures looked like this.
An especially lucky owner , (viz myself), has this original ABU packaged Norwegian Krokle bait in his collection.
The imported lure was sold, packaged in the old ABU paper box for just one year, 1951, like the Asbjorn Horgard rods.
seems ABU’s strength lay in the production of simple spoons, perks
and spinners, easily pressed from existing equipment. Very
interestingly, ABU had a thriving home based assembly industry for
some lures. Lure parts and instructions were supplied to local
housewives who were largely tied to the house in the 40’s but happy
to find some paid work that could be easily completed at home.
Between Wayne and Len Borgstrom
Do you you have any knowledge of Svenska Cellulosafabriken
Cellulose factory) 50/60's
I'm told they made the plastic ABU lures like Hilo, Killer, Rakan,
Kynoch but need some proof and details.
The company Celluloid in the town of Gislaved was a family company. At
time they made most of the plastic parts we used in different products. They
were also one of the first makers of foam mattresses, which is interesting
as the now famous TemperPedic mattress was first made in Sweden. The
Celluloid company does not exist anymore. I did part of military service
together with the son of the founder. He was later killed in an automobile
accident. That might have been the end of the company.
McClellan of Burke from
A Thompson Doll Fish in the box
In 1972, after two decades at the helm, Doll Thompson sold his company to Brunswick Corporation, venerable pool table makers who had acquired Zebco corporation in 1961.
The lure maker himself!
Having made a name for themselves in the fishing reel market,
the Brunswick-owned Zebco found a nice match in Doll Thompson, who
served on the Board of Directors of the firm until 1975. Zebco
continued making most of Thompson's line into the 1980s.
Then I found a Big Dig lure and realised that it was a Cello Dip with a different lip. I started asking more questions and found an Ol' Twitch, it was a Cello ! Then the penny dropped Abu's rubber bodied lures must have been made by Burke ! Last year I was told by a friend in America that he had been speaking with an old guy that used to work for Burke, the old guy clearly recalled that Abu bought baits from Burke. You have subsequently had this confirmed by Len so this is now proved as fact. Len B; "I think that Burke (Bing McClellan) tried to sell our lures after Garcia gave it up. He was not successful and might have dumped the parts."
What is less clear is whether Burke also made the Rakan, I believe that they did. I also believe that they made the fish part of the Drop-fish.
I have spoken to the an expert on all things Burke, and I showed
him a pic of a Rakan and he did not know it.
Len B; "Rakan
was after my time, so I do not know.
He did however think that Burke could have made it. I am not aware that any other firm had the technology to make it at that time. So for me it must have been Burke.
The next strange twist came when I found a Reflex on a Burke card, then I found a Toby ! My prediction is that I will find an Ellips next !
My (Mike Elsworth) current theory is that the
then Abu Company may have gone through financial
difficulty and paid Burke with lure parts.
Possibly they made them into finished lures and sold what they
could. When Burke
itself was wound up the remaining parts were sold off as scrap.
Just my theory at the moment but I bet that I am not far off the
Breaking news from Len Borgstom....re ABU's relationship with Killwell and the famous Toby lure sold in New Zealand
The opposite of outsourcing! ABU gives permission and training to allow Toby into New Zealand.
Kilwell is owned by John Wells and his younger brother Jeremy.
Kilwell was the exclusive agent for ABU during my time.
Because of import restrictions a long time ago, John Wells actually
I think that we supplied the first stamping tools.
He worked at the plant for 6 months and stayed as our house guest. This must have been around 1960.
Annika and I were in
We went fishing with John and had a great time.
I have no idea who is the ABU agent now.
I also do not know if Kilwell still make the Toby.
I do not think so.
Fond regards! Len
I am attempting here to create (with the help of others), the greatest collection of images and information about Record ABU lures ever collected together and freely available for all to learn from. Obviously image copyright for alternative publishing purposes always remains with the owners.
Please feel your input, help , criticism is very welcome and I look forward to expanding with network of Record ABU lure collectors and appreciators.
Contact me here to assist.
If you have any other lures, that are un-needed or doubles in your collection and are available for swapping or a reasonable fee, I would be very pleased to hear from you.