Lake Biwa Japan 2010 Bass Fishing

Last week, I went to Lake Biwa in an interview in the Japanese fishing magazine “Rod & Reel”.

This was my first bass fishing this year.

I had two fishing days, the first day, I couldn’t catch anything.

On the second day, it rained.

Rainy days and face guards

I met Mr. Matsushita who is Deps’s staff.

He is a guide on Lake Biwa and popular Pro Angler in Japan.

I also met Mr.Okumura who is the President of Deps.

He also received an interview. So there are many person on his boat. lol

Though he always get a big bass in interviews, that day, he seemed to have struggled.

I targeted the giant bass using Swim bait or jig mainly in two days.

Even though Lake Biwa has the giant bass, it is very difficult to catch them.

After all, the afternoon of Day 2, I caught just only one bass about 5lb.

I caught it with jig-swimming, setting the “one-up-shad” as the trailer.

The next day I went fishing, Mr. Yamashita, one of my friend caught a big bass!

This bass was about 65cm, 11lb!

The lure was a Dethadder hog (5 inches) by Deps.

Next week, I’ll go to Lake Biwa again!



Japanese Bass Fishing History 1925 to 2010.

January 11, 2010 Leave a comment

(left photograph) Mr. Yuzo Watanabe is receiving a signed #96 copy of Mr. Harbin’s book “The Heddon Historical Footprints” at the 1997 Daytona National meet.  (right photograph) Mr. Fumio Iwasaki receiving the #97 signed copy of “The Heddon Historical Footprints” book.

Mr. Fumio Iwasaki Gift Lure

The following year February 6,7, & 8, 1998 at the Florida Antique Tackle Collectors meet in Daytona Beach, Florida Mr. Harbin was visited by Mr. Shigemasw Obitsu, Mr. Yuzo Watanabe and Mr. Hiro Takatani.  At this event they presented Mr. Harbin with this beautiful Heddon Zaragossa lure in a red cardboard box as a gift from Mr. Fumio Iwasaki.

Upon Mr. Harbin’s return home from this meet he wrote Mr. Iwasaki thanking him for his wonderful Zaragossa lure gift. Mr. Harbin returned a gift package which contained his famous Bassman patch, his handcrafted spinner bait, triple spinner bait and his handmade chamois tails.

1999 Daytona International Antique Tackle Show
Picture courtesy of Mr. Kuniaki Horiuchi of Kuni Crafts, Tokyo, Japan

Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr. displaying his “James Heddon’s Sons Catalogues” book and “Heddon Historical Footprints” book among other written material at the Florida Antique Tackle Club’s Daytona International Antique Tackle Show.  This event was held February 19,20 &21, 1999 and was sponsored by the FATC.

(left) Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr.                 (right) Mr. Kuniaki Horiuchi of Kuni Crafts
(below left) Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr.              (below right) Mr. Yukio Yamada
Pictures courtesy of Mr. Kuniaki Horiuchi of Kuni Crafts, Tokyo, Japan

Mr. Kuniaki Horiuchi of Kuni Crafts and Mr. Yukio Yamada proudly display these pictures on their office walls back in Japan.

Mr. Lanny West

Mr. Lanny West is The Senior Director of Marketing and International Sales for PRADCO.  Mr. Lanny West and Mr. Clyde Harbin Sr. have been close friends for many years.  Mr. West first met Mr. Harbin in 1983 when PRADCO purchased the James Heddon’s Sons company.  Prior coming to PRADCO Mr. Lanny West had been with Daisy-Heddon since 1960 as a salesman and in the sales and marketing department until 1973 when he came to PRADCO.  Mr. West has enjoyed a long and pleasant career in the fishing lure industry and of course with Heddon.

Lanny West was so kind to research and write this story on Hiro Naito about his “Japanese Connection” for his good friend Clyde Harbin so I could publish Mr. Hiro Naito footprints for my Japanese Story series.  .

Hiro Naito, PRADCO’s “Japan Connection” promoting and marketing its leading brands of fishing lures in Japan.

by Mr. Lanny West

Hiro Naito came to the United States in 1978 to further his studies in the field of Engineering. During pursuit of his university degrees, he lived in Alabama and Georgia. Having discovered the joys of bass fishing first in Japan, he pursued his fishing while living in these bass rich states. In 1983 Naito met and went to work for Mr. Jim Bagley, founder and owner of Bagley Bait Company, Winter Haven, Florida. Shortly after meeting Jim Bagley, he began to do promotional work for the Bagley Bait Co. In the mid-1980s, as Mr. Bagley expressed an interest in bringing a premium copolymer fishing line to discriminating American anglers, Naito put Bagley in touch with the premiere manufacturer of monofilament lines in Japan. Working with the firm’s engineers and chemists, with Mr. Naito serving as interpreter and market researcher, Silver Thread AN40 was created. Working together, they developed the finest, most technologically advanced fishing line on the market at the time. This unique, new high quality copolymer fishing line, Bagley Silver Thread AN40 was introduced at the 1985 American Fishing Tackle Association Trade Show in St. Louis.

While in Japan, working with the line manufacturer, Naito continued doing bass fishing promotional work for Bagley Baits. During this time he also began participating in Japanese TV fishing shows, writing informative articles for Japanese fishing magazines and doing bass fishing seminars.

In 1988, Jim Bagley sold his Silver Thread line company to PRADCO, makers and marketers of some of the world’s most respected fishing lure brands like REBEL, Cordell, Smithwick, Bomber, Creek Chub, Riverside, Fred Arbogast and James Heddon’s Sons. With the acquisition of the company, Naito continued his role as Silver Thread’s line specialist working with the company’s supplier in Japan. He also began to assume responsibility for the sales and promotion of all of PRADCO’s fishing lure brands in the country. With his broad knowledge of the fishing tackle market in Japan, Naito brought to PRADCO’s international marketing effort a broad range of expertise and experience.

Naito has become one of Japan’s most popular and recognizable professional anglers, appearing frequently on the country’s leading TV fishing shows. He is also a popular seminar speaker at consumer fishing shows and fishing tackle shop promotions in Japan. He has been instrumental in the development, production and marketing of an extensive and very popular “how-to” series of award winning fishing videos for distribution in Japan. Each tape in the series deals with a different style lure, focusing on the specific lure’s action including many productive tips designed to improve the angler’s performance with the various featured lures.

Hiro Naito was the first Japanese Press Angler to be invited to participate in a BASSMaster’s Classic. Since attending his first classic as a visiting international journalist, he has been invited to return several times to report on this important annual event to the leading bass fishing magazines in Japan.

Beginning in early 2000, Naito, working with the leading Japanese fishing tackle distributors, began establishing a group of full-line fishing tackle shops across the country as PRADCO Power Brand Shops. These shops, each the most popular tackle shop in their area, feature a wide selection of all of PRADCO lure brands.

Naito also publishes quarterly editions of The PRADCO Fishing News, a high-quality tabloid publication that features news of the latest PRADCO Power Brand Shops, features on the newest PRADCO lures, the latest fishing tips and news of scheduled seminars and promotions. Copies of these informative newsletters are available free of charge in each of the Power Brand Shops and mailed to all members of the PRADCO Youth Fishing Club.

Naito is responsible for all of the marketing, sales and advertising of all PRADCO lure brands in Japan. Naito spends more than half of the year working in Japan. When he is not at his home in Florida, he is escorting Japan’s leading fishing journalists and TV personalities on exotic fishing trips around the world, garnering award winning photos and promoting PRADCO brand lures with the journalists who are all gathering information for future stories for Japan’s leading fishing magazines.

Naito continues to bring to the PRADCO fishing lure brands an uncommon expertise in the field of fishing lure marketing. He respects and promotes the heritage of each of the brands respecting their many years of producing high quality, fish producing lures for the anglers of his country. There is a unique side of the fishing lure business in Japan. It is the passionate interest of fishing lure collectors in old and unique lures of several of PRADCO’s brands. This is especially true of the lures from James Heddon’s Sons. Thousands of unique colors in current and discontinued models of Heddon lures are ordered by distributors in Japan each year. There have been special books published for lure collectors that chronicle those lures and the years of their production for the Japanese market. Naito continues to work with the leading distributors and dealers in Japan in the marketing, advertising and promotion of all PRADCO brand lures.

It is interesting to note that Naito’s sister, Chiaki Mukai, a cardiologist, is an astronaut with the Japan Space Agency presently on assignment to America’s space agency, NASA. She has been a Payload Specialist on two shuttle missions in recent years. On her most recent mission, she accompanied Senator John Glen on his historic Challenger mission STS-95 in the fall of 1998.

Translation by Mr. Hiro Naito – “Thank You For Your Attention”

Special Thanks to Mr. Lanny West for writing this interesting story on Mr. Hiro Naito for this website.

Mr. Hashima Shoichi May 20, 2003 letter to Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr.

Mr. Suzuki is the Head of the Lure Department of the Smith Co. Ltd. in Japan
The main story in this portion of this posting is the Homer Circle, row 3 first lure which is now in Mr. Harbin’s possession.  Mr. Harbin positioned the lure in the upper lip of the bass to illustrate the same “Lightening Strike” paint finish design and the first non production style of the Heddon Sonic lure that came from the Homer Circle Lure Collection that he acquired in his 14 years at the Heddon Dowagiac Factory.
Row #3, lures 1 & 2 are Mr. Clyde Harbin’s Sonic variations which were never produced.  Homer Circle wrote of the Sonics on page 346 in Mr. Harbin’s “Heddon Historical Footprint” book.

This is an old James Heddon Sons flyer which is signed by John Marsman, Louis Wolfsom and Bob Jones.  John Marsman was President of Heddon, Louis Wolfsom was Vice President and Bob Jones was the Plant Manager.  Bob Jones was also in charge of the Factory Lure Collection for many years until PRADCO acquired them.

Front Cover – PRADCO Japan News – By Hiro Naito
Inside Pages – PRADCO Japan News
Back Cover – PRADCO Japan News

Hiro Naito known as the “Japan Connection” has many titles and wears many hats.  He has enjoyed a long career in the fishing industry and is also the president of the Heddon Fan Club in Japan.  Shortly after coming to the United States he began to work for Jim Bagley of the Bagley Bait Company to do promotional work.  Hiro Naito put Bagley in touch with line manufactures in Japan.  Working with skilled teams in Japan they developed the Silver Thread fishing line.  Later on Jim Bagley sold the Silver Thread Company to PRADCO.  After the acquisition of the company Hiro Naito continued his role as Silver Line Specialist and began to promote the sale of PRADCO fishing lures in Japan.

Mr. Lanny West (Senior Director of Marketing and International Slales for PRADCO) wrote an in-depth story about Hiro Naito “The “Japanese Connection”.

Mr. Hashima Shoichi Visit to the Harbin Residence

Mr. Hashima Shoichi flight landed at the Memphis airport on July 24, 2000.  At 8am after a three mile walk from the airport Mr. Shoichi arrived at the Harbin home.He presented Mr. and Mrs. Harbin with these fine gifts which he brought with him from Japan.  The gifts included a Japanese boxed  fan, Pokemon boxed cards, two Smith Co. Ltd Heddon cards and a video tape the Last Summer 1997 by Shizuo Hatori.

After a very warm welcome from Mr. and Mrs. Harbin Mr. Shoichi signed the Harbin guest book.  Mr. Clyde Harbin presented Mr. Shoichi with his Bassman Lure Collector patch, Heddon jacket patches, a copy of “Just for the Record” The First All-American Invitational Bass Tournament, The Beginning of the NFLCC from Floyd Roberts website the Bassman Section and Mr. Harbin’s Spare Parts and Depression Lures books all as gifts.  Each book was personally signed and dated by Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr.

Later that day Mr. Shoichi purchased the #167 copy of The Heddon Historical Footprints book by Clyde A. Harbin.  Mr. Harbin presented Mr. Shoichi with a gift copy of his 9th Heddon video.  This video relates to The Heddon Historical Footprint book and has Heddon information which was discovered after the Footprint book was printed.

Mr. Hashima Shoichi In Mr. Harbin’s Garage Mr. Harbin in his Garage

These photographs of Mr. Hashima Shoichi and Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr. were taken in Mr. Harbin’s garage where his bass boat is stored.  The pictures in the background are of Mr. Harbin’s many fishing trips and old lure swap meet that he attended over the years.

Mr. Harbin and Mr. Shoichi moved outside to take pictures of the two Philson tackle boxes that are filled with 300 plus old fishing lures.  The Philson tackle boxes were used for Mr. Harbin’s Bas-Tek-Neke and Ye Old Bass Lure Seminars.  They also have been displayed at many bass fishing events, old tackle shows and service club meetings over the past years.  Mr. Shoichi is holding up a Smith Co. color chart from one of Smith Co. Ltd. catalogues from the early 1980’s.

In the foreground is a copy of the “Old Lure Japanese Story” This book was hand assembled by Clyde A. Harbin and contains Japanese letter and pictures that Mr. Harbin gathered from 1978 through 1999.  Only ten such copies of Mr. Harbin’s “Old Lure Japanese Story” exist.

Mr. Harbin is holding up a fake handmade Heddon Frog in his right hand and a Heddon #3500 Luny Frog in his left hand for Mr. Shoichi.  At one time Mr. Harbin was a owner of two authentic handmade Heddon Frogs.

Knowledge of the Heddon Co. is sent to Japan from the office of Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr.

Translation by Mr. Tsutomu Wakabayashi: This translation is from the below Japanese writing.  The author has changed some of the wording in order to make Mr. Hashima Shoichi writing into a story.

Mr. Hashima Shoichi first learned of Mr. Harbin from a series of articles titled “Old Tackle Story” in the Japanese “Fishing” magazine written by Mr. Tsutomu Wakabayashi back in March of 1981 to June of 1982.  Mr. Shoichi was a youngster at the time when the articles appeared and saw Mr. Harbin pointing to a Heddon Radiant in a picture.  Mr. Wakabayashi dedicated his series of  The Old Tackle Stories to Mr. Harbin in his last Old Tackle article.

Eighteen years have past since then and now Mr. Shoichi a Heddon collector finally got the chance to visit Mr. Clyde Harbin at his home in Memphis, Tennessee.  Mr. Harbin’s home has the largest archive of Heddon related documents and actual lures.  Mr. Shoichi was amazed by the old Smith catalogs that were still in the original envelopes that were sent by Mr. Wakabayshi while he was working for the Smith Co. Ltd.

It was easy for Mr. Shoichi to see that the old Heddon lures Mr. Harbin sent to Japan functioned to stimulate the imagination of Mr. Wakabayshi and Mr. Tamakoshi to develop the Heddon/Smith lures.  The catalog said “In order to help Japanese anglers enjoy part of the rich tradition of old time Heddon lures the Smith company special ordered Spook colors that went back to the original release”.

In the 1983 catalog Smith wrote “One of our American friends (who is a serious collector) wrote to us that fishing itself could have been more fun in the older times.  Perhaps that might be the reason for the recent interest in vintage plugs.  The center of the interest is of course Heddon and recently a thick book that compiled old Heddon catalogues was released.  We specially asked Heddon to revive these attractive lures only for Japanese bassers”.  Of course the “American Friend” was Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr. and the writing implies the nice working relationship between Smith and Heddon.

Heddon was purchased by EBSCO in 1983 and Heddon left Dowagiac, Michigan shortly after.  The Heddon/Smith lures were produced only for a short time and that is what makes them so special.  Heddon/Smith plugs are the fruit of the vast lure making know-how of Heddon and enthusiasm of the Smith Co. Ltd.  Mr. Shoichi found these export models (Japanese Heddon’s) lures very valuable and this is why Mr. Shoichi became a Heddon collector.

Mr. Hashima Shoichi said his goal was to send back these Japanese Heddon’s to the USA.  Starting in 1998 through the year 2000 Mr. Shoichi was sending back Heddon/Smith lures to the National Heddon Museum in Dowagiac, Michigan.  Don and Joan Lyons owners of the Heddon Museum are working to complete the Japanese lure display for the museum.

Mr. Hashima Shoichi “All Japan Special Collection”

Mr. Clyde Harbin Sr. compiled and hand assembled his “Old Lure Japanese History” book.  This book is a very comprehensive history book of Japanese bass fishing and old lure collecting.  Such enthusiasm towards lures is the root of the popularity of bass fishing in Japan.

The Smith Co., Mr. Tsutomu Wakabayashi and Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr. made a significant contribution to Japanese bass fishing and old lure collecting in Japan.  It was because of their efforts that sparked an interest in the Japanese fishermen or interested parties to start collecting old lures in Japan.

End Translation:

Japanese Bass Fishing Lure and Tackle History

January 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Early Japanese Old Lure Involvement

Mr. Tsutomu Wakabayashi Early Involvement – By letter on May 9, 1979 Mr. Tsutomu Wakabayashi introduced himself to Mr. Clyde A. Harbin as a B.A.S.S. member of Japan and of the USA that is interested in collecting Old Classic Bass Plugs.  In a February 1978 issue of the Bass Masters magazine he read that Mr. Harbin was one of the top US old lure collectors.  Here he learned about Mr. Harbin’s book titled James Heddon’s Sons Catalogs and requested two copies of his book.  Along with the letter Mr. Wakabayashi presented Mr. Harbin with a gift of an Original Balsa 50.  The Balsa 50’s are beautifully hand crafted lures made by Mr. Tadashi Nishioka who is a skilled plug designer in Japan.

The Center Balsa 50 was the gift lure from Mr. Wakabayashi

Mr. Harbin responded immediately to Mr. Wakabayashi’s letter and air mailed him two copies of his James Heddon Catalogue book along with four old Heddon wood lures and a C.A.H. “00” crank bait as gifts.  He also told him that he is going to display the “Gift Original Balsa 50” along with 2,000 lures from his collection and a one hour color slide presentation to the Outdoor Writers Association of America, June 17, 1979 at the National Convention and Meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Mr. Wakabayashi’s father was so surprised at this kindness his son received that he said if you get the chance you must travel to the USA and meet this kind and famous man.  His father also said he would provide him the necessary traveling expenses if he wanted to travel to the USA but at this time Mr. Wakabayashi was to busy and could not take the time to travel to the USA.  It was always Mr. Wakabayashi’s wish to travel to the USA to visit Mr. Harbin and spend some time together and discuss old lures.

Mr. Wakabayashi was so excited and happy he had a difficult time sleeping that night and first thing in the morning he showed his bassin’ friends the fine gifts Mr. Harbin had sent him.  Later he got in touch with Mr. Nishioka and told him that Mr. Harbin will be displaying his Balsa 50 at the 1979 Albuquerque National Convention and Meeting.

In an August 27, 1979 letter Mr. Harbin made some 600 lures from his collection available to Mr. Wakabayashi along with individual information if desired.  As a gift, Mr. Harbin sent along a few rocks from the Dowagiac Creek where Mr. Jim Heddon fished.  Mr. Wakabayashi replied and appreciated the rocks from the Dowagiac Creek and expressed a large interest in the 600 lures.  He also sent along his want list and said he was interested in other manufactures such as South Bend, Shakespeare and Creek Chub.

Mr. Wakabayashi joined the National Fishing Lures Collectors Club (NFLCC) in November, 1979 after Mr. Harbin recommended that he join the club.  Mr. Wakabayashi was also encouraging Japanese bass anglers and old lure collectors to join the club.

Lures Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr. supplied to Mr. Tsutomu Wakabayashi for his collection  along with lure information

Mr. Tsutomu Wakabayashi was born in Japan on September 20, 1949.  He was involved and participated in the early Japanese Bass Fishing and Japanese Old Lure Collecting.  At this time few Japanese bass anglers knew of Mr. Wakabayashi’s collection and few were interested in old lures.  Mr. Wakabayashi planned on doing more advertising through newspapers and magazines to better inform Japanese bass anglers.  He also began spreading the word and telling his bass and lure collecting friends how to contact Mr. Harbin and obtain the needed printed information on old lures.  This is just a few of Mr. Wakabayashi many early Japanese collecting efforts.

Mr. Wakabayashi was employed by the Smith Co. Ltd. which distributes Fly and Bass fishing tackle for Japanese sport anglers.  In order to help Japanese anglers enjoy the rich tradition of old-time Heddon lures the Smith Company made a special request to Heddon which they accepted. The Smith Co. asked Heddon to special make the Original Zara Spook, Magumum Torpedo, Baby Zara, Wounded Spook, Lucky 13 and the Zara II lures in their old Heddon colors that were used when they were first released.  Heddon was bought out in 1983 and left Dowagiac the following year. The Smith-Heddon lures were only produced for a short time.

Smith Co. Ltd. Cover and some Smith-Heddon Lures

The Brush Hooper in the (above – right) Smith Catalogue shows a Heddon Brush Hopper with the original Hank Werner Buzz Blades.  Mr. Harbin gave Bob Jones of the Heddon Dowagiac New Lure Designer his samples of the blade at the Heddon Dowagiac, Michigan 1977 NFLCC Swap meet.

September 29, 1979 Mr. Wakabayashi caught two large mouth bass that were over 23″ at Lake Ashinoko, Japan.  That year there was no other Japanese bass anglers that caught a bass that were larger than these two bass that Mr. Wakabayashi caught that day.  Back then, most bass lakes and ponds in Japan were over fished and the bass population and size limits were decreasing every year because of poor lake management.  It is said that it is very difficult for the novice bass fisherman to land a bass over 20″ in length.

Below photograph is Mr. Tsutomu Wakabayashi, July 5, 1979 on Lake Ashinoko.  Largemouth Bass were first introduced in Japan in 1925.

This mount is one of the two Largemouth Bass Mr. Wakabayashi landed July 5, 1979 at Lake Ashinoko.

In the March, 1980 issue of the NFLCC Gazette they mentioned that the NFLCC is an International Organization due to the memberships of:

  • Bruce Dyer – Labrador City, Newfoundland
  • Bob Powers – Trent River, Ontario
  • Tsutomu Wakabayashi – Tokyo, Japan

They also received a letter from a young Japanese bass fisherman and new lure collector.  I will quote his letter below.

Quote – Gentlemen:  I am a Japanese boy who is interested in fishing  I came to you through Mr. Susumu Wakabayashi.  My name is Hiroshi Imura, 14 years old.

It’s for only two years since I play Bass Game.  And now I am interested in old plugs, and I would like to get some of them.  I’ve been looking for Heddon Wood Classic Plugs made in about 1940’s, but can’t find any here in Japan.

In Japan, some collectors make inquiries to some collectors clubs.  Other go to the club, and buy or exchange the plugs.  But, I don’t have any plugs to exchange.  So any plugs of Heddon Wood are also O.K.  I would be very glad if you would inform me about the plugs and send me any information about the NFLCC.

I hope that you will write to me very soon

Yours very truly,

Hiroshi Imura Unquote

April 14, 1980 Mr. Harbin wrote to Hiroshi Imura and thanked him for his letter to the NFLCC.  As a gift and to help this young Japanese collector start is old lure collection Mr. Harbin sent him ten old lures along with the historical data for each lure.

August 6, 1980 Mr. Harbin wrote and sent Mr. Wakabayashi more information sheets for his “James Heddon Sons Catalogues” book along with information on the newest book titled “Identification and Value Guide to Old Fishing Lures and Tackle by Carl F. Luckey”.  Mr. Wakabayashi made the new information sheets available to Japanese bass anglers and old lure collectors.  Because of Mr. Harbin’s kindness and his unbelievable assistance Mr. Wakabayashi now was becoming Japan’s “No.1” Old Plug Collector.  Mr. Wakabayashi wrote a special letter to Mr. Harbin to express his appreciation and gratitude for all of the assistance and kindness he received from his dear and very close friend Mr. Clyde Harbin Sr..

In November of 1980 on a fishing trip with friends Mr. Wakabayashi met Manri Yoshimoto the editor of the “Fishing” magazine which is the top fishing magazine in Japan.  He told Mr. Yoshimoto about Mr. Harbin’s great Old Lure Collection and he then said we should invite him to Japan.  Mr. Harbin said he would be proud to present his Bas-Tek-Neke and Ye Old Bass Lure Seminars to Japanese fishermen.  Mr. Wakabayashi worked long and hard to acquire sponsors and organize the trip to have Mr. Harbin present his seminars to Japanese anglers.  The visit was planned for the last week in February 1982 but suddenly Mr. Eiichi Shibuke who was one of the sponsors that would have funded Mr. Harbin’s visit resigned from the Smith Corporation and the trip had to be put on hold till a later date.

Mr. Tsutomu Wakabayashi wrote a series on old American lures titled “Old Tackle Story” for the “Fishing” monthly magazine while he was employed by the Smith Co. Ltd.  Mr. Harbin supplied Mr. Wakabayashi with Heddon lures, 35mm color slides and ID information to use in his Old Tackle Story.  Mr. Wakabayashi stories appeared 16 times from March 1981 to June 1982 in the “Fishing” magazine.  Through Mr. Wakabayashi series of articles on old American plugs he ignited the interest for antique lure collecting in Japan.  In his last article he dedicated the Old Tackle Story series to Mr. Harbin subtitling it “Thanking Mr. Clyde A. Harbin”.

Mr. Wakabayashi used the below picture of Mr. Harbin pointing to a Heddon Radiant lure in his 1980 “Old Tackle Story” for the popular Japanese “Fishing” magazine.  In his article Mr. Wakabayashi explained he had acquired many old lures along with identification information from the famous Mr. Harbin from Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

Mr. Tsutomu Wakabayashi went on to work for the Japan Game Fish Association and now holds the prestige title of Secretary-General of the Japan Game Fish Association.

The below list of Japanese old lure collectors and NFLCC membership was created by Mr. Harbin May 19, 1983 and revised January 4, 1989 and October 1, 1998.  The date signifies the first written communication from Japanese collector to Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr.

Mr. Masami  Nagata December 8, 1978 Mr. Tsutomu Wakabayashi May 9, 1978                  NFLCC Member Mr. Kazuo Tamakoshi  June 17, 1979 Mr. Hiroshi Imura   April 18, 1980
Mr. Koichi Yasue         October 31, 1980        NFLCC Member Mr. Masamichi Yamada January 14, 1981 Mr. Mitsuru Sato       March 30, 1983     NFLCC Member Mr. Masahiko Kuwata June 6, 1986
Mr. Eiji Hanawa        December 21, 1987     NFLCC Member Mr. Kazuyuki Orii     September 22, 1988 Mr. Koichiro Ikeda    March 16, 1989 Mr. Yoshinari Kawai January 1, 1990
Mr. Yoshi Akai             April 17, 1990 Mr. Misao Kawabata         May 6, 1990 Mr. Fusako Ueda    October 16, 1995 Mr. Yuji Ishikawa September 9, 1996 NFLCC Member
Mr. Takashi Yamamoto January 5, 1998           NFLCC Member Mr. Yukio Yamada   November 22, 1996          NFLCC Member Mr. Miroshi Inoue Mr. Tastuya Murase
Mr. Tadashi Nishioka Mr. Motoh Ohba Mr. Ken Uda          NFLCC Member Mr. Manri Yoshimoto
Mr. Koichi Sakakura Mr. Fumio Iwasaki    NFLCC Member Mr. Yuzo Watanabe NFLCC Member Mr. Kuniari Horiuchi
Mr. Kenzo Tokunaga

Mr. Wakabayashi was the first Japanese old lure collector to join the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club.  Because of Mr. Wakabayashi’s involvement in Japanese Bass Fishing and Old Lures in Japan along with Mr. Harbin’s assistance the Japanese NFLCC Membership has grown considerably since that day in 1978 when Mr. Wakabayashi joined the club.  Today in the 2000-2001 NFLCC Membership book there are thirty-three Japanese collectors listed.

Mr. Wakabayashi stopped collecting old lures after he was married in 1982.  Although he does not actively collecting lures anymore the old lures he obtained from Mr. Harbin still remain in his possession.  Mr. Wakabayashi and Mr. Harbin became very close dear friends and after more than a twenty year friendship they still maintain close contact with each other.

Mr. Tsutomu Wakabayashi, Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr. and The Smith Co. Ltd. made a significant contribution to Japanese bass fishing and Japanese old lure collecting.

March 30, 1983 Mr. Mitsura Sato wrote a letter to Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr. to inquired about the Old Fishing Lures and Tackle book by Carl F. Luckey and James Heddon’s Sons Catalogues book by Clyde A. Harbin Sr.  Mr. Sato wrote that he was a B.A.S.S. member and a member of the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club (NFLCC).  Mr. Mitsura Sato is the President of the Glass Eye International, Inc. from Saitama, Japan.  Glass Eye International manufactures quality rods, rod handles and lures.

Mr. Sato went on to purchase a copy of Mr. Harbin’s James Heddon’s Sons Catalogues book.  He mailed Mr. Harbin this picture of himself with his personal 5 pound record bass which he caught May 3, 1983.  He caught this bass with a Heddon, Baby Zara, red head white body.  After Mr. Harbin received this photograph and learned of his personal record bass he sent Mr. Sato a new Baby Zara in the box as a gift to fish with so he could catch a larger bass and beat his personal record.

Mr. Sato asked Mr. Harbin to assist him with his old lure collecting.  Mr. Clyde Harbin has a vast collection of old lures and rare lures from many manufactures.  From his extra lure and trader lure stock he assisted Mr. Sato with his collection.  Over the upcoming years they became good long distance friends and frequently corresponded with each.  Mr. Sato acquired many old Heddon lures for his collection from Mr. Harbin.

January 4, 1989 Mr. Harbin wrote Mr. Sato to thank him for the wonderful card he sent him.  Mr. Sato made the below picture card from a Zaragossa lure with its original box from a lure he acquired from Mr. Harbin.

Mr. Harbin also sent along a list of Japanese collectors and addresses that he had written to over the past few years.  He sent the same list to Mr. Wakabayashi and asked Mr. Sato to contact him and inquire if there would be an interest for them to create a collectors club of Japan.

Some time around March of 1989 Mr. Sato purchased fifteen of Mr. Harbin’s Old Heddon Lure video’s from Phil Smith Production in Irving Texas, USA.  He planned to sell the video’s to Japanese collectors but as of  January 1991 Mr. Sato had only sold six Heddon video’s because at this time there were few old lure collectors in Japan.

Note:  Mr. Harbin’s Heddon Video’s volumes 3 & 4 displayed in Mr. Sato’s collection in the bottom left photograph below.

Mr. Takahara Hirano, editor of the EI Publishing Co. Ltd. in Japan contacted Mr. Harbin and asked for an interview with him.  The EI Publishing Co. was writing an article titled “The World of Old Tackle” for the First Edition of “The Old Tackle” magazine.  Mr. Harbin graciously accepted the offer for the interview with the EI Publishing Co.  In his home Mr. Harbin had many rare lures, rare catalogues, books, magazines, color slide transparences, Japanese collectors letters and Japanese lures that were only sold in Japan.  He offered all these items to the EI Publishing Co. for the interview and to photograph for the “Old Tackle” magazine.

December 12, 1997 the EI Publishing Trio arrived at Mr. & Mrs. Clyde Harbin’s home in Memphis.  After a warm welcome and an introduction they were ready to begin the interview with Mr. Harbin and photograph his rare Heddon lures.

  • Mr. Mitsura Sato – Adviser EI Publishing Co. Ltd.
  • Mr. Takaharu Hirano – Editor EI Publishing Co. Ltd.
  • Mr. Taku Miyazawa – Photographer EI Publishing Co. Ltd.
(left) Mr. Mitsuru Sato           (center) Mrs. Polk Harbin      (right) Mr. Clyde A Harbin Sr.

The above photograph was taken by Mr. Taku Miyazawa upon the arrival of the EI Publishing Co. Ltd. at Mr. and Mrs. home in Memphis, Tennessee.

Mr. Mitsuru Sato signed this beautifully designed box and presented Mr. Clyde Harbin with this “Glass Eye Basara” as a gift upon his arrival.
(left) Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr.                        (right) Mr. Mitsuru Sato

Mr. Harbin and Mr. Sato pose together in front of a wall of mounted largemouth bass.. – The two center bass were caught by Mrs. Polk Harbin.  (top center) Mrs. Polk Harbin caught this 13 pound trophy bass (center) and the 8-3/4 pound bass.  (right) Mr. Clyde Harbin landed this 10-1/2 pound beauty and (left) 9-1/2 pound bass.

Mr. Harbin is pointing to some very rare Heddon lures.  Mr. Harbin is discussing with Mr. Sato what rare lures the EI Publishing Company will be photographing for the first edition of the “Old Tackle” magazine.  The interview and photo taking session took nine hours to complete.  It was long but a fun interview for both parties and the EI Publishing Company now had the needed material for the Old Tackle story.

(left photograph)  Mr. Harbin and Mr. Sato are inspecting some rare 1904/1905 Heddon lures along with the lure boxes.  (right photograph)  Mr. Harbin is manufacturing his Bassman Spinner bait and his Water Walker Buzz bait lure for Mr. Sato, Mr. Hirano and Mr. Miyazawa and presented them all as gifts.

Mr. Harbin and Mr. Sato are in his garage where one of Mr. Harbin’s Bass boats are stored.  Mr. Harbin is cutting out  his Chamois tails that are of his own design.  The Chamois tail replaces the pork rind and can be used on spinner and buzz baits.  Unlike pork rind the Chamois tail can be reused many time as still retains great action.  Mr. Harbin made his Chamois tail for all of the EI Publishing Co. visitors.

First Edition of The Old Tackle Magazine

The above pictures were published in the first edition of The Old Tackle magazine by the EI Publishing Co. Ltd.  in March of 1998.

May 1, 1998 Mr. Harbin wrote Mr. Sato President of Glass Eye International to inquire about his Glass Eye Stick fishing rods.  Upon arrival of two model BF256L rods Mr. Harbin mounted the rods in his handles.  He reported that on first testing of the rods they provided excellent action and were great to cast.

October 5, 1998 Mr. Clyde Harbin along with favorite fishing partner Mrs. Polk Harbin set out for a day of fishing out of East Lake near the town of Holly Grove, Arkansas.  They were both armed with Mr. Sato’s Glass Eye casting rods.  Clyde tied on his Water Walker bait and Polk Harbin fished with one of Clyde’s spinner baits.  Everything was in tune that day and Mr. and Mrs. Harbin caught this nice bunch of largemouth bass.  All of the bass on the table measured between 18″ and 19″ in length.

Mr. Harbin wrote Mr. Sato to informed him of their successful fishing trip he had with his wife while using his excellent Glass Eye casting rods.   He also sent a signed photograph of their beautiful catch on October 5th.

With Mr. Harbin’s permission Mr. Sato used Mr. Harbin’s signed photograph and his letter for a Glass Eye Stick advertisement that was published in a Japanese “Rod and Reel” magazine.

Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr. assisted Mr. Mitsura Sato with many old Heddon lures and historical data for his personal collection.  Mr. Harbin has known Mr. Sato since 1983 and they had the pleasure to meet in person when the EI Publishing Co. Ltd. traveled to the USA and interviewed Mr. Harbin for a story in the first publication of the “Old Tackle” magazine.  Mr. Harbin is a dedicated man in helping others in the field of antique lures and through his efforts he inspired thousands of collectors around the world.

Mr. Yoshinari Kawai

Mr. Yoshinari Kawai introduced himself in a letter he wrote to Mr. Harbin on January 16, 1990.  He stated he was a member of the NFLCC and about eight years ago when he was 17 years old he learned of the Bassman from a Japanese magazine called “Fishing”.  Mr. Wakabayashi wrote a series of articles on Old Tackle for the “Fishing” magazine which Mr. Harbin supplied Mr. Wakabayashi with Heddon lures, 35mm color slides and ID information to use in his Old Tackle Stories.

(left photo)  Mr. Yoshinari Kawai was 24 years old when he caught this Snake Head fish in the summer of 1987. The Snake Head fish measured 90cm (3 feet) in length.

Mr. Harbin mailed Mr. Kawai a copy of Old Fishing Lures and Tackle book by Carl Luckey per his request.  He also sent two lures one new in the box Heddon River Runt and a Heddon Stingaree both as gifts for Mr. Kawai.

Mr. Kawai traveled to Los Angeles, California for a sightseeing and lure hunt vacation in February of 1990.  At that time he had the opportunity to meet Mr. Rick Edmisten and view his collection.  Mr. Kawai said the next time he traveled to the United States he would like to meet Mr. Harbin and view his old lure collection.  Mr. Harbin sent Mr. Kawai a map to his home and asked him to notify him when he planned to travel to the US and he would set up the visit for him at his home in Memphis, Tennessee.

Mr. Kawai wrote Mr. Harbin on January 21, 1991 and said he had copies of his Heddon video’s volume 1 through 5 and was looking to purchase volumes 5 through 8 to complete his Heddon video library.  Along with this letter he mailed Mr. Harbin two Heddon/Smith lures (#140 SOS and #6400 Zaragossa Jr.) both new in the box as gifts.

Heddon/Smith Gift Lure SOS #140 Heddon/Smith Gift Lure Zaragossa #6400

The Heddon/Smith lures were made by Heddon for the Smith Co. Ltd in Japan.   The Smith company made a request that Heddon special make them the Original Zara Spook, Magumum Torpedo, Baby Zara, Wounded Spook, Lucky 13 and the Zara II lures in the colors that were used when they were first released.  The Heddon/Smith lures were only available by the Smith Company in Japan and were not sold in the United States.  Heddon made these lures for the Smith Company until 1983.  November 11, 1983 the Edwin B. Stevens Company purchased the Heddon Company and made it a division of the PRADCO then they moved the entire operation to Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

Research and Translation by: Hide Nakanishi and Tim Watts

AboveTranslation: Heddon Old Favorites * Heddon has manufactured baits for nearly 100 years.  The Heddon company was founded by James Heddon, who lived in Dowagiac, Michigan, and enjoyed bass fishing during his youth.  Mr. Heddon became interested in the construction of artificial lures and began manufacturing his lures for the world in 1898.  The first bait ever made was a top water plug that imitated a frog.  The bait was called the “wooden frog”.  Since then, bass fishermen have received a great deal of enjoyment from catching bass with an artificial plug.  As a result, Heddon has re-introduced a few old favorites to evoke this spirit to the Japanese fisherman.  Please reference the following information regarding the S.O.S. Wounded Minnow, The Zaragossa Junior, and the Midget Crab Wiggler.

Above Translation: 140 S.O.S. Wounded Minnow * The S.O.S. Wounded Minnow is a remarkably popular Heddon top water bait.  As the plug is retrieved, it resembles a weakened fish struggling at the surface of the water.  The bait was originally introduced in 1928 (4/5oz and 3/5oz sizes) and was made with a cork body.  In fact, the original design even used the feather of a bird to decorate the tail hook.  In 1937, the demand for a smaller size bait was met and the 1/2 oz size was added to the Heddon catalog.  To fish the S.O.S. Wounded Minnow, retrieve the bait slowly with short jerking motions causing the propellers to “splash” resembling the sound of a wounded fish.  Today, with the re-introduction of this plug, it will surely play an important role in Japanese bass fishing.  And of course, it is made with a glass eye indicating that it is a genuine Heddon bait.

Research and Translation by: Hide Nakanishi and Tim Watts

Above Translation: 6400 Zaragossa Jr. * This is a junior edition of a lure that was made from 1922 to 1953.  Although Heddon has a superior lure history, this plug has yet to be disclosed to the world.  At first, it was doubtful if a pencil bait could be sold successfully, however the Zaragossa proved to be a wonderful fish catcher.  The size of the plug is similar to that of minnows found in Japanese bass ponds.  The slim body is tapered and weighs 1/2 oz , perfect for the Japanese baitcaster.  It has been found that the junior version of this lure will work better with today’s new rods and reels than the larger and heavier original design.  As a result, Heddon has succeeded in manufacturing a plug exclusively for the Japanese fisherman.  The bait is made from quality white cedar and displays a genuine glass eye.

Above Translation: 1950 Midget Crab Wiggler * This re-introduced Heddon plug is similar to the old wooden plugs of yesterday.  The Midget Crab Wiggler was first manufactured in 1921 and comes from a long line of successful crab imitation baits.  The top water plug uses a double hook and weights 1/2oz.  Upon retrieval, the bait makes use of a metal color at the line tie to achieve excellent subsurface action.  The demand for the Midget Crab Wiggler comes from the days when much larger plugs were plentiful.  Heddon listened to the bait fisherman and created several handy sized lures: the Baby Crab Minnow (3/4oz), the Deep-O-Diver (2/3oz), and the Baby Crab (5/8oz).  Heddon has now re-introduced the Midget Crab Wiggler for the contemporary Japanese fisherman.  The plug’s appearance, casting ability, and bass catching ability is similar to other plugs in this series.  It is made from white cedar, and of course, it is fitted with a genuine glass eye.

February 5, 1991 Mr. Harbin  replied to his letter and sent Mr. Kawai volumes 5 through 8 of his Heddon video tapes all as gifts for him.  He thanked Mr. Kawai for the two Heddon/Smith lures and tagged each lure as a gift from Mr. Yoshinari Kawai.  Mr. Harbin proudly displayed the gift lures in his Heddon collection.

Mr. Yoshinari Kawai was a fine young Heddon collector and good old lure friend to Mr. Harbin.  It was very sad news to hear of his sudden death from a brain tumor in 1993/94.  Mr. Yoshinari Kawai had a short life and is missed by his family, friends and all that knew him.

Mr. Hiro Naito

Translation:  “Thank You For Your Attention”

The translation is the courtesy of Mr. Hiro Naito.

Mr. Hiro Naito is a representative for the Plastic Research & Development Company (PRADCO) for Japan.

Mr. Masamichi Yamada

January 14, 1981 Mr. Masamichi Yamada (left photo) wrote a letter to Mr. Harbin and thanked him for the terrific Christmas card that he sent him.  Masamichi Yamada is an old lure collector and a very good bass fisherman. At the early age of twenty he set a goal for himself to become the 1981 champion bass fisherman of Japan.  He reported to Mr. Harbin that last year he had a poor year fishing but some of his fishing friends had much better luck and caught some very nice fish.  He sent along pictures of his fishing friends and a brief history for each picture.Mr. Harbin was invited to visit Japan in the winter of 1981 to present his Bas-Tek-Nike and Ye Old Bass Lures Seminars to Japanese fishermen.  He expressed his excitement and said he was looking forward to meeting Mr. Yamada and each one of his fishing friends

Mr. Harbin told Masamichi Yamada to become the champion fisherman one must believe in oneself.  Confidence and good lures makes champions.  He wished him good luck and success in becoming the 1981 Japan Champion.

Mr. Masamichi Yamada Fishing Friends

(left) Mr. Hiroshi Yamazaki – In this photo Mr. Hiroshi is 18 years old.  He is the 1980 Junior champion on Lake Ashinoko for angling a 15-3/4″ Rainbow Trout.Mr. Yamazaki is holding a fish called “Funa”.   The Funa belongs to the Carp family.
(left) Mr. Osamu Inoue – Mr. Inoue is 16 years old and is the Third place 1980 Junior Champion for Lake Ashinoko.  He angled a 15″ Bass he caught with a minnow type lure.
(left) Mr. Mineki Adachi – Mr. Adachi is 21 years old.  He is the 1980 Champion for his University’s  Fishing Club.  He angled this 16″ bass and caught another 15″ bass the same morning.  He also caught a 16-1/2″, 18-1/2″ and 20″ Brown Trout.

Mr. Masamichi Yamada Bass Pictures

Mr. Masamichi Yamada is motoring the red boat on Lake Ashunoko.There were many fishermen fishing that day on Lake Ashunoko.
Mr. Masamichi Yamada caught this 17-3/4″ bass June 23, 1982 with a plastic worm on Lake Ikehara.
Mr. Masamichi Yamada landed this 19-1/5″ bass September 20, 1982 on Lake Ikehara.  He was using a chartreuse spinner bait when he caught this nice bass.
Mr. Harbin and Mr. Yamada swapped fishing techniques with each other and which lures were their favorite.  Mr. Harbin explained that he prefers the surface noise lures such as the Buzz baits or the Lucky 13 lures.  He sent Mr. Yamada four or his own design spinner baits with instructions for him to fish with.Mr. Yamada said he prefers to fish silent lures and one of his favorite baits was the Heddon Zara Spook.

(left photo)  Mr. Masamichi Yamada sent pictures of some of his lures that he handmade himself.  These four beautiful handmade lures are low noise lures.

(left) Mr. Hiroshi Tokunaga set a new Japan record with this Brown Trout he caught on Lake Ashinoko June 18, 1981.  The record was broken by this 30 3/4″ and 14 1/2 pound Brown Trout.  It took Mr. Tokunaga with the help of his brother 15 minutes to land this fish.  He was using a Super Striker rod, Ambassador 2500 reel, 12 pound test line and a Bagley Small Fry lure as bait.Mr. Tokunaga is standing on the pier of Lake Ashinoko Fishing Center.  The fishing center has a Restaurant and a tackle shop which is owned by Mr. Motoh Ohba.  The tackle shop sells all types of fishing goods, rents out leisure and fishing boats.

Mr. Masamichi Yamada is an employee of the Ashinoko Fishing Center.  His duties are to hire out and maintain the leisure and fishing boats.  He also works in the tackle shop selling and stocking fishing supplies.

(below left) Mr. Masamichi Yamada caught this bass with a floating Rapala 13G on Lake Shoji.  (below right)  Mr. Masamichi Yamada with another bass caught on Lake Shoji in May of 1981.

Mr. Fuji – Japan

(above)  Lake Shoji is in the foreground which is just one of five lakes of Mr. Fuji.  In the month of May snow covers the top of Mr. Fuji.

Masashi Yamada

The above two pictures are of Mr. Masamichi Yamada’s son Masashi.  Masashi will be three years old on December 14, 1995.  Masashi caught his first bass this past summer on Lake Ashinako, Hakone.  His father took him fishing five times that summer.  They fished the sea, then rivers, then inland lakes and young Masashi is turning out to be quite a good little fisherman.

Mr. Kazuyuki Orii

Mr. Kazuyuki Orii wrote Mr. Harbin on September 22, 1988 and reported that he learned of Mr. Clyde Harbin from Mr. Grits Gresham book titled “Complete Book of Bass Fishing”.  This is where he discovered the James Heddon’s Sons Catalogues book by Clyde A. Harbin Sr.  He expressed a strong desire for this book and asked for information how he could obtain a copy of his book.

Mr. Harbin replied to Mr Orii letter and explained that the James Heddon’s Sons Catalogues book was no longer for sale because of the 304 copies printed only 5 copies remain on hand.  These copies are only available for trade of old fishing lures.   Mr. Harbin sent Mr. Orii his information sheets how to obtain his Heddon video tapes and Carl’s Luckey’s Second Edition of Old Fishing Lures and Tackle.  Mr. Orii was disappointed that the book was only available by trade of old lures.  In a follow up letter Mr. Harbin explained that he has received many such request from US collectors and the condition for his book was the same for all.  Mr. Harbin suggested that he purchase a copy of Old Fishing Lures and Tackle by Carl Luckey because this book had answers for the Heddon wood body lures he was looking for.

Old lures are very difficult to find in Japan and written material on old lures is even more difficult and nearly impossible to obtain.  Mr. Orii would not give up so he revisited all of the tackle shops, antique shops and made many long distance calls but he could not locate a copy of Mr. Harbin’s book James Heddon’s Sons Catalogues.  He made a huge effort and spent a lot of time and energy searching for this book.  He walked many, many miles looking and through his efforts he was able to find a few Heddon lures (#6400 Zaragossa Jr., #7500 Vamp, #8500 Basser, #6500 Zaragossa, #190 SOS minnow).  Mr. Orii offered these lure to Mr. Harbin as trade for his book.

It was now in December of 1988 and Mr. Harbin replied to the offer of trade and apologized for a misunderstanding Mr. Orii had but he could not trade his book for these lures. Because of Mr. Orii extreme effort and yearning for this book Mr. Harbin graciously made a copy of his book available to Mr. Orii.  He also make some old Heddon lures available to him.  “Well” to say the least when Mr. Orii received this letter and learned of this news he was overcome with joy.  He thanked Mr. Harbin for his kindness and said what a joy it is! Mr. Orii was extremely happy that he finally was going to be an owner of Mr. Harbin’s book James Heddon’s Sons Catalogues.  They both wished each other a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

February 15, 1989 Mr. Orii sent Mr. Harbin a new in the box #6400 Zaragossa Jr. Heddon/Smith lure as a gift and said he would never forget the kindness that he received from him.

Heddon/Smith Gift Lure Zaragossa #6400

March 1, 1989 Mr. Harbin sent Mr. Orii the information he was seeking for about the sale of the Heddon Company to the EBSCO (Edwin B. Stevens Company) in 1983.  Mr. Harbin thanked Mr. Orii for the gift lure he received on February 15th.  This Heddon/Smith lure was the only Zaragossa Jr. Mr. Harbin had in his collection at this time so he placed this gift lure in his rare Heddon collection case.

June 27, 1998 nearly ten years later Mr. Orii wrote Mr. Harbin after reading the Old Tackle Story that Mr. Tsutomu Wakabayashi published in the “Fishing” magazine back in 1981 and 1982.  He was so moved by the stories that he took this opportunity to write Mr. Harbin again.  He told Mr. Harbin that he kept all the gifts, letters he sent him ten years ago and he will always treasure them.

Mr. Orii inquired about the Heddon Historical Footprints book by Mr. Clyde A. Harbin which he shortly became a proud owner of a signed #147 copy of this book. Mr. Harbin also sent Mr. Orii a 1910 Heddon valentine Girl picture, Tadpolly girl picture, his personal Bassman lure collector patch and the first style Heddon Zara Spook all as gifts for Mr. Orii.

Mr. Koichi Yasui

Mr. Koichi Yasui wrote Mr. Harbin in October 1980 to order a copy of his James Heddon’s Sons Catalogues book.  Mr. Yasui is thirty years old and is a member of the NFLCC and B.A.S.S..  He currently is employed by Coco-Cola Co. of Japan.  Mr. Yasui said he has heard Mr. Wakabayashi speak of Mr. Harbin often.

On October 31, 1980 Mr. Harbin air mailed a signed #231 copy of his James Heddon’s Sons Catalogues book to Mr. Yasui.  Mr. Harbin thanked Mr. Yasui for the wonderful gift he received of the “Koshu Kajikazawa” Japanese printing picture by the famous artist Mr. Katsushika Housai.

Mr. Koichi Yasui – With #231 James Heddon’s Sons Catalogues
Mr. Koichi Yasui – James Heddon’s Sons Catalogues Inside cover

Recently Mr. Harbin accepted an offer from Mr. Wakabayashi for him to visit Japan in August of 1981 and present his Bas-Tek-Neke and Ye Old Bass Lure Seminars to Japanese fishermen.  Mr. Harbin was looking forward to meeting Mr. Yasui, Mr. Wakabayashi and whom ever was interested in bass fishing and old lure collecting.

Mr. Yasui had Mr. Harbin’s registered trade mark reproduced into a rubber stamp as a gift for Mr. Harbin.

Mr. Harbin sent two copies of this newpaper article to Mr. Yasui.  One was for himself and the second copy was for Mr. Wakabayashi.  The article was about a Coco-Cola memorabilia collectors meeting that was held in Memphis, Tennesse.

In 1982 the Coca-Cola Company in Japan was having their 25th Anniversary.  Mr. Yasui saved the newspaper article he received from Mr. Harbin the prior year and they reprinted the entire article for the company’s 25th Anniversary magazine.

Mr. Harbin received a package from Mr. Yasui with some Coca-Cola Company’s 25th celebrations souvenirs.  There were many souvenirs inside a metal container that had an orange color inside the container.  Mr. Harbin inquired about the metal container and Mr. Yasui explained that the large round container with the orange color inside was used to hold Japanese sealing ink.  He said he would send Mr. Harbin a seal of The Bassman with their Friendship.

This group photograph was taken at the 1997 Daytona National meet.  The Florida Antique Tackle Collectors (FATC) held this winter meet on February 21,22 & 23, 1997.

The 1997 Daytona National Meet
(L-R)    Fumio Iwasaki – Clyde Harbin – Joan Lyons – Chuck Heddon

(right) Mr. Chuck Heddon.  Chuck is the grandson of Laura and W. T. Heddon.  (second right) Mrs. Joan Lyons.  Joan and Don Lyons are the owners of The National Heddon Museum in Dowagiac, Michigan.  (left) Mr. Fumio Iwasaki a Japanese an old lure collector from Japan.  (second left) Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr.  The Famous Bassman®.

(left)  Mr. Fumio Iwasaki (right) Mr. Clyde A. Harbin Sr.

Mr. Clyde A. Harbin and Mr. Fumio Iwasaki meet and shake hands in front of the Chuck Heddon old lure display at the 1997 Daytona National Florida Antique Tackle Collectors (FATC) meet.

(left)  Mr. Yuzo Watanabe (right) Mr. Clyde Harbin (left) Mr. Fumio Iwasaki (right) Mr. Clyde Harbin