After browsing some vintage lure and collectors websites, I once again came across this tiny little topwater plug originally invented by Fred Arbogast. Developed and refined in the basement workshop of his home in 1937, the Jitterbug is one of of the few vintage topwater lures that is still available today.

Vintage adds for Fred Arbogast’s Jitterbug:
Fred Arbogast's Jitterbug
Jitterbug vintage add Jitterbug vintage add

Pictures of a wooden vintage Jitterbug:
Wooden Arbogast Jitterbug
Wooden Arbogast Jitterbug Wooden Arbogast Jitterbug Wooden Arbogast Jitterbug Wooden Arbogast Jitterbug

His double cupped lip, that is producing the characteristic and irresistible rhythmic, surface-busting sound is still inspiration for a lot of Japan’s most prolific lure designers and it’s quite interesting to see how the successful concept of the Jitterbug is constantly getting refined and improved.

Tsunami Lures - Beat Queen Jointed
Tsunami Lures – Beat Queen Jointed (ビートキング・ジョインテッド) & Beat Jack del Plastico [Maracas] (ラトル入り)

If you like to read more about the history of handmade lures and the connecting link between American collectors and todays vibrant topwater scene in Japan, I recommend browsing through the following links. They are providing fascinating insights into the early days of American lure design and manufacturing and are proving once again, that traditional concepts are still remaining valid and fascinating even today.

Further Links

2 thoughts on “Fred Arbogast’s Jitterbug

  1. Johnny Stoker wrote on :

    I would like to find someone to converse with and possible lure purchase and trades. No gimmicks just want a honorable friend to carry on a great hobby.

  2. Christian wrote on :

    Hi Johnny,

    thanks for your comment on this blog post.

    At Surface Diary I’m blogging about my passion for Japanese Surface Game and everything that has to do with handcrafting topwater lures.

    I’m not into vintage fishing lures from the U.S., but I appreciate their influence on lure building and bass fishing history.

    What’s your background?

    Take care,

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