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February 18, 2011 - Vol. 12, No. 2

The Transparent Lure

Transparent Lure & Inserts

A very unusual and scarce lure as far as I know is the Transparent Lure made by the Trans-Lure Bait Company of Chicago, Illinois.  Patented by Harold F. Smith of Chicago, Illinois in 1936, this is a two piece plastic lure (head and tail) that screws apart so that various colored inserts could be put into the lure as well as worms, dried blood, etc. to make it a 'bleeder' bait or a live minnow.


Measuring 2" in length, it has eye screw hardware and has a clear, transparent body.  There are some holes in the body which are there for the purpose of allowing fresh water to enter the body, thereby keeping any live bait inside the lure alive.  In addition, there are plastic inserts for both the head and the body which could be put inside to add color and/or pattern to the lure.  There is one set of inserts in the lure shown and 5 more sets were found in the box. (Note: The lure shown is somewhat deformed.)

Transparent Lure Box

The fishing instructions were printed on the side of the box and one of the changes one could make to this lure was to turn the head to one of two positions so that the lure would ride on the surface or submerge, thus the lure was adjustable as well to how you wanted to fish it! The box advertised that there were over 144 ways to use this based on the combination of the use or non-use of inserts and I assume the position of the head. I came up with about 100 different combinations using the inserts shown and changing the head position (though I'm no math wizard) so perhaps there were more inserts than those shown?

Patent Drawing

To view the complete patent in PDF format, click on the drawing. (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required).

If you have any further information on any of the items displayed on this page which you'd like to share, please send your comments to me and I'll update the page accordingly. Contributions of interesting items and/or unknowns are encouraged. Lures pictured in LURE LORE are NOT FOR SALE!

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Web Author: Tom Jacomet
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