When you fish Yakima bait and lures, you’re fishing Worden. For over 80 years, the name “Worden” has been synonymous with fishing in America. In 1934, R.B. Worden founded Worden’s Floating Spinner Company, which became Yakima Bait Company in 1941, selling handmade fishing flies and two- and three-inch bass wooden plugs with deer hair wings.
AN INNOVATIVE BEGINNING
It wasn’t just fishing lures that Mr. Worden created. During World War II, he developed the Worden Belt Reel, a predecessor to today’s spinning reel. The Worden Belt Reel, or “belly reel”, was worn at the front of the waist and worked as a line holder, allowing the then stiff monofilament line to come off the reel freely and kept line twist at bay.
THE BIRTH OF THE ROOSTER TAIL
In the late 1940’s, R.B.’s son Howard joined the company and began developing lures himself. One summer, during a visit to California, he built a weighted spinner with a willow leaf blade and a hackle tail called the “Retreat Special.” But Howard felt like the new spinner needed a better name, and, after watching the hydroplane races in Seattle that summer, began calling his new spinner “The Rooster Tail.”
The Rooster Tail was a regional lure until the 1960’s when anglers from Florida tried out samples and immediately caught bass with them. Soon, everyone on the East Coast had to have these hot new spinners and, as they say, “the rest is history.” Today, Rooster Tails are some of the world’s most popular spinners, used by anglers around the globe.
A BOON FOR SALMON ANGLERS
Yakima Bait Company was also the originator of the Spin-N-Glo, and in the early days, it was only made up to a size #4. A larger size #2 was introduced in the 1950s for king salmon, which prompted Howard Worden to visit Celilo Falls, the hottest salmon fishing hole in the Pacific Northwest, to share samples of his new salmon-sized Spin-N-Glo with anglers downstream. It was a hit then and continues to this day as Anglers in the US, Alaska, and Canada use them to catch salmon, steelhead, trout, walleye, and more.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCTS FOR SERIOUS ANGLERS
In the years that followed, Yakima Bait Company purchased several companies and added quite a few new and innovative products to their roster, including the Hawg Boss lure in 1986, the Helin FlatFish Company in 1988, Schoff’s Triple Teazer in 1993, Poe’s in 1994, Hildebrandt lures in 2006, Lee Sisson in 2007, Mag Lip in 2010 and Big Al’s Fish Flash in 2011.
Today, we’re one of the top fishing lure manufacturers in the world, producing products under the Worden’s, Poe’s, and Hildebrandt brand names. The same values that established Yakima Bait Company in its early years continue on today, with an unwavering commitment to producing the world’s most effective fishing lures for the world’s most discerning anglers.