CCBC is best known for the Pikie
In my opinion, the Creek Chub Bait Company is best known for their Pikie. There are many different sizes, colors, one piece, jointed and the list goes one. Let's talk only about their one-piece pikie. Even with that seemingly limited focus, we could write pages, so this will be in shortened form. The early Pikie demonstrated the most innovative and important ideas of Henry Dills. This lure had it all. The wiggling lip, visually appealing scale pattern and one of the most successful body designs ever created. The early years are widely considered to be from 1906 to 1924. The Pikie lure was made of wood, some had no eyes, but most were made with glass or commonly called taxidermist eyes. Eyes certainly are considered a component so we need to discuss them and their relationship to date a Creek Chub lure.
The earliest lures almost always had glass eyes. However, some were painted with an airbrush using a form. Some lures came with bead eyes, depending on the lure design, and the rarest had no eyes at all. Glass eyes were imported from Germany, which obviously caused problems in the 1940's. As with most companies, cost containment measures were always looked at. Increasing costs of glass eyes and labor costs to assemble them resulted in changes in the 1960's. It was about that time the company began using a tack eye, which was painted. As the current company supply of glass eyes diminished, the tack eye became the dominant eyepiece for Creek Chub lures. Remember this because that easily dates lures.
I dislike using generalities because there are exceptions to every rule. However, it's an ugly necessity in the fishing lure arena. I am being redundant, but remember our number rule, maker, condition and rarity. The Pikie is no exception. In terms of value, rarity is the most important. In the case of Pikies, color seems to rule here. For whatever reason, the Creek Chub Company took special paint orders for their lures. This resulted in some rather unique paint schemes in the open market. Those lures command such high prices that they disrupt the normal price range for Pikie lures. In a later article, I will discuss how to determine color schemes based on company codes. Prior to 1917, there were only four company colors used on Pikies. From 1917 to 1924, according to Harold E. Smith's book titled, "Collector's Guide to Creek Chub Lures and Collectibles," there were at least 17 more colors added. Any variation from those colors was likely a special order. Generally speaking, value on the common Pikies runs $10 to $50. Variations of the Pikie in more rare colors can run as high as $350. It's important to look at color and length of production run (how many years the lure was made) for any lure you want to purchase. The book noted above gives you all that. My information for this and future Creek Chub articles comes from that source. Because of the many lakes we are blessed with, you should have no trouble finding Creek Chub lures for sale. However, each year it gets a bit more difficult to find a good bargain. Collecting fishing lures is huge in this country. Not only for investment purposes, but home décor as well. What you pay is up to you. I have said before, if it's worth it to me, that's all that matters.
Now, real short and to the point for our "What were they thinking" segment. At Lang's fall 2009 auction, a rare boxed Meek No.44 Trout Reel sold for $11,212. My take on this purchase is the original box and bag had a huge impact on the final price. Also, if you saw this reel and did not know what you were looking at, you probably wouldn't have offered $50. A gentle reminder, knowledge always means power. Until next time, may all your searches be successful.