CREEKSPEAK VIRTUAL LURE SHOW XXIII

Featuring Creek Chub Bait Co's Series:

 #5400 Surface Dingbat & #5500 Jointed Snook Pikie 


These two designs are quite different, but since they were numbered in sequence by Creek Chub, 

these dandies will be the central theme of this ongoing study. 

We will also feature many additional CCBCo designs in our future Virtual Lure Shows. 

Next time, the series of interest will begin with the #5600 Dinger and progress from there numerically.  

#5400 Surface Dingbats, 1938-1954

This is one of several types of baits introduced in the late 1930s featuring horsehair. 

The dyed hair was color-coordinated and either represented legs on some baits or a tail on others. 

This series was in the middle of the pack in terms of overall rarity when referenced against the other hair baits. Two more colors were added to the Surface Dingbat than was available in the #5100 Dingbats, #5200 Baby Dingbats, and #5300 Husky Dingbats. The #24 Redwing Blackbird and #25 White Scale were new colors joining the Surface Dingbat family in 1941. Both are considered the rarest catalog colors within the #5400s. All the other colors were offered for the entire production period of 1938-1954. 

Surface Dingbats were listed at 1 ¾” and weighing 5/8 oz. 


This and the #6200 Plunking Dinger are the only two bait casting hair baits that were intended for surface angling (no lips). The belly weight was added so the lure would sit tail-down on the surface.


Western Auto sold two Surface Dingbat special patterns that were produced solely for them. 

The WA catalog codes and colors were: V-334 Black Sable and #V-335 Yellow Skunk. 

Both are scarce, but the Black Sable is rarer. 

Catalog Colors

#5400 Pikie, 1938-1954: (fig. 1)

This pattern was painted, overall, on a greater quantity of CCBCo lures than any other. This becomes evident when you consider the millions of #700 Pikies sold in Pikie Scale. Not as common on Surface Dingbats compared to most other series in this color, but it won’t take years to find.

#5401 Perch, 1938-1954: (fig. 2)

Another realistic pattern from CCBCo that has always been an angler and collector’s favorite. Many enthusiasts specialize in Perch because of the incredible amount of series that included this design. In fact, this company offered Perch in sixty-five different “Original Series” designs. It’s possible (with enough time) to amass over 200 examples in Perch if you factor in all the series and variations seen over the decades of production by Creek Chub. 

#5402 Red Head & White, 1938-1954: (fig. 3)

Another color combo that was produced in the millions, which makes sense when you realize there were seventy-four different series in which it was available. Naturally, not all series were offered in the same quantities in Red Head and White. The #5402 is available without a lot of strain, but you will need to look for a while if you want a super condition example. 

#5404 Golden Shiner, 1938-1954: (fig. 4)

It has always been a favorite with CCBCo collectors regardless of the series. This one is quite a lot tougher than the first three colors shown above. This color combo might have been more “regional” than the Pikie, Perch, or Red Head and White. This would partially account for its premium value and scarcity. 

#5413 All Black, 1938-'54: (fig. 5)

Not an easy one to find, especially a specimen that hasn’t been touched-up with a magic marker or completely repainted. If you ever locate a lure in the original box right “out of the woods”, the combo might include an instructional hang tag, pocket catalog, and order form if it is an earlier example.  

#5418 Silver Flash, 1938-1954: (fig. 6)

One of the more available colors in this series. Easily, one of the most collected patterns within the world of Creek Chub. The sharp leading edge of Surface Dingbats is often nicked by any minor contact. This and other factors add to the difficulty of locating examples in the best possible condition.  

#5419 Frog, 1938-1954: (fig. 7)

A delightful life-like pattern shared by hundreds, if not thousands, of lure companies. This, similar to most designs in this series, can be added to your collection without breaking the bank. The next two color combos are a different story. 

#5424 Redwing Blackbird, 1941-1950: (fig. 8)

A great color admired by most Creek Chub collectors. Too bad the company didn’t offer this pattern on more series. Only nine bait casting series were cataloged in Redwing Blackbird. Unless you add Specials in this color, your collection of them will be limited at best. This and the #25 color will definitely be the most expensive cataloged baits within the Surface Dingbats.    

#5425 White Scale, 1941-1950: (fig. 9)

You will be waiting for this one for a long time unless you are on a lucky streak. Limited years of production teamed with a lack of sales to anglers of that era have created a rarity that today’s collectors can’t wait to add to their holdings.

Surface Dingbat Boxes & Contents

The story is the same as we move from one series to the next. Finding nice boxes, especially those with end labels, are on most Creek Chub enthusiasts “want lists.”

Adding the correct era pocket catalog, order form, and hang tag only adds to the appeal of a boxed lure. Some research on your part is necessary of you want to add the correct components. For instance, if you decide your Surface Dingbat is from the early 1950s (based on a study of production changes over the years), adding instructional hang tags and order forms may not be necessary because some advanced collectors believe these components were phased out c.1950. However, Pocket catalogs were reintroduced in 1950 after a hiatus during and following WWII. Adding one from the 1950-1954 era is perfectly acceptable. 

Specials

You won’t find many Specials from this series when compared with the #700 Pikies or the #2000 Darter series. The “Specials” book by Dr. Harold Smith only illustrates nine examples. Almost 2,000 Specials are shown in his book from many, many series, so it’s clear these Surface Dingbats are rarely seen outside of the catalog colors.

I have two to share. Both are Western Auto colors:

V-334 Black Sable: (fig. 10)

This one is much tougher than the Yellow Skunk offered next. Finding the correct numbered box can easily be a greater feat than acquiring the bait. Fortunately, it won’t be as expensive. If you find either, don’t let them get away. 

V-335 Yellow Skunk: (fig. 11)

This eye-popping pattern does appear on a fairly regular basis. Most are either less than pristine or have thinned hair. Still, it’s a dazzling combo of colors. I did find the correct Creek Chub box for it. Western Auto housed the CCBCo lures they sold in either their Yellow and Black boxes (fig. 12) or the standard CCBCo box (fig. 13). 

  

Altogether, this is a very interesting series. It was manufactured in this size only, unlike Pikies, Darters, etc

#5500 Jointed Snook Pikies, 1938-1978/9

This is one of several types of baits introduced in the late 1930s featuring horsehair. 

The dyed hair was color-coordinated and either represented legs on some baits or a tail on others. 

This series was in the middle of the pack in terms of overall rarity when referenced against the other hair baits. Two more colors were added to the Surface Dingbat than was available in the #5100 Dingbats, #5200 Baby Dingbats, and #5300 Husky Dingbats. The #24 Redwing Blackbird and #25 White Scale were new colors joining the Surface Dingbat family in 1941. Both are considered the rarest catalog colors within the #5400s. All the other colors were offered for the entire production period of 1938-1954. 

Surface Dingbats were listed at 1 ¾” and weighing 5/8 oz. 


This and the #6200 Plunking Dinger are the only two bait casting hair baits that were intended for surface angling (no lips). The belly weight was added so the lure would sit tail-down on the surface.


Western Auto sold two Surface Dingbat special patterns that were produced solely for them. 

The WA catalog codes and colors were: V-334 Black Sable and #V-335 Yellow Skunk. 

Both are scarce, but the Black Sable is rarer. 

Catalog Colors

#5500 Pikie, 1938-1964 & 1969-1978/9: (fig. 14)

You’ll have little trouble adding this one to you collection. The correct box won’t be any more difficult. While you are at it, pick up one with glass eyes and one with tack eyes.

#5501 Perch, 1938-1964 & 1969-1978/9: (fig. 15)

Another big seller in this series. Similar to other Creek Chub designs, there are easy colors and scarce to rare ones. Fortunately, this is another common color. 

#5502 Red Head & White, 1938-'64 & 1969-1978/9: (fig. 16)

You will be able to fill most of the holes in this series without breaking a sweat. This is another common color and box. 

#5504 Golden Shiner, 1938-1964: (fig. 17)

Such a pretty lure in this color. Due to the long production period, you will locate this one after a reasonable search. 

#5507 Mullet,1947-1956: (fig. 18)

Known in so many hues – everything from silver, green, to a beautiful tropical sea blue. Many specialists are “lured” to this pattern due to its great eye appeal. 

#5508 Rainbow, 1938-1964: (fig. 19)

Similar to many colors in Jointed Snooks, available in a glass eye and tack eye variation. This is another favorite of color collectors.  

#5513 Black, 1957-1960 & 1969-1978/9: (fig. 20)

There are so many series in which Black is a very tough color. Black is typically known as a night bait. It follows that it would be traditionally scarcer since most fishing happens during the day.  

#5518 Silver Flash, 1938-1964 & 1969-1978/9: (fig. 21)

If you can’t find this one, you aren’t looking. Adding a box is just a matter of finding one that matches the condition of your lure. 

#5530 Orange w/ Black Spots: 1952-1964: (fig. 22)

Definitely one of the two rarest catalog colors in the Jointed Snooks. It was offered with glass eyes for only nine years and tack eyes for four years. Finding a nice box may be even more frustrating. 

#5531 Rainbow Fire, 1950-1954: (fig. 23)

One of the fluorescent matte finish baits so popular for a short time in the early 1950s. They eerily glow under a black light. Not rare, but finding one that is pristine is difficult with this fragile type paint. 

#5532 Fire Plug, 1950-1954: (fig. 24)

A companion to the #5531. It’s a catalog color on 23 different Original Series (scattered through the #100-#9600 series). Fire Plug baits can be easily located on most series, while others may elude you for as long as you collect.  

#5533 Black Scale, 1952-1956 & 1960-1964: (fig. 25)

Without a doubt, one of the two or three rarest colors in the entire series. This isn’t unusual because the #33 pattern was introduced late and evidently of limited appeal to anglers of that era. 

#5534 Blue Flash, 1955-1964 & 1969-1978/9: (fig. 26)

This color is often affected by saltwater. The glitter (flash) is usually darkened and any attempt to clean the paint results in an unnatural cast to the blue surfaces. 

Jointed Snook Pikie Boxes and Contents

Similar to so many other series, there are boxes with the correct codes that can be located without much effort. Others will bedevil you for years. Earlier boxes might include a pocket catalog and an order form. I’ve never seen an instructional hang tag for any of the #5500s. Post-1950 boxes are more likely to have a pocket catalog only. 

Specials

Dr. Harold Smith latest efforts are represented by a CCBCo book featuring special order baits. It is entitled “The ‘Special’ World of Creek Chub Lures.” He has located and illustrated eleven different Specials from the Jointed Snook Pikies. Over the years I have added only three different specimens: 

#5500 Pink Head & Luminous Body: (fig. 27)

Sometimes mistaken for the late Banana pattern. It’s a very unusual color combo because pink was rarely used on lures of that era. A glass eye bait, Circa 1950s.  

#5503 Silver Shiner: (fig. 28)

Only sixteen Original Series were offered in this pattern as a catalog color. However, you will find them scattered throughout many other designs as a Special. This is one of them.  

#5511 White Head and Black: (fig. 29)

Quite scarce. This is a pre-1950 bait with a stencil back. This one will probably live in an unmarked CCBCo box because finding an original #5511 Special stamped box is highly improbable.  

  The next installment of our CCBCo Virtual Lure Show will feature:

#5600 Dingers and #5700 Husky Dingers.