Angler #1

The story behind the Reverse Atom

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As of late many fisherman use many lures to

to catch the alusive bass.

Some like small plugs and other like big ones. I fall into the group that prefers large ones for those big brutes that stay along the surf line.

 

This is a story with some actual history

that dates back some 53 years this August.

Those that have used the Atom plug wether it was a popper,swimmer or reverse know the true succes of this fish catcher over time.

 

Mr.Bob Pond was one of the leading developers when it came to large plugs and along with Stan Gibbs and Charlie Murat changed the fishing world from using small plugs to catch these linesiders.

 

You see Bob was building wood plugs and determined he could built one from a plastic composite that would be uniform,cheap and still hold up to the big cows they were used to catching at that time. Well he was right and when he developed the #40 swimming plug they were all a plastic based plug.

From what I have determined the first 40 he made were sold to Red Top, but he might off sold some of that first batch before he entered the shop that day.

 

The start of large swimming plugs in and around the ditch and beaches of the cape was mainly started by Bob Pond and others soon followed his lead.

 

This is a story of how the reverse atom came to be. Bob had three friends that began to experiment on the cape beaches with his swimming plugs and large bills.

 

The names of the three should be etched in the history of fishing are Leo Perry,Bill Walton and Arnold Lane all from Massachusetts.

 

The Reverse Atom was born during an afternoon

blitze of very large fish,in August of 1949.

 

The fisherman could see pods and pods of 40 to 50 pound fish lying in wait some 100 or so yards from shore. The only way they were able to get into them was at night with rigged eels.

 

All of the fisherman were using one of Bobs Swimming creations and due to the fact they still did not have the ability to cast a great distance,took the wooden plugs apart and changed his designed plug. Leo removed the hooks from the Squid colored plug and reversed the wiring to make the plug swim backwards. Leo had started an evolution, but it was Bill that added to defining another realistic feature. He had determined that if Bob did some alterations to his plastic amber Striper Atom it would closely resemble a squid.

 

They still had a casting problem and that is where Arnold Lane came into the picture, It was his idea to bore two holes into the forward comparment, which allowed water to enter and give the plug the ability to reach those big Momma's.

 

I give credit to The Complete Book of Striped Bass Fishing by Henry Lyman and Frank Woolner for providing this story behind the Reverse Atom .

 

The Three Atom Plugs on the Auction are part of this history and for me it will be hard to part with them, but part I must and someone else can own a little of fishing history.

 

Angler

 

 

 

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cool stuff Mr Angler read an heard that story before.but its different.u speak with a passion that only someone who lived an fished in that time could. thanks.

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There's a differernt story on the Reverse, as related in Post's "Reading the Water". I believe the fisherman quoted by Post was Ralph Grant. He claims that Pond got the idea for the Reverse by fiddling around with a plug that was made from a wooden chair leg. But since the Reverse is basically a re-wired 40 minus the metal lip, I put more stock in the version by Woolner and Lyman as relayed by Angler #1.

 

Grant was well into his 80s when Post's book went to press, so he might be forgiven for a somewhat hazy memory wink.gif

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From "Backcasts" by Frank Daignault

The Secret Weapon

 

This season somebody is going to knock off a really big striped bass or a good mess of fish and the word of the new "secret weapon" is going to spark a run on the local tackle shops. We know it's going to happen; we just don't know what the magical creation will be.

 

No doubt this sort of thing has been going on since the first artificial lure was invented, but perhaps no group of fishermen has taken "plug lust" to such heights as those who fish the surf. Imagine this: After driving all night from New Jersey to Cape Cod, the surfcaster is overcome with anticipation. He blows a kiss to the sand, sweeps his arm over the watery horizon before him and announces, "I got a case of Rebels and every Atom plug ever invented. I got Danny's, Bombers, Crippled Herring and Rapalas. It don't matter what they want, 'cause I got it all here!" Then, as the confident smile fades from his lips, he looks toward the many valises piled on his buggy, all of them packed with gear, and thinks, "Which one is it? What's gonna be the ticket this season?"

 

Those of us who have fished the beach a few years have learned the hard way that no matter what you have in your arsenal, theres a strong chance that the secret weapon will be something you don't have. That's why they make tackle bags, backpacks, wheelbarrows, four-wheel-drive vehicles and three-bay garages. You never know what the stripers are gonna want, so you have to have everything. Makes sense, right?

 

This has been happening since I started fishing the surf, and goes back a ways. In the early '60s we used to slip behind an outer bar on Cape Cod with tiny blue Atom plugs and really do a job late in the tide. Then one of the guys caught wind of a fancy little swimmer made by a Finnish guy who couldn't keep up with the demand. The next week there were no Rapalas to be found in any of the tackle shops east of the Hudson.

 

Soon after, an outfit down south started making a similiar lure out of molded plastic that caught just as many fish but cost less. Sure enough, the surfcasters made a run on it, too! It was a case of having what you needed if you wanted to (A)catch a striper or (B)keep up with the others. Also, keep in mind that these were the lures we knew about in a world where secrecy is, and always was, the rule.

 

Another case in point: Provincetown, late 1950s. Alot of the guys who knew that stripers had excellent night vision caught some nice fish from the beach after dark. One morning, after enjoying good action through most of the night, one of the gang could see the dusky shadows of big fish, real cows, cruising within casting range. All the proven stuff did nothing to move these fish, so out of sheer desperation he clipped his Atom plug to his leader backwards and was soon hooked to a Moby bass. Thus was born the Reverse Atom.

 

I know alot of folks have heard this story, which makes you think I'm rambling, but stay with me. It gets better. The guy who did the job with the Reverse kept it quiet. However, word inevitably spread, and after several years Bob Pond of Atom Plugs began to manufacture a true Reverse Atom. What made the Reverse such a hot lure- in addition to it's effectiveness on stripers- was that it worked well in the daytime, when few surfcasters fished. It opened up a whole world of possibilities: sleep at night, enjoy a cup of morning coffee, then fish the surf all day. For shore fishermen it was a dream come true!

 

When someone leveled his buggy with Moby stripers, all caught on the Reverse Atom, local tackle dealers ran out of the plugs. The situation got so out of hand that no one would fish at night anymore, and those willing to fish in the day would only do so with Reverses. It caused panic to think that the beach was butt-deep in stripers, yet the only thing they would take was a plug fished the wrong way. You either had to have a Reverse or hang up your rod and watch others catch fish.

 

But there is always a way. After all, this is serious business, this surfcasting for stripers. We're not talking about life, love or some such trivial thing.

 

In a way, I'm glad I never knew who dealt with the problem of getting the plugs. Nevertheless, this is the way the story goes: The late Frank Woolner, former editor of The Saltwater Sportsman, gave it to me straight over a bottle of Scotch, so it must be true. A bunch of regulars got together to order several cases of Reverse Atoms direct from Bob Pond in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Because they had to have them right away, the lures were to be air-shipped. Expecting some of the lures to arrive the next day, some of the men began hanging aroung the Provincetown Airport on the tip of Cape Cod.

 

Once a few of the surfmen were missed, some of the others got edgy and started showing up at the airport. Before long, every buggy that fished the beach in Provincetown was parked along the runway. Some of the guys probably didn't know why they were there, but they must of though it was important if everybody else was doing it. The more time went by, the more each of them envisioned the arrival of the plugs.

 

Finally, a Boston-to-Provincetown flight came skimming in over the dunes, and an excited murmur of "Here come the Reverses!" ran through the crowd. Everyone waited anxiously as the plane was unloaded, but there was no plugs on board. Then a private aircraft approached. "Here come the Reverses!" everyone cried. Again, no plugs. Then a mail truck on a routine stop arrived at the airport. "Here come the Reverses!" And so it went.

 

As it turned out, no Reverses arrived that day, or the next. Each day there were fewer and fewer surfmen waiting at the airport until they finally gave up hope. Before long, everbody forgot about the Reverses, including the stripers. It was time for a new secret weapon anyway.

 

That incident occured over 30 years ago, but the quest for the secret weapon still dominates the mind of all fishermen. The only thing we can be sure of is that something is going to dominate. And when that something emerges, we'll need to have it.

 

Five years ago I bought a lifetime supply of Slug-Gos after a guy in Maine showed me how effective they were. After that it was the Fin-S-Fish. Two years ago I met a fellow on the Cape Cod Canal who was catching cows on block tin "squids," the kind that were used on stripers over a century ago. I made an emergency call and had some shipped via overnight express. For the next 12 hours I watched every mail truck, UPS truck and RPS truck that came down the road or passed me on the interstate. I couldn't help but think, "Here come the tins!" And when they finally arrived, what a job I did on the stripers during the next set of canal tides! Sometimes the secret weapon really works.

 

While fly fishing last summer, I dropped an Owens Velvet Eel- a fly that could easily have been forgotten in any fly case- into an outflow not far from home. I could'nt get it back. Anytime you can dead-drift a fly and have it provoke as much interest as a piece of meat in a dog pound, you have a good fly. Later that day, from the waiting room at my therapists office, I called Pat Abate at River's End Tackle on the mouth of the Connecticut River, where I knew enough wacko surfcasters hung out to be safe from any embarrasment. "Why are you breathing heavy?" Pat asked. "I've got something hot!" I replied.

 

Oh no. Not again.

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That's a great read. I'm surprised it was a daytime lure.

I remember we had a thread some time ago where the consensus was the reverses don't work. I wonder if the hot lure phenomenon is due to the fish getting accustomed to what's being thrown and looking for something else. I throw this simple cheap old design lure that nobody uses and in right conditions it outcatches others 10 to 1 biggrin.gif

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I met Bob Pond a long time ago at a show. He was a nice guy. Seemed like a nice guy.

I love to throw my Atom 40. Its like all chewed up,,big teeth marks,,,I love itheart.gif

 

 

Eeeeels............

 

------------------

Time is precious so waste it wisely!

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Great stories. It is funny the way the word on secret Weapons spreads. I remember once about 10 years ago , we were fishing Charletown and westerly RI. We were having some success at night with rigged eels but couldn't get the fish in the big schools to hit in the daytime. We were looking around at Capt Don's which was in Westerly. The quetion "What's Hot?" came up from every guy who walked in the store. the answere...that day....was Creek Chubs. he had a whole wall full of them and I would say that in the hour we hung around looking and waiting for a reel to be spooled , about 3/4 of all the Creek Chubs on that wall disappeared. The way it started was that someone said they saw someone get one on the blue and silver Creek Chub. Well that expanded to EVERYONE is getting them on the blue and silver Creek Chub. Then it was everyone was getting them on Creek Chubs in general. Then it was the only thing working that weekend was a creek Chub. This all happened in an hour and the Creek Chubs just disappeared off the wall! smile.gif

 

It dawned on me what a gullible bunch striper fisherman can be when the fish haven't been biting. We'll buy anything that someone says is working. smile.gif

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Mikey, Did you actually keyboard the whole thing? Or does one scan it?

 

Hey Mr. Frank,

 

I think he highlighted the content and pressed the "ctrl" & "c" buttom and pasted "Ctrl" & "P"... and wala. wink.gif

 

Stay warm! smile.gif

 

"Crazy" Alberto

 

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I have "The" secret lure...... works like charm... showed it to Crazy Al, Oznovad, and Michael P.... except they never saw it in action only sitting in my bag.... I am a firm beliver in "the different plug that the bass don!t know yet"

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I have "The" secret lure...... works like charm... showed it to Crazy Al, Oznovad, and Michael P.... except they never saw it in action only sitting in my bag.... I am a firm beliver in "the different plug that the bass don!t know yet"

 

Awesome please PM me ASAP we have important things to discuss wink.giflg_smile.gif

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Here's another get it while it's hot story. Local tackle shop owner buys a ton of wonder bread bombers [the ones that looked like a loaf of wonder bread with all the colored circles on it]real cheap. Takes one to a north shore beach and lucks into a bluefish blitz. Uses nothing but the red hot wonder bread bomber. Slays the blues and reports this in the weekly fishing report in the Fisherman. Killed em using a wonderbread bomber. Sold out in a day.

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