Crafty Angler

Alou Bait Tail

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Last weekend Iron Mike stopped by after going to the Flyfishing Show in Marlboro, MA - he picked up several books to add to his impressive colection, among which was Al Reinfelder's book "The Alou Bait Tail" published in 1969.

 

He was wondering if anyone had any info on the Bait Tail - I did a Google search and managed to find an old post for him on another site that said Ultimus had the patent and the molds, but I think Ultimus is out of business now.

 

I skimmed the book - it was pretty interesting.

 

Anybody know anything about the Bait Tail or the old Alou Eel? I'm curious about whatever happened to them.

 

I told the Iron Man I'd check it out for him, since I'm sort of his...uhh...Internet interpreter. cwm24.gif

 

Thanks,

Crafty

 

 

 

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Crafty, about as good an account of the Alou Eel's beginnings and complete early history as you ever might hope to read can be found in the last chapter of George Reiger's delightful book, Profiles in Saltwater Angling. The chapter profiling Al Reinfelder, entitled "The Commando" refers to his (and his partner in fishing and the lure business, Lou Palma's) various dark of night fishing forays - usually illegal - from various bridges in and around NYC back in the sixties. Reinfelder chronicles the lure's evolution in wonderful detail, from their first experimentations in 1964, to cooking them up in their basement a dozen at a time in '65 and making their first sale to Abercrombie & Fitch in Manhattan - when it was still a real sporting goods shop - to producing a thousand units in '66 and "...then to well over 100,000 eels annually by the time we sold our operation to the Garcia Corporation in 1969." How long Garcia kept Al's designs in production, I'm not certain. The Alou Eel and the Bait Tail both appear in 1975 editions of the Garcia Fishing Annual, which are the most recent copies I currently have (Thanks, TonyG smile.gif). I believe they continued on at least a few years beyond that.

 

Reiger's book as whole is a great read, by the way, and well worth tracking down.

 

[This message has been edited by Bill Klein (edited 01-25-2002).]

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I fished them back in the early 1970's in Montauk. Captain John DeMaio has a full chapter on the "baitail" in his book "Fishing the Bucktail".

 

The baitail was a small leadhead of 3/4-2 ounces that had a very short rubber amber tail. I believe Capt. John had a 51 lb bass on a baitail.

 

 

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Thanks, Bill and Al -

 

This is that time of year when I start to hit the sportsmen's and antique tackle shows in earnest and run into some of the booksellers - I'm definitely interested in looking for the Reiger book.

 

Capt. DeMaio's book is also another one on the list I've wanted to pick up.

 

I'll keep ya posted and let ya know how I make out. As I recall, Iron Mike said the bookseller he got the Reinfelder from had another copy, so I think I'll probably pick it up from him.

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I was fortunate enough to have some of these bait tails given to me be a well known very successful, mustache wearing, fisher dude on LI, and I can atest that after I gave them an honest shot, they are super, there is definately something up with that angled cut in the tube.

 

ML

 

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

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A PATENT is only good for 18 years.

Lawyers have figured a way to stretch that to 19. After that, the design is fair game. But the NAME is usually COPYRIGHTED, and that can be extended indefinitely, so if you're gonna rip off Reinfelders design, you gotta call it sumptin else, like a "wind chime".

 

Flounder

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But the NAME is usually COPYRIGHTED, and that can be extended indefinitely, so if you're gonna rip off Reinfelders design, you gotta call it sumptin else, like a "wind chime".

 

I don't think anybody's interested in "ripping off" anything here.

 

Geezuzzz, the more people I meet, the more I like my dogs.

 

 

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I have received a number of PM's requesting sources for "Fishing the Bucktail" by Capt. John DeMaio.

 

You can order it directly from him. His telephone number is 631-324-8820. Tell him Al Goldberg told you to call.

 

 

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I was fortunate enough to have some of these bait tails given to me be a well known very successful, mustache wearing, fisher dude on LI, and I can atest that after I gave them an honest shot, they are super, there is definately something up with that angled cut in the tube.

 

ML

 

 

tell that greek dude,and JOHN FROM JERSEY(tinman) SAYS HELLO.. im sure he'll remember who i am ..he fished on my scaffold many nights on the W. bridge back in the 80's and 90's...and was kind enough to give me a few great pointers on fishing live eels back in '83...that guy has cought more 50's than anyone else i can think of except maybe capt bob rochetta...from montauk..(i hope capt bob doesnt mind me using his name here)

and those bait tails can be made..no patent at this time..and its not the tube,,its the perfect center balance of the jig, thats the secret...same as the tiger tails which were made later on in the late 70's and 80's

 

 

 

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A company called "Bingel" I think still makes them. I got a couple one is 2 ounces and is called the Bunker Tail. There is also a smaller one, like an ounce it sounds like what your talkin about. :-}

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yes don bingler,,bingle lures, the inventor of the banana lure in '74 ? ,makes a fine bait tail,,they call it a bunker tail i believe...great jig..almost indestructible..comes in several colors ..they also make the silversides line.. i had pleasure of meeting mr bingler and talking with him about the old days in sheepshead bay, weakfishing etc..dean, his partner, also a very knowledgeable avid fisherman..nicest people you could ever meet..

 

their webiste is down temporarily..

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We have a mild confusion of two different lures here. The Alou Bait Tail (and, yes, Ultimus bought the patents and the molds for the Alou Eel and Bait Tail, and subsequently went bankrupt) was a soft rubber eel body, rather like a plastic shad. The bait tail to which Capt. DeMaio's book refers, like the posts here, is a skinny leadhead with a body made of a straight surgical tube cut on a taper. They BOTH work well.

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I was fortunate enough to have some of these bait tails given to me be a well known very successful, mustache wearing, fisher dude on LI, and I can atest that after I gave them an honest shot, they are super, there is definately something up with that angled cut in the tube.

 

ML

 

 

tell that greek dude,and JOHN FROM JERSEY(tinman) SAYS HELLO.. im sure he'll remember who i am ..he fished on my scaffold many nights on the W. bridge back in the 80's and 90's...and was kind enough to give me a few great pointers on fishing live eels back in '83...that guy has cought more 50's than anyone else i can think of except maybe capt bob rochetta...from montauk..(i hope capt bob doesnt mind me using his name here)

and those bait tails can be made..no patent at this time..and its not the tube,,its the perfect center balance of the jig, thats the secret...same as the tiger tails which were made later on in the late 70's and 80's

 

 

We'll do, I think I am seeing him thurs.

 

ML

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