So I was rummaging around out in the garage last Saturday. It was a cold, rainy, gray day, a typical southern Indiana winter day. There’s no way you would ever find me out in the field or on the water on a day like this.
Nope, I was happy to be inside messing around with my gear, doing what I do best. Piddling.
Most of my fishing gear is stored on shelves on one side of the garage and winter is a good time to go through it all and see what I have, don’t remember having, or need. Of course, I always need new stuff!
Well, I was rooting through a stack of reel and lure boxes when I came across an old Herter’s catalog.
Now for those of you who might not recognize the name Herter’s let me enlighten you.
Herter’s was a sporting goods store in Waseca, Minnesota that sold almost anything to do with hunting and fishing. It was founded before 1900 and, as I understand it, went broke in the late 1970’s. But in it’s heyday (my old catalog was from 1969 – catalog no. 79) it was where many in America “mail ordered” their fishing and hunting supplies.
Keep in mind in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s there was no Internet. No “e-commerce”. No cell phones.
Geez, we were still using phones with rotary dials that connected through “party lines” (ask some old person what these were). And it was really unusual for a home to have more than one phone.
Anyway, let me get back on track here. Herter’s catalogs had EVERYTHING. At least for someone like me who lived in an admittedly small town with only limited selections of fishing and hunting gear. Basically, if Sears Roebuck didn’t have it we’d have to order it in, usually from Herter’s.
The way this whole deal worked was you would go through the catalog page by page, dog-earing any page that had something you figured you needed. If you were looking for something specific you could use the index in the back of the catalog, but that pretty well took all the fun out of ordering
Me? I loved to page through the catalog and one was always included in “the reading room” (the bathroom). I would mark any item I figured I needed with my pencil. Each turn of a page presented questions like: “Do I need that?” “Will I use that?” But most often the answer was universal, “gotta have that.”
Once having gone through the whole catalog several times I would reexamine each marked page, write out my order, mail it off to Herter’s with a check, and wait for my stuff which usually showed up in a week or two.
That’s just the way it worked way back then.
Here’s what’s remarkable, at least to me. I still have some of the stuff I ordered from Herter’s! Yep. Lures, an old jacket, a pair of gloves, some old tackle boxes, a very dated scope, a pair of binoculars, etc. All still here.
Now let’s be honest. If I’ve had this stuff for over 50 years I just might need to replace some of it. Or throw it away. Either way, there’s opportunity afoot…
Well, dear friends, that’s what winter is good for. You get rid of stuff you don’t need and, at the same time, have a very legitimate excuse to buy new stuff which “she who must be obeyed” almost always has questions about. That’s why I call this a “legitimate excuse,” plus you can always try “but honey this is for us!”
Of course I need more stuff! Who doesn’t? New stuff means a much better chance to bag that trophy or catch a hell of a lot more B-I-G fish.
Looking over the catalog (and some of my gear that will see the trash can) it’s obvious we have come a long way. Better lures, much better rods, fantastically better reels and optics, and apparel. There’s just no contest as far as modern vs. 50 years ago.
So my order, which I did on my computer with a credit card, is in. I should have my new stuff in a day or so. And yes, I DO get a special deal from American Legacy Fishing and Outdoors. I mean, I DID start the company.
Now, if we just had those 1969 prices in my old Herter’s catalog!
This week we have some awesome specials. You will absolutely want to check out the closeout pricing on the Daiwa Lexa WN reels, as well as a smoking deal on some Daiwa Coastal Surf rods.
Thanks to all of you who honor us with your friendship and trust. We are only here because of you.