Tuesday, October 3, 2017

DJ’s Old Tackle Box - Dave’s Midwestern Ohio Memories

A Series of Guest Blogs by an out-of-state Fish Report reader originally from this area about fond memories of growing up in Midwestern Ohio during the 50’s & 60’s

DJ’s Old Tackle Box

My wife asked me recently to start clearing out stuff from the garage and workshop. She suggested anything I haven’t used in three or more years to either pitch or donate. Sorting through things, I discovered an old fishing tackle box pictured above that had belonged to my wife’s grandfather, D.J Francis, a real adventurer whom I had written about in this previous blog. I used this old tackle box during the memorable fishing trips to Canada in the 70’s, the subject of last week’s blogpost.

The tackle box was made by Walton Products of Union, Illinois and is likely about 80 years old. There are several vintage tackle boxes like it for sale on eBay for $20-60. As evidenced from the photos above & below, the box itself and the contents are rather antiquated. Note especially the old Scotch tape dispenser and a matchbook with a 1949 date inside.

The old time fishing paraphernalia that was stashed away in the tackle box are amazing; check out the following:

Worm Blowers?

Tools of the trade - bobber stop??

More tool of the trade - note that both had beer bottle openers included! Some things remain timeless - beer and fishing.

Lure Glow hardly used so it probably didn’t work!

These fishing lines were still amazingly strong for their age.

Old fashioned hand warmer. Mercurochrome Antiseptic*
* Contained Mercury, yet Mom always applied the stuff to any scratch we incurred as kids! The scratch was gone long before the red stain came off. It was banned in 1978. Who knew?

There were hundreds of vintage fly lures in the tackle box, some of which are worth $10 on eBay. Every heard of a 1/4 Oz. Shyster??

Strewn about the bottom of the tackle box were the wood pieces shown above. After some on-line research, I discovered this eBay offering for a wood lure box for $45, So a project was born to re-glue the pieces together as shown in the photos that follow, including the finished product full of DJ’s old lures.

Needless to say, this project has delayed my efforts to clean out the workshop and garage. Next to be cleaned will be the doghouse, since that’s where I’ll be if I don’t get my act together! And rest assured DJ's old tackle box and contents will not be thrown out. Instead, I plan to give it to my brother-in-law back in Ohio where it originated.


  1. As I was reading this, I was thinking...."I bet John would love to have this".

  2. I already told him to give it to Ron Simon. He's a better fisherman than me!

  3. Really enjoyed this. I remember DJ's annual parties at the pond on the farm, I believe on first day of hunting season. All of the politicians, priests, and celebrities of all stripes were there. Also, all of the local good ol' boys such as George Coffield, Shep, Charlie Grogean, Syl Daniel, etc. Free food, beer, liquor, cigars, cigarettes, etc. DJ was in his element going around patting everybody on the back. I guess I was invited because I was the local banker at the time. He gave me an ashtray that said "who is DJ" on it. Just a way of promoting his "brand". There were a lot of "characters" in those days but DJ was truly one of a kind. I guess God decided there was no sense in trying to duplicate him. :-)

  4. DJ was likely the most memorable character I've ever met! It was something special to know him. As the first in-law among his grandchildren within the family, I was openly welcomed from the very moment of being introduced to him. Thanks for the comments.

  5. Dave, I have several of these same tackle boxes in my garage, filled with the same "treasures"! DJ and Dad/Alfie had the same taste in fishing equipment!

  6. Kay, Same taste indeed, or more likely, one of the brothers got a great deal on several tackle boxes, so just like the Francis descendant I know best, couldn't pass up a bargain!


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