Fort Smith, AR – Fifty years and millions of lures ago, Fort Smith, Ark., angler George Perrin established a lure company that would lead the industry in innovation. In 1962, demand for Perrin’s Floating Minnow prompted him to create Rebel Lures and shift his company’s manufacture of plastic parts for refrigerators and air conditioners to creating some of the most dependable and popular fishing lures in history.
Several years earlier Perrin grew frustrated with the wooden minnow lures on the market. They were inconsistent, dove to different depths and ran to the left or right, and with use they took on water, which killed the action. He reasoned that he could make a better one out of plastic. He knew if he got it right, each lure would be identical, run correctly at the right depth, and most importantly, catch more fish.
After experimenting and testing the prototypes at Arkansas’ Lake Ouachita, he hit on that right design and established Rebel Lures, named after the mascot of the high school his daughter attended. That lure is still available, and still catches fish. It’s the Rebel F10 Minnow.
It wasn’t long before anglers everywhere began asking for other sizes and styles…models that would sink, or run deep, topwater poppers, and later, new shapes and crankbait designs. A host of Rebel Lures are legendary…lures like the Broken Back (jointed) Minnow, the Super-R, the Pop-R, Wee-R, the Critter Series and the Rebel Crawfish crankbaits.
Rebel wasn’t limited to lure making, though. In 1970 the company entered the bass boat market, and furnished the boats for the very first Bassmaster Classic. Bobby Murray won that tournament, and the gentleman angler still works for the company as a seminar speaker and fishing instructor. Rebel branched out further, producing the first tackle boxes to depart from the basic metal boxes of the day. Rebel produced the first double-sided tackle box (lids and storage areas on both the top and the bottom). Designed by anglers, these boxes led the industry with adjustable storage areas, spinnerbait holders and molded areas for pork frog jars.
Even while producing boats and tackle boxes – and even trolling motors – Rebel always kept lure-making the main staple of production. Literally millions of lures were manufactured. Some remain in the line today and are joined by new lures sure to set the standard once again. One thing that is certain is that Rebel Lures has never been afraid to be the innovator in fishing tackle.
“It was nothing to make 10,000 lures a day,” said Danny Stoner, a longtime Rebel employee. “We made enough Rebel Lures in the 1980s to outfit every man, woman and child in the United States. Perrin was very innovative in production – we were the first to use pad printing and a heat-transfer process of decoration.”
Rebel continues in the tradition of innovation even today with the new Frog-R, Rebel Raider and Crappie Crank-R trolling crankbaits. With constant input from professional anglers and a dedication to providing high-quality fishing lures at a reasonable cost, Rebel Lures continues to earn the reputation as America’s Favorite Fishing Lures.Rebel Lures Celebrates 50 Years in 2012,