Stewart's Fishing Tackle - VIC

This page has been included as a feature page for a couple of reasons. Firstly R.W Stewart was one of the pioneers of the early lure manufacturing industry in Australia and was actively making lures from the early 1950's. The range was extensive and includes various metal spoons, devons, jig spinners, cod spinners and numerous other designs that show up in vintage lots and often hard to identify or recognise. Secondly due to space so hopefully this page will act as some form of guide when looking to identify early R.W Stewart lures.
Stewart's made the plastic 'Magnet' Devon spinner which was a popular style of lure that dates back to early angling history with the earlier Phantom Minnows. In Australia the 'Devon Minnows' were used extensively for trout and natives and were extremely popular in the southern states of Victoria and Tasmania. There was an earlier maker of the 'Magnet' that was manufactured by Fischer and Sons Lures. and this is outlined later on this page.
The advertisement left is from Outdoors and Fishing, July 1952 and has a number of interesting lures including from left to right; 
The 'Feather Jig Spinner', 'Minnow Spinner', 'Wiggler', 'Winna Spinner', 'Stewarts Slotless Devon' and the very rare 'Broken Back Wobbler'.
An example of early carded Stewart's 'Wob-lure'. This style of lure was made by Wonder, Tillins and many others but is originally based on an American metal spoon design. Letf is the 'Winna Spinner' which was advertised in the 1958 Smith's angling catalogue.
This advertisement left April, 1955 and shows some other rare Stewarts spoons that are rarely seen. 
The fluted spoons included the Rainbow spoons 1, 2 & 3, Rainbow wobbler, Rainbow bladed jig, a plastic salmon and perch fly and the large Rainbow Lure complete with wire trace. The 'Rainbow' range of lures was available in 1958 at Smiths Sports Store but was marketed as 'Rainbeau'. Handy information as it lists all the sizes available.
The lure shown right is mentioned in Wal Hardy's 'The Saltwater Angler' and is referred to as the Stewart's 'Red Eye' Spinner. This style of lure was common in the 1950's with the release of the Wonder 'Red Eye' Spoon, the Bellbrook 'Brat' and the Forbco version which were all modeled on popular overseas trends that incorporated red faceted bead eyes in the lure design. The Stewart's version is rarely identified however if it has the early tow point still attached you can be sure you have an original. Note they are not mentioned much after 1952 in the Stewart's advertising however they were still available at Smiths in 1958.
The lure shown left is another rarer Stewarts model that shows up occasionally and is usually unidentified. This is the only example of the 'Rock n Roll' card that has been cited however this is the wrong card for the lure as this is the model 'Krazy Boy'.
Stewart's made the plastic 'Magnet' Devon spinner which was a popular style of lure that dates back to early angling history with the earlier Phantom Minnows. In Australia the 'Devon Minnows' were used extensively for trout and natives and were extremely popular in the southern states of Victoria and Tasmania. 
There was an earlier maker of the 'Magnet' that was manufactured by H.F. Fischer and Sons Lures. Below is from Outdoors and Fishing, 1950. The 'Magnet' range included the devons and the 'Skipjack' design which has always been attributed to H.O 'Sailor' Hopkins, an early advocate for spinning with lures from the late 1940's.

The advert shown right is from 1951 and lists two sizes(1 1/4 and 1 1/2 inches) that were available in both left and right hand spin versions. 

The Magnet 'Skipjack' lure was released in 1952

The advertisement left is c.1954 and two lures have been added to the range - The Magnet 'Fiddler' which was a jigging lure that came in two colours (copper and red, silver and red) and the 'Skipjack' lure which had been available since at least 1952.. This lure was available in six 'shaded' colours and was 4 inches in length. 
Below is Shooter's Monthly in 1953
The advertisement below is c.1955 and explains the construction of the 'Magnet Devon' and focuses on trout fishing and offers 12 colours. Considering Fischer and Sons were advertising the Magnet Devon in 1950 - 54 it must be that R.W Stewart took over the company or purchased the rights to manufacture the 'Magnet Devon' brand of  lures as they were referred to as 'Stewart's Slotless Devons' in mid 1952. There were many of these companies located close to the Melbourne business district and at this stage the company had moved from 318 Little Collins St (according to earlier advertising material) to Heffernan Lane in Melbourne. The advertisement below uses the same artwork from earlier Fisher and Sons adverts but is now offering 12 assorted colours as to the earlier 9 that were offered in 1952. The Magnet 'Skipjack' is now manufactured by R.W. Stewart.