British Lure Baits – Allcock’s, Farlow, James Gregory, Hardy

British lure baits have been made in the UK for a long time and as early as the mid-1800’s. The early James Gregory lures are exceptional. Some of the earliest English baits can be read about in Izaak Walton’s book “The Complete Angler” which was published 1653. The majority of the British Baits are metal lures. Occasionally you will find one made of gutta-percha (hard rubber). With the exception of the later Hardy Bros Jock Scott lures, wood was not used for making lures. An interesting design feature found on most British Baits is one that causes the lure to revolve as it is pulled through the water. Most have opposing left and right side fins with one curved up and the other curved down. Exaggerated curved tails were also used to cause the bait to revolve in the water.

It is rare to find a catalog for a particular lure maker. Almost all of the British lure baits were sold through one of the three main tackle suppliers – Allcock’s, Hardy Bros. or Farlow. The prize British baits were those made by James Gregory from Birmingham. He introduced his first spoon baits in 1878. His subsequent lures were jewel-like replicas of minnows with large glass eyes. Allcock’s also sold lures made in the 1870’s that are also very desirable. Their cut glass lures are particularly sought after by collectors. The workmanship on these lures is excellent. William Brown of Aberdeen is credited with inventing the Phantom Minnow in the mid-1800’s. In the late 1890’s, the bait incorporated Philip Geen’s Patent Swivel to keep the line from twisting. They were made up until the early 1900’s.

british lure baits

A Collection of British Baits

The JAMES GREGORY Minnow, circa 1880’s

british lure baits

The JAMES GREGORY Windsor Bee, circa 1880’s

The JAMES GREGORY Superior Flexible Minnow Made For C. Laight & Co., Redditch, circa 1880’s

JAMES GREGORY Superior Flexible Minnow, circa 1880’s

The JAMES GREGORY Minnow, circa 1880’s

Cut Glass Bait Sold by ALLCOCK’s, Circa 1870

british lure baits

Page From ALLCOCK’s 1866 Catalog

The CARTMAN Spinner, circa 1890

The HOWARD LIVESEY Patent Bait, circa 1886

The JAMES GREGORY Paragon Lures, circa 1880’s

british lure baits

Gutta-Percha Glass Eyed Lure, circa 1900

The ALLCOCK Dazzle Bait, circa 1923


Norwich Glass Eyed Spoons, circa 1900


The PHILIP GEEN Combination Spoon Phantom & Spiral Minnow, circa 1900

The Allcock Water Witch Baits, circa 1910


The Tit-Bit Spinner, circa 1913


The Swallow Tail Lure, circa 1920


William Brown’s Phantom Minnows, circa 1895


The WILLIAM BROWN Phantom Minnows 1895 Ad


HENRY MILWARD & SONS 1894 Magazine Ad


WM. BARTLEET & SONS 1894 Magazine Ad


J. WARNER & SONS 1895 Magazine Ad



To see a January, 1896 “The Fishing Gazette” Article about the ALLCOCK & CO. Products, click on the link below.