IT'S ALL ABOUT THE COLORS!!
"It's all about the colors!" That's the phrase that comes to mind when I think about why I've spent so much time and money fishing and collecting handmade, hand painted, Bagley balsa lures, also referred to as "The World's Most Treasured Lures." I was first introduced to bass fishing, and Bagley's, around 1980. I now know this was around the time the company transitioned from brass to steel hangers and harnesses, and their color catalog had begun to expand dramatically. It was a FANTASTIC time to be a rookie bass fisherman and fledgling Bagley lure collector. The excitement of catching my first monster bass on my favorite color DB3 was much the same feeling that I later experienced when I found out one of my prized Bagleys was worth over 300 dollars! This lure was NOT an older, all brass model. It was a late 80s, early 90s color, the 84G, or as it's better known, the Easter Egg. It wasn't the age of the lure, it was the color that made it so valuable. I've since found that the vast majority of Bagley collectors care more about what color the lure is as opposed to what year it was made.
With over 500 colors and dozens of models that the novice collector needs to learn to recognize, Bagley lure collecting can be an intimidating experience. In 2002, Johnny Garland published his "Collector's Guide for the Bagley Fanatic." It was, and is, an invaluable tool for learning about the history and products of Jim Bagley's Bagley Bait Co. I would be completely lost without Johnny's informative book, and it is my opinion all Bagley collectors are indebted to him for the hard work he did researching his comprehensive book.
My intention with this website is to provide easy access to color codes and model identification for the average Bagley owner. Over the years, whether through trips to the tackle stores for your own fishing needs, visits to your dad or grandfather that produced the lucky hand-me-down, or even through buying tackle boxes in which you had high hopes of finding hidden treasure, you might have acquired a few Bagleys you'd like to determine the worth of. This site was designed for that reason, as well as to celebrate all of the colorful lures designed by the Bagley Bait Co.. Scattered throughout the site, there are photos of many of the rarest handmade balsa Bagley's I've come across in my 30 years of collecting, along with a page showcasing many comprehensive collections that have been put together by myself and a few other avid Bagley collectors.
Though color is the most important determining factor in a Bagley's value, when a particular lure was made can have a significant effect on it's value. A very rare 070 (Black on Blue [Black Belly]) Diving B III would be considerably more valuable in the all brass model because it is older. However, the color is the most important factor. Additionally, the lures made in Winter Haven, when Jim Bagley and later, Bill Stuart, owned the company, are much more valuable than those made in Fort Myers and the Dominican Republic, when the company was under different ownership. It takes considerable time, and in most cases, expense, to learn the often subtle differences in all the models that were produced in over forty years of production. Here is a page devoted to just the identification of Dominican Republic made baits, some of the trickiest models to identify.
If you are trying to identify what you believe is a Bagley, please visit my Model Identification page for pictures and descriptions of over forty different Bagley series, with all the many associated models in each category.
In time I hope to have extensive sections on every model made by Bagley's. Right now though, I think it's more important to get the color code section up and running A.S.A.P. so folks who haven't purchased Johnny's book will have some idea of the rarity of their lures. This website will always be a work in progress, because I like nothing better than to talk and share knowledge about my favorite fish catcher and collectible. You are welcome to contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions related to this site or Bagleys in general.
Be sure to check out my online store ProFishCo, where you will find many of the toughest colors and models ever made by the Bagley Bait Co.. In the store you will find Bagley lures FOR SALE in both fishing, and very tough vintage collectible models/colors.
The copyright in this website and the material on this website including without limitation the text, computer code, artwork, photographs, and images is owned by Mike Metzler and thecolorsofbagleys.com..