Special Shur-Strike Sarasota Revealed

29 Oct

The Creek Chub Sarasota lure is one of the most interesting and unsuccessful lures that Creek Chub produced. Yes, that is right, I said unsuccessful…. The Sarasota had a short history, first produced in 1927, and vanished from the catalog in 1931.

Creek Chub Sarasota in Golden Shiner Color

 Why was Creek Chub so unsuccessful with this lure, and why was Heddon so successful? The old timers will tell you that the Zaragossa with the line tie in the center of the nose out-performed the Creek Chub Sarasota with the line tie in top of the nose.  
Heddon Zaragossa

To understand where the Shur-Strike Sarasota fits into the mix, one must connect the dots from the early catalog information, and known examples, to try to put the puzzle together. The archival Creek Chub catalogs of the Shur-Strike brand of the Sarasota started right from the beginning in 1932.

1932 catalog picture

This catalog portrays the Sarasota with the top nose tie in just one color Pikie, J-0. No known examples of the lure in this color exist, but I do have a box that shows the color code.
Shur-strike J-0 box

In 1933 the catalog shows 2 models being produced and again shows the top of the nose line tie.

1933 catalog picture

The colors were Golden Shiner, (Gold Scale as it is referenced here), and Rainbow. Keep in mind that Creek Chub discontinued their Sarasota in 1931, and Shur-Strike started in 1932. Was the decision to try selling this product through the economy line since it was not successful in the main line? This sounds logical from the time-line. Here’s where it really gets interesting……. This 1934 Belknap Hardware store catalog shows the Shur-Strike lures they began selling, and the offering included the Sarasota. Belknap was a large wholesale hardware company that purchased lures from Creek Chub.

1934 Belknap Hardware catalog

enlarged picture of Spinnered Sarasota

The Sarasota was offered in two colors J-2 and J-9 in the above catalog which are the Shur-Strike codes for the Sarasota. The big difference is that the picture clearly shows the center nose tie with the spinners. The elusive Spinnered Sarasota as collectors have dubbed this version, was sold as a Shur-Strike product!
Spinnered Sarasota in golden shiner

Spinnered Sarasota in red white courtesy of Lang’s Auction

This also leads to another question, did the Shur-Strike version start as the top nose line tie, and then move to the spinnered version in 1934, or was the Creek Chub/Shur-Strike catalog pictures incorrect? If you have collected for a long time, you will know that a lot of these early catalogs had errors, and often used old pictures. As you can see from this rainbow version, (provided by Chris Labuz) the line tie was moved to the nose without the spinners, possibly the first Shur-Strike version.

Nose Tie Sarasota, Chris Labuz

Creek Chub Sarasota, Stuart Strange

Was it the poor performance of the lure the reason Creek Chub changed to a center nose line tie? It would seem so, and since their competitor Heddon, used the center nose tie, so why not move it in that position. The question will still remain are the nose tie and spinnered Sarasota lures exclusively a Shur-Strike product, or were they produced in the main line as well. The Rainbow, Red/White, and Golden Shiner Colors were used in both lines on the Sarasota. However, Green Scale was a Shur-Strike color and not a color used on the main line. In the picture below this Sarasota was produced in Green Scale and originally had a center nose tie before it was altered by a fisherman and moved to the top of nose. Questions still remain, but my opinion is the nose tie and spinnered style can be attributed to the Shur-Strike line.

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