Many anglers didn’t like Devons because they caused line twist
Although it’s popularity has declined somewhat in the last twenty years, the Devon minnow is nonetheless one of the oldest lure types still in regular use.
They can be employed for sea fishing but were typically used by salmon and trout anglers.
Modern manufacturing methods see them made from brass and plastic, however many old Devons were originally made for personal use be individual anglers at home. They were also manufactured and sold in large numbers by old firms such as Allcocks from around 1900 to the 1950s.
Many years ago you could also purchase just the spinning heads and the angler then joined them together with a body of his own design. These”bodies” were often the result of hours of painstaking work by the enthusiast. Materials used included stitched dried fish skin, insect cocoons, leather and wood.
The brass Devon was also a popular version a few years back. They dived deep and so were perfect for working close to the bottom of a deep pool.
Many anglers didn’t like Devon Minnows because they had a tendency to cause line twist. There are several ways around this problem. One is to use a vane a few feet above the lure. Personally, I don’t like this as it can cause tangles. Another is to use good quality swivels.
Interestingly Devon Minnows were made in both left and right-hand spin versions. The idea being that the angler fished with one for fifteen minutes or so and then switched over to the other to “unwind” the line!
The Devon is one of the simplest lures for the amateur to make at home. They can be made from wood or brass quite easily. An advantage of making your own is that you can experiment with different positions of the fins to alter the rotation speed.