Glimmy Brass Spoon
by Allan Burgess
This brass spoon was known originally as a Glimmy, or Record Little Glimmy was part of a vast range of spinnerbaits produced by Abu of Sweden. It dates back to the 1950s.
The Glimmy, like the Toby spoon, was one of the all-time top sellers in New Zealand. It accounted for countless trout back in the days before plastics became common in lure manufacturing.
Before the plastic Wigston’s Tasmanian Devil, Tillin’s Cobra and Johnson’s Kobra (all made in Australia) took over as the top sellers, the Toby and Glimmy were supreme. They were in every trout spin anglers tackle box. In those days we didn’t have braided lines of course. All spin fishing was done on monofilament.
As an interesting aside a Masport Garden Cultivator (rotary hoe) made in 1966 had no plastic in it at all (just a tiny bit of bakelite). Nowadays the fuel takes and so on of motor movers are made of plastic.
Glimmy spoons are stamped from sheet brass and moulded at the same time. Some dies used in the presses also incorporated a scale pattern which was pressed permanently into the brass on the convex side.
The lure is long and slender. It is designed to represent a smelt or bully. You will note that Glimmy spoons are only ever painted on the convex side. This is done on purpose rather than being a paint saving measure by the manufacturer. As the lure is retrieved it wobbles from side to side giving the appearance, especially from behind, of a swimming fish. If both sides were painted the same colour this flashing effect would be lost. If you want to enhance the appeal of your Glimmy lure to the following trout then shine the brass on the concave side only.
Although available in numerous colours, by far the most popular and effective is black with gold stripes. I believe the reason this colour works so well is the strong contrast between the two sides. As mentioned above the fluttering or side to side wobbling action is an important feature of any brass spoon type lure. Try holding the front of a Glimmy in your left hand while moving the tail from side to side. The flash of the concave side as you do so makes the lure unexpectedly “come to life.” Back-in-the-day anglers would carry a piece of pot-scrub in their tackle box so they could shine their brass lures which would inevitably tarnish over time. But don’t forget to polish the concave side only.
As for hooks the trend nowadays is to use a chemically sharpened single hook rather than a treble. You will find the single much easier to remove from fish you wish to release, and perhaps surprisingly the single hook will be just as effective at hooking trout.
I see Kilwell only produced the Glimmy in 7g. This is perfect for most applications as the lighter lure will have plenty of action when retrieved. For lakes and bigger water, a 12g version would give better casting distance. Come to think of it, the Glimmy from Kilwell may have only been available in 7g. Whereas the Toby (Turbo) came in 7g, 10g and 12g.
I must admit I like the Glimmy lure and have caught plenty of trout on them, both rainbows and browns. They are effective in rivers, small streams and lakes. I always carry a few in my tackle box. A few years back I purchased quite a few Glimmy blanks (no hooks, swivels or split-rings) from The Complete Angler tackle store in Christchurch. I painted them black on the convex side only with a spray can and also added a few thin stripes of chartreuse prism tape for the added attraction on an angle over the black. These should keep me going for a while.
A bit old fashioned perhaps but the Glimmy really works!