Charlie Murat owned Murat's Tackle Shop in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. Charlie was one of the first custom rod builders
in New England and his rods were highly sought after. The talented Murat started making his lures sometime around 1946 and
was soon well known throughout New England for his jointed and straight swimming plugs. Charlie's earliest plugs were cotter-pin
constructed and later on he started thru wiring his lures, some of the styles also changed slightly over the years. Most of
his lures were unmarked making them very difficult for collectors to identify today. Over and over through the years I have
come across many lures that I couldn't identify. But thinking back now, I realize that many of them were Murat's.
It is said that on May 29, 1970; Charlie Murat suffered a heart
attack and died while fighting a large striped bass during a blitz on Nauset Beach. What a fitting ending for
such a dedicated surf fisherman.
| C. Murat, "Early" Swimmer With Cotter Pin Hook Hangers
|C. Murat, "Later" Model Swimmer
Murat eels did not swim very well! How can we know this kind of information about a lure that was built sixty
plus years ago you ask? Well, this can be determined in a couple of different ways; short of swimming
it ourselves. First, just by looking at the top lure, we can see that the treble hook on the rear section is to far back
and would definitely kill the action intended. The second way we would be able to tell is if the lure were modified. The top
lure happens to be new and never fished. If it were fished we would probably see that treble hook cut off; like the bottom
lure. Ninety five percent or more of these eels that are found [ both models ] will have the treble hook cut off by a
knowledgeable fishermen or perhaps even Charlie himself. So, if you have one missing the hook in your collection; do not get
depressed about it. In all reality, that is truly what was best for the lure.
The picture above shows the heads of two
Murat, Giant Jointed Eel's. It is believed that the bottom lure in the picture was an early proto-type; it
has a hand cut steel lip and pike head. The pike shaped head on a Murat eel is often referred to as a "Shovel-Head",
as Charlie perfected the giant eel he went to the rounded style head. The majority of all later eel's found, no
matter what size, incorporate the rounded style.
|C. Murat, "Giant" Jointed Eel