Zero Hour Bomb Company seems a rather unlikely start for a business that today is one of the largest fishing tackle companies in the world. But it's true, it was electric time bombs for oil well drilling, not fishing products being made by the Tulsa company in the late 1940's.That's when R.D. Hull,a West Texas watchmaker came knocking on their door for a job. However, instead of a resume, he carried a strange-looking contraption that was little more than a tin can with a hole in both ends. He said it was a concept for a new fishing reel that "wouldn't backlash."
Hull explained that fishermen were tired of the backlash problems common to baitcast reels of the time. His idea featured a fixed spool instead of a revolving one, a brainstorm that came one day while watching a clerk pull string from a stationary spool to wrap a package of meat. Company officials liked what they saw and agreed to make Hull's reel.
On a June day in 1945, 25 hand-made Zebco Standards rolled off the first day's production line. R.D. Hull and this new reel called a Zebco, a name derived from Zero Hour Bomb Company, were about to change forever the way that people fished. The rest, as they say, is history.