James Heddon's first commercially available lure was the "Dowagiac"
Casting Bait. It was a white lure with a blue sloped nose and a red
metal color. He received a patent for the lure on April 1, 1902. By
1905, Heddon was producing a number of different underwater minnow
designs. You can tell the oldest models because they had three long
flowing gill marks painted under the large glass eyes. The lures became
famous because of their high quality and they caught fish.
Early Heddon catalogs state that their minnows have 7 to 12 coats of special
porcelain enamel and were guaranteed not to peel off or crack. Heddon
continued to make glass-eyed wooden lures up until World War II. In
the 1950's and later, plastic lures were the most common design. The
first lures pictured below are all very early models. The earliest
lures had cup hardware and screw eyes for the hooks. Then came what is
called L-rig, then 2-piece and finally surface rigged hook
hardware. The following photos show some of the basic color patterns and the
wide variety of body styles. Early Heddon lures are very collectable.
After World War II, all lure manufacturers realized there was no need to continue to incorporate
the little glass eyes into their wooden lures. First came little tack eyes and then simple painted eyes.
In the 1950's, plastic lures started to be the predominate lure type. Heddon's venture into plastic
lures started with what they called "Spook" lures. They were called "Spook" lures because you could
see through them like a ghost.
Uncommon HEDDON Lures
HEDDON DOWAGIAC MINNOWS
More HEDDON DOWAGIAC MINNOWS
HEDDON No. 150 in Bar Perch Finish
HEDDON DOWAGIAC No. 150 and No. 200 Lures
HEDDON DOWAGIAC No. 150 Lure
HEDDON Lures in Strawberry Spot Color Pattern
HEDDON Rainbow Pattern Lures
HEDDON Shiner Scale Pattern Lures
HEDDON Green Scale Pattern Lures
Heddon color pattern lures are from the collection of Mark Hostetler