Antique Lures


   Hardware Comparison: Heddon, Pflueger, South Bend

How to tell the difference in various minnows

One of the hardest concepts for most new collectors and many of us intermediate collectors to figure out is the difference between underwater minnows, three or five hook, from Heddon, Pflueger, or South Bend.  The basic prop hardware and line tie screws are almost identical for cup rigged hardware.  The difference shows up in the placement of the side hook position relative to the eyes and the shape and type of hardware for the side hooks.

Let's first look at the difference between a cup rigged Heddon on the left and a cup rigged South Bend on the right.  Note the side hook cup of the Heddon is left side forward relative to its right side relative to the eyes.  On the South Bend, the right cup is forward compared to its left side.  

South Bend: right cup forward...!

The confusion usually comes between South Bend and Heddon because the cups are so much alike as is the nose gear.  Of course the props may be marked "South Bend", "OVB" which is also South Bend, or "Dowagiac" which is Heddon.  

hwhvsp.jpg (32194 bytes)

Now compare the a South Bend on the left, a Pflueger in the center, and a Heddon on the right.  All the nose gear looks the same.  The South Bend has right cup forward, but so does the Pflueger.  So now you have to look at the hardware itself to differentiate the Pflueger from the South Bend based on right forward cup.  See the individual cup photos below for the difference. hwpsbh.jpg (27271 bytes)


This is the early Heddon cup rig hook hardware.  In the 'center' of the cup is an eye screw.  Note the glass eye.


Here we see the unusual design of the Pflueger off-set screw.  See how the loop with the hook is actually part of the rim of the cup?  That is Neverfail hardware and only Pflueger used it.  It is distinctive and the key to identification of Pflueger lures after 1910.  Prior to 1910, Pflueger used a gem-clip type of hook hanger like Shakespeares.

hwpcup.jpg (20452 bytes)

South Bend

South Bend is different in the depth of the cup.  It uses a center eye screw, but the cup is notably more shallow and sloped compared to the Heddon more squared side and deeper cup.



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