Antique Lures


  HEDDON FISHING LURE DETAILS: Gill marks, body width, props, belly weights, noses

Heddon lures varied over the years and many of the details that differentiate one lure from the other are very important.  Here are some "notes" on various minnows.

Body style: the top lure is a later "thin" body which has blush (sprayed on gill marks as opposed the lower earlier lure which has a "fat" body and hand painted gill marks.  Both lures have marked props with the word "Dowagiac" stamped on the prop which is indicative of the post 1912 time frame.  Another detail to note is the length of the wood body of lures.  If you are measuring a lure, measure from wood tip to wood tip.  Not hardware to hardware tip. 

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Gill marks on marked prop, L-rig 150's: From the left, sprayed on blush (later); red nose or head; no gill marks on a frog scale; hand painted gill marks on a fat body.  The fat body would be the older lure because of the size and hand painted gill marks.

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Belly weight: This lure has a single belly weight and no stencil on the belly.  Only the later lures are stenciled on the belly with Heddon and the lure name.

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Belly weights: An early two belly weight 150 with sweeping gill marks that extend all the way back to the cup.

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A later 150 with the stencil on the belly.  Many of these lures were made of Gum wood instead of the earlier Cedar.  Paint loss is more common with the gum wood bodies.

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Gill Marks and head shape: These three lures are from left to right, Heddon 100 c. 1908 blunt nose, Heddon 150, c. 1908 blunt nose, and a high forehead 150, c. 1905.  Note the sweeping gill marks into the cup on the early 150 to the right.  The middle 150 has shorter gill marks and a noticeably more rounded nose.  The smaller 100 on the left has only two gill marks as opposed to the three gill marks on the 150's.  The highfore head has brass hardware and the others have nickel plated hardware.

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A close-up view of the sweeping gill marks into the cup area in the lower photo to illustrate the difference in the two types.  The upper lure is a 1908 version of the 150 with a "blunt nose".  The lower photo is of the earlier 1905 150 with a much more pointed nose as well as the more dramatic gill marks.

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About 1912, Heddon started stamping their logo "Dowagiac" on the props.   The upper photo shows the earlier unmarked prop and the lower photo the marked prop.

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The styles of the nose section.  Note at the top of the photo, the 1905 vintage high forehead minnow with the sharp pointed head, next down is the 1908 version of the "blunt nose" 150 which would be found in the later wood boxes,  the 1912 type which would be found in the Pinetree box or in the white box with the double blue lines on the border, progressing into the early 1920's fat body style and finally, the last two are about the same type with the more usual slim body.

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From top to bottom: 1905,1908, 1912 150's.

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From top to bottom: 1920's fat body, later 1920's and early 1930's L-rig type bodies.

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The top lure is a later Heddon 300, c.1936, two piece hardware with blush on the chin.

The middle Heddon 300 is an earlier cup rig, c. 1912, note the more pointed nose and position of the gill marks.

Below is an early Heddon 300 cup rig, c.1909 with the pointed nose and later high forehead, as well as the longer more slim body.  This lure would be found in the White box with the double blue border.   Note the long sweeping gill marks typical of the pre-1910 lures.

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