The Heddon Lures.

On the banks of Rivers, Canals, Lakes, Reservoirs, Streams and all the great Oceans in the world you will find Lure fishermen. Pitting their wits against the fish, trying to out smart them and get them on to the bank. Today there are many makes and types of lure, but the Heddon lures certainly would of inspired many of the company’s of today.

The heddon lure called the Crazy Crawler
The Heddon Crazy Crawler.

Have you ever wondered how the artificial fishing lure of today came to be?  You are not alone. Many people can’t help being fascinated about the effectiveness an artificial lure brings to fishing. But it wasn’t always that fun to fish for sport.

From Bee keeper to business man.

In the late nineteenth century, a man named James Heddon started experimenting with artificial lures for fishing. He was inspired to make an artificial lure while waiting for his friend at a place called Old Mill Pond. After casting a piece of wood he was playing with into the pond, the wood got snapped up by a bass in the water, and so he started thinking about making one.

Before he began making artificial fishing lures, James Heddon was an apiculturist. A year after the incident at the pond, James Heddon was making lures by hand from his kitchen. His first lure was called Dowagiac Casting Lure.

He went on to establish the Heddon Lure company in 1902. By 1910, the company collaborated with a Canadian supply company for the distribution of its lures and also opened a factory in the town of Dowagiac. A year later in 1911, James Heddon died, but his sons kept the company afloat.

Onwards and upwards for Heddons sons.

Under the management of Heddon’s sons Will and Charles, the company expanded to become a leader in the fishing lure industry. The company continued to grow, and it was reported to be producing 12000 fish lures in 1950. Apart from fishing lures, the company was also providing general fishing equipment like reels and rods.

One of the Heddon lures called The Threadfin shad.
Modern day Heddon lure, the Threadfin Shad.

The Heddon Brothers sold their business to the Murchinson family in 1955. The sale was due to heavy competition the company was facing from its competition in the fishing lure industry. After changing hands from different buyers over the years, the company was eventually bought by EBSCO. EBSCO continues to trade the company’s lures with the original names they had since inception.

The Heddon Lures company started putting great details into the design of its lures in 1910. The Dowagiac Casting Bait was the first lure the company sold in commercial quantity. Some of the favourite lures the company has released over the years include the River Runt, Heddon Dowagiac Killer, and the Dowagiac Wooden Minnow.

The company also released the Wiggle King Lure in 1918, attached with three killer hooks to increase its hold on the fish. The Wilder-Dilg lure was named after two famous fishermen who were great lovers of angling.

Click on the images to see more Heddon Lures.

All these lures were crafted ingeniously, and their appeal to antique lure collectors over the years has not waned. Many a collector will be so happy to get hold of these rare lures. Having one at the end of your reel can take you back to the early twentieth century when the first artificial lures were first hand crafted by a beekeeper who built an industry out of an incident that happened while waiting beside a pond.

The Heddon lure called the Super spook.
A Heddon Super Spook.

So, whenever you feel that tug at the end of your line when using an artificial lure, be it an antique or a modern version, remember it was the vision of James Heddon.


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