Heddon Lures was first established by James Heddon in 1898, in Dowagiac, Michigan. They can safely claim to be one of the very oldest lure companies in the world. Their reputation began to grow from the very start of beginning of the company when Mr. Heddon was manufacturing wooden frog “plugs” carved from broom handles.
What originally started as a boutique brand based out of a home kitchen expanded to Canada in 1910, and when plastic lure technology first surfaced in 1932, they became an industry leader, introducing their “spook” plastic fishing lures, which were named after their unique, transparent appearance.
These early prototype lures often fell apart due to novel plastic mixtures, but still, fetch a high price on the market as collector’s items today. Once their technique was refined, Heddon hard baits and plastic lures became known all throughout North America for their quality and innovativeness, and by 1950, Heddon Lures was creating more than 12,000 lures every day, and as they continued to grow, they expanded into rods, reels, and other fishing gear.
Vintage lures from Heddon’s past still fetch high prices on the used collectors market, and after its sale to EBSCO brands in 1955, some of these were discontinued, but many lures proved to be in such demand that EBSCO began remanufacturing them with modern materials, to provide a contemporary twist on Heddon’s past.
But this modern incarnation of Heddon lures isn’t stuck in the past – far from it. They’re still known around the world as one of the great innovators in the hard bait plastic market, and their sterling reputation hasn’t suffered. Their modern, cutting-edge designs bring great results at a low cost that makes them versatile and useful for just about any angler, and their product offerings are diverse and varied, with a lure for just about any kind of fish under the sun.
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One of Heddon’s more unique products is their “torpedo” baits. These baits combine a realistic, bulky baitfish profile with rear flashing spinners that kick up plenty of water, make a ton of noise, and provide a lot of vibration and flash to create a unique and effective topwater bait. This three-pack comes with two different sizes and three different colors, and though these models are small, they can bring in just about any freshwater fish imaginable.
They’re best used in waters that are quite calm – when the surface is glassy and beautiful, that’s when the vibrating action and flashy blades of these lures do their best work, attracting schooling gamefish from far and wide, and creating massive, incredible surface strikes that you’ve got to see to believe.
It’s best fished with a jerky, cast-and-retrieve motion, with a varying pattern of casts and retrieves. Steady on one cast, jerky and slow on the next, fast and jerky - keep varying your casts, and you’re sure to grab the attention of a passing fish.
It’s great for beginners because just about any casting technique works to catch the attention of passing fish, and you’ll make a lifetime angler out of a novice once they see the massive strikes that this topwater lure attracts. For all these reasons, we highly recommend this lure to topwater fishers who are looking for something slightly different than standard walkers, suspenders, and jerkbaits. It’s a blast to use, and the results speak for themselves.
The Heddon Super Spook Jr. is inspired by that classic, transparent topwater lure that first made Heddon Lures so popular – The Spook. This update is thoroughly modern, though, and this is a smaller incarnation of the larger super spook while maintaining the realistic “walking” action and explosive results that its big brother is known for.
It’s one of Heddon’s most popular lures, and is available in over two dozen colorways, ranging from bright neon transparent models to more naturally patterned, realistic lures, ensuring that no matter the conditions of the water or weather, you’ll have the lure you need. When fish are really biting at the surface, this is the lure to reach for.
It’s fished in the classic, “walk-the-dog” motion, splashing and causing an unmistakable ruckus on the surface, and a bit of erratic action causes a natural “wounded baitfish” presentation.
That’s sure to attract your prey from the lower areas of the water column, especially when combined with the realistic, highly visible silhouette of this lure. The unmatchable design, action, and linefeel of this lure will help you figure out for yourself why the Spook has been a bestseller since it was first created in the 1930s, and topwater enthusiasts won’t want to miss it.
If topwater fishing isn’t your game, don’t worry. This adjustable depth swimbait features a totally customizable design, allowing you to float it wherever you want, and it also features a crankbait-style front compartment with rattling BBs, which along with its flashy, bladed design makes it irresistible to fish. It’s really versatile, too – suitable for casting, trolling, or jigging (even for ice fishing!), depending on how you set it up, and it excels in all of these applications
.Whether you’re casting or trolling, the blade design combines a side-to-side roll with a vertical shake that creates tons of vibration and flash on its own and is a lethal combination when combined with the internal rattle chamber, able to attract fish from all depths.
Its versatility, along with its unique design and flashy, loud rattle make it a must-have if you’re interested in a longer casting, deeper lure that maintains the unique design sensibilities of Heddon with cutting-edge materials and technology.
This style of lure is probably the closest to the original plugs that James Heddon carved up in his kitchen in 1898. This lure is designed specifically with a wood, conical design that can help it punch through even the heaviest weeds and adverse conditions while remaining totally snagless. A living rubber skirt covers a sharp 4/0 hooks, and helps protect the hook from damage, and ensures easy motion even through the densest cover.
It also sinks slowly, but maintains its depth once it has sunk, so you can either use it topwater or let it sink down to the bottom of the water.
When fished topwater with a twitchy motion, this lure works with a sort of “skipping” action that imitates a frog or mouse skipping along the surface of the water, and when fished on the bottom of the water, you can work it towards yourself in a slow, jerky action that lets it kick up a little water and move the weeds, and attract plenty of attention from observant fish.
Whichever way you decide to fish it, this lure is second-to-none if you’re fishing in an area choked up by lilypads, moss, weeds, or other vegetation, and also bounces off rocks and other obstacles easily, allowing you to use it in places where other lures fall abysmally flat.
This lure is a great sub-surface, suspending topwater crankbait that’s designed for a true-running, realistic action when reeled in with a steady cast-and-retrieve motion. The small plastic lip helps it maintain a subsurface, shallow water position, and the wobbling, shaky action that it creates when reeled in at speed does the rest.
It presents with a really realistic look in the water, wiggling back and forth and displacing tons of water, especially when pulled in quickly enough to leave a trail, so it’s a great lure to pick if you love reeling ‘em in hard. It’s not limited to that, though.
With a slower, jerkier motion, you can bring this lure to the top of the water from its 2-3’ running depth, drop it down with a fluttering motion, and pull it up again, mimicking an injured baitfish that’s having trouble maintaining a consistent depth, and producinga lot of strikes.
Finally, we’ve got a true titan of the Heddon Lure family – the Chug’N Spook. This lure is quite a bit large than the Spook Jr, coming in at 4.875 inches, making it suitable for fish in much larger lakes and rivers. It’s been designed as a specialized version of the Spook, incorporating a loud knocking, a cupped lip, and uniquely weighted design that causes a ruckus on the surface of the water that’s second-to-none.
It’s easy to use, too – the uniquely weighted body helps you keep it just above and touching the surface, helping you maximize the amount of kick and commotion that you can cause.
This is a great lure to use if you’re looking to do some topwater fishing even in harsher water conditions – unlike some smaller, less fully-featured topwater lures, it can cause enough noise, vibration, and water-splash action to overcome even moderately windy days, and murkier water conditions.
It's high quality, unique and modern design, and weather-independent versatility make it a great lure to turn to whenever things get rough, but you don’t want to do deeper fishing or are fishing in a shallower area which requires a topwater lure.
Heddon has been going strong for over a century, and given the quality and ease-of-use of their modern, yet classically designed hardbaits, we can’t see them going anywhere anytime soon.
Their list of lures grows by the year, and though they focus much of their lure development on topwater and shallow-water lures, they continue to expand and develop new, modern lures that maintain classic styling and influence from days decades past.
Their classic designs, decades of experience, and top-quality products earn them the distinction of one of America’s best homegrown hardbait manufacturers, and their products don’t disappoint. Poke around and find one that you might like, and you’ll be reeling them in by the truckload, just like James Heddon when he built his first frog-plugs out of broomstick handles, all the way back in the 1890s.