Heddon Fishing Rods
Quality Mass Produced Rods
James Heddon and Sons Co
James Heddon started making Heddon fishing rods in 1908 as a natural extension of his bait making business for which Heddon is probably most known by classic tackle collectors (heddon lures fetch much higher prices among collectors than heddon fishing rods).
I could manage to read online the chapter about "james Heddon's Son" Con contained in Michael Sinclair's book Cane Rod Restoration
It is then revealing to read that between the 1930s and 1940s, Heddon manufactured 100'000 fishing rods, and mostly bait rods. And that contrary to many Leonard's rod, the quality of heddon fishing rods was far superior. Mr Sinclair concedes that other rod makers produced equivalent good-quality rods (i.d. Goodwin Granger, and Philippson) but he points out that they never made fishing rods in that huge volume.
Heddon fly fishing rods were first made in 1924.
|Heddon Fishing Rods James Heddon and Sons
|Life of James Heddon
|Period of activity
||1908 - 1955 (baits and lures from 1902-1955, now owned by PRADCO-Fishing, a company of EBSCO)
|Estimated rod production
|Naming of Heddon fishing rods: fly rods
||Fly rods since 1924 (the "No.35"). The No. "20" (1926), The No. "14" (since 1927). Since late 1920s, more models with naming and features as follows, in short (read Michael Sinclair's book Cane Rod Restoration for further details).
1920s: short grips, sliding band reelseat.Tube cap with "Heddon's Dowagiac".
1930s: new numbering, e.g. butt ferrule designe "2F" or "2 1/2 F"; screw locking reelseat; winding check exposed or "wound-over".
1951 new numbering. Rods manufactured for Shakespeare, Weber, E.K.Tyron, Lyon & Coulson
|Estimated Maximun Value
||$1500? usually heddon fishing rods sell for much less
Located In the former Heddon factory at 414 West st. in Dowagiac, MI, USA
Every Tuesday evening 6:30 to 8:30 and
the last Sunday afternoon of every month 1:30 to 4:00.
APPOINTMENTS MADE ANY TIME BY CALLING: Don & Joan Lyons 269-782-5698
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From a Lang's auction 2007 catalogue
HEDDON FISHING RODS
Zane Grey's Personal Heddon Rod. This 9', 3 pc 1 tip rod was
originally owned by Zane Grey and bears his name in white ink
on the shaft, along with "Heddon" written diagonally. From the
estate of Romer Grey. It may have received a thin overcoat of varnish
at some time in the past and is in very good plus condition.
This rod has the wrap patterns of a 1930-33 model #20, along
with the chrome ferrules and Hold Tite reel seat. The handle is the
bottle half Wells style. Although unmarked, the bag and tube are
original to that era of Heddon rods. ($800-$1,000)
9' Heddon Riptide. This heavy duty 3/2 model was Heddon's idea
of a light salt water rod. It is in excellent condition and has
chromed guides, anodized aluminum down locking reel seat and
a large 8" handle (with a small dent in one ring). The ferrules are
over-wrapped with thread. All sections are straight and full.With
original bag only. ($250-$300)
Early 8' Heddon Model #17 Trout Rod. This 3/2 rod pre-dates
the "Black Beauty" and has Heddon in spiral writing on the shaft
and #17. The original owner inked his name. The wraps are black
tipped orange and the stripper is red agate. It is in fair/good condition
with some softening of the varnish and bag marks showing.
All sections are full and have mild sets.With replacement bag
and tube. ($350-$400)
Heddon 8' Bill Stanley's Favorite Trout Rod. This 3/2 rod is in
very good, possibly unused, condition. The varnish has aged to a
dark mahogany and it has been waxed to prevent it from sticking
to the bag. The wraps are maroon with gold tipping and has 1 3/4
ferrule making this a light line rod. It shows no signs of use and
comes with the original bag, tag and maroon aluminum tube.
Heddon 8 1/2' Premier Model #115. This 3/2 trout rod is in very
good condition with all sections full length and straight. The
wraps are light olive/gold with black tipping and the varnish has
darkened nicely but is not soft. It has a size #2 ferrule for a 6-wt.
rod.With original bag, tag and labeled tube. ($300-$350)
Early 8' Heddon Model #14 Trout Rod. This c.1920's 3/2 rod is
the first model made by Heddon, in fair condition. Red wraps
with alternating red & black intermediates, 1/8" cork rings and
aluminum cap & ring over cedar spacer. "Heddon Tempered
Bamboo" decal is on the butt. The varnish shows nicks and dents,
all of which indicate years of use. The sections are all full length
but not straight. A very scarce rod with a new bag and unmarked
early tube. ($250-$300)
8 1/2' A&F Yellowstone Special by Heddon. This 3/2 rod is in
very good condition with dark caramel colored cane, dark
maroon wraps with gold tipping, an agatine stripper and a full
nickel silver reel seat with sliding band. All sections are full with
one tip having a fishing set. The varnish has a few dings, some of
which have been touched up. With the original bag and early
7 1/2' Heddon Model #10. Known as the Blue Waters model, this
3/2 trout rod is in very good condition.With 1 1/2 ferrules, rated
for an HEH or F line. The wraps are white & black jasper. The
sections are all full length but have mild sets. A few cork rings are
starting to ridge.With labeled bag and earlier Heddon tube.
Heddon Slopenose 200. Finished in blue head white body with 2
pin red painted collar, nickel plated hardware, c1907, about Excondition
due to missing tail hardware, complete with its 2 pc
pasteboard picture box, showing the bait outlined in a twin
straight line border. Condition of this box is about as nice as they
get, grading a strong Ex, making it nearly impossible to upgrade.
Heddon Special Order 800 Swimming Minnow. In solid yellow
with black stripes accenting both sides, back and belly, blemish
free glass eyes and rear treble hook having remnants of the original
red paint found only on the 800. Originally from the Walt
Blue collection, this possibly one of kind example is strong Exwith
a few scattered pointers and tight age lines. ($1,500-$2,500)
Heddon 900 Swimming Minnow. Finished in white body with
red spots, black back stripe and red hand painted gill marks.
Strong Ex- due to varnish flaking along the back, otherwise
bright and shiny. Includes an unmarked white border down bass
box, c1912, about VG+ condition with wear and staining.
Heddon 176 Heavy Casting Minnow. Finished in green back
rainbow with red hand painted gill marks, large glass eyes (1
cracked), unmarked props and oversized, heavy duty cup and
screw eye hardware. About VG+ with a chip to wood under the
tail and flaking to primer along one edge. Complete package
includes the rarely seen original tall wood slide top box with writing
on all four sides and top, about VG+ due to two broken rails.
Heddon 150 Underwater Minnow. Dating to about 1908/1909,
the last of the wood box minnows, coming in its correct and
super crisp wood slide top box, marked on all four sides and top
with clear red printing. Minnow features glass eyes, unmarked
props, raised rim nickel cup and screw hardware, finished in
bright green crackleback/white belly with red hand painted gill
marks.With very minor varnish flaking and a chip on the single
belly weight, appearing to have been never fished. It would be difficult
to find a finer example of a Heddon wood box.
Heddon's Dowagiac Dummy Double 1500. In white with fancy
red and green spots, early football rigging, marked props, large
blemish free glass eyes, red hand painted gill marks and 3 clean
Dummy Double hooks. About Ex- with overall light wear to the
back and belly. First version minnow, dating to 1913, includes the
correctly marked and early down bass box, about VG+/Ex- and
the original box foldout showing "Our Most Valuable Invention"
on the front and 2 illustrations on the back showing the method
of attaching and detaching the Dummy Double hook.
Heddon's Dowagiac 109A Fat Body Underwater Minnow.
Beautiful yellow perch finish, 3hk, GE, L-rigged, with marked
props and red hand painted gill marks, about Ex with scattered
belly varnish flakes, in the correctly marked mid-tall down bass
box, about Ex-/Ex. ($500-$600)
Early Heddon Expert Slopenose. In its very rare Dowagiac
Casting Bait picture box. Dating to 1903 or 1904, this 2 hook surface
bait is rigged with all brass and gold wash hardware, blue
head/white body and red painted 1 pin collar. Strong Ex- with 2
small paint flakes to the collar and an age crack along the back.
Oak leaf border picture box is strong VG+/Ex- condition with
staining, minor wear and warping, better than most. Both ends
are printed "Dowagiac Expert", box bottom has the "Protect and
Perpetuate the Black Bass" label, found only on the earliest boxes.
Heddon 159 Underwater Minnow. Dating to the 1912 season,
rigged with marked props, cup hardware, red hand paint gill
marks over a white body with glitter and coming in a very rare
blue border down bass box clearly stamped 159 on both ends.
Minnow has varnish flaking, about Ex-, box shows minor edge
wear and has a 1/2" by 3/4" tear to the top paper. The blue border
box is by far one of Heddon's rarest boxes, offered only during
the 1912 season. ($1,500-$2,000)
Heddon 151 Five Hook Underwater Minnow. Thin body L-rig,
with marked props, GE, finished in rainbow, strong Ex- condition,
appearing to be unfished, but having cloudy glass eyes and
a tiny nose rub. Included is a super tall down bass Dowagiac
Wiggler box, marked very clearly on both ends 151. Very few
known tall Wiggler boxes are marked for a bait other than the
1600 or 1700, this one is Ex condition with pencil writing on the
Heddon Fat Body 100 Minnow. GE, L-rig with marked props,
finished in green crackleback with red hand painted gill marks,
strong Ex condition, bright and shiny. ($200-$300)
Heddon 1709D Green Scale Near Surface Wiggler. Late model
pointed tail with inch worm line tie, GE and marked surface
plane. Condition is spectacular with a small flake to primer at the
middle L-rig screw, otherwise at least Ex. ($750-$1,000)
Heddon 6609D Darting Zara. 2 pc hardware, glass eyes, scarce
green scale finish with red eye shadow, strong Ex- condition with
bleed through along the right side and belly. ($150-$300)
Heddon 4000GM Meadow Mouse. L-rig, grey mouse, having the
original leather tail and ears, belly stencil and marked Vamp style
diving lip, about Ex with a small chip at the tail. ($100-$150)
Heddon 1709L Perch Scale Near Surface Wiggler. Pointed tail
model with inch worm line tie, GE and marked surface plane.
About Ex with light age lines. Perch scale can be considered scarce
on the Heddon 1700. ($500-$750)
Heddon 159K Underwater Minnow. Scarce goldfish scale pattern,
thin body, L-rig,marked props, GE, bright and shiny, strong
VG+/Ex- with a small tail chip and a sliver to primer on the belly.
Heddon's Last Slopenose 200. Dating to about 1909 or so, finished
in blue head white body and rigged with 2 pin collar, deep
nickel cup, line tie and tail cap. About VG with paint off the collar,
protruding belly weight and age lines. ($150-$300)
Scarce Heddon Solid Red 104 Minnow. GE with 2 pc hardware
and marked props. The 2 pc hardware 100 can be considered
somewhat rare as this was the end of the line for the 100 underwater
minnow. Condition is about Ex- with chipping at the belly
Heddon 203BH Surface Bait. L-rig with nickel tail cap and
marked three pin collar, finished in super rare solid aluminum
with blended blue head. Condition on this special order model is
strong Ex- with very light varnish flaking and a small rub to
primer at the nose. ($500-$750)
Heddon Thin Body 150 Underwater Minnow. GE, dark green
crackleback, red blush chin, belly stencil, marked props, solid Ex
condition, about as nice as they get. ($250-$350)
Heddon Medium Size Coast Minnow. Finished in green crackleback
with red hand painted gill marks, rear marked prop, trailing
single hook, about VG+ on this 4 1/2" model with varnish wear.
Heddon 7409K Baby Vamp. Magnificent goldfish scale, L-rig
with marked diving lip and glass eyes. Strong Ex-, bright and
shiny finish and hardware, with a tiny tail chip and tight circular
age lines. ($500-$750)
Heddon Little Joe. Finished in red head white body with glitter,
2 3/4" model, belly toilet seat rigged, glass eyes, strong Excondition
at least. ($100-$200)
Scarce Heddon Darting Zara 6600. No eyed model with belly
toilet seat hardware, screw tail and pin in mouth. Strong Ex-,
uncleaned with tight belly age lines, otherwise quite a nice
Example of a green crackleback Darting Zara. ($400-$600)
Scarce Heddon Solid White 100 Minnow. C1912 cup rig, GE,
marked props and red hand painted gill marks. Condition, with
paint off belly weight and varnish flaking, is strong VG+/Ex-.
Heddon 3009B Spindiver. In frog spot and rigged with marked
front spinner and diving lip and L-rig hardware. About Ex-,
bright and shiny finish, but having scattered varnish flakes and
chipping at the right glass eye. ($500-$750)
Heddon 101 Underwater Minnow. Thin body, L-rigged, marked
props, strong Ex- with 1 cracked eye and very fine varnish crazing,
in the correct strong VG+ down bass box. ($150-$300)
Three Heddon Frog Spot Lures. An Ex 2100 BF Crazy Crawler,
surface hardware, an Ex- Spoony Frog and a VG 219B Surface,
2pc hardware. ($100-$150)
Heddon 177 Heavy Casting Minnow. Finished in blended slate
back with red eye shadow and hand painted gill marks, marked
props and heavy duty nickel plated cup and screw hardware.
Condition of this large bass/musky minnow is strong VG+ with
tight age lines and varnish flaking. ($400-$600)
Large Heddon Dealer Advertising Banner. This 40" x 59" red silk
banner is in VG condition with some wear to the lettering. A
rarely seen dealer issued piece from Heddon. ($150-$250)
Two Early Heddon Box Papers. An Ex condition c1907 introductory
version for the New Artistic Minnow on the front side, the
150, 200, 100, and Killer on the back and a VG condition wood
box paper for the 100, with the 150, 200, 300 and New Artistic
Minnow on the back, also dating the 1907 season. ($200-$400)
Two Heddon Box Papers. Both dating to the teens, including a
very scarce c1913 introductory insert for the new #1500 Dummy
Double featuring the football hook rigged minnow on the front
and the instant detachability of hooks diagram on the back, about
Ex- with staining and a crisp intro paper for the #1900 Baby Crab
Wiggler, 2 small holes otherwise clean. ($300-$400)
1928 Heddon Tackle Catalog. This 7" x 10", 26 page catalog is
about VG-, with dealers supplement. Cover has separation at the
spine and rolled corners.Many color plates. ($100-$200)
Scarce Heddon Countertop Advertising Die Cut. 7 1/4" by 10"
and featuring the Heddon 7500 Vamp and an open mouth Bass.
Condition is about VG+ with fading, edge wear and 4 tack holes.
Most likely dating to the mid 1920's, this multi colored die cut is
missing a portion of the stand mounted to the back. ($300-$500)
1931 Heddon Catalog. 36 page catalog plus chart. In bright excellent
1932 Heddon Catalog. 32 page catalog with cover detachment
from spine. 20th page has small tear. Nice bright cover graphics.
1934 Heddon Catalog. 30 pages (counting inside back cover).
With the exception of minor spine wear, in very good condition.
1935 Heddon Catalog. 28 pages with bright graphics. Cover has
spine wear, otherwise very good condition. ($100-$200)
1936 Heddon Catalog. 36 page issue. Cover and pages are in very
good condition. ($100-$200)
1937 Heddon Catalog. 40 pages. Cover and pages are in very
good condition with paper loss to crease on the upper right and
slight spine wear. ($100-$200)
1938 Heddon Catalog. 40 page catalog in very good condition
with slight spine wear.Nice bright cover graphics. ($100-$200)
1939 Heddon Catalog. Originally a 44 page catalog, now missing
pages 21-24. Cover and pages are in very good condition.
Three Heddon Catalogs. Includes a 1940, 44 page (spine and
cover detached),1941, 44 page (poor spine condition, ink marks
on inside pages) and a 1942-43, 31 page catalog in very good condition.
Four Heddon Catalogs. Includes years 1949 (missing back
cover), 1950, 1951 and 1953. Conditions are fair to excellent.
Heddon Imperial Model 125 Trout Reel. In near new condition,
this model 125 Heddon reel has a two screw latch of aluminum
and a black anodized finish that shows no signs of use.
"James Heddon's Sons, Dowagiac,Mich. - Made In U.S.A. 3-25"
Marked German Silver Level Wind Bait Casting Reel.With front
mounted click switch, dual grasp handle and "Pat's App'd For"
marked foot it is in Ex+ condition. Serial numbered 511 and with
a marked Heddon leather reel case. ($200-$250)
"Made By James Heddon's Sons, Dowagiac, Mich. - 3-15"
Marked German Silver Bait Casting Reel. This serial number
679 reel is fitted with a front mounted click switch, dual grasp
handle and plain reel foot.With unmarked leather case.
"James Heddon's Sons, Dowagiac, Mich.-Made in U.S.A. 3-35"
Marked German Silver Level Wind Bait Casting Reel. Complete
with unmarked leather case, this serial number 9410 marked reel
has the "Pat's app'd for" marked foot and is in Ex condition.
Three German Silver Heddon Casting Reels. A serial No.219
Heddon model 3-15 that has a grooved top pillar as its only flaw,
a serial No.788 model 3-35 with level wind (sticking), VG+, and
ending with a serial No.304 marked model 3-25 in Ex+ condition.
Three German Silver Heddon Casting Reels. A serial No.552
model 3-15 in satin finish with an inoperable click, a model 3-25
with level wind and serial No.1028 and finally a model 3-35 with
serial No.257. Condition ranges from excellent to VG+.
Three German Silver Heddon Casting Reels. A satin finish
model 3-15 with serial No.6516 in Ex condition, an unmarked
model 3-25 with single digit serial No.3 in Ex- condition and a
cork arbor, tiny dual grasp model No.3-35 in Ex condition.
Three Heddon Level Wind Casting Reels. One each Chief Do-
Wa-Giac snarl free No.4, Lone Eagle No.206 and White House
Angler, snarl free No.215. Each has a working click and dual grasp
handles and are all in VG+ condition. ($150-$200)
Three No.3 German Silver Kentucky Casting Reels. A "Bluegrass
Reel Works, Louisville, Ky." marked reel, serial No.916 with plain
caps and plain click and drag switches, a B.F. Meek & Sons,
Louisville Ky. No.3 with jeweled caps, plain switches and serial
No.5341 and a Horton/Meek No.3 Bluegrass reel with cork arbor,
dual handle and plain caps and switches. All are in Ex- condition.
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