The Giants of the Industry: Heddon

    When you wanna talk giants then we have to talk Heddon. Heddon is credited with being the first to come up with artificial fishing lures made of wood, they started in the 1890s. Without Heddon who knows what we would be fishing with today, could you imagine tournaments without artificial baits? The industry wouldn’t be what it is today without Heddon; the original maker of artificial lures.

    The company was founded back in 1902 with the goal to sell the lures they made in their family kitchen over in Dowagiac, Michigan. The original Heddon design was made by cutting up the family’s broomstick handle; you can thank James Heddon for that. He came to the idea after throwing a stick he had whittled into a lake known as the “Mill Pond.” Soon thereafter in 1902, James Heddon made his brand, still based out of the family kitchen. In 1902 Heddon revolutionized fishing by being the first to manufacture fishing lures. In the same year his son Willam Heddon moved down to Florida to help test and develop plugs also known as wooden lures. By the time 1910 rolled around they had a distributor in Canada and a factory in his home city of Dowagiac, MI. In 1932 Heddon revolutionized the market again by coming out with the first plastic fishing lure. The lure quickly became known as the “spook” because of its transparent color. The early lures often decayed due to poor plastic mixtures. Fast forward to 1950 and Heddon has become well known and produces over 12,000 lures a day. During the early years in their growth they made rods, reels and other assortments of gear for the angler.

    As production increased so did competition. James Heddon saw this and sold his business to the Murchinson Family in 1955. Since 1955 the company has been bought and sold repeatedly. Even though the company has been bought and sold the legacy remains, many buyers have brought back baits such as the “Lucky 13” and the “Zara Spook.” Heddon has produced some of the most iconic and popular baits on the market, many companies have subtly changed their molds to avoid being the same but they also want to be similar to the Heddon brand.

Remember, every time you cast that lure out onto the water, it could be based on a Heddon.


Wanna pick up some of the legendary Heddon baits? Head on over to Rippn-Lips Tackle Company!


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