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August 27, 2019 - Vol. 15, No. 3

Heddon Wiggle-King

Featuring the collection of Peter Bernhart


Peter Bernhart Wiggle-King Collection

This edition of Lure Lore features the Heddon Wiggle-King lure collection by Peter Bernhart of New York and member of the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club (NFLCC).

One of the lesser known early wood lures made by the Heddon Company is the Wiggle-King lure, Heddon series #2000, that was listed in Heddon's 1918 and 1919 catalogues. It was also listed in the 1920 Abbey & Imbrie catalog.1 (Editor's note: Abbey & Imbrie was a retailer in New York, New York and sold sporting goods made by other manufacturers). This lure was the precursor to the more well known Heddon lure, the Lucky 13 which started production in 1920 under Heddon series #2500.

The Wiggle-King's listed size is 3-7/8" in body length. It has no eyes and a single line tie on the face. The earliest version has cup hardware on the belly and eye screw hardware which was subsequently replaced with L-rig belly hardware and drop loop on the tail. Peter notes " The face cut can be either straight down to screw eye or cut on a slight slant to the front screw eye. Lower lip slant seems to be pretty consistent."



Wiggle-King in Wilbourne Special - #2000 WILBOURNE SPECIAL
(Picture courtesy of James Viviano)

 


Belly decal marking
(Picture courtesy of James Viviano)

One unusual feature of the Wiggle-King is the decal label found on the belly of the lure that reads HEDDON'S "WIGGLE KING". Many of the lures pictured in this article have no marking on the belly. Peter stated "I do not think all came from the factory with stickers. No other markings on any I've seen." In any event, to the author's knowledge, this is the only lure Heddon ever made that had a decal marking! (See UPDATE!)

The Wiggle-King was catalogued in 4 different colors for the period 1918-1919 by Heddon and also was available with either 3 treble hooks or 3 double hooks. Colors included White Spotted (2000S), Rainbow (2001), White Body, Red Head (2002), and Frog (2009B). The 1920 Abbey & Imbrie catalog also list Scale Finish (2009D).2 These are shown below.

1918 - 1920 CATALOGUED COLORS

White Spotted (2000S)


Rainbow (2001)


Frog (2 variations)(2009B)

White Body, Red Head (2002)
(Pflueger Company sample tag) 3


Scale Finish (2009D)
(This color was later known as Green Scale)


In addition to the catalogued colors, a number of uncatalogued colors have been found as pictured below.

NON-CATALOGUED COLORS

Yellow Perch (2009A)

White, Silver Specks (2009)

White (2009W)

Red Scale (2009H)

Fancy Sienna - Yellow (2007)

Black Sucker (2000)

Perch Scale - 2009L

Perch Scale (variation) - 2009L

Blue Scale - 2009X

Wilbourne Special

Yellow, Black Spots - 2009YB?
 

 


Wiggle-King lure box

The Wiggle-King lure box is a 2 piece cardboard box as shown above. According to Peter, "Some boxes have nothing on the sides and some have 'Heddon Dowagiac Minnow, Dowigiac, Michigan.' All boxes I have (30 in total) all say on the box end 'Wiggle King Swimming Bait' with a line for color designation, i.e., 2000W. Lures can be found with small box catalog, small instruction sheet on the use of the lure or plain tissue paper that may say Heddon on it."

Peter also states, "I have been told and have seen these lures used so much the paint was worn off them. Jim Heddon himself says it was his favorite lure to catch Bass with. My guess as to it's short production life was the war with CCBCO (Creek Chub Bait Company) on the 'Wiggler' name use? It's amazing just how many colors are out there considering it's short life span." 4

You can contact Peter Bernhart if you have any further information or have something you feel he might be interested in by clicking on his name! All Wiggle-King pictures were provided by Peter unless otherwise noted.

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1Joan L. Lyons, Heddon Cataloged Lures 1902-1984, (M. T. Publishing Company, Inc., 2017), Chapter 1, p. 378.
2Ibid.
3The Pflueger Tackle Company maintained an extensive library of other tackle manufacturers' lures. These were tagged and marked with information about the lure, company, etc.
4Jim Heddon was James Heddon's grandson.

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UPDATES:

8/27/2019: Heddon's wood lure Zig-Wag, series #8300, also has a decal belly label! (Picture and information courtesy of Glen Brewton!)


Heddon Zig-Wag with belly decal

Unknown Lure


This unusual looking plastic lure measures 3-1/4" in length, has surface hardware and is unmarked. It has been found in a number of colors and appears to be commercially made.


If you have any further information on any of the items displayed on this page which you'd like to share, please send your comments to me and I'll update the page accordingly. Contributions of interesting items and/or unknowns are encouraged. Lures pictured in Lure Lore are not for sale.

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Web Author: Tom Jacomet
Copyright 2019 by Tom Jacomet - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED