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February 1, 2015
(Update April 18, 2015)

The Heddon Lure with the Identity Crisis!

Heddon's Go-Deeper Crab


Go-Deeper Crab in Black & White Crab

From 1951 to 1954, Heddon produced a lure known as the Go-Deeper Crab, at least as far as the Heddon catalogs were concerned! A wood lure, it measures 3-1/2" in total length, weighed in at 1/2 ounce, had painted eyes, two #1 treble hooks, and had a deep diving lip that had been originally used earlier starting in the late 1940's on Heddon's Go-Deeper River Runt Spook lures. This diving lip is often referred to as the "Ab Saint" lip due to the fact that it was developed by a gentleman named Ab Saint who sold the rights to its use to Heddon. At rest, the lure floated but when retrieved, dived deeper than many other lures due to the diving lip.

4 views of the Go-Deeper Crab

This lure came in Heddon's 'Banner' box (see picture above) with the jumping fish and the Heddon banner on the top. Two different end markings have been found to be on the boxes as illustrated in the picture below.

Heddon Go-Deeper Crab box end markings

The most interesting fact about this lure, however, is that though it was listed in the catalogs as the "Go-Deeper Crab", the lure was actually marked with three different names that included HEDDON CRAB, HEDDON DIGGER CRAB, and of course HEDDON GO-DEEPER CRAB!

3 different belly markings on Yellow Shore Minnow color lures

So why 3 different markings? One can only guess. Perhaps some patent conflict? Confusion with previous Heddon lures? In any event, any number of these lures bear the different names. To date, the author has seen the Yellow Shore Minnow, the Natural Crab, and the Spotted Orange all marked just HEDDON CRAB as well as HEDDON DIGGER CRAB. There are 2 small differences that have been noted. The ones marked "Go-Deeper" appear to be just about 1/16" longer in body length than the other two and as shown in the pictures, the belly hardware closest to the tail is definitely further forward than the other two. (Note: The perspective of the picture seems to indicate a notably body length difference but that is not the actual case and only a result of the camera angle at which the picture was taken).

It is also noteworthy that no box has been found (at least to my knowledge) that are marked just CRAB.

During its production, the lure was cataloged in the same six colors as shown below.

Go-Deeper Crab Colors
Black & White Crab - D1900BW
Natural Crab - D1900NC
Green Crackleback - D1900GCB
White, Red Head - D1900RH
Orange Body, Red & Black Spots - D1900SO
Yellow Shore Minnow - D1900XRY

As of 2015, these appear to sell in the $10 to $25 range for the lure only and the box can add another $5 to $15 in value.

UPDATE INFORMATION as of 4-18-2015:

Known uncataloged colors have been reported since the original publication of this article! Colors include:

Red Head Flitter, #D1900RHF
White & Black Shore, #D1900XWB
White (solid), #D1900W
Black (solid), #D1900B
White, Red & Green Spots #D1900S (commonly referred to as Strawberry)
Shiner Scale, #D1900P
Pearl, #D1900PL
Perch, #D1900L

Go-Deeper Crab Uncataloged Colors
Shiner Scale - D1900P
White & Black Shore - D1900XWB


Uncataloged colors will sell for higher values than cataloged colors. (Special thanks to Dennis McNulty, Erich Zwolfer, Joe Konrath, John Kolbeck and Jay Kunstman for identifying the known uncataloged colors for this lure!)

Go-Deeper Crab in uncataloged Red Head, Flitter in box
(Note: Belly marked HEDDON CRAB and has 1 piece hardware)
(Picture courtesy of Cap'n John Kolbeck)

Go-Deeper Crab with glass eyes and 2 piece hardware
(Note: Marked HEDDON CRAB on belly)

It was also reported that glass eye versions of this lure exist and in this case has 2 piece hardware. This configuration dates to around 1946-1948 when Heddon switched to 1 piece hardware and obtained the rights to use this diving lip, and is a pre-cataloged version.

Box marked DIGGER CRAB

Another item that came to light was a box marked DIGGER CRAB as evidenced by this picture of just such a box. Note the lure has 1 piece hardware which was the standard for cataloged models.


The Reel-Pal


Always interesting and worthy of any tackle collection are the 'gadgets' that supposedly make the task of fishing easier! (Supposedly...) This one is called the "Reel-Pal", a device used to put new line on your reel. The instructions state, "...Experienced fishermen know the need for properly wound untwisted line on their reels. "How To" has been a problem until REEL-PAL." This clamp of sorts attached to your fishing rod and is designed to hold the line spool. There are two different Reel-Pals, designed to handle different spindle holes (3/8" and 5/8"). According to the packaging, this " on all reels and accomodates all lines..."

It was made by IPCO Inc., of Minneapolis, Minnesota and the packaging indicates 'patent pending.' The backside of the packaging provides detailed instructions on how to use it and includes a list of other products produced by IPCO, to include "Bail-Pal", "Snow Pal Snow Skis", "Cricket Basket", "Sav-A-Life Rescue Ball" and "Quik Change Sliding Sinker" to name but a few.

Fortunately, the price tag on this is 99 cents so certainly worth try!

Reel-Pal Instructions

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
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