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December 13, 1998 - Vol. 3, No. 17

Heddon Silver Salmon River Runt Spook

Silver Salmon River Runt Spook
Silver Salmon River Runt Spook

Seems whenever something unusual with River Runts pops up on Ebay, I get all kinds of messages! A day or so ago, this unusual River Runt Spook went up for auction and I thought it might appropriate to present on Lure Lore.

This lure is Heddon's Silver Salmon River Runt Spook and up until last year, I'd seen only one like it at the Nationals 2 years ago and at that time, it was a 'unknown' color variation.

Belly Printing - Silver Salmon Runt

It is, however, documented in Don Streater's book. The lure has the body of the standard floater model with the old deep diving lip. The hook hardware is a bit different, however, as the hooks are fastened to only 1 piece of the traditional 2 piece hardware using rings. In addition to the hardware variation, there is a large gill mark on either side of the lure.

Other than Streater's, I've found no other reference to this lure in any of the Heddon catalogs but I believe it dates to the late 1930's. Note that the one pictured suffers from shrinkage, a common ailment of the early plastic River Runts. The Silver Salmon Runt in particular, is noted for this condition and of 3 I've seen in over 5 years, all were severely shrunken. Streater also noted this in his book.

The Heddon number assigned to this lure was S9409XRY and again, of the 3 I've seen, all were in Yellow Shore. Whether or not other color varieties exist is unknown. It came in the standard 2 piece River Runt cardboard box. I have no idea as to value since I've never seen one for sale.



Unknown Reel

UPDATE, July 4, 2011: This reel has been identified as a Merit Reel, made by Stadler, Inc. of California, c. 1950's. More information on this pivoting reel and other pivoting reels can be found on Phil White's web site, OLDREELS.COM!

This unusual reel comes to us from Ron Bennett and is marked with the name "Merit Reel" and manufacturer's name "Stalder, Inc. - USA." Ron writes:

"As you can see from the picture, the line would enter the guide at the top, and would be wound around the spool, which spins in a clockwise direction and pivots slightly fore and aft as the handle is cranked. When the large thumb button is depressed, the spool pivots forward to permit the line to play off the spool in much the same manner as an open faced spinning reel."

"As there is no means of locking the spool in the forward position (the spool returns to the upright position immediately upon releasing pressure on the thumb button), I can only assume casting with the reel involved some significant timing during the forward motion of the fishing rod to depress the thumb button at the proper instant to shift the spool into the casting position..."

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 1998 by Tom Jacomet - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED