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August 1, 2003 - Vol. 8, No. 2

Heddon Timber Rattler

Timber Rattler Lures
Timber Rattler & Timber Rattler Minnow

One lure collectible area is lures of recent vintage that have been discontinued by the manufacturer. Though not what one would consider an 'investment' collectible since these were produced in mass quantities, they still are popular since many collectors cannot afford the big ticket items - spending $1000+ for a lure is just not practical for a majority of collectors.

One such lure is the Heddon Timber Rattler, one of the last wood lures produced under the Heddon name which was now owned by Ebsco Industries. Introduced in 1985, the Timber Rattler was assigned the series number X100. According the the writeup on this lure in the 1985 Heddon catalog, the lure was made of White Cedar, " wood, extremely buoyant, that through it's own evolution has learned to resist moisture...(it) has an indcredibly tight grain that actually gets tighter during a special, one to two year, curing process."

The Timber Rattler was so named because not only is it made of wood but it is hollow inside. In the hollow chamber are some inserts that rattle when the lure moves. Heddon claimed that this was the "...first nationally distributed rattling wood artificial."

The Timber Rattler weighs in at 3/8 oz,measures 2-1/2" in length and had two treble hooks. It is a medium to deep diving crank bait that rolls and wobbles when retrieved. It came in five colors, CRD (Crawdad), GRA (Fluorescent Green Crawdad), NBW (Black Shiner), SHD (Shad) and SUN (Sunfish). These are all common colors and fairly easy to find for this lure.

Timber Rattler Color Chart
Timber Rattler Color Chart

In 1986, Heddon added a second lure to the Timber Rattler line, the "Timber Rattler Minnow", series number X150. This model was 5/8 oz., measured 4-1/2" in length, and had three treble hooks. The Timber Rattler Minnow also came in five colors, BRT (Brown Rainbow Trout), GRA (Fluorescent Green Crawdad), NBW (Black Shiner), NPB (Blue Shiner), and SHD (Shad). Of these colors, BRT and NPB are the more difficult to find. The Timber Rattler Minnow is less common than the standard Timber Rattler so it is not as easily found.

Timber Rattler Packaging

Both the Timber Rattler and the Timber Rattler Minnow were packaged on a card inside a plastic 'box' that was glued to the card. The Timber Rattler has a collector value of between $5-$10; add $5-$10 if in original packaging (values are for excellent condition, common colors). The Timber Rattler Minnow has a collector value of $10-$20; add $5-$10 if in original packaging. The colors BRT and NPB can go for as much as $30-$40 for those in original packaging.

UPDATE - 9/1/2011: I received this email from Owen Taylor regarding this lure!

"Thanks for your posting about the Timber Rattler. I named the lure.

I was a freelance writer at the time and did an extensive amount of work for Fishing Tackle Retailer magazine, which was owned by Bass Angler Sportsmen Society. Rebel had purchased Heddon and was trying to revitalize the brand. The lure was the first big push in that campaign. Among other things, Rebel (I think it was called Plastics Research as the main company name) bought several pages in FTR for an advertorial about the lure. I was assigned to write it.

I flew to western Arkansas to see the prototype and learn about the design, then to Wisconsin to tour the ancient lure factory that was put back into production to turn out the lure. The funny thing was, the company hadn't thought of a name for the lure. Obviously, I needed it needed a name before I could write the article.

On the way from Arkansas to Wisconsin, it struck me that the lure was made of wood -- timber -- and rattled. So, call it the Timber Rattler. I found a pay phone during a layover, called the guys at Rebel and suggested that. They were giddy. They ran a trademark check and found that they name was available.

The early version -- not sure how much this might have changed -- was that the lure's eyes were little glass circles made in France and either pinned into or glued onto the body. They were kind of on either side of the sound chamber where the little BB rolled back and forth. As the lure swam through the water and the BB moved back and forth to create the sound, it also caused enough vibration to loosen and knock the eyes off the lure.

One of my contacts at Rebel told me that a couple of years later at what at that time was the AFTMA show (American Fishing Tackle Manufacturers Association).

I was only given one lure, and it's still in the box.

Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!"

Owen Taylor
Brandon, Mississippi


Early 1900's Tackle Box

1900's Tackle Box

The first time I saw this 'bag' it was sitting on a old cardtable in a basement along with a bunch of old bamboo rods which to say the least, were total junk. The bag was covered with dirt and dust and I honestly had no idea it was a tackle bag!

On either side of the bag are clasps that release the bottom, after which you just lift the bag up and lo and behold, a cantilevered tray tackle box is revealed! A leather label on the bag revealed that it was made by the Knickerbocker Case Company of Chicago, Illinois. On one of the tray ends is the notation "Patented 1908" and with the help of Laurie Bingham, she was able to find the original patent information on this bag. From the patent information, it was not originally intended to be a tackle box but a salesman's display case. In any event, it is truly a unique piece! To view the patent in PDF format on this case, click HERE. Special and sincere thanks to Laurie for helping me with the patent information!

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 2003 by Tom Jacomet - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED