Abu Hi-Lo

Abu Hi-Lo

Abu Hi Lo 
Abu Hi-Lo

In a previous edition of Lure Lore, I mentioned the names of several lures which were made with adjustable or interchangeable diving lips, among them the Abu Hi-Lo. The history of this lure is a bit fuzzy as there is very little published information that I could find. Karl White's book, "Fishing Tackle Antiques and Collectibles", lists this lure as being made in 1957 by Charles Garcia, New York, under the name Abu Hi-Lo.  Robert Slade's "Encycodpedia of Old Fishing Lures Made in North America" shows this as patented in Sweden in the 1950's.  Another listing shows the same lure as being made by Heddon in 1959 under the name Abu Hi-Lo River Runt Spook although Heddon catalogs for that year and subsequent years have no listing for the lure. I suspect it was made for the overseas market under the Heddon name and given that Garcia was making the lure, it is reasonable to believe that Heddon had some arrangement with Garcia to produce it.
Abu Hi Lo
Abu Hi-Lo markings

In any event, the Heddon 'version' is clearly marked with the Heddon name as you can see in the photo above. Those made under the Abu name are marked solely with the Abu name. Note too that one of the Abu versions has the additional word "patent" on it and I suspect these are earlier versions of the lure as the more recently produced ones simply say "Abu Hi-Lo."
Abu Hi Lo adjustable lip
Abu Hi-Lo adjustable lip

The adjustable lip could be set to six different positions as shown in this 1985 Abu Garcia catalog illustration so the lure's depth could be set from very deep to surface popping and various steps in-between.

This lure is known to come in six different configurations. They are:

65mm (approx.2-5/8")(12 grams) Sinking (bottom lure shown above)
80mm (approx. 3-1/8")(18 grams) Sinking (middle lure shown above)
90mm (approx. 3-1/2")(20 grams) Jointed Sinking
110mm (approx. 4-1/4")(26 grams) Sinking
110mm (approx. 4-1/4")(26 grams) Floating (top two lures shown above)
150mm (approx. 6")(40 grams) Floating Musky Size

Of the six sizes, the Heddon came only in the 80mm size that I know of.

Colors for this lure in the earlier versions tended to be the more common colors and include Pike Scale (M), Silver Shore (XRS), Black Shore (XBW), Yellow Shore (XRY), Perch Scale (YP or L) and White, Red Head (RH). In later years, other colors have been added. These include:

Green (D)
Brownish Yellow w/red spots (T)(also called Trout Scale)(2nd lure from top pictured above)
Brown & Orange (BO)
Blue Flanks, Dark Back (BGL)(also called Bluegill)
Luminous (LYS)(also called Fluor)
Black & Yellow (BY)(top lure pictured above)
Rainbow (P)

From a collecting standpoint, the Heddon marked Hi-Lo's are the more sought-after and have a value I would estimate between $25-$35. Abu Hi-Lo's tend to run from $15 to $30 but one should be aware that Abu continues to make the Hi-Lo line of lures for the overseas market, although on a somewhat erratic basis as they are not always listed in their catalogs.  Both tend to get more in tougher colors and with boxes.  

(Author's note: I would like to thank Mike Stevens of Pennsylvania and especially Greg Wirth of Australia for the materials they provided me!)

Here are three more recent photos of an Abu Hi-Lo that is available for sale on My Bait Shop.  You can see the box it came in as well.

Abu Hi Lo


You can see more information on this lure for sale here.  Check out all of our Abu Hi-Lo lures we have for sale here (note inventory can change daily).


Test Your Knowledge:  Abu Hi-Lo FAQ's:

What company made the Abu Hi-Lo fishing lure?
The Abu Hi-Lo was made by Garcia.

When were the Abu-Hi Lo fishing lures made?
The patent and information generally points to these lures being manufactured in the 1950's up through at least the early 1980's.

How many positions could the adjustable lip be set to?
This feature really set the Abu Hi-Lo apart.  The adjustable lip could be set to six different positions allowing the lure to run from very shallow to deep.

Where can I find more information on the Abu Hi-Lo lure?
You can find more information on our website My Bait Shop where we have a full page dedicated to the Abu Hi-Lo as well as have them for sale from time to time.

Related Articles / Pages:

Lure Lore:  More great Lure Lore articles on My Bait Shop featuring in depth lure reviews and historical data.  An ever-growing section started in 1997 and continued on today at My Bait Shop.

Abu Hi-Lo Search Results:  See what we have in stock at My Bait Shop for Abu Hi-Lo lures.  Our ever changing inventory makes this worth repeat visits.

Unknown Lure

Unknown Lure:  Joe Pepper Lure

This unknown lure was sent to me by fellow collector and NFLCC member Tom Wight.

UNKNOWN UPDATE: Two of my fine readers identified the lure as a Joe Pepper lure!


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.

(Originally Published on LureLore.com on November 8, 1998 - Vol. 3, No. 15)
Moved to My Bait Shop in 2020 and updated as applicable

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