Heddon Artistic Minnow

Heddon Artistic Minnow Series No. 50

Heddon - Dowagiac, Michigan


Original Lure Lore Article:
Heddon Artistic Minnow 
Heddon's Dowagiac Artistic Minnow, Body Weight and Box


Seventy-five cents and Heddon's Artistic Minnow was yours, complete with a 1/2 ounce casting weight in a "strong and handsome pasteboard box", according to Heddon's 1907 catalog. (Too bad you weren't thoughtful enough to buy a dozen or so...!) The lure measures 1 3/4" in length and was listed for use with a heavy fly rod. The casting weight (pictured) which weighed 1/2 ounce, could be attached to the line in front of the lure to aid in casting.

The lure had a single belly weight and all of the metal parts on this lure were gold plated except for the rear treble hook. The treble also came with feathers or a bucktail. Colors for this lure include Fancy Sienna Yellow (shown), Fancy Back Green, Yellow/Green back, and Gold/Greenish back, all with hand-painted gill marks.

The Artistic Minnow and Pflueger's Simplex Minnow are almost identical and according to Carl Luckey in his book, Old Fishing Lures and Tackle #4, the best way to tell the difference was the belly weights, i.e., Pflueger used from 1 to 3 belly weights and the single belly weight was larger in diameter than the one Heddon used.

Since the casting weight came with the lure, finding it along with the lure and the box intact is pretty rare and the owner of the lure shown valued it at between $1,250 - $1,500...of course, he didn't pay 75 cents for it either...!  (Note:  these price estimates are from the original 1997 article.)


My Bait Shop Updates:

Here are some updates.  Additional ones will be added over time so be sure to check back.

  • The Heddon Artistic Minnow Series No. 50 was made from 1907-1912.  Below is the cover of a 1907 Heddon catalog (extremely rare):
Heddon 1907 Catalog
  • If you want to get a look at more historic Heddon Catalog covers take a look at our entire library of Heddon Catalogs here.
  • The casting weight was meant to be attached on the line 3" above the minnow.
  • Below is another photo of a Heddon Artistic Minnow courtesy of our friends at Lang's Auction:
Heddon Artistic Minnow
Heddon Artistic Minnow



Test Your Knowledge:  Heddon Artistic Minnow FAQ's:

When was the Heddon Artistic Minnow made?
The Heddon Artistic Minnow was made by the Heddon (James Heddon & Son) out of Dowagiac, Michigan from 1907-1912.

Why did it come with an extra weight?
The Heddon Artistic Minnow came with a casting weight that was meant to be tied about 3" above the minnow thereby giving additional weight when casting, and to prevent the minnow from sinking too rapidly in shallow water.

Where can I find more information on the Heddon Artistic Minnow?
You can find more information on our website My Bait Shop where we have a full page dedicated to the Heddon Artistic Minnow.

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.

Heddon History:  Heddon history and information at My Bait Shop.  Our page where we are continually adding historical information about Heddon.  Be sure to check back as we add more information all the time.

Heddon Lures for Sale:  Heddon lures for sale at My Bait Shop.  Our selection of Heddon lures for sale.  Different ages and price ranges.  Whether you are looking for your collection or tackle box we have something for you.  We add to our inventory almost daily.

Heddon Catalog Covers:  Heddon Catalog Covers and History from 1902 - Present.

Lures For Sale:  See what we have in stock at My Bait Shop for vintage lures.  Our ever changing inventory makes this worth repeat visits.

Unknown Lure

None this issue.


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 August 31, 1997 - Vol. 2, No. 17)
Moved to My Bait Shop in 2021 and updated as applicable

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