Heddon Hi-Tail

Heddon Hi-Tail / Topkick (No. 305, 1962-1962)

Heddon - Dowagiac, Michigan


Original Lure Lore Article:
Heddon Hi-Tail Display Card 
Heddon Hi-Tail Lures on Sales Display Card

The Heddon Hi-Tail lure was introduced in 1960, two years before Heddon was 'adopted' by Daisy. It was one of three new lures that year, the other two being jig lures. The Hi-Tail is a surface lure which, according to the catalog, "...neither you or the bass will be able to let it rest when you see its tail-flicking, gurgling, rollicking surface antics..." Somehow, I suspect that any such action was probably caused by the violent shaking of the rod due to uncontrollable laughter?

Anyway, this guy weighed in at 1/3 of an ounce, had a length of 2 inches, and a single treble hook. It was given the Heddon number 305. Due to tremendous popularity, he disappeared after 1962, thus ending a 3 year career of gurgling, rollicking, etc.

Cataloged or listed colors included Frog (F), Black (B), Silver Flitter (SS), Yellow (Y), Perch (L) and White, Red Head (RH) and were the same listed colors for all three years. Colors known to exist but were not in the Heddon catalogs include Shad, Yellow Shore Minnow, Black & White Check, Red & White Check, Silver Shore Minnow, one with silver sides with yellow dots, yellow face, and the Budweiser advertising Hi-Tail. These uncataloged colors are considered very scarce. One variation I'm aware of was the printing on the belly which was black before Daisy took over, but gold after that.

Heddon Hi-Tail Colors


Heddon Hi-Tail Uncatalogued Colors

The black-checked Hi-Tail is a bit different because it was not marked on the belly like most according to the owner though other examples are known to be marked.. It is referred to as the "500 Winner" as indicated in the advertising piece found in a 1972 Hulman Co. Catalogue. The "Budweister" Hi-Tail was found in-the-box and which was stamped "305RH" and "Budweiser Lure". There is also a a red-checked Hi-Tail that was produced as an advertising lure for the Purina Company.

Heddon Hi-Tail Budweiser Lure

Budweiser Hi-Tail in original box



My Bait Shop Updates:

Here are some additional updates:
  • The Black and White Checkered Hi-Tail is often referred to as the Indy or Indy 500 lure.  It's highly collectible and is one of the rarest Hi-Tails.
  • The Hi-Tail was originally called the Top-Kick but the name had to be changed at the last moment as a trademark search turned up an existing lure and challenge.  Top-Kick was already taken by Miller Lures out of Kansas City, Missouri.  A photo of this Top Kick Lure is shown below. 

Miller Lures Top-Kick Lure 

Miller Lures Top-Kick

  • Some examples of the Heddon Top Kick were already produced and in distribution so they do exist. There are also examples where Top Kick is painted over with Hi-Tail.  You can see the three versions below in the photo.  One belly marked TopKick which is the rarest.  One which has TopKick painted over (you can see it if you hold up to the light), and the last version corrected to Hi-Tail.

Heddon Hi-Tail Versions

Heddon Hi-Tail Versions


If anybody has additional information or paperwork such as early advertisements they would share it would be greatly appreciated.


Test Your Knowledge:  Heddon Hi-Tail FAQ's:

When was the Heddon Hi-Tail produced?
The Heddon Hi-Tail had a short lived history and was only produced from 1960-1962.

Where was the original name of the Heddon Hi-Tail?
The Heddon Hi-Tail was originally called the TopKick.  This had to be changed as the name TopKick was already taken by Miller Lures of Kansas City, Missouri.  Some early Heddon TopKick lures can be found before the name was changed. 

Where can I find more information on the Heddon Hi-Tail?
You can find more information on our website My Bait Shop where we have a full page dedicated to the Heddon Hi-Tail fishing lure.

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.

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

Unknown Lure

At a recent tackle show, I found this fellow which I caught my attention because I thought it was an L&S lure. The color and eye configuration are so much like an L&S that a serious L&S collector who was nearby saw it and thought it was too! Anyway, White's book has it listed as a 'unknown' Pico lure of unknown manufacture. It measures 2 3/4" long, has a one-piece belly rig and a surface weight glued to the nose. From all appearances, the weight is original.

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 March 08, 1998 - Vol. 3, No. 5)
Moved to My Bait Shop in 2020 and updated as applicable

© 2020, My Bait Shop, LLC