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. 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.
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."
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
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:
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)
From a collecting standpoint, the Heddon marked Hi-Lo's are the more sought-after and have a value I would estimate between $15-$25. Abu Hi-Lo's tend to run from $5 to $15 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.
(Author's note: I would like to thank Mike Stevens of Pennsylvania and especially Greg Wirth of Australia for the materials they provided me!)
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. Lures pictured in Lure Lore are not for sale.
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Web Author: Tom Jacomet
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