Though I'm not an avid collector of fishing rods, I have several in my tackle collection ranging from early bamboo to fiberglass and variations in-between. With the acquisition of the Heddon rod I found at the flea market, I thought it might be appropriate to discuss one of the more popular and collectible rods, the Heddon Pal Spook casting rod.
The Heddon Pal Spook casting rod was first introduced in 1950. Made of solid fiberglass, with a polished aluminum reel seat, cork handle with red plastic butt cap, and a checkered maple foregrip in silver-gray antique finish, it was assigned Heddon #7751. The guides (eyes) were made of Carboloy (carbide) finished in silver chrome and had silver windings trimed in red. It came in a leatherette case with a metal tube to protect the tip. The rod came in two lengths, 5' and 5 1/2', both in extra light (XL) and medium light (ML) actions. The model number, length and action was marked on the rod so for this rod, a typical marking might be "7751-XL 5' as well as the words "Heddon Pal Spook."
In 1951, the #7751 was replaced and three different numbered Pal Spook rods appeared. The #4451 named the "Universal" was the low-end rod, selling for $11.00. It had a green handle, a grooved aluminum foregrip, chrome guides, green & black wraps, and came in a cloth bag. The #5551 named the "Standard" sold for $16.50 and had a finished aluminum handle handle, a plastic (tenite) foregrip, chrome guides with maroon and yellow trim wraps and came in a leatherette case. The high end rod, #6651 ($22.00) named the "Deluxe" had a silver-gray aluminum handle, with matching tenite foregrip, Carboloy (carbide) guides, silver-gray and red trim wraps, and came in a leatherette case with a metal tube.
These first rods came in a variety of lengths ranging from 4' to 5 1/2' and actions including extra light (XL), light (L), medium (M) and heavy (H). The #5551 and #6651 were offered with a extra-long cork handle (2" longer) for the heavy actions and were designated LH.
In 1952, Heddon added another rod to the top of the Pal Spook solid glass line, the "No. 1", also called the "Deluxe". A step above the #6651, the "No. 1" had gold guides and tip, gold & black trim windings, a tenite foregrip made to look like burled walnut which was gold flecked and checkered. It had a black handle and also came in a leatherette case with metal tube. It sold for $25.
Also added was the #3351 at the bottom of the line. This rod has a handle and foregrip made of maroon colored polystyrene, chrome guides with maroon wraps and was priced at a modest $7.95.
Also in 1952, Heddon added some speciality rods made of solid fiberglass. These included the #470 spinning rod, the #450 Riptide Casting rod, the #450LH which was the same as the #450 except it had a standard casting rod handle (offset) that was 2" longer, and the #440, the Weakfish rod.
These rods continued to be produced through the 1950's with the only changes being the lengths and actions which they came in. In 1957, two additional models were added to the Pal Spook line, the #3352 and the #4051. They were nearly identical to the #3351 and #4451 respectively except that they had spinning rod guides and a clear fiberglass tip.
Chart of Models, Actions, and Years of Production
1958 was the last year that Heddon made the Pal Spook rods. They were replaced in 1959 with the Mark series rods.
Heddon Pal Spook casting rods have a wide value range, depending upon model, condition, and case. Low end rods can be found for as little as $10 to $20 but prices can rise to the $125 range as well.
This wood lure is just over 4" in length, has eye screws for hook hangers and nose line tie. Eyes appear are either painted or decal. Age lines in the paint indicate it is not of recent vintage.
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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