January 24, 2003 - Vol. 8, No. 1

The "Amazing" Heddon Scissortail Lure
By Jeff Geye & Tom Jacomet

Scissortail Catalog Ad
1953 Heddon Catalog Ad for Scissortail Lure

In 1953, Heddon introduced the Scissortail lure, Heddon series #9830, a two piece plastic lure with a split tail that 'scissored' when retrieved. The Scissortail is 3-1/2" long and weighs in at 5/8 ounce. The split tail supposedly swiveled back and forth in a 'scissors' like manner when retrieved. This lure was made from 1953 to 1956, a relatively short production time of only four (4) years.

Scissortail Color Chart
Scissortail Color Chart

The Scissortail came in eight colors and to our knowledge, no other colors exist. The colors were:

9830M - Pike Scale
9830L - Perch Scale
9830P - Shiner Scale
9830RH - Red Head/White Body
9830SO - Spotted Orange
9830XRS - Silver Shore Minnow
9830XRY - Yellow Shore Minnow
9830XBY - Black & White Shore Minnow

Of note is that the three Shore Minnow patterns do not have the distinctive shore minnow ribs which are standard on all the Heddon Shore Minnow colors, but instead has a solid silver body with silver scales on the Silver Shore (XRS), solid yellow body with yellow scales on the Yellow Shore (XRY), and solid black body with black scales on the Black & White Shore (XBW).

By 1956 Heddon had reduced the colors to six, and no longer offered the 9830L (Perch Scale) and 9830RH (Red Head/White body).

The amazing "Scissortail", as it was named in the 1953 catalog may have been a victim of its design. Rumor has it that fisherman weren't happy with the performance as the tail section didn't 'scissors'. The glitter on the inside surfaces of the split tail tended to make the two halves stick together. This is probably the reason for the short Scissortail production run of only four years. It was obviously cheaper to discontinue it's production than it would have been to re-engineer it.

Scissortail Boxes
Scissortail Boxes

The early '50's are generally regarded as the time when Heddon made the transition from the two piece cardboard box to the plastic top box. The Scissortail came in both styles of boxes.

The Heddon Scissortail lure is fairly common and easy to color collect. Prices have risen in recent years from the 15-20 dollar range to the 25-35 dollar range, and sometimes more for certain colors such as Natural Scale. New scissortails in the box always command more money and can run $75 to $100, particularly in the two piece cardboard box.

Heddon  Scissortail Advertisement
Heddon Scissortail Advertisement
(Click to see full ad)

This advertisement for the Scissortail lure appeared in the May, 1953 edition of Harding's Fur-Fish-Game Magazine. (Special thanks to Glen Brewton for the picture!)

Not-In-The-Books Canadian Lure

Jasper Lure
Jasper Lure

The Jasper Lure appears to have been made by a individual rather than a company, based on the marking on the end of the box shown below. Made in Ottawa, Canada, this particular model measures 3-1/2" long but according to the box markings, it came in three sizes and twelve colors. Special thanks to collector Dave Shwadlenak for these pictures!

Jasper Lure Box
Jasper Lure Box, Insert & Box end views

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
Copyright ©2003 by Tom Jacomet - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED