Heddon River Runts -- the most famous lures in America
The standard Heddon river-runt-spook is their model 9110. It's weight was ½ ounce and 2 1/2 inches long. In the Heddon vest-pocket catalog, it states this lure was available in 12 different colors. Of all the Heddon lures, this is probably the most common and easily found. The original see through river runt had a shallow diving metal lip and sank slowly. The action was very dramatic as it wobbled from side to side. It was promoted as an excellent lure for large and small-mouth bass, northern pike and all other game fish. The challenge for this lure is to get one with its original and appropriately marked box. Even better is to obtain the lure box with a color copy of the Heddon vest pocket catalog. It's interesting to know that many of the Heddon lure boxes came with fishing instructions on the bottom of the box. The instructions read, "Do not just cast out and reel in, but vary the speed of retrieving the bait by slow and fast jerks of the rod tip. With the Sinking River Runt, allow the bait to sink close to the bottom, then give a sharp jerk and retrieve for a few feet-then pause and allow the bait to sink again-then repeat." Considering the age of that description, Heddon was well ahead of its time in regards to innovative fishing techniques. Those instructions can be found in any respected fishing magazine today. Being an avid fisherman, I assure you such methods will catch fish when applied with an understanding of basic fish nature and seasonal location.
Plastic model 9110 River Runts are from the 1950's. As noted, they came in at least 12 different colors when the Heddon vest pocket catalog was made. However, when it came to plastic Heddon lure colors, it has been said they came "in more colors than we can count." Always be very observant for rare colors because that is the main catalyst in adding value to River Runts. The rarity of the lure is a non-factor because so many were made. In the "Heddon Legacy" book, it states a value range from $5 to $20 each. I would agree keeping in mind that figure does not include the box and vest pocket catalog. It's common for knowledgeable sellers to ask $50 to $75 for rare colors with the proper box and paperwork. However, good deals can still be found if you're patient. Last summer, I found a red/white model 9110 River Runt, box and papers for $10. Another Heddon River Runt purchase I made included a model 9010xrg. That code is for a green shore minnow color. The purchase included the proper box and vest catalog for $30. I share that only to give you an example of the wide range of value involving River Runt lures. I believe $30 for the red/white river runt would have been too much. It's my hope you are beginning to understand the factors that dramatically affect the value of a lure purchase. Pay only top price if the condition and rarity are evident. I like the Heddon River Runt lure because its easily found, affordable and a great entry level lure for the beginning collector. Go to any flea market and I would be surprised if you couldn't find a few River Runts for sale. As with any purchase, know what you're buying and you do that by researching, buying printed resources and talking with knowledgeable collectors. Until next time, may all your searches be successful.