"The idea looks Wrong, but its the rightest Thing ever developed..."
The “Football Hardware” Dummy Double
Today's full page ad comes from the May 1913 issue of Outer's Book magazine. The Dummy Double hook was touted as “Jimmy Heddon's last invention” in a similar write up seen here from the May 1913 issue of Field & Stream. James Heddon had passed away in December of 1911, so if he really did invent the Dummy Double hook it took a couple of years to bring it to the public. Considering that only nine years had passed since the Heddon #100 was introduced to the public, this strange looking wooden minnow must have caused many to shake their head in disbelief. The first version, as can be seen in this ad, was a seven-sided minnow that sported odd looking hooks, odd looking hook hardware and no rear hook! The bait came with an extra hook as a replacement but Heddon really hoped that it would not be used on the rear of the bait and brought home the point by attaching the rear spinner with a small circular screweye that was not very suitable for attaching a hook. Many fishermen (as well as present day collectors) thought the bait looked odd without the rear hook and went ahead and attached the extra Dummy Double hook to the rear of the bait.
Changes came rapidly. The seven-sided body immediately gave way to a five-sided body, as configured on the Heddon “0” minnow. By looking at the following photos of the dis-assembly of this hook hardware, one gets some idea how difficult this “Football Hardware” ( a name given by collectors to this style of hook hardware) must have been to assemble on each bait. The first style of flat clips that were used in “football hardware” overlapped inside the bait and a pin was inserted in the belly of the bait passing up through a hole in each clip when the holes were lined up. Some, as those seen here, had notches to accommodate the pin rather than holes. The last Dummy Doubles to have “football hardware” have no holes in the clips and no pins, they simply depend on a tight fit to hold them in place.
All this quickly led to another change in the bait. When the 1914 Heddon Catalog appeared, “football hardware” was gone forever and in its place a new type of hook hardware appeared on the Dummy Double. This new hook hardware was so successful that within two years it replaced the older “cup-rig” hardware on most of Heddon's minnows. Today collectors call this new hardware “L-rig” after the L-shaped screw that attaches the hook. "L-rig" was to be used on most of Heddon's wooden baits through 1933.
Special thanks goes out to Joe Stagnetti this week for his consultation on the Dummy Double. Joe is an astute observer and has the most advanced collection of Dummy Doubles that I am aware of.
-- Bill Sonnett