The "Improved" Heddon Baby Crab Wiggler
Back on March 27, 2010 we did a piece on extracting information on changes to baits from dated magazine ads. One of the changes that we gathered from that May 1919 add was to note that the Heddon Baby Crab Wiggler was now (1919) equipped with a oval-shaped collar rather than the U-shaped collar it began with in the 1916 introductory ad. The Crab Wiggler has always been a pet peeve of mine ever since I read in an very early reference book that no one was sure which crab came first: the O-collar or the U-collar. There is no confusion today of course as to which came first, but it is still interesting to sort out all the little changes (number of flanges on the collar etc.) and attempt to date these changes.
Today's ad comes from the March 1917 issue of National Sportsman and features the "improved Baby Crab." I must admit that I had never noticed this ad before and it took me a moment to realize that the "improvement" they must be alluding to is the new "under-the-chin" line tie that replaces the 1916 "inchworm"style that was located on the top of the head. So we find that the Baby Crab Wiggler with the "inch worm" line tie was really only around for one year. No wonder they are so much scarcer that those with the second style line tie and by 1919 (possibly sooner, we need to find a definitive 1918 ad) the U'collar had been replace with the Oval-collar.
I tried a Baby Crab wiggler a few years back and was impressed with the energetic wiggle the bait had. With as many as one sees in old tackle boxes and collections, they must have been a decent fish catcher. This is a reminder to myself to give this bait a serious work out next season and see if the bass still like it now that it is 95 years old!
-- Bill Sonnett