The Scissor-Tail: Heddon's Weirdest Lure?

Heddon Lures
Post Reply
User avatar
Marrakai
Guru
Guru
Posts: 507
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:14 pm
Location: Darwin, Northern Territory
Contact:

The Scissor-Tail: Heddon's Weirdest Lure?

Post by Marrakai » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:48 pm

Judging by the odd photo in early Outdoors and Fishing magazines, these things have been around in Oz since the mid-1960s but despite making a serious nuisance of myself around most Queensland tackle-shops as a kid I never actually saw one in the flesh.

Figuring that no Heddon collection could be complete without a Scissortail, I finally tracked-down an affordable example in the US a while back.

What an amazing thing! Mad! Can't believe people actually cast them into the water for fish!

This one is the early pattern, with gold eyes and gold stenciling, introduced in 1953.
Black, with silver flitter in the 'scissor'.
ScissorTail_1.jpg
<click to enlarge>
ScissorTail_2.jpg
ScissorTail_3.jpg
ScissorTail_4.jpg
Frank: I checked through your earlier posts on 'Normal Heddons' but didn't really expect to find a Scissortail as they are anything but normal! Image

Anyone else got one of these to show off?

Perhaps a full set...? Image
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Marrakai
Australia's Top End

Image

User avatar
MXB
Master
Master
Posts: 1642
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: The Scissor-Tail: Heddon's Weirdest Lure?

Post by MXB » Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:30 am

@Marrakai . . .

They are nice collectable lures and I do have a couple somewhere. thumbsupsmilie

My understanding history wise that they were a short run due to complaints by anglers as the 'scissor motion' quickly became non 'scissor action' when the sparkles gummed up with corrosion, algae etc. and the little tail sections didn't function properly. Might explain why there are a few of them that often come up for sale that are in near mint condition. I like the concept tho' and the different eyes.

Good find and another series to collect!! lol lol

MXB

howdy
IF YOU ARE FEELING DOWN JUST PULL OUT YOUR FAVOURITE LURE AND DREAM OF BETTER TIMES

User avatar
diemai
Master
Master
Posts: 2438
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:09 am
Location: near Hamburg/Germany

Re: The Scissor-Tail: Heddon's Weirdest Lure?

Post by diemai » Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:25 pm

@ Marrakai

Thanks for putting these up , very interesting lures , indeed thumbsupsmilie !

@ MXB

This is exactly what I have read about these issues on these lures as well .

I have seen a lure with configuration a bit similar in one of my books before ,........ also split up along its center line , but it was the fore end of a one piece lure .
The parts are jointed somewhat like the jaws of a crocodile , the mainline would lead trough an eye on the tip of the lower jaw from below and be fixed to another eye on the upper jaw . As the lure floats on the surface , the lower part is supposed to hang a bit submerged and the upper jaw hangs afloat , so on a twitch the two jaws would hit one another generating noise and commotion .

Just don't remember it's name right now , but I find it quite amazing , whith what kinda constructions the lure designers of yesteryear all came up with thumbsupsmilie !

greetz , diemai howdy
Hurts so bad living in a loony bin !

User avatar
fishaholiclures
Master
Master
Posts: 2833
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:37 pm
Location: Brisbane, QUeensland

Re: The Scissor-Tail: Heddon's Weirdest Lure?

Post by fishaholiclures » Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:46 pm

From my favorite Heddon reference site
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 advert 1953.jpg

Scissortail Color Chart
scissortail colours.JPG
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.


I had a Yellow Shore one inmy collection but sold it back to the US quite some time ago. It was an interesting design all right.

Cheers Brad
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
I know what I know, the rest is simply details
acta non verba

User avatar
Marrakai
Guru
Guru
Posts: 507
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:14 pm
Location: Darwin, Northern Territory
Contact:

Re: The Scissor-Tail: Heddon's Weirdest Lure?

Post by Marrakai » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:40 pm

Great info Brad, thanks.

Only seven more to go to complete the set!! Image

I can certainly understand that both top and bottom 'scissor' would stay together as the lure wiggled, as both halves would have no choice but to follow the head-section through the wiggle. The top 'blade' would probably have to be fixed integral with the head-section for the scissor motion to work.
...but there is no way the glitter on the inside surfaces of the split tail could make the two halves stick together, as claimed by the 'unhappy fishermen' mentioned above.
For the two flittered surfaces to touch, the lure would have to be really stuffed!!
You can see the gap in the first photo of my initial post.

I'm going to run the Scissor-Tail in my backyard pool in the next day or so to see what really happens!

Stay tuned....
Marrakai
Australia's Top End

Image

User avatar
Lure-Nut
Master
Master
Posts: 2260
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:26 am
Location: Mermaid Waters, QLD
Contact:

Re: The Scissor-Tail: Heddon's Weirdest Lure?

Post by Lure-Nut » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:26 pm

Never seen that before .... great lure clapclap clapclap thumbsupsmilie
Cheers Rob

Jigmaster
Guru
Guru
Posts: 564
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:05 pm

Re: The Scissor-Tail: Heddon's Weirdest Lure?

Post by Jigmaster » Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:10 am

Marrakai

Like you I have been waiting for the opportunity to get a Scissor-tail at a reasonable price.

Pretty weird - but I think that the Hi-Tail is more weird - can't see how it would actually produce the goods and therefore I would have collected them like mad!

Also have to say that the Cousin with the huge front tow point is pretty out there as well - and no don't have any of these yet either. Having to be good at the moment.
Image

User avatar
Marrakai
Guru
Guru
Posts: 507
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:14 pm
Location: Darwin, Northern Territory
Contact:

Re: The Scissor-Tail: Heddon's Weirdest Lure?

Post by Marrakai » Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:49 pm

Well, fuelled by a liberal quantity of Metala last night, ol'mate Bart and I fired-up the flood-lights over the back-yard pool and sent the Scissor-Tail out for a swim!

Happy to report that the 'scissor' does indeed work, and that the black body with silver flitter is an impressive combination, at least under lights!

The tail did not scissor to the full extent, a fair bit less than half in fact, but it was enough to expose a reasonable amount of the flittered surfaces and create serious flash.

In all, the colour and action is reminiscent of a very large water beetle, the 'scissors' giving the appearance of beetle wing-covers, and the silver flitter looking for all the world like the shiny trapped air-film of an underwater insect.
I wonder if that is what the designers had in mind?

...or had we simply over-imbibed?! Image
Marrakai
Australia's Top End

Image

Post Reply

Return to “James Heddon”