Antique Fishing Lures by Floyd Roberts

Heddon

Big Bud's

  The Heddon #9410 bait is a replica of a Budweiser beer can.  Jack Davis was the original designer of the Big Bud which first appeared in the 1975 Heddon catalog.  Heddon then PRADCO sold hundreds of thousands of these Big Buds since they came out as a promotional item for Anheuser-Busch in 1978.

  Through the years the Heddon Big Bud lure went through a few design changes.  Shortly after PRADCO acquired Heddon they changed the hardware design and got away from the screw eyes for the hooks and spinner.  PRADCO modified the tooling to use figure-8 wire forms like all of their other lures and secured them in place with a post in the part that locks into a socket in the opposite side securing the wire.  This was done to make the lure stronger.  The Bud's were also sold in several different packages.  The early Big Bud's were sold in a Heddon Victor Comptometer Company slide top box then followed by the Heddon Victor Comptometer Green Diamond sealed box.  After the Heddon company was sold to Walter Kiddle in 1977 the Big Bud's were sold in the Kiddle Green Diamond box.  One year later Heddon was sold again to a group of investors.  From 1978 to 1983 or 1984 the Big Bud was sold in the Heddon Green Diamond Blister Pack packaging. After EBSCO purchased Heddon in 1983 the Big Bud's were then sold in the early PRADCO packaging and finally in the 1990's in PRADCO's latest Green card blister packaging.

#9410 Big Bud Hardware Changes

  Everything about the Budweiser label had to conform to Anheuser-Bush's label standards.  Every time Anheuser-Busch changed the label on their can, PRADCO was given new artwork and they had to change the label on their lure.  This was a MUST and Anheuser-Busch dictated the changes in the labels not PRADCO.

Budweiser Label

 

Early Heddon/Victor Comptometer Slide Top Box - Vertical Printing

Early Heddon/ PRADCO Packaging - Vertical Printing

Heddon/ PRADCO  - Horizontal Printing

Heddon/PRADCO Green Card Blister Package - Horizontal Script

  Tobacco Label

  PRADCO made more Big Bud lures than just the Budweiser lure.  In the mid 1980's PRADCO was commissioned by the United States Smokeless Tobacco Company to special make the #9416 Skoal and #9417 Copenhagen Big Bud lures.  These baits were never offered in PRADCO catalogs.  They are very difficult to find and are considered rare by collectors. 

 

PRADCO #9416 Skoal Big Bud

PRADCO #9417 Copenhagen Big Bud

Budweiser Label

  August Busch III (Chairman and Chief Executive) is the fourth generation of the family to run Anheuser-Busch.  The Big Bud Lite (X9410-LT) lure was ordered by August Busch himself.  It was ordered as a promotional item and was a exclusive gift for Anheuser-Busch distributors.  It was also available for a short time in the Anheuser-Busch catalog for $15. each.  The Big Bud Lite lure had a red light that was inside the head which would blink when the lure was tapped.

 

PRADCO - Bid Bud Lite -  #9410 - LT

Coors Label

In the 1994 PRADCO catalog the #9415 Coors lures was advertised as the New Coors lure.  Just like Anheuser-Busch the Coors lure was a promotional lure for the Coors Brewing Company.  At the end of 2002 Coors gave PRADCO the same new marketing thrust as the Anheuser-Busch company, however, they still value the exposure gained by having these lures in fishermen's tackle boxes, tackle shops and in their brewery gift shops.  PRADCO will continue to manufacture the Big Bud #9415 with the Coors label.  Both the #9410 & #9415 Big Bud lures were available in the U.S.A. from PRADCO.  

 

  X9415 Coors Lure

Heddon/PRADCO Green Card Blister Package

  

  This is a 6 pack of Bid Bud's in the original PRADCO shipping carton.  This 6 pack was a gift from my good friend Mr. Clyde. A. Harbin, Sr. (The Famous Bassman).  Mr. Harbin requested these lures from Lanny West, Senior Director of Marketing and International Sales, PRADCO Outdoor Brands when he learned that Anheuser-Busch Inc. was not going to renew their license agreement with PRADCO for 2003.

 

PRADCO - Big Bud 6 Pack

  Just before the end of the year (2002) PRADCO was advised by Anheuser-Busch Inc. that their license agreement for the Big Bud fishing lure would not be renewed for the new year and all sales of this lure must cease.  Under the terms of their agreement PRADCO had 60 days to liquidate the remaining inventory.  The Anheuser-Busch company changed their marketing thrust and determined that their target customer is no longer the fisherman but rather the 21 to 30 year old male who participates in "extreme sports".


Heddon - PRADCO

Japanese Marketed Bud's

  In 1977 the Smith Company located in Japan requested Heddon to special make six of their lures in Heddon colors that were used when they were first released.  Heddon then PRADCO continued to make these six lures in special colors for the Smith Ltd. through 1984.  The Olympic Company was another Japanese company that sold Heddon lures. Heddon allowed the Olympic Company to sell Heddon lures in their cataloged colors.  The Olympic/Heddon lures were only marketed for a short time in the early 1980's.  The Heddon/Smith & Olympic lures were only available in Japan and were never marketed in the United States.

 

Page from Japanese Fishing Magazine

 Courtesy of Lanny West, Senior Director of Marketing and International Sales, PRADCO Outdoor Brands

   PRADCO continued to make Heddon lures for the Japanese market and by the late 1990's PRADCO was making dozens of Big Bud lures in classic Heddon colors.  These Big Bud's proved to be a huge success in Japan and many Japanese collectors were collecting them.  The Big Bud became so popular in Japan that tackle shops began airbrushing or pasting on beer, juice and other labels on this can shaped lure.   These repaints or modified versions were beautifully done and sold quickly. These type of lures are not worth much in the United States because most U.S. collectors do not collect repaints but in Japan these repaints have become extremely collectible. 

 

Japanese Modified Big Bud

Modified by Hisashi Muramoto in Japan

  In 2000 PRADCO made nine special commemorative Big Bud lures for the Smith Ltd. in Japan which was celebrating it's 30th Anniversary.  Heddon presently PRADCO has been making special request Heddon lures for the Smith company for 23 years.  Five of these commemorative lures X9410 (S03) thru (S07) wore labels of Ukiyoe paintings.  The English definition of Ukiyoe is "color print of everyday life in the Edo period 1603-1868".  The Ukiyoe painting were painted by the famous Japanese artist Sharaku.  One of the other four Big Bud's had a picture of the Open Seas, one more had Dalmatian spots and the other two had green & brown camouflage colors.  The Smith Ltd. priced these lures at 2200 Japanese Yen each.

 

Page from 2003 Smith Ltd. Catalog

 Courtesy of Lanny West, Senior Director of Marketing and International Sales, PRADCO Outdoor Brands

Smith Company 30th Anniversary

 

Smith Company 30th Anniversary

 

Smith Ltd. 30th Anniversary Specifications Sheets

Courtesy of Lanny West  - PRADCO

 


Special Versions
  • X9410-1
  • X9410-2
  • X9410-3
  • X9410-4
  • X9410-5 (Clear  Budweiser)
  • X9410-6
  • X9410-7 (Florescent Orange Label)
  • X9410-8 (Florescent Pink Label)
  • X9410-9
  • X9410-10 
  • X9410-11 (Heddon Wedge yellow)
  • X9410-12
  • X9410-13
  • X9410-14
  • X9410-15
  • X9410-16
  • X9410-17 (Red Dice)
  • X9410-18 (Black)
  • X9410-19 (Silver Budweiser Label)
  • X9410-20
  • X9410-21 (Clear Red)
  • X9410-22 (Clear Orange)
  • X9410-23 (Mat Chart.)
  • X9410-24
  • X9410-25
  • X9410-26 (Blue Bells)
  • X9410-27 (Pink Bells)
  • X9410-28 (Green Bells)
  • X9410-29 (Gold Bells)
  • X9410-30 (American Flag)
  • X9410-31 (Purple Soccer Ball)
  • X9410-32 (Blue Soccer Ball)
  • X9410-33 (White Soccer Ball)
  • X9410-34 (Red Soccer Ball)
  • X9410-41 (Chick Inside)
  • X9410-46 (Gold & Chrome, Red Eyes)
  • X9410-49 (Gold, Red Eyes)
  • X9410-51SU (Cow)
  • X9410-52SU (Tiger)
  • X9410-102
  • X9410-103
  • X9410-104 (Black Budweiser Label)
  • X9410214-1
  • X9410YAG1 (Yaguchi)
  • X9410YAG2 (Yaguchi)
  • X9410B
  • X9410BM
  • X9410BON (Bone)
  • X9410BFT ( Green & Stripes)
  • X9410BRS(Light brown, belly & stripes)
  • X9410BPK (Bass Pro Key Chain)
  • X9410C (Clear)
  • X9410C-D (Dice - Type 1)
  • X9410F (Frog)
  • X9410FLO
  • X9410FLY (Lt. Chart. Yellow)
  • X9410GR (Green, orange belly, strips)
  • X9410GRA ( Green & Spots)
  • X9410JRH (Red Head & Spots)
  • X9410JT (Light Heddon Wedge)
  • X9410KCD (Light red, yellow belly & stripes)
  • X9410LT (Lighted Budweiser)
  • X9410LUM (White)
  • X9410MU (Up-leaping Bass)
  • X9410MY (Lt. Green & Black Dot)
  • X9410NP (Nickel Plate)
  • X9410RAMC (Clear Green rat.)
  • X9410RH (Red Head)
  • X9410RHSS
  • X9410SS (Silver Specks)
  • X9410VCD (Green Scale, Red Stripes)
  • X9410VRY (Green & Gold Scale)
  • X9410WCD
  • X9410WCKJ1 (World Cup)
  • X9410WCKJ2 (World Cup)
  • X9410WCKJ3 (World Cup)
  • X9410WCKJ4 (World Cup)
  • X9410WCKJ5 (World Cup)
  • X9410WCKJ6 (World Cup)
  • X9410WCKJ7 (World Cup)
  • X9410WCKJ8 (World Cup)
  • X9410XBL
  • X9410XBW (Black Shore)
  • X9410XRY (Yellow Shore)
  • X9410XYB (Yellow Shore, black strips)
  • X9410XYS (Yellow Shore, silver strips)
  • X9410YRH

  PRADCO recently released a series of eight Bid Bud lures to commemorate the 2002 FIFA World Cup.  The 2002 World Cup was held in Korea from May 31 - June 30th.  Each lure wore the flag of four different counties that participated in the 2002 World Cup.

 

World Cup Bud's 

 

Special Version Bud's 

 
 

 

Soccer Ball Bud's  Bells Inside Bud's 

   

Modified Heddon, Big Bud's

  There are many different decorated Big Bug lures that have been surfacing with other labels and designs on them that Heddon did not produce. Individuals or some dealers in Japan have been putting their custom decorated labels on these lures.  These lures are purchased in Japan then they cleverly open the package, return the modified lure and reseal the package again.  As we know Japanese anglers and collectors have a strong desire to collect Big Bud's in many different decorations.  In the U. S. repainted lures are considered worthless but in Japan these custom Big Bud models are bringing in a higher price than the original lure in the package.  I think they are now trying to appeal to the collectors market in the United States and may have even created lures for this opportunity.  There seems to be no end to the different decorations that are continuing to surface so just keep looking and you will keep finding.

  In this case I purchased this lot of lures from Japan which were all numbered X9410NP.  The NP designation is for the Chrome-Black finish but they wore labels of juices, coffee, beer and whiskey.  I classified them as Non Alcohol and Alcohol Bud's.  These modified lures can be harder to find than the PRADCO production lures themselves. 

 

Non Alcohol Bud's
  • Bireley's - Orange Drink

  • Suntory BOSS - Coffee

  • Geogia - Coffee

  • Mitsuya - Cider

  • Qoo

  • Asahi Chara

  • Pocari Sweat

 

 

Alcohol Bud's
  • Suntory Natyan - Whiskey

  • Suntory Dakara - Whiskey

  • Yebisu - Beer

  • Asahi Super Dry - Beer

  • Asahi Hon Nama - Beer

  • Asahi Gorityu - Beer

  • Kirin Rager - Beer

  • Kirin Tanrey - Beer

  • Kirin Fire - Beer

 

  I purchased these Bell Buds from Japan which both were numbered X9410C.  The C designation is for Clear.  These are more examples of Japanese modified bud lures that the package has been opened and resealed.  These bell buds are rare and difficult to find. 

 

Big Bud Bells 

 

  

Heddon Baby Bud's

  The Smith Ltd. Co. requested PRADCO to special make them a smaller version of the Big Bud for 2002.  PRADCO designed the X9405 Baby Bud for the Smith Co. and like the Big Bud they only marketed them in Japan.  They were available in different color versions.

Baby Bud's Color Versions

  • X9405 - (Coors Light)
  • X9405BON - (Bone)
  • X9405GRA - ( Green & Spots)
  • X9405CL - (Clear)
  • X9405LUM - (Luminous)
  • X9405NP - (Nickel Plate)
  • X9405GP - (Gold Plate)
  • X9405SMOP - (Smith Old Package)
  • X9405SMJH - (Smith James Heddon)
  • X9405SMGC - (Heddon Arrow)
  • X9405SRPH
  • X9405SMGO - (Gold Scale)
  • X9405SMCR - (Smith Solid Red)
  • X9405SMRH - (Smith Red Head)
  • X9405SMRL - (Smith Red Label)
  • X9405SMMB - (Black Shore)
  • X9405SMKR - (Smith Kirin)
  • X9405SMSC - (Smith Sunset Chart)

 

Baby Bud's

  PRADCO's Japanese marketed Big Bud lures are a extremely popular and highly collectible lure in Japan.  There are many Japanese collectors that have extensive Big Bud collections which are not commonly found in the United States.  As these special Japanese marketed Big Bud's and the Smith Ltd. Limited Edition Bud's become harder to locate it's popularity in the United States will surely be increasing.  The Japanese versions Bud's are now showing up at collectible sporting events and even now at NFLCC swap meets.  I don't have an exact count just how many color versions PRADCO made for the Japanese market but I have listed nearly 100 different color variations and still adding.  I am also told that there are just about as many custom Japanese versions of the Big Bud.  Collecting Big Bud lures can be difficult because all these special color lures were only marketed in Japan and were never sold in the United States.

Prints of Special Baby Bud Lures that PRADCO Produced for the Smith Ltd. in Japan  

 

Courtesy of Lanny West - PRADCO

   


The Flake Company in Japan

  There were also some Japanese company's that wanted in on all this action and they copied PRADCO's design of the #9410 Big Bud lure.  One such company that copied the Big Bud was the Flake Company in Japan.  The Flake Co. made their version of the Big Bud in two sizes and called them the Magnum Bad and Mini Bad.  The Magnum and Mini Bad's are not nearly as successful and popular as the PRADCO Big Bud lure.  Japan's favorite lure to collect is by far PRADCO's Heddon Big Bud lure. 

 

Magnum Bad

Mini Bad

  • 001 - Magnum Bad
  • 004 - Mad Chart
  • 005 - Mad Black
  • 007 - Majiola
  • 008 - BON
  • 009 - Mad Pink
  • 010 - Clear
  • M001
  • M002
  • M003
  • M004
  • M005
  • M006

 

 Magnum Bad

 

Mini Bad 

 

  A SPECIAL THANK YOU to Mr. Lanny West, Senior Director of Marketing and International Sales, PRADCO Outdoor Brands for his assistance helping me write this page.  Mr. West was part of processing every one of the orders for all these Japanese marketed lures ... getting the stickers, getting the order/lure specified, seeing that PRADCO got paid and seeing that they were shipped on time also.

 


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