Two types of minnows were produced by Hattons. The patented versions were made from gutta percha moulded onto a brass body, with the fins soldered on. Extreme care was taken at each stage of production with great attention to detail, including reaming out the body to reduce wear on the trace, cutting off the flash and finishing by hand painting.
There were a number of sizes (1½”, 1¾”, 2¼”, 2½”, 2¾”, 2” fat and 2” thin) and various colour combinations such as brown/gold, blue/silver, blue/gold and yellow belly (also known as gudgeon).
In 1954 the prices of these minnows, with mounts was 5s 6d for the small, 6s 6d middle size and 7s 6d large.
The picture shows the fat and thin versions of a blue/silver minnow
- the patent number is stamped on one of the fins.
Another version was the “reflex” minnow which was cast from aluminium and sometimes was painted on the sides with shellac, which was then baked to give a hard and durable brown finish.
Mounts and leads
Like all Hattons products great care was taken in manufacturing the minnow mounts. Steel box-swivels were used for strength and the stretched silkworm gut was imported in hanks from Spain. The gut was joined to the swivel by copper-wire whipping, which was used to provide better resistance against the abrasion of the rotating minnow. The treble hook was also whipped onto the gut, after the gut had been passed around the hook and the bead was also whipped into position to prevent movement.
A typical trace used on a reflex minnow
Hattons also cast and painted Wye leads in different weights, which were selected to allow the minnow to be fished at the correct depth, depending on water conditions. Double-barrel swivels were fitted to the mount and lead-weight to prevent tangles. The lead weights were classed by numbers 1 to 6 with 6 being the heaviest (1 ounce).