Burke’s Dedly Dudly – Buzzbait or Spinnerbait?

The 1972 Burke catalog, featuring their new "Dedly Dudly."

The 1972 Burke catalog, featuring their new “Dedly Dudly.”

A couple weeks ago, Terry posted a piece on the Harkin’s Lunker Lure, one of the first true buzzbaits on the market, and probably the one that put such baits and the technique on the bass fishing map. That generated an offline discussion among Terry and myself, along with George Kramer and Rick Clunn, about some of the earlier versions of similar baits. One that got mentioned was the Dedly Dudly, which actually came out a couple years earlier than the Harkin’s bait and was created by the famous Burke Fishing Lures company.

Here’s what we found out on this particular bait.

The Dedly Dudly was released to the public in 1972, when it was featured in their product catalog from the same year. And while the Dedly Dudly certainly looked like a buzzbait, it was actually touted in ads to be fished more like a hybrid buzzbait/spinnerbait, not just a true surface lure. I tracked down the national ad for the bait in a June, 1972 Fishing Facts magazine (below), and none other than Bill Dance was the featured pro endorsing the bait. Of particular interest is the description of how the bait can be used, especially toward the bottom of the ad. It states.

“…this dual action spinner works as a “buzzing” surface lure if the retrieve is started as it hits the water, or as a “root dodging” deep runner by allowing it to sink below the surface. The instant-starting blade design also lets you fish the Dedly Dudly slower than any other spinner.”

As you can see from this description, the bait was truly considered a spinner, as George pointed out in our discussion, and not a surface bait/buzzer like the Lunker Lure. George went on to comment that, “I think it points up that the” application” is the secret of productive lures.” This certainly seems to be the case through bass fishing history, as so often we see a bait that just appeared to be ahead of its time, and that is largely due to use in the ‘wrong’ application, or at least in some technique that hasn’t been created or gained widespread attention yet.


June 1972 Burke ad featuring Bill Dance on how to use the Dedly Dudly.

June 1972 Burke ad featuring Bill Dance on how to use the Dedly Dudly.

  • I’m not sure exactly when it was, but I got one in my BASS renewal pack some time in the ’70s. My good friend Doug Eriquez and I were practicing for a tournament at a lake where “bulging (aka waking)” a spinnerbait was a big-time producer. Probably the #1 summertme presentation on that lake. But we were having a tough, tough time. Eventually, I put on that DD, and started hammering the fish Meanwhile, Doug’s not getting anything. I take it of and he ties it on Now HE’s catching them. We get off the lake early, and hit every tackle shop we know of on the way home. Then we split up and hit more. All we could find was a couple Deadly Dudley II, which was a newer version. That one WAS a buzz bait. Flattened head and wider blade. Didn’t catch squat on it. Then again, the old style DD’s magic had worn off by the next day anyway, so it didn’t much matter.

    • Bill M

      Awesome story…

      • Bill M

        I guess you could say, the Dedly Dudly didn’t do didly except that one day.

  • banks pope

    I never fished the dudley because I was too busy catching my fish on spinnerbaits, but I knew of a fellow who slayed them fishing the dudley underwater on the coosa river at lay lake here in Alabama, and he caught them on a regular basis.I did use a forerunner to the dudley, the Hiwawiian wiggler, but I used it i on top even though it was meant to be fished underwater. had goo luck with it.[ probably misspelled Hiwawiian]

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  • ken

    Love this lure! Is there any way to find any?

    • Ken, I don’t know of any place that still sells this bait but you might find some on eBay.