How to Collect Antique Fishing Gear
You’re wondering if collecting fishing gear is worth your time and money. The answer is a definite “Yes!” Credit the phenomenon to nostalgia for the “old days” or to the trend for all things “retro”, but collecting vintage fishing equipment has surged in popularity. Some collectors have restored old split bamboo fishing rods then sold them for as much as $500.00. Clearly, there’s a market for this type of equipment, not only for nostalgia, but also for profit.
Nowadays, almost anything fishing related is valuable to collectors. Many of the vintage rods, reels and lures were handcrafted, using unusual designs and materials. Others were not quite so fancy, but they have all stood the test of time.
Collecting a Piece of History
Many different types of fishing equipment are available to collectors. Some enjoy collecting old fishing licenses from the early 1900s and before. Others seek vintage tackle, rods, reels and lures.
Split bamboo fishing rods are particularly collectible right now. Rods made in the late 1800s by manufacturers like Granger, Heddon and Orvis are popular. Other rods of that era, like those made by of Thomas Chubb and those of Abbey and Imbrie are valuable not only because of their age, but also because of their distinctive designs and colors.
Antique fishing rods and reels are extremely desirable for collectors. Modern reels are made from alloys of metal. In the past, however, reels were constructed from brass, steel and iron.
Sure, these reels had flaws, problems that modern machinery and technology have cured. Yet, nothing today matches the elegant and exclusive designs of some of the vintage reels. It’s these qualities that collectors are interested in.
Lures and Bobbers
When you think of vintage and collectible, you don’t necessarily think of lures, but next to reels, lures are the hottest commodity in the collecting world. Unlike fishing rods and reels, though, collectors aren’t seeking 100-plus-year old lures. No, the preferred collectible lures are those made prior to 1970. Many enthusiasts consider these lures more attractive and better crafted than their modern counterparts.
Bobbers are collectible, too. Yes, I mean those things that sit on the water and let you know when a fish has snagged your lure or bait. Prior to the invention of Styrofoam, bobbers were made out of cork. It’s these bits of fishing gear that collectors seek. They may not be the hot commodity reels or lures are, but they’re considered valuable and worth collecting.
Follow Your Passion
If you love fishing, are a fan of history, or enjoy both, consider adding antique fishing gear to your private collection. If you haven’t ever collected anything, why not start with something you enjoy? Do a little research. Check out some sites online and see what gear is selling for how much, then get out there and indulge your interests. You may end up with something financially valuable, or simply a nod to the history of one of your passions. All you need is the interest, and you, too can become an antique fishing gear collector. Enjoy!