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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's first clear the air on what is "Antique" and what is "Not Antique". In the lure world, old and antique are relative. In the real world, antique means pre-1900 for all intent and purposes. There just are not that many commercially made lures prior to 1900. Most of the really excellent collector material falls in the 1900 to 1940 era. Lures made after 1940 are "old", but they are not antiques relatively speaking. Just because your father used them doesn't make them "antiques". There are plenty of forty year old lures around, but that just puts them into the 1950's and not much of quality was produced after that point. The real quality material was made in this country prior to 1940. After that time, production costs and the war limited the ability of anyone to produce quality lures.

The other reason the quality decreased is that PLASTICS came into use after 1940, the big companies started making cheaper lures and boxes to compete in the rapidly expanding fishing tackle market. As with so many other things we see today, "Made in America" just didn't stand for the level of quality that was produced prior to World War ll.

The golden era of tackle is that time frame when Heddon, Shakespeare, Pflueger and the smaller companies (miscellaneous) were competing to produce "QUALITY" lures which were hand painted and produced with glass eyes and wood bodies. Yes, your father had some antique lures, but unless they were handed down from his father, more than likely they are post 1940. If you want to collect post 1940 lures, that is great, but it isn't not the same as the earlier lures which are relatively rare and getting more and more scarce. If you have a plastic lure or even a wood Creek Chub made in the 40's or 50's, yes it's old, but it not an "Antique".

High-grade early fishing lures are as much a part of our American history as is the Winchester Rifle was to the history of the West. Fishing lures were important to the men and women who fished for pleasure or produced the fishing tackle during the early part of this century. For some of us, the history is an important as the art.

Of the millions of lures produced, only a few survived in excellent condition into this, the end of the twentieth century.

Because of the beauty and rarity of these early pieces, the prices and demand have gradually increased to the point where there is great interest among the large number of collectors who frequent the antique and flea markets today. The collector base and knowledge are growing daily.

h2o<---says good stuff.
 

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H20 I think that now anything over 50 years is classified as antique at least I know I read that somewhere awhile back. I won't bet on it but I know I feel like an antique of course I'm over 75. Well over that is. I don't have much left from the old days a few Pflueger Bucktails I used when I was a kid. I had some 30's lures in the box I sold for a $100.00 apiece awhile back. I sold an old fishing rod some years ago for several hundred. Some stuff is good and some is bad but you need a buyer for any of it.
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes Bob there is so much to antique fishing stuff, I'm amazed at how involved it is. First of all you need a buyer, and buyers are different. One buyer might really want what you got and give you three times as much as the other buyer. Anyways it's fun to play in antique fishing stuff. There's alot to learn there.

h2o<---says save your old tackle for your kids might be worth alot
 

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H20 I have the Pflueger Bucktail I caught my second Muskie on in 1931. It was a 33 pound fish. I had ten foot of line out on the end of a Cane Pole. It was fun as much as I can remember. I wonder if it is worth much. Bob
 

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Researching that now Bob.. is it a metal lure with feathered treble hook.

Also hows the condition and is there a box? Tell me all you can about it.

h2o<---says thanks Bob
 

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It has been fished with but all the feathers are there. The blade is worn some but most are that have been fished with. I also have one of the bigger ones from the same era. Also a couple more old things.
 

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Wow I checked that site out. It brought back memories of how muck money I had in my tackle box at one time . There are about six or seven lures on that list that i had at one time or another. If some more had photos it might be more. What a trip back in time. Thanks H2o. Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So 6-7 lures X 50 hits = well lets say $500.00 per hit. lol

Doing a simple search of ANTIQUE LURES will show tons of pictures of lots of old lures.

h2o<----is just learning now about old lures.
 

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Thanks for an interesting article. I've never owned any of those late-1800s lures but have enough of my own "old" lures from the 50s and onward, and a few of my grandfather's that are 1930s and 40s, and they are neat to handle and feel a connection with those old days.

I wouldn't use the word "quality" to describe the old lures, though. I know the lures in my box today are better in almost every way than those my grandfather could buy; better construction and balance, more deceptive to fish, more durable and dependable, and so on. And that's exactly because they aren't objects of "craftsmanship" anymore but highly designed, engineered, tested, and manufactured to spec.

But I think we all enjoy the craftsmanship and folksy art characteristics of the old, old lures. And I think there's nothing more fun than carving out my own wacky lure and getting a strike on it. But nothing I make will cast or hold up like a Rapala.
 

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Anybody have any Lucky Strike from Peterborough.They just produced a history of the company calander that is really nice.I have a few of there lure's with the dates stamped on the metal lip from the 30's.
 

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Great article h2o, thanks

Ive been gathering ( not really collecting) old fishing tackle for around 6 years. Ive been mainly picking up Michigan made items. If your into fishing, it can be alot of fun. Just a small word of advice: Do your homework before getting into it too heavy.
There are alot of great people to talk to and buy from out there, but there are some crooks too. Do yourself a favore and pick up a book from Carl Lucky. It will keep you from getting taken to the cleaners, plus its some good reading about the history of fishing tackle.
 

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Funny thing happened in an antique shop in Traverse City. While my wife was browsing through the store I spent some time looking into a display case that held old(er) fishing stuff. I called the manager over and pointed out that the lure they were selling as an antique had a tin fin on it that was cut from a can. The problem was that the fin used to "fix" the old lure was cut from the part of the can that had the bar code.

Needless to say, the embarassed manager took the "antique" out of the case.

We're here for a good time, not a long time. (except for Bob)
 
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