How to Collect Antique Fishing Lures

How to Collect Antique Fishing LuresAntique lures are a popular commodity among anglers and fishing enthusiasts. While you may be tempted to purchase the first antique-looking lure that you see at a bait shop or online, it is essential that you stop and fully inspect the lure before making your purchase. Doing so could save you a great deal of money.
When purchasing and collecting antique lures, a slow but steady approach is the best way to ensure that you--and your wallet--steer clear of fakes and reproductions.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Increase your lure knowledge. According to, a website devoted to antique lures, the best lures were crafted in the 1900 to 1940 era when costs allowed for greater craftsmanship. Lure crafted after the 1940s are considered "old" but not "antique."
Step 2
Contact a local or online dealer to take advantage of "field finds" and "dealer or Internet buys," according to Alternatively, join the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club (NFLCC) or visit tackle shows to browse for antique lures and rub elbows with other lure collectors and dealers.
Step 3
Research the era you are most interested in for collecting lures. Become familiar with paint quality, eye characteristics, and rare designs for that time period. Knowing what the era's lures are supposed to look like will help you determine if the lure you find is worth collecting.
Step 4
Hire a professional appraiser to perform a complete appraisal of the lure, or you can "grade" it as collectors say. Have the appraiser identify surface and subsurface damage, such as cracking or peeling paint. A poor presentation can drive down the value of an antique fishing lure.
Step 5
Negotiate the price down if the seller is selling the lure above its fair market value. Once you pinpoint the lure's manufacturing date with the help of an appraiser, negotiate the price based on the era, rarity and condition of the lure.

Tips & Warnings

Antique lures can be costly, so decide how much you want to spend before making a purchase.
Fake lures are commonly sold, so inspect each lure carefully.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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