How Do I Clean Antique or Vintage Fishing Lures?

How Do I Clean Antique or Vintage Fishing Lures?Cleaning antique and vintage fishing lures requires an attention to detail and a steady hand. Made up of wood, cork and metal parts, antique lures are crafted to appear life-like and reflect a specific era in time. Most collectors' favorites feature a rare design and offer an effective presentation, which is why such lures are bought and sold for a high value. When cleaning an antique or vintage fishing lure, it is essential that you proceed part by part and take a slow-but-steady approach.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fiberglass cleaner
  • Cloth
  • Cotton swabs
Step 1
Evaluate the condition of the lure. Look for signs of paint chipping, deep rust and cracked wood, in which case, the lure should only be cleaned by a professional.
Step 2
Clean the lure with a soft cloth and a non-abrasive fiberglass cleaner. Try the German-made fiberglass cleaner Flitz or the U.S.-made lanolin formula hand cleaner GOJO. Cotton swabs are also an effective cleaning tool.
Step 3
Wet a cloth or cotton swab with fiberglass cleaner, but do not soak it. Remove grim and oil from the wood and cork using an up-and-down action. Flitz is safe to use on wood and metal.
Step 4
Clean metal parts such as hooks, swivels and spoons require a more abrasive cleaning product such as "Poe." Wet the swab and carefully wipe away dirt and grime.
Step 5
Store lures in a well-ventilated location that is free of humidity and moisture.

Tips & Warnings

Never soak antique or vintage lures in water. Water may cause paint to chip or pop off.
Never use alcohol to clean an antique lure.

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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