Antique Lures



So often, we collectors never know where the objects in our collections come from or who owned them.  Who were the people who cared enough to preserve their fishing tackle?   Not everyone valued and took care of their possessions so they lasted for all of us to enjoy today.  

Quiet often old fishing tackle is just discarded by the families of deceased parents or grandparents who loved to fish.  All the great lures and boxes they cherished are sometimes just tossed aside while cleaning out a life-time.    Many younger family members don't understand how much that old tackle meant during the early part of this century.  It was hard to come by and often the only source of entertainment their parents or grandparents enjoyed.

In the case of the lures and boxes displayed here, those objects are provided by the caring families or friends to be appreciated by those of us who also care.  Thank you to all the families or individuals who have allowed me to acquire the fun things that were a part of their lives.   These are their stories.  The TIMELINE will give you an idea of what was going on in the world at the time these individuals had these lures.

Reasons you might not want to sell your lures on eBay

These rare lures and boxes were found in a metal tackle box stored in the rafters of a miner's shack in Montana.   The shack was along the Musselshell river in eastern Montana Coal country where Joe frequently fishes and explores.  The lures date from 1905.  Who would ever have thought to look in the rafters for something like these treasures.

Joe helped pay for his daughter's college tuition with the funds he received for placing these items in this collection.


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Part of an early (1908-1920) Heddon and Pflueger group of lures and boxes sold to this collection.  The lures all still had a hanging price tag on them from when they were sold in a pharmacy, as can be seen in the top photo which were placed there by her husband's grandfather who "put them away" over a number of years.  The lures were stored by the family after the death of the grandparent and only recently surfaced.  Over the years, the children played with the lures and parts of the boxes were lost or lures were used by the various kids. 

This is typical of the individuals who preserved the lures for one reason or another.  Ann said she was going to put the funds she was paid for this collection toward her two children's college education.  The photos are of her grandfather on one of his fishing trips.

1910-1920 TIMELINE

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A Heddon 900 which was found in an old fishing shack in an area not known for Bass fishing.  The lure and box were stored in a wood chest, in the northern part of western British Colombia

1910-1920 TIMELINE

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A young girl calls me on a Sunday and tells me her uncle has some lures he wants to sell, but doesn't know how to work a computer, so she is doing the leg work on the internet and relating the information to him.  Seems he has several old lures and wood boxes "under his bed" on a piece of plywood.  The lures have been there for years and he just never thought much about them.  I get in touch with him, and sure enough he has a set of Joe Pepper lures still in the wood box and several other empty wood boxes, but no lures in them.  We settle on a price for the whole group and the rest is history.  I paid him so much for the lures and empty boxes, he almost had a heart attack and I aged ten years waiting on him to pack them up and ship them to me.  Everyone wins in this kind of deal because I paid him a small fortune and I got some really nice rare pieces for my collection..


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"Jim, my father, loved the outdoors. He participated in many different types of sporting activities, but fishing was the one that he continued to enjoy late into his life. He was a quiet reserved man and I am sure he loved the peaceful, serene surroundings of a mountain lake at day break."

"He first started fishing in the late 1920’s at Huntington Lake, California. He worked as a summer ranger at Yosemite National Park for a number of years and loved the fishing opportunities that the Valley offered."

"He had a special fishing buddy and those two grew old together fishing the lakes and rivers of California. They would take day trips to Millerton Lake, Pine Flat, Hensley, Kings River and Lake Don Pedro. If time was limited in their earlier days, they would fish the sloughs on the west side of Fresno, California. Their favorite fishing vacation was a the Klamath River. They loved the beauty of Mount Shasta and the Siskyous Mountains. They returned there year after year."

"My dad passed away in 1996 at the age of 93.   My sister and I have been sorting through treasures and cleaning out the house and found his fishing lures. Dad’s old fishing friend said they had a motto, "If it’s a good one, buy it." They were neatly stored in their original boxes.


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These lures were sold into this collection by the grandson of a woman who obtained the lures from her "paramour" for whom she worked in the early years of this century. (c.1904)  The lures are from a man named F.A. Pardee from Kent, Ohio.  The grandmother lived in Chicago around the turn of the century.  The man from whom she obtained the lures was a wealthy industrialist whose name you would instantly recognize.  In 1973, at an advanced age, the grandmother gave these lures to the grandson and told him to go fish with them as she had had them all those years and never used them.  The grandson stored them away until just now when he needed funds to pursue other professional interests and hopefully make some changes which will enhance his life in a positive manner.


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Have lures or reels you want  to sell?   Contact Gabby Talkington:  Contact information

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