In the past few years, high-grade fishing lures
have appreciated in value — in some cases by 200 percent — making them a
great investment. The most valuable are custom-designed lures. During the
early 1900s, factories produced special-order lures in limited quantities, and those lures are scarce today.
We asked collectibles expert Gary
Wood, a life member of the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club, what questions to ask before buying an antique fishing lure:
Gobel Tulsa Wiggler, 1926
Is the lure old and authentic?
Some contemporary lures look a lot like period pieces, and counterfeit lures
have become more common in the past decade.
Does the condition correspond with the price and desirability of the piece? The most desirable lures are unused, come in the original box, and include original paper in the box.
Has it been restored? A repainted lure is not like a repainted car. The original finish, in any
condition, is preferable. However, replacement hardware is acceptable if
it's properly installed.
What color is it? Recognizing rare patterns can help you find a valuable lure that's
priced too low. A luny frog lure made by Heddon is usually green and
black and worth a couple hundred dollars. But a Heddon luny frog lure
that's red and white could be worth $600-$1,000.
Do I know enough about values to make this purchase? You can buy just about any lure for top dollar, but some aren't worth it. Researching lures can help you
recognize good and bad deals.