Noname Antiques » 17 Most Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures Worth Money

17 Most Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures Worth Money

Most of us see fishing as a strangely passive sport. To someone outside the water, you seem to be sitting all day on a boat doing nothing! This is particularly true of lure fishing. You dangle this shiny thing in the water and wait around for your targeted fish to grab it!

A tempting lure will attract more fish, and the old folk were good at that. They didn’t have all the fancy equipment we have, things like GPS and fish finders. So they did stuff the old-fashioned way: traditional tools, immense patience, and the most valuable rare fishing lures.

Most Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures Worth Money

1. Antique Deep Sea Fishing Lures Creek Wooden Antique Hand Painted

Antique Deep Sea Fishing Lures Creek Wooden Antique Hand Painted
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

You’ve probably seen videos where someone found boxes of fishing lures in some old shed. Or maybe in their grandparents’ attic. These can be worth a ton, but only if you re-sell the right ones. So you’ll naturally snap a photo with your phone and look it up on eBay or Etsy.

  • Type: Crank
  • Brand: Creek Chub (CCB)
  • Bids: Open
  • Value: $125

When you do, you’ll see listings ranging from $5 to $5,000. And you may get excited about this treasure cache you just fished out! But what you need to do is focus on sold listings. That confirms how much money actually changed hands so you get you a more realistic estimate.

 

2. Vintage Rare Heddon Dowagiac Meadow Mouse Wood Fishing Lure

Vintage Rare Heddon Dowagiac Meadow Mouse Wood Fishing Lure
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

On this list, we’re mostly using verified sales from eBay and others. We’ll include some open listings just to show you what resellers are thinking. But the most important factor isn’t what a seller or even an appraiser thinks it’s worth. It’s what your buyers are willing to cough up.

  • Type: Meadow Mouse
  • Brand: Heddon
  • Bids: Best Offer Accepted
  • Value: $246.66

This doesn’t mean appraisers aren’t important. The good ones don’t speculate without proof. They base their evaluations on sales records from their private clients and public listings, so their quotations are accurate. But use an appraiser with a proven track record in the field.

 

3. Antique Scarce Wyers Frères Silver / Brass Slotted Fishing Spinning Bait

Antique Scarce Wyers Frères Silver Brass Slotted Fishing Spinning Bait
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

How exactly do fishing lures work? The idea is to mimic something the fish likes to eat. Lures are often colorful and sparkly to grab the attention of the target. The shiny bits pick reflections from the sunlight and the water, making it easier for the fish to spot the bait.

  • Type: Slotted Spinner
  • Brand: Wyers Frères
  • Bids: Open
  • Value: $109.55

Lures are typically lightweight with sections that flap in the current. This further convinces the fish that this floating food is alive. Contemporary bait is plastic, allowing for brighter tones and effortless wiggling. A lure may also have a hook to hold onto the fish when it bites.

 

4. Creek Chub Rare Black and White Pikie with Great Box

Creek Chub Rare Black and White Pikie with Great Box
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

The kind of lure you use depends on fishing conditions and targets. Some fish prefer worms or frogs. So the most cost-effective kind is a jig because it lets you hook lots of different bait types. Other styles have bristles to avoid snagging plants. These are great for muddy water.

  • Type: Crank
  • Brand: Creek Chub (CCB)
  • Bids: 36
  • Value: $410

Fly fishing lures are meant to float on the water or sink just below the surface. Some other kinds of lures have a bit more heft, allowing them to lie lower in the water. If you intend to fish and release, use humane lures that won’t injure the fish, accidentally alerting predators.

Also Read  17 Most Valuable Vintage Swatch Watches (80s & 90s) Worth Money

 

5. Handcrafted Vintage Fishing Lures Box of 12 Vintage Fishing Lures

Handcrafted Vintage Fishing Lures Box of 12 Vintage Fishing Lures
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

We recommend using sold listings like (most of) the ones here to get an accurate estimate. But you can look at open listings too, just as an experiment. These items will often show how many people are watching that post and/or bidding. It helps you gauge potential interest.

  • Type: Mixed
  • Brand: Famous (FFL)
  • Bids: Open
  • Value: $143.33

Sometimes, you’ll see the number of watchers, but you won’t see any bids. That probably means the item is overpriced, so buyers are waiting for the cost to come down. Other times, you’ll see ‘best offer accepted’, meaning it was priced too high and the seller settled for less.

 

6. Rare South Bend Lure Midget Lunge Oreno

Rare South Bend Lure Midget Lunge Oreno
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re a reseller. You may have found some loot at a garage sale or while clearing out a relative’s house. So as you decide how to price your most valuable rare antique fishing lures, consider the shipping cost and factor it into your costs.

  • Type: Spinner
  • Brand: Oreno
  • Bids: 23
  • Value: $738.88

Some buyers are willing to pay for shipping, but only if it’s a reasonable amount. For small items like lures, the shipping should be negligible, and free shipping can be a good selling point. But if the buyer is far away, they’re unlikely to pay $20 shipping for a $5 bit of bait.

 

7. Antique Large Wooden Primitive Fishing Lure Folk

Antique Large Wooden Primitive Fishing Lure Folk
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

At the other extreme, you have collectors who would do a lot to get a sought-after piece. These lures likely cost more, so the shipping fee may not bother them as much. But valuable pieces may need insurance, especially if they’re fragile or delicate. Think of that as you shop.

  • Type: Jointed
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Bids: Open
  • Value: $176.81

When you’re browsing that estate sale or flea market, scan as you go, confirming the value of each piece before you buy. But also think about how easy the piece is to pack and ship. Lures have sharp sections and sometimes detachable bits, so you probably need a cardboard box.

 

8. Rare Early WTJ Lowe Eclipse Spinner Bait w/1882 Patented Spring

Rare Early WTJ Lowe Eclipse Spinner Bait w1882 Patented Spring
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

As you look through those sold listings, check the date as well. If you filter for sold items on eBay, you’ll see all the recent sales, and you can go further back. This matters, because the collectible space has seasons and cycles, so you may want to wait until the prices get higher.

  • Type: Inline Spinner (Dressed)
  • Brand: WTJ Lowe
  • Bids: 17
  • Value: $255

You might also notice that at certain times – like maybe during a major fishing event – a particular type or brand of lure is in demand. So it helps to classify your stocks to help you cash in during a boom period. And if plan to hold your stock for a while, keep them clean!

 

9. Four (4) Vintage Fishing Lures

Four (4) Vintage Fishing Lures
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

We’ve mentioned that modern fishing lures have the advantage of brighter colors and more realistic renderings. You can find some with bits that shimmy in the current, creating vibrations that the fish can detect. These micro-currents are appealing to the targets nearby.

  • Type: Mixed
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Bids: Open
  • Value: $100
Also Read  17 Most Valuable Antique Lamps Worth Money

Older types would sometimes use noise instead. They might rattle or clink to attract the attention of your targets. Another helpful tip is to attend fishing events and expos. You can see what the current market is interested in, and you could score autographs in the process!

 

10. Rare Fishing Lure Johnsons Automatic Striker Minnow With Box

Rare Fishing Lure Johnsons Automatic Striker Minnow With Box
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

Signatures are important to collectors. They’ll pay extra for a lure that’s been signed by top fishing pros. But be careful if you plan to seek them out. Some celebrities resent being bothered during their free time – they’re off-duty and just want to enjoy themselves in peace.

  • Type: Automatic Striker
  • Brand: Johnsons
  • Bids: 1
  • Value: $650

Others get upset if you ask for their autograph just so you can resell it. So if you have an online presence and they recognize you, they might get hostile. Still, if you’re a regular at these events, they may be more open, and you’ll soon know which fishing pros to avoid!

 

11. Vintage Mackerel Fishing Lures Wooden Antique Lures Big Game

Vintage Mackerel Fishing Lures Wooden Antique Lures Big Game
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

You might see a fishing lure described as ‘dressed’. This means it has decorative features hiding the hook, like a puffy ‘hair tail’ that resembles a pompom. It might have feathers or beads. The light colorful additions move freely in the waves as they camouflage your hook.

  • Type: Mackerel (Dressed)
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Bids: Open
  • Value: $233.85

We should mention that if you’re focusing on crankbait lures, you’ll need to know how far they go. These lures are heavier and are made to mimic particular fish species. They have multiple hooks and can dive 3 to 5 feet for shallow cranks and up to 12 feet for deep ones.

 

12. **Extremely Rare** 1910 Wisconsin Chippewa Fishing Lure

Extremely Rare 1910 Wisconsin Chippewa Fishing Lure
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

Fish folk are fairly welcoming, but if you’re worried about looking like an amateur, you can practice some of the lingo and even take a few fishing lessons. Shoring up your knowledge, pun intended, can also save you time and money if you can instantly recognize a treasure.

  • Type: Chippewa
  • Brand: Unknown
  • Bids: 34
  • Value: $685

Here’s one quick tip. When you’re looking at crankbait, the detail and color of the fish will invite you in, so check for paint chips or visible damage. You should also look at the bit that’s hanging out of the fish’s mouth. The larger that extended lip is, the deeper your lure can dive.

 

13. Vintage Antique Rare T.H. Bates Serpentine Minnow Fishing Lure

Vintage Antique Rare T.H. Bates Serpentine Minnow Fishing Lure
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

Technically speaking, a collectible has to be over a hundred years old to count as an antique. That’s pre-1920. And because these older pieces were so complex, they often had instructions on the box. Some came with a booklet. So including the pack and the manual will add value.

  • Type: Serpentine Minnow
  • Brand: T.H. Bates
  • Bids: 13
  • Value: $667

Let’s do a quick comparison from the crankbait genre. Current crank baits have a plastic diving lip. And as we said earlier, the larger the lip, the deeper the bait sinks. On older lures, the lip was made of shiny metal on a wooden body, painted to mimic recognizable species.

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14. Rare Old Vintage Fishing Lure (1)

Rare Old Vintage Fishing Lure (1)
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

Spoon baits got their name because of the tapered tip. Their shape resembles an arrowhead, teardrop, spoon, or egg. Newer spoon lures are made from shiny polished metal, but older ones were carved from wood. They were often painted and had a hook at their narrower end.

  • Type: Barber Pole
  • Brand: Kent
  • Bids: 37
  • Value: $1,926

Halfway between retro lures and modern ones, you’ll find the Spoonplug. It’s made of metal and shaped like regular spoon bait, but the edges curl closer to the middle. The lure is painted in bright colors with scales and eyes. They eventually gave way to plastic fish lures.

 

15. Paw Paw Bonehead Jointed Swamp Minnow Lure Rhinestone Eyes

Paw Paw Bonehead Jointed Swamp Minnow Lure Rhinestone Eyes
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

Collectors might enjoy fishing themselves, but they largely buy bait for display. So they’re more interested in their age, looks, and mechanics than their effectiveness at catching fish. Modern plastic fishing lures are softer and are carefully constructed to wiggle in the water.

  • Type: Crank (Jointed)
  • Brand: Paw Paw
  • Bids: Open
  • Value: $250

But on older fishing lures, the bait was sometimes built in separate segments connected with bits of cord or wire. These segments would bend and clink against each other, simulating the streamlined body of a fish as it swims. Some were made to resemble fish chasing each other.

 

16. VTG Fishing Lure Heddon Spoony Painted Frog Pattern Beauty! W/Paint

VTG Fishing Lure Heddon Spoony Painted Frog Pattern Beauty! WPaint
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

By now, you’ve noticed some of the most valuable rare antique fishing lures had diving lips. Even the ones shaped like insects might have one. This bait style differed from topwater lures that stayed on the surface. The metal diving lips added weight to these wooden lures.

  • Type: Spoony Frog
  • Brand: Heddon
  • Bids: 21
  • Value: $391.86

On newer types of bait, the lip is clear plastic while the body is painted plastic. But on old-school wooden lures, the metal lip had the extra function of sinking that piece of timber a tad lower into the water. Without it, all wooden lures would skim the surface, which isn’t ideal.

 

17. VTG Rare Strike Master Death’s Pride Minnow Fishing Lure Original Box

VTG Rare Strike Master Death’s Pride Minnow Fishing Lure Original Box
Image Credit: Valuable Rare Antique Fishing Lures

How do you handle weeds when you’re fishing in murky tree-lined water? Antique lures tried different tactics. Some had hooks you could release to untangle your bait from roots and vines. Others had springs that you would snap open and shut to release your snagged line.

  • Type: Strike Master
  • Brand: Sure-Catch
  • Bids: 37
  • Value: $449.44

Similarly, modern frog lures have soft plastic legs that effortlessly wiggle in the current. Older ones might have the legs as separate pieces. These mechanical legs were attached at pivot points so once the bait touched the water, the legs would bob and wave realistically.

 

Do you have any advice on the most valuable rare antique fishing lures? Tell us your tips!

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