The photo below was entered into our ongoing vintage tackle contest by Don Leurquin, and I’ll admit I thought it was a really interesting piece, and looked like no other lure submitted thus far. Don got the “lure” when he inherited his 90-year-old grandfather’s tackle box, and was curious as to whether this was a crankbait, jig, or just a decoration. If any post proves there’s no stumping resident expert Dr. Todd Larson of the The Whitefish Press and “Fishing For History” blog, it’s this one. It also proves that I actually have a horrible eye for vintage lures. Good thing I don’t buy a lot of it!


Dr. Todd says:

“I have actually been waiting a long time for a submission like this to come in. What you have is not technically a fishing lure; it is a watch fob that someone has made to look like a fishing lure. These articulated metal fish have been around for 100 years or more, and it seems from the very beginning anglers have thought they would make a good fishing lure. Unfortunately, they are too poorly made to withstand a fish of any size. We can tell by looking at this one that it is a newer model, likely dating to the past 15 years or so. It has nominal value. Note that sometimes unscrupulous sellers try to pass these off as vintage lures, but they are most definitely not made to catch fish. To see a 1914 advertisement for a nearly identical watch fob, click here.

Well, Don, you technically don’t even have a vintage lure, but since your submission helped further everyones’ education of vintage tackle (and what NOT to look for) you still absolutely deserve the Rapala Classic Collector Fillet Knives that’s headed your way. Enjoy, and thanks for sending!

If you’ve already sent me photos of your vintage tackle, keep checking every Thursday to see if I chose it for an appraisal by Dr. Todd. If you haven’t and want to enter the contest, email photos of your old tackle to, along with your name, mailing address, and story of how you acquired the gear. If I use it in a Thursday post, you get a Rapala Classic Collector Fillet Knife (below, $70).