Ah, the good old days when tackle was designed just to put food on the table! The photo of this Old Glory Fish Hook & Animal Trap was sent in by tackle collector Mike Frome. The way I see it, this sinister device would be equally at home on a muddy catfish river circa 1920, or on the set of one of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies. Can’t you just see some poor teenage victim getting caught up in one of these, struggling to free a bloody hand as Leatherface moves in for the kill…saw buzzing? I digress…

Let’s see what vintage tackle expert Dr. Todd Larson of the The Whitefish Press and “Fishing For History” blog can tell us about this old-school meat hook.

Dr. Todd says:

“Wow! You have an incredible example of a nineteenth century spring-loaded fish hook. It was invented by Jacob Cartier of Massachusetts in 1898 and patented on May 30, 1899. There was a long tradition of such spring loaded “fish traps” like the Old Glory, as they called it, ensuring that anglers fishing for meat would not lose fish. While not exactly sporting by today’s standards, its spring-loaded arms that snapped down when the fish hit the center (baited) hook meant you simply were not going to lose that evening’s dinner. Old Glory hooks are very rare, valued at $750-1,000 in their original envelopes. I have never seen a dealer’s box for Old Glory hooks, which would have held a dozen hooks in their envelopes. I would value the combo at $800-$1,200. It’s a great piece of fishing history. To view Cartier’s patent, click here.”

Super barbaric and a big money winner! Excellent find, Mike. Thanks so much for sharing this cool piece. Enjoy the Berkley Digital Tournament Scale that’s headed your way. I’d like to thank our friends at Berkley for providing these awesome prizes for the next few weeks of the contest.


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 Berkley Digital Tournament Scale (left, $40).