Given that over the last few months I’ve noticed mouse lures seem to be making a huge comeback, with several companies making ultra-realistic topwater rodents, I thought it might be fun to see some mice from yesteryear. The photo of these spoons was entered into our ongoing vintage tackle contest by Nick Dillon, who found the seemingly unused lures in his grandpa’s tackle box. Let’s find out if vintage tackle expert Dr. Todd Larson of the The Whitefish Press and “Fishing For History” blog thinks Nick hit pay-dirt with these old Pay-Masters.


Dr. Todd says:

“While almost everyone recognizes Wright & McGill for their Eagle Claw brand of fish hooks, most people don’t realize that in the company’s 80 year history, they manufactured almost every kind of fishing tackle imaginable. Everything from fishing lures to tied flies to bamboo fly rods were made by this venerable firm. You have a pair of 1950s Wright & McGill metal Pay-Master casting spoons. While most Pay-Masters were simple casting spoons, only distinguished from Eppinger’s Daredevle and other spoons by the scale pattern, yours are in scarce colors and have the painted eyes and thus are more desirable. I’d value them at $10-$15 each. To see a photo of more common Pay-Master spoons, click here.”

See that, Nick…the eyes have it! Nice find, and enjoy the Rapala Classic Collector Fillet Knife that’s headed your way.

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).