Take a kid collecting

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Spike Yocum with his NFLCC award winning Rat-L-Trap collection.

Kids love stuff. That’s a fact. And it’s a safe bet that any kid who likes fishing also likes the tackle that goes with it.

Knowing that, why not take it a step further and introduce them to the hobby of collecting old fishing tackle? It’s a great way to further their interest in the sport, especially when the fish aren’t biting. And it sure as heck beats watching them stare at their phone or play video games.

There are countless ways to pursue collecting, and it doesn’t cost a lot to start. I know this first hand, as I got both of my sons involved at an early age. 

And I’m glad I did. Some of the lures they collected then are now worth many times more than what we paid.

By choosing the right direction, your kid’s collection could become a nice nest egg for the future. It just takes a little discipline and knowledge. 

How I got started 

I’m not sure exactly when I caught the collecting bug, but I know it was at an early age — not long after I was introduced to fishing. My grandmother was a buyer and seller of antiques, and she would take my mom and me along on her frequent shopping sprees. Those included garage and estate sales, thrift stores and flea markets — all of which were prime for picking.

Those ventures seemed like treasure hunts. I remember scouring through piles of old, used tackle, hoping to find a gem or two. In fact, I still get excited about the prospects of making a “find” today.

I attend vintage tackle shows, search message boards, eBay and countless other auction sites — all in the hope of turning up a rare rod, reel, lure or some other angling artifact.

Getting a kid started 

When it comes to fishing tackle, most kids are easy to please. Show them something bright and shiny (or perhaps odd and goofy), and they’re hooked. 

It could be made of plastic, wood or even metal. It doesn’t really matter. Color and body style will likely contribute more to the choices they make.

One surefire area for them to consider is “creature” lures — those having lifelike attributes, like frogs, birds, mice and other critters. There are countless makes of these animal-like lures and many are inexpensive. 

Regardless if it was made 100 years ago or just last week, if the item has eye appeal, chances are your kids will like and want it. The hardest part will be keeping them focused … narrowing their collecting interests, so to speak.