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Vintage Fishing Reels: The Value In Collecting

Updated on June 19, 2011

Vintage fishing reels can be found in a lot of different sizes, colors, shapes, and models depending on when they were made. There are many quality handmade fishing reels that usually have better quality then those that were manufactured more recently. Fishing reels considered to be vintage were first made in the 1900’s which was a time that had rapid development in the reel. Of course fishing reels were around much longer than that but those would be considered antique fishing reels rather than vintage.

Collecting Vintage Fishing Reels

It is difficult to determine the actual worth of collectible fishing reels. You must consider the quality, rarity, collectability and age of your vintage fishing reel. Rarely will you ever find a date on a fishing reel and the original manufacturer is very important in the vintage reel value.

Shoppers Guide To Buying Vintage Fishing Reels

If you are looking to buy vintage fishing reels you can try to find them at garage sales or flea markets but the best place to buy is definitely Ebay. Take a look on the right to see some of the older reels available for purchase on Ebay right now. I have only listed a few of what is available. The Ebay site has hundreds of more of vintage reels depending on what you are looking for.

Ebay is great because you can shop from the comfort of your living room. You place a bid on the item you want and if you are the winning bidder the item will be shipped directly to you. Ebay makes sure that their sellers offer the best customer service so don't worry about shopping on Ebay. It is a fun and secure experience.

The Value Of Vintage Fishing Reels

There are various types of vintage fishing reels that collectors prefer such as casting and spinning reels. To give you an idea of how much older fishing reels have sold for on Ebay here are some actual recent sales. There was a Mars German Silver vintage reel that included a leather case and sold for over $800.00. A vintage Abu 5500 Ambassadeur Gold fishing reel sold for $775.00. A vintage Helios fishing reel sold for easily over $500.

There is a great demand for vintage fishing reels which can be bought and sold on Ebay so check out some of the best manufacturer's items I have listed. You may find a valuable reel that you want to add to your collection.

About Vintage Fishing Reels

Determining the best vintage fishing reel would be a matter of taste just as it would be if you wanted to collect vintage fly reels, vintage bait casting reels or vintage spinning reels. There are many manufacturers of fishing reels dating back before the Civil War. Some of the most popular reels are ABU, Bronson Reel Co., Heddon (which are also known for their great vintage fishing lures) and started making high quality handmade reels in 1916; Penn, Pflueger and South Bend just to name some of the manufacturers that are also very collectible.

If you want to collect fishing reels you will probably come up with your own list of manufacturer brands you collect and you will learn all about the ever increasing values of each particular brand.

Vintage Fishing Reels
Vintage Fishing Reels


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    • must65gt profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the hub, with regards to Ebay, a word of caution. Many "Collectors" will purchase reels take of the parts they need, install the old parts and sell them as "Un-cleaned but working condition". After the reels have made the rounds, you may end up with a less than marketable reel. Words like "Rare" "Vintage" "Antique" and "Collectable" are only used as sales gimmicks. Before making an Ebay purchase, take a few weeks to study the market, learn who the sellers are and how many reels they post. If you think a reel is "Too good to be true" it very well may be one to walk away from. Use the pictures to determine corrosion and look for heavy pitting in the chrome and crank handles. Look at the screw heads to see if they have excessive tool marks and check for cracks in the plastic and Chrome trim rings. Damaged Screw heads and cracked side plates and bright work will deem the reel valueless and simply a conversation piece. Also look at the shipping charges, they can make the reel to pricy to consider. Its Ebay another reel will come along and it may well be a better buy. Use Patience and reservation in bidding and building your collection. Good luck and most of all...its fun until it no longer is.


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