Are you sitting on a gold mine in old fishing tackle?


The eye opening $101,200 paid by a private collector was for the only known example of a “giant” sized Haskell minnow, patented back in 1859 by the gunsmith from Painesville. Ohio.

 You never know… check out this piece in The New York Times

And here’s the release from Fishbrain that might have you digging through the basement this weekend:

 NY auction house tasks seven million US anglers with a hunt for rare and valuable fishing antiques worth over $400,000

With many fishing enthusiasts spending more time indoors due to state lockdown restrictions, the US’s leading auction house for fishing paraphernalia, Lang’s Sporting Collectibles (, has teamed-up with the biggest social media platform for people who love fishing, Fishbrain (, to launch a treasure hunt: encouraging the search of attics and garages in order to rediscover some of the most valuable and sought-after American fishing antiques.

Lang’s in-house expert and appraiser, Jim Schottenham, has prepared a list of the ten most-wanted items for which Fishbrain users should hunt: consisting of fishing rods, reels, and books, and with a potential collective auction value of over $400,000. Many of these objects have not been seen for decades (or even centuries), but are believed to be gathering dust in private homes: their significant value unbeknownst to their owners.

Drawing the attention of Fishbrain’s seven and a half million-strong US community to the list of sought-after items will, Lang’s hopes, lead to a substantial haul of newly discovered treasures from American fishing history.

The full list of fishing antiques with details from Lang’s experts can be found at 

Johan Attby, CEO of Fishbrain, comments: “Fishing has a long and rich history, and that’s something we’re looking to celebrate with this crowdsourced treasure hunt. Most anglers first learnt how to cast a line from their parents, who in turn learnt from their parents, and from generations before – so it makes sense that many people will have overlooked heirlooms in tackle boxes and cupboards. Of course, even those who may not wish to part with something so precious will likely be astounded to find out what these items are worth and appreciate their heritage all the more.”

Lang’s Sporting Collectibles list of rare antiques prepared for Fishbrain includes:

The Giant Billinghurst Reel (1859) 

Estimated value: $42,000

Lang’s comments: “William Billinghurst, also a well-known gunsmith, was the first to patent what is accepted as the first fly reel in the United States in 1859. His invention was a major departure from the reels that were available to the public in the second half of the 19th century, in both function and aesthetics. In fact, if not for the handle, most people would have no idea it was a fishing reel at all, certainly a factor in the scarcity of the reels today, as over the years I’m sure more than one was tossed away as an unknown.”

Preston Jennings Book of Trout Flies (1935)

Estimated value: $94,400

Lang’s comments: “Offered in 1935 as a deluxe edition comprising two volumes, and limited to just 25 numbered copies, the work of Preston Jennings is a combination of text and art, with Volume II containing flies with pattern names, protected by tissue paper. If another set is found, and the condition is there, it would take another 5 figure price to purchase the rare book.”

The Chautauqua Trolling Bait (1909)
Estimated value: $25,000

Lang’s comments: “Despite a fair number of these having been found over the years, the “cool” factor and great look have kept this lure on the wanted list of many advanced lure collectors. As with most all antique lures, finding one in the original box can raise the selling price exponentially.

Abbey & Imbrie Gold Rod & Reel (1876)

Estimated value: $100,000

Lang’s comments: “Noted fishing tackle historian and author Dr. Todd Larson has spent years researching these items and has lea” src=”cid:[email protected]″ alt=”image015.png” width=”76.5″ align=”left” hspace=”16″ vspace=”16″ v:shapes=”Picture_x0020_2″ class=”Apple-web-attachment Singleton” style=”width: 1.5625in; height: 1.7916in; opacity: 1;”>rned a total of five sets were made, with only two sets accounted for – so there is hope another could be found. And if you are the lucky person to unearth a set, you could well own a rod and reel that would set a record at auction,”

The full list of fishing antiques with details from Lang’s experts can be found at 

About Fishbrain (

Fishbrain is the world’s most popular mobile app and social network for people who love to fish. Bringing fishing into the digital age, the free-to-use app, with more than nine million users worldwide, helps create the best possible fishing experience by providing everyone – whether beginner or pro – with the tools, insights, and support to fully enjoy the world’s most popular sport.

In March 2018, Fishbrain raised a $13.5 million Series B round led by B Capital Group (set up by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin) with participation from SoftBank Ventures Asia and existing investors Northzone and Industrifonden. Fishbrain has to-date raised $28 million.

Fishbrain, twice named by WIRED as one of Europe’s Hottest Startups, was founded in Stockholm in 2012, with the app launching in 2013. The startup has fostered a passionate and collaborative community, by helping them take their technique to the next level, arming them with the tools and gear needed to succeed. In May 2019 Fishbrain won the Best App award at the Yahoo! Sports Technology Awards.

Fishbrain CEO Johan Attby has worked in Silicon Valley and Boston, but is now based in Stockholm, Sweden. He is an experienced serial entrepreneur and previously founded Tific, a software company which was acquired by technology services solutions company PlumChoice Inc in 2011.

Fishbrain currently employs over 80 people and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.

About Lang’s Sporting Collectibles (

Bob Lang’s first auction debuted in 1991 with the distinction of being the only auction house dedicated solely to the field of antique and collectible fishing tackle. From this uncertain initial venture, Lang’s, Inc. has grown to include three successful selling venues providing comprehensive services for every level of consignor or buyer.

Purchased by John Ganung in 2002, Lang’s growth continued. Lang’s Auction now enjoys participation from collectors in 44 countries and achievements such as world record auction prices in every category of antique and collectible tackle, as well as record prices for the sale of Derrydale Press books and Zane Grey related items.

By respecting the needs and wishes of both buyers and sellers and treating all parties fairly and honestly at every point of the transaction, Lang’s has succeeded in becoming the largest and most respected tackle auction in the world.


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