Photo by L.G. Patterson
Nathan “Shags” McLeod’s collection of antique fishing gear started 20 years ago. That’s when a family friend gave him a couple of old penn reels that sat in storage for years. That is, until McLeod really started collecting a few years ago.
“In the past six or seven years, it’s kind of exploded,” he says. That’s when he began going to more auctions and estate sales to supply an antique booth he used to run at Midway Antique Mall. McLeod started coming across more items he liked to add to what became a growing collection now displayed throughout his house. “I’ve got lures and reels and things everywhere,” he says.
So what’s the lure? (Pardon the obvious pun.) Antique lures were made from wood, with some being hand carved, and painted with beautiful designs and colors. They came from individual mom-and-pop shops all over the country, leading to a wide variety of unique pieces. “There’s just something about the old lures that I think is super cool. Just the design,” McLeod says. “A lot of it is the artwork on the boxes. It’s just incredible. They’re little pieces of art.”
Nowadays, lures are mass produced and often made of plastic. And while they may be more effective when actually fishing, they just don’t compare to the beauty of the unique, old wooden models, McLeod says.