When anglers began fly fishing, a bamboo rod and length of floating string was usually all they took to the river. Cane poles and an over-sized reel to keep the fat fly line were included and most are still pulling in trophy trout on this type of vintage fly fishing tackle. More modern reels to help prevent line backing and poles to resist breaking and to make the line easier to load are now normal, but a few still depend on the basics of vintage fly fishing tackle for their catch.
There are numerous places where a person can purchase vintage fly fishing tackle, many through the original manufacturer include serial numbers denoting when they first hit the market, however for the prices paid by collectors with this equipment, they’re not likely to take them anywhere near the water.
Among the attractions for vintage fly fishing tackle is as a look into history and to be able to trace the advances in fly fishing, from its beginning through the present, the changes could be present in reels, poles and perhaps more importantly, the flies. Wet and dry flies have been around from the the beginning and even though some colors might have changed, looking over the vintage fly fishing tackle it is clear that the fish’s taste in bugs has not yet changed.
Better Materials Replicate Functional Accessories
Raised pillar reels from Leonard were the very first to use hard rubber in the late 1890’s and so are considered the best vintage fly fishing tackle available, although extremely rare to find by collectors. Today’s reels, while maintaining basic design and usability, are designed of materials which are more modern to withstand weathering and hard use.
Creels made of wicker are nevertheless popular, but with vintage fly fishing tackle these people were usually strapped along with saddle-grade leather. The neck strap was also leather and meant to hold up under watery conditions. Newer materials have replaced waders, although a century ago, many fly fishing was done without having the benefit of boots, except the same rubber boots which were used the farm.
Very few vintage fly fishing tackle boxes remain in circulation, but those which are found can be made of wood with a clear, glass front so that the angler could see what was available in the box. The wood would float in case it was dropped, allowing for quick recovery.