The first came from the New England area, when a consignor of Lang's went to a flea market - late in the morning, early afternoon. As we all know, getting to these sales late usually means all the "good" stuff has been found and purchased. This man walked up to a table, and there found three old reels - a marbleized Philbrook & Paine bass sized fly reel, a German silver NY ball handle reel, and a raised pillar Julius Vom Hofe trout reel - all in very good plus or better condition. When has asked the vendor what he wanted for the three, he was told $50. Yes, that is fifty dollars.
The second came from the state of Michigan, when a collector drove to a barn sale. As he walked in to the old barn, he noticed a few tackle boxes on a table, where a man was already picking through them. Not wanting to crowd the man, our collector gave him space and waited for him to move away from the boxes before giving them a look. The first box he came upon was an older tray style Kennedy box that has a rusty old scale in the bottom, with a smooth baby Flying Hellgrammite in the top layer of trays - unharmed. The guy went to find out how much the sellers wanted for the tackle box, and was very happy to hear $10 each. He asked if there were any more boxes, and was told there may be, as they were cleaning out the estate of a relative. He was also told he was the first to ask about the tackle boxes - which surprised them, since they had advertised on Craig's List that would have a few at the sale - and no-one had called or e-mailed before the barn sale. So, in the state that has perhaps more lure collectors than any other, a rare lure was found even after the sellers listed tackle for sale on Craig's List.
The last came from the east coast, when a collector drove past a yard sale held by a man he knew to be an old salt water fisherman. He pulled in, noticed a few rods and reels, and then focused on the open tackle boxes on the ground. Looking through one of the boxes, he found an old hard rubber reel that looked like a Vom Hofe, and sent a few pictures out for identification. It turns out it was an only known George Gates Salmon reel - and in fantastic original condition. When he asked what the man wanted for the reel, he was told $50.
So, as you can see, there are still great and rare items out there to be found. Fell free to use/modify as you need if you decide to use this on the blog. I've purposely kept the specific locations and names out as you would expect.
Unbelievable...thanks again to Jim for sharing these stories, and renewing my faith that every time I hit a flea market/garage sale, I might just find something of value!
-- Dr. Todd