Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Breaking Down the Fishing Tackle on Pawn Stars

Breaking Down the Fishing Tackle on Pawn Stars

On a recent episode of the History Channel show Pawn Stars, the hosts of the show entertained an offer to buy some vintage fishing tackle. Although the segment lasted less than five minutes, it spawned quite an uproar on-line about how badly one of the owners, Rick Harrison, got taken when he spent $1000 on the fishing tackle.

But did they really get screwed?

Being the anal-retentive kind of guy I am, I broke down the segment to see what exactly the Harrisons bought for their $1000. Taking a variety of screen shots, let's break down the segment to see exactly what they bought.

Rick checks out the whole display.

Looks like about 100 lures.

Starting off nice with a pair of Heddon Punkinseed Spooks.

Our first blurb.

First strike--reproduction beer can lures.

A look at some of the baits. One sticks out to me. Can you guess which one?

Close up of the bottom of the case.

The right side.

There she is: Heddon Torpedo Spook in Green Crackleback--and that idiotic Mac Daddy lure reference.

Bingo! Wood Heddon Punkinseed and Mouse Crazy Crawler.

Close up of the Heddon Torpedo Spook.

A nice River Runt Spook Sinker in Red Head/Silver Flitter.

Close up.

Heddon Hep Spinner -- nothing to look at here.

Crazy Crawler spooks.

Nice pic of about 2/3 of the case.


Aerial shot.

A happy owner; $1000 richer.

So having looked carefully at this case, here's what I think is there:

Heddon Crazy Crawler in Grey Mouse
Heddon Punkinseed Spook in Crappie
Heddon Punkinseed Spook in Bluegill
3 Modern Beer Can Lures
Heddon Crazy Crawler Spook in Bullfrog
Shurkatch Bass Oreno Style Wood Lure
Bomber (Possibly Wooden)
Heddon Crazy Crawler Spook in Bullfrog
Heddon Crazy Crawler Spook in Bird
Heddon Tiny Tad
L&S Shiner
Heddon Torpedo Spook in Green Crackleback
Thin Fin
Heddon Spinner
Heddon Baby Lucky 13 Spook in Red Head/Perch
Heddon Mouse Spook
Heddon River Runt Spook Sinker in Yellow Shore Minnow
South Bend Midget Bass Oreno in Silver Scale
Heddon Baby Lucky 13 Spook in Bullfrog
Heddon Baby Lucky 13 Spook in Perch
Heddon Baby Lucky 13 Spook in Perch
Heddon Torpedo Spook in Red Head/White
Heddon Torpedo Spook in Red Head/White
Heddon Torpedo Spook in Smokey Joe
Heddon Midget River Runt Spook in White Shore Minnow
Heddon Midget River Runt Spook in White Shore Minnow
Heddon Midget Digit Spook in Black Shore Minnow
Bomber Water Dog in Yellow Shore Minnow
Paw Paw Fly Rod Oreno-Type in Perch Scale
Heddon Midget River Runt Spook in Red Head/Silver Flitter
Arbogast Hula Popper in Yellow Shore Minnow
Heddon 740 Punkinseed in Sunfish
Eger Dillinger
24+ Metal Spoons and Spinners

So…if you had to buy these individually on eBay, what would you pay? Or if you sold them, and got an average to above-average return, what would you get? From what we can see there are 35 collectable lures (with the chances that there might be more not pictured as the far left side was never completely pictured). There are two valuable lures--the 740 Punkinseed and the Torpedo Spook in Green Crackleback. There are some very nice lures, including the 9630 Punkinseed Spooks, Crazy Crawler in Mouse, River Runt Spook, etc. If you allocate $150 for the 740 and $100 for the Green Crackleback Torpedo (a rare color on any Heddon spook), and $50 each for the 9630s, Crazy Crawler, and River Runt Spook, you are at $450 and have 30 collectable lures to go. Average $10 each for these (not a stretch) and you are at $750, not counting any metal and spinners, or the case.

So my best guess is $750-$1000. Which means that in my opinion, Rick paid market price for these baits. With a little luck on the big five (I've seen 740s in that shape go over $200 on eBay), he might actually make money on this deal.

Would I have bought it? Not at that price. I certainly would have thought about it for his original offer of $600. But although the $1000 was a high price, it was not a ridiculous one…

Don't believe me? Check out the episode in its entirety by Clicking Here.

And thanks to Pawn Stars for spreading the gospel of vintage fishing tackle! Check them out on their web site linked above and on the History Channel, check your listings for times.

So what do you think???

-- Dr. Todd


That didn't take long. Our first response comes from Colby Sorrels, who writes:

SEED MONEY! Yes, they paid what seems like a lot of money for that group of lures and Dr. Todd has shown that it is only marginally too high and maybe not at all. But if you think of it as seed money it does not seem high at all. Just think, they bought a country wide TV commercial that shows they buy old fishing lures and pay well for them. Who among us would not gather up $1,000 to run such a commercial? Looks like well spent seed money to me. Think of all of the people that have old fishing lures and they are thinking " Wow. I've got a bunch of old lures to get rid of. I think I'll find a way to get them to Pawn Stars". It only takes one really good lure walking in to pay for that $1,000. That commercial would have cost maybe millions if they had bought the time. Not a bad investment at all.


Unknown said...

Hi Todd.

Thanks for your taking a second look at this and providing the video stills for others to do the same.

I hope not to be the lone dissenter here, but a few things have bothered me since the show ran and still prevent me from coming up much more than half the value that they paid. Yes, Colby is right - you can't buy that kind of publicity for a grand, so that alone may have been worth it, and quite possibly much more than that. But for those of us without highly-rated cable shows and deep, deep pockets, I think that for us it would have been taking the proverbial leap of faith to lay that kind of money out for those baits.

First, the condition of the three seeds keep them from bringing top dollar. The two 9630's are relatively common colors and $50 can get you the same bait in better condition with little effort. Even with the quick video passes over them, I can see enough wear on two of the baits to not merit placing the top value on them.

Second, there may be a spattering of $10 baits at the lower end of the case, but I think it would take a lot of shows or ebay fees to move them. For just about every $10 bait I see, I see a bait which would be lucky to bring $5.

Thirdly, that crackleback Torpedo may in fact be a great bait. Admittedly I don't know that bait from a hill of beans, but I can guarantee you that unless there was some serious investigating with an experienced collector prior to filming, either did he. That one was likely a fluke that slipped by him and not figured into his quick valuation.

Finally, when lures are displayed in a collecting environment, they are almost always displayed with the better side exposed. I think that's just human nature. We have no reason to believe that this isn't true in this "case" as well. If that is indeed the case, whatever number anyone comes up with it could be reasonably assumed that it would have to be an absolute maximum for the value of the bait to be, and more than linkely inflated based on the one side that you do see.

Of course there are a number of factors which figure into the values, and even the occasional exception to those (in my opinion, this being one), but in this new global marketplace many of those variations have been reduced or eliminated to the point that there are most definitely "going rates" for a specific bait. I just seem to think that the publicity behind that purchase far outweighs the value of the baits.

Thanks again for your insight!
Randy Tschetter

TaurenChieftain said...

A vintage bamboo fly rod could attract a steep price especially when tested heavily by time and experience. A personally made bamboo fly rod assures the user that there were no shortcuts in the way this rod was made and that there is no short changing of the finest materials used to create such. The result is no less than the finest hand crafted bamboo fly rod that is surely meant to become vintage as the years go by.