As a lure maker myself, I can advise it is easier than ever to sell antique fishing lures (as well as normal, functional lures) and make money.
The fishing market is booming! In the United States alone, the recreational fishing industry rakes in 115 billion dollars a year, with 46 million anglers who fish at least once a year.
There is definitely a demand for fishing lures, whether you build them yourself, buy wholesale, or sell antique fishing lures. In this post, we will look at where to sell fishing lures to put yourself on the map.
Where to Sell Antique Fishing Lures
There is a pretty big community of antique fishing lure collectors, and if you find antique fishing lures at yard sales, flea markets, or other places, you might have picked up a lure worth a considerable amount of money.
There are several social media groups, forums, and websites where you can find information on a particular antique lure, and you can also sell on many of these pages and marketplaces.
Online store options like eBay and, my personal favorite, Etsy, are great places to sell old lures and other fishing equipment.
How Much Can Antique Lures Sell For?
The worth of antique fishing lures can vary wildly from one to the next, and things like lure rarity, lure condition, and the paint color scheme are the major aspects that will determine the price of the lure.
The rarity of a fishing lure to determine price is not a surprise, but one that might surprise you is lure color patterns. For instance, I have an old antique musky dingbat lure made by the Creek Chub Bait Company.
This lure was introduced in the late 1930s, and mine is painted in a perch pattern, which is the most common pattern of this lure.
The same dingbat lure with a different color pattern might be worth 2 to 3 times more than the perch pattern I currently have, simply due to less being made and sold.
To determine a price for a given antique fishing lure, look at what the same lure with the same color pattern is selling for online, and maybe talk to an expert on antique fishing lures to determine how much money they are worth.
Where to Sell Self-Made Lures
While my knowledge of the antique lure market is fairly minimal, my knowledge of creating lure designs, testing them, fishing them, and selling them is not, as I had my own little musky lure brand for several years, with a decent following in the musky community.
One does not simply build a lure and instantly sell them, and building a lure design from scratch is actually a ton of work. My first successful lure design that sold like hotcakes took an entire winter of prototyping, with 7 different versions and countless trips to a hotel swimming pool due to ice-covered lakes.
Even after you have tweaked a design to make it perfect, you still shouldn’t start selling, and instead, you should hand them out to your avid fishing friends so that you can field test them in real conditions for an entire season.
Once your final lure design has been tested and proves to be reliable and catches fish, you can now look at selling it, and there are several places to do this.
There are several places you can sell your lures online, and the common ones are places like eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and others.
You can also try contacting larger fishing retailers that are online and a few examples of websites to sell your tackle to would-be retailers such as Tackle Direct, Karls, and even Bass Pro or Cabelas.
These large tackle retailers can be a tough nut to crack, though, and they probably won’t take you on unless you have mass production in place, and a growing and positive reputation, so it will be better to stick to online stores like Etsy where you can open your own shop.
When I first started my musky lure business, I went to all of the local tackle stores and bait shops. Being an obsessed angler for most of my life, I already had good relationships with many of the tackle store owners, who sold my lures on a consignment deal.
If you know the owners of the tackle stores near you, going there to try to sell your lures is a no-brainer, but if they are reluctant to buy quantities outright, try offering a consignment deal on the lures as I did.
90% of my sales came from social media, and platforms like Facebook are huge when it comes to getting noticed and selling lures.
Go to buy/sell/trade fishing pages to sell your fishing lures, it gets your lure exposure, and you can see what anglers like and dislike.
I have hundreds of musky anglers from around the country on my Facebook friends list, so in many cases, all I had to do was post a photo or video of a lure I just painted, and within a few minutes or hours, they would be gone.
I would post entire lots of lures I just finished and have them sell out in an hour simply by posting on my personal Facebook profile.
Word gets out fast on social media if you create effective lures, anglers post about it after catching fish, people ask in the comments section, and before you know it, you won’t have the time to keep up with orders.
If you’re an outdoorsman, chances are you have gone to a hunting or fishing expo, where retailers, businesses, or a brand sets up a table and display and sell their products.
If you can afford a booth at one of these shows, you can do very well at it, as it gives anglers a chance to talk to you, the builder, directly. You can also explain the actions and details of your lures, and anglers can hold the lure in their hands for themselves, which is great for sales conversions.
Today the internet has made it easier than ever to sell fishing lures, so this should be your main avenue to make money selling fishing lures. If you are a builder, you might find that making fishing lures is a labor of love, but it can make you a ton of money if done correctly.