January 2011
The Expert Wood Minnow
F. C. Woods and Company
Rockford, IL
When I run into some lure collectors, I hear the same thing all the time…condition condition condition.

The advice they give is, “spend the most money you can and buy the best lure possible and in the best condition that you can”.

To some extent, I disagree.  And, this lure is a good example of this. 

Do you think the owner liked using this lure?  Can you imagine how many fish this lure may have caught?  If this lure could talk, don’t you think it would have some stories to tell?

This lure has hook drags, teeth marks, paint loss, rust, and bent hooks.  But, I think it looks great after over 100 years of service.  He deserves to finally retire and “take it easy”.

And, this “beater” costs much less than a “I never caught a fish” lure of the same type.  Not only that, I have no fear of paying huge dollars for a mint lure, only to find out the paint could flake and fall off at some point anyway.  Or, worse yet…to find out the lure is a repaint and not original. 

I still remember when I went to my first antique lure show, and this was one of the lures I brought.  This lure was like Rodney Dangerfield…and got no respect.  However, when I show my collection to fisherman who are not collectors, this lure finally gets the admiration it deserves.  “Wow, look at that old lure.  I bet that one caught a lot of fish”.

Sure, the mint and unused lures are beautiful and I would love to have more mint lures.  But, I would rather have 20 different beaters than one mint lure.  Give me the lures with a story to tell…not the lures that say “You paid WHAT for me?”  Some people have built wonderful collections for they have the money and means.  Others acquire mint condition lures by under-appraising them from unsuspecting people who want their advice on an old tackle box (these collectors feel they have the right to do this for they have the knowledge).  I am neither of these people.  Most people build collections with luck, knowledge, honestly, and a lot of work.  At least that is the way I see it.

This lure is called “The Expert”, and from its past experience I believe it lives up to that name.  It features big yellow glass eyes, 5 treble hooks, large props with holes in them, and hardware made of brass.  “The Expert” lures first appeared around 1903…and were made by one company or another until the late 1920s.  The one I have pictured is one of the earliest ones.

Yes, it is a “beater”…but I think it looks great.  I hope I look that good after 100 years.