Ed Pritchard has been collecting antiques since the age of 7 when his parents, who were always taking him to antique shows, bought him an old wooden pintail duck decoy for his birthday. It did not take long before books were purchased and the decoy was identified. Many decoys followed over the years but eventually the bulk of the collection was sold when Ed left for college.
In the early eighties, the collecting bug bit again when Ed discovered a box full of lures belonging to his grandfather in the basement of his parent's home in Ohio. Many more lures were collected followed by many hours of research. After a couple of years of trying to collect lures while living in South Florida Ed realized that the area was rich with salt water and big game fishing tackle and it's history, therefore he turned his attentions in that directions.
For the next several years he spoke with many of the pioneers of the sport, guides and fisherman alike, and since that time Ed has tried to piece together not only the history of the people and places but of the tackle as well. Along the way he was not only found himself "On the road with Charles Karault" but has also had articles featured in several prominent fishing publications.
More recently Ed was chosen by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) to be their antique fishing consultant for their new 60,000 square foot hall of fame and museum. He was charged with the responsibility of going through 60 years of donated fishing tackle and selecting out the best examples for each exhibit for the museum. After that task was accomplished, Ed made extensive lists of tackle that were needed to fill in the holes to and make the displays complete. Budgets were made and items were selected and then Ed was off to find well over 100 artifacts to complete the museum's collection. When all the items were finally assembled it was time for the restoration of the artifacts which involved disassembling all of the reels without the aid of manuals, cleaning away years of corrosion and abuse and then reassembling them from memory. Not only did Ed restore reels, he also restored dozens of lures, rods and all kinds of miscellaneous tackle. It took Ed well over six months to complete the restoration. Next came the labeling and history of the individual items, a task for which his many years of research was well suited. Then working hand in hand with the mount makers, Ed made sure that all the items would be displayed properly.
The museum has since opened and Ed continues his association with the IGFA giving lectures on antique tackle and giving free appraisals to people who bring in their tackle. Ed still collects antique fishing tackle and specializes in salt water and big game fishing tackle. He has a strong bend towards what he calls "Reels As Big As Your Head" gigantic hand made fishing reels used from the late 1920s through the mid 1940s for the largest tuna, marlin and swordfish.
For more information about your tackle or if you are interested in selling something please contact us.
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"Reels As Big As Your Head"
P.O. Box 3 -- Jupiter, FL 33468