Ed Pritchard started collecting antique fishing tackle in the early 1980s after graduating from the University of Mami and starting a business in the Florida Keys. Ed, a life-long angler, was always fascinated with stories of the men, fish, places, and tackle that made up angling's history.
Over the years Ed has seen, handled, and researched thousands of antique fishing reels and is considered one of the foremost fishing reel experts in the world.
With a database of over 15,000 photos of vintage reels, including notes detailing the history and prices of these reels, Ed has helped collectors and non-collectors worldwide identify and establish the value of their antique fishing reels.
Ed is also a collector of vintage fishing reels and pays top collector dollar for high-quality reels for his collection.
Over the years Ed has been involved in many projects that have required his expertise in antique fishing tackle including reels, rods, lures, and all other types of miscellaneous antique tackle.
Some of these projects are listed below -
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International Game Fish Association
Hall of Fame & Museum - Antique Tackle Consultant
In 1998 Ed was chosen by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) to be their antique fishing tackle consultant for their new 60,000 square foot Hall of Fame & Museum. He was charged with the responsibility of going through 60 years of donated fishing tackle and selecting the best examples for each exhibit in the museum. Ed than made an extensive list of tackle that was needed to fill in the holes in each exhibit in order to make each display complete. Budgets were made, items were selected and Ed was off across the country to acquire well over 100 artifacts to complete the museum's collection. Ed then restored each item as needed, wrote the historical description labels for each item, and worked with the mount makers to make sure that all the artifacts were displayed properly. The IGFA Museum project took almost two years to complete.
International Game Fish Association
Antique Tackle Historian
The International Game Fish Association Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum opened its doors in 1999 and Ed continues his close association with the IGFA as their volunteer historian giving lectures on antique fishing tackle and luminaries from fishing's illustrious history.
Ed also provides a free appraisal service for people who bring in their vintage fishing tackle to the IGFA for evaluation and appraisal. When large collections of fishing tackle and books are donated to the IGFA museum Ed is on hand to help appraise those collections as well.
Zane Grey - The Fisherman
Ed was the curator for an exhibition hosted by the IGFA titled, “Zane Grey–The Fisherman”. Ed contacted collectors from around the world while working closely with the Ohio Historical Society and the Grey family. The Zane Grey show featured the largest collection of Zane Grey’s personal tackle assembled since his death as well as other items that helped depict his life story. The show received positive international attention and reviews.
Ed Pritchard with Dr. Loren Grey, Zane Grey's son, at the opening of the "Zane Grey - The Fisherman" show at the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame and Museum in Dania Beach Florida. November, 2000.
Ernest Hemingway Show
Ed also contributed his efforts to the Ernest Hemingway show hosted by the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame and Museum. This show featured some of Hemingway's personal items loaned from the Finca Vigia, Hemingway's home in Cuba, which is now a museum. Ed spent days pouring through the extensive Hemingway archives at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston reading Hemingway's personal fishing logs and selecting fishing photos of Hemingway for the exhibit.
On the Road with Charles Kuralt
Big Game Fishing Expert
Ed was profiled in a segment of Charles Kuralt's show "On the Road with Charles Kuralt", he talked about antique fishing reels and tackle including the history of big game fishing and its origins.
In 2002 Ed was featured in an episode of the History Channel's series "Modern Marvels" titled "The Tackle Box". He gave a narrative on the origins of big game fishing and the evolution of fishing reels and their many features.
Ed has been featured on several other television shows including one of Japan's most popular fishing shows, "Fishing with Uncle."
Fin-Nor, the Legacy Years
In 2007 Ed co-authored the book “Fin-Nor, the Legacy Years”, a story about the history of the Fin-Nor big game fishing reel and the people and places that helped make the Fin-Nor reel a legend. Ed had been researching the Fin-Nor brand for close to 30 years.
Sportfishing Around Miami
In 2013 Ed co-authored the book "Sportfishing Around Miami". This book chronicles the rich history of angling in Miami and its surrounding area including the Florida Keys, the Everglades, and Bimini in the Bahamas. The book also addresses the people that made Miami the center of the fishing world and the Miami tackle manufacturers who grew along with the sport-fishing industry.
Sporting Magazines / National Publications
Author / Contributor
Ed has written several articles which have been published in major sporting magazines on the history of big game fishing and the tackle used in the sport. He has also contributed his knowledge, as well as photos from his extensive collection of vintage big game photos, to articles featured in dozens of national publications including: National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, Field & Stream, Sporting Classics, Florida Sportsman, The London Financial Times, and Marlin Magazine just to name a few.
National Museum of Natural History
Historic Acquisition Agent
In 2007 Ed helped the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History acquire a historic big game fishing rod and reel which is prominently displayed in the entry exhibition of the Ocean Hall.
Fishing & Collecting Fishing Reels
Angler & Collector
Ed is still actively collecting all types of antique fishing reels specializing in big game and salt water fishing tackle. He has a particular interest in "Reels as Big as Your Head", gigantic handmade fishing reels made from the 1920s through the mid-1940s. These massive reels were used to catch the largest tuna, marlin, swordfish and shark. If you have a big game reel or any other big game fishing items such as rods, teasers, photos, or any other interesting items please feel free to get in touch with us.
Ed also collects fly fishing reels, casting reels and some spinning reels. He has purchased reels from all over the United States and as far away as England, Scotland, Wales, Australia, Egypt, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa, and New Zealand. If you have high-quality fishing reels that you wish to sell please feel free to contact him.
Please feel free to call, text, or e-mail me if you are interested in selling your antique reel or fishing collectibles. I pay top collector prices for high-quality fishing equipment. Also, if there are any questions you may have regarding your antique fishing reels please feel free to call between the hours of 9:00am to 8:00pm EST. Please DO NOT CALL even to leave a message after 8:00pm EST, thank you. You can also text me at any time with messages and pictures at the phone number listed below.
You can also send me an e-mail, with or without photos, to the e-mail address listed below, please include your phone number if you wish a call back. I am always happy to give FREE APPRAISALS. Thank you!
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