Ed Pritchard started collecting antique fishing tackle in the early 1980s. 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 9,000 photos of vintage reels, including notes detailing the history and prices of these reels, Ed has helped collectors and non-collectors worldwide identify their reels and tell them what their reels are worth.
Ed is also a collector 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 reels and fishing tackle including 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 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 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 history labels for each item, and worked with the mount makers to make sure all artifacts were displayed properly. This project took almost two years to complete.
International Game Fish Association
Antique Tackle Historian
The IGFA museum opened in 1999 and Ed continued his close association with the IGFA as their volunteer historian giving lectures on antique tackle. Ed also provides free appraisals for people who bring in their vintage tackle, he also appraises collections for people who donate their tackle to the IGFA museum.
Zane Grey - The Fisherman
Ed was the curator for a show hosted by the IGFA, “Zane Grey – The Fisherman”, the show received international attention. 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 depicted his life story.
Ernest Hemingway Show
Ed also contributed his efforts to the Ernest Hemingway show, hosted by the IGFA 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 logs and selecting photos 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". Ed 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". Ed gave a narrative on the origins of big game fishing and the evolution of the fishing reel and its 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”, the 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 tackle manufacturers who grew along with this 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, 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.
Big Game Fishing Reels
Ed is still actively collecting all types of antique fishing reel and specializes 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 reels were used to catch the largest tuna, marlin, shark, and swordfish. If you have any other big game fishing items like rods, teasers, photos, or any other interesting items please feel free to get in touch with us.
Ed also collects certain fly fishing reels, casting reels and spinning reels. He has purchased reels from all over the United States and as far away as New Zealand, Australia, Egypt, Italy, France, Germany, and England. If you have high-quality fishing reels that you wish to sell please feel free to contact him.
Please feel free to call or e-mail me if you are interested in selling your reel or antique 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 9am to 9pm (EST) or send me an e-mail. I am always happy to give free appraisals. Thank you!
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