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Collector Fishing Tackle Displays

Imagination helps when it comes to displaying your collection. A tolerant spouse doesn't hurt either! I'm fortunate in that my bride's tin collection adorns the walls of our kitchen so I've taken possession of the family room for displaying my fishing tackle collectibles! NEW information which has been added to this page since the last edition is marked with a symbol!!


This fishing rod display by Tyler Dickson of Springfield, Illinois was shown at the 2017 National Fishing Lure Collectors Club National meeting in Springfield. These are all vintage metal rods, many with colorful plastic handles and foregrips. As much as possible, Tyler outfitted a color matched reel to the handle color as well as a vintage fishing lure. While laid out on a table as shown here, these could easily be displayed on shelves or walls fully equipped rather than just as a plain rod.

(Click on pictures to enlarge)



The free standing reel rack pictured below was built out of 1/2 inch square tubing that has been covered with felt. It can be built to any size and can be taken apart in about one minute! If you want to secure casting reels or fly reels to the bars it is done with #12 rubber o-rings. The plastic rings that I used on the spin reels that are turned with a side view are purchased at a craft store. They use the rings for making pocketbooks. You could use any round ring you like even slices of plastic pipe.All the other material was purchased from Home Depot including the square steel tubing, bolts and 3/4 inch oak wood. (This was originally posted on the ORCA Online message board by Brianfla!)

(Click on individual pictures to enlarge)


One problem with displaying lures is when you have boxes to go with them. The simple shelf offers a easy solution. In my particular case, I got a 4 foot board, 4" wide and using brass 'L' brackets, mounted it to a wall. I put the box for the lure on the shelf and pushed the rear treble hook of the lure into the edge of the shelf underneath the box! Cup hooks could also be put on the bottom of the shelf to hold lures by using clear monofilament line if necessary to 'tie' the lure to the cup hook.

I also use fishing rods to hang lures. Several cup hooks can be used to mount the rod; use enough to prevent the rod from 'bowing'. Also, you can a combination shelf and rod. I've seen rods mounted to the bottom of the shelf; the rod is used to hang the lures and the shelf, to display the boxes! Simple and inexpensive (except, of course, for the cost of the rod & lures!!!)


Reels pose an interesting problem due to their size and generally demand a lot of shelf space. One neat way to display reels, particularly when you don't have boxes to go with them is shown in this photo.

Reel Display
(Click on picture to enlarge)

To build this, you need a 1" dowel of whatever length you want, a couple of small boards for either end, and 2 spinning rod reel rings for each reel (available from your local rod & reel shop for a couple of bucks). The rings are put over the dowel and evenly spaced. The lower ring is fastened to the dowel in any manner you want to use, i.e., tack nails, screws, etc. The upper ring is left loose so you can slide it over the butt plate of the reel.

Fasten the end boards to the dowel from the back side of the board and then fasten the boards to the wall with mounts appropriate to the wall. A bit of sanding and a coat of stain and finish and you've got yourself a really nice reel display which takes up a minimal amount of space and looks really nice! For a full picture of this display, click HERE!


As I have some carpentry skills, I built some custom cases to hold my River Runt Spook collection, one of which is shown below. Each case holds 63 lures which are hung by the line tie to brass L hooks I bought at the local hardware store. (Flea markets are great places to pick up this type of hardware in bulk!) When possible, I hung them directly from the line tie but in some cases, I used clear fishing line as the line tie ring wouldn't fit over the L hook.

River Runt Display

In building the case, I designed it to fit the longest length of lure I would be hanging. Before I assembled it, I drilled holes for the L hooks to make it as easy as possible to screw them in as putting in 63 is hard on the fingers!

Wall Mounted Displays and Shelving

If you got the time, basement space and talent, this is one way to go! NFLCC member Richard Cardinal created a virtual museum in his basement of old tackle! Each panel is backlighted and is specific to one lure manufacturer. The use of shelving both helps to display those items which can't be neatly 'pinned' to a display board.

Fish Net Display

Take some old fish netting, hammer in a few nails and you have yourself a great way to display lures by just hanging them onto the netting! The nice thing here is that you can put other things such as pictures, etc., within your display. NFLCC member Mike White created this as his 'headboard' in his bedroom area. If you really want to go the extra step, consider adding pillow covers and matching sheets indicating your fanatism for fishing!

Enclosed Cabinet Display

Commercially built display cases such as this one have a couple of nice features. First, they're enclosed which keeps them dust free. Next, the have locks to keep unwelcome hands off your stuff! This particular case, owned by NFLCC member Walt Maynard, mounts on the wall but can be easily removed for display purposes at shows, etc. The bottom shelf acts as a base for the entire case so it can stand on its own.

Wood Enclosed Display Case with Locks

Enclosed wood display cases such as this one offer a couple of advantages. First, if you have more than one, you can stack them. They are reasonably light so handling isn't a problem. They have locking latches and come in an assortment of sizes. Unfortunately, they don't come with a backing so you have to create one yourself. Because of the thickness of the case, you must use a backing that is relatively thin and also, it must be a firm enough material to retain T-pins which are used to secure boxes and lures. The backing I used, ,can be purchased at most home building supply outlets. I cut it 1/4" less one each side than the size of the case, i.e., a 20" x 14" case would have a 19-1/2" x 13-1/2" backing. The 1/4" is necessary to allow for adding nice material surface to the backing. I my case, I used green felt material. I cut the material about 2" oversize to the backing. I laid the material on a flat surface and centered the backing on it. Then I just folded the edges over, cut the corners, and secured the material to the back side (duct tape works quite well!). It should fit fairly snugly into the case so it really isn't necessary to fasten it in although you could do so using double-sided tape or velco.

T-pins (available at any Wal-Mart store in the notions section) are used to secure the boxes and lures. If you want to display the lure outside the box, use the T-pins to secure the lure to the backing. Put the cover on the box and insert T-pins between the bottom and top of the box, one on each side, and gently push onto the backing. This method hides the T-pins and secures the box from moving in any direction!

Cases such as this one are offered by a variety of manufacturers and also can be found at most NFLCC lure shows.

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Web Author: Keith Bell
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