Outdoors Notebook

Collectibles vendor finds fun in trading

Memories, sense of community accompany vintage fishing tackle

CorrespondentJanuary 24, 2013 

Sometimes, Eric Silva deals in memories. The rest of the time, it’s fishing reels. Old ones.

The Morrisville resident sells used reels, rods and vintage lures, plus a few military items, on flea market days at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Vendors and collectors find a community among other lovers of products by such makers as Penn, Mitchell and Shimano.

“You’ll find in this arena, especially in the collectibles, you’ll have a lot of people you’ll start meeting, and they’ll start trading with you, and that’s kind of fun,” said Silva, 44, who moved from California about two years ago.

More than 100 reels – spinning, baitcasting and closed-face – waited in rows on Silva’s tables one recent Saturday. A chance to relive memories comes with each discovery of a favorite brand or model.

“It’s a good reel. I had one as a kid,” John Duperry of Raleigh said after purchasing a Mitchell 300.

Buyers should research potential purchases online or at a library, looking for quality, make and model to determine what is worth collecting and how prices are affected, Silva said. Collectors often spend $500 to $1,000 for a choice reel. At a flea market, “you’re looking at the $5 to $100 range,” he said.

“The Internet’s a big help. If you’re doing any research, go to library and look at books,” said Silva, who favors the Mitchell Museum site mitchellreelmuseum.com and eBay. “(On eBay) you can see what reels are bringing, and that helps you determine what maybe to spend on a reel, how collectible it is.”

Reels that have boxes and the paperwork are worth more, he said. Make sure the mechanisms work properly, the spool cap is tight and rust is minimal. The oldest reel in Silva’s collection is a Julius Vom Hofe brass model from the 1890s.

During pleasant weather, Silva can be found at the fairgrounds from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays at Dorton Arena Flea Market along Hillsborough Street. On a recent day, he joined vendors selling bicycles, hot dogs, tools, women’s scarves and accessories and coins.

Saturdays, look for Silva in Space No. 52, near Gate 1 off Hillsborough.

“Whatever you enjoy is really what you should look for,” Silva, a lifelong angler and collector, said. “Maybe you enjoy the look of a particular reel or rod – just start collecting what you enjoy.”

•  Snapper, grouper, dolphin and wahoo targeted: The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold a public meeting 4-7 p.m. Thursday at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center on amendments to regulations for the snapper-grouper management complex, a council news release said.

Input also is sought on proposals regarding dolphin and wahoo regulations. Additional information, including copies of Amendments 5 and 27, will be posted at safmc.net.

•  Deadline approaching: Jan. 30 will be the last day to honor a leader in nongame wildlife conservation with a nomination for the eighth annual Thomas L. Quay Wildlife Diversity Award, according to an N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission news release.

Learn more at ncwildlife.org, or contact Susan Bunn at 919-707-0058 or susan.bunn@ncwildlife.org.

Boggess: boggess.teri@gmail.com Send outdoors news to outdoors@newsobserver.com.

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