When it comes to fishing, Warren Platt is living in the past.
He not only is an avid collector of antique lures, rods and reels, he fishes with the vintage equipment.
In fact, Platt (shown here with his daughter) seldom fishes with modern equipment anymore. Almost everything he uses is from the pre-1940s.
That includes lures with such colorful names as Darters and Plunkers, tubular steel fishing rods, and vintage baitcasting reels with no drag.
“People ask, ‘How could you catch fish on stuff that old?’ But you’d be surprised,” Platt told me for an article I did in The Kansas City Star years ago. “A lot of this tackle was made very well. It might not have modern technology put in it, but it still catches fish.”
Platt, who lives in Kansas City, has proven that many times in our fishing trips together. He and I consistently catch keeper bass on the old topwater lures, even when modern baits aren’t producing.
Platt isn’t at all reluctant to use parts of his collection when he goes fishing. He leaves the valuable lures back in the showcases.
He only uses the lures that were common back in the day and can still be purchased on collectors’ websites and at shows for $10 to $15.
“One of the reasons these antique lures work so well is that the bass haven’t seen them before,” Platt said. “They’re almost like new lures.
“You can see why they were so popular years ago.”
Platt will have his collection of antique fishing tackle on display during May and June at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost in Kansas City.
He will be featured in a Meet the Artist session from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Discovery Center. During the event, which is free and open to the public, visitors can view the collection for the first time and discuss it with Platt.