Capitol Fishing Tackle History began when it was first begun in 1845 in Germany. While operational in Germany it was primarily focused on cutlery. Over the next 50 years, the business' offerings became more much extensive. The business bought state-of-the-art sharpening tools and was known for sharpening surgical instruments and refinishing tools for tailors. With this becoming part of the core of the business, the original owners gave way to a new endeavor - Manufacturing some of the finest handmade fishing hooks to ever come out of Germany.
A new era was born when Otto Neff, a craftsman by trade and an avid fisherman, brought his family to New York City in the early spring of 1897. From there Capitol's first location in the U.S., which Predominately focused on cutlery, was opened in the summer of that same year, located on 34th street and 3rd avenue. Otto was not only a family man, but he knew he was on to something great and he continually trained his son Charlie to run the family business. Eventually Charlie took over from his father in the 1930's.
In 1942, Charlie saw an opportunity to move the store to a larger and much busier location. He relocated Capitol from what is commonly known today as Murray Hill to Chelsea, on 7th Avenue between 22nd and 23rd streets. During the 1940's fishing began booming and Charlie used this success to start carrying more and more fishing tackle. In 1964 After 22 years of hard work side-by-side with his wife Eadie, the opportunity to move the store once again had arisen. An even bigger location became available, under the iconic Hotel Chelsea on 23rd street between 7th and 8th avenues and they jumped on the opportunity.
In 1974, after over 40 years of owning and operating Capitol, Charlie and Eadie saw were ready to retire (aka take up recreational fishing full time), and sold the business to an employee who had grown up in fishing in Florida, and had a huge passion for the business and its legacy.
Capitol remained under the Hotel Chelsea for just over 42 years before moving to where we currently call home in 2006-our current location in Midtown Manhattan, the heart of the Garment District, on 36th Street between 7th Avenue and Broadway. We are still owned and operated by the same family since 1974, and we continue to grow and keep our legacy strong as America's Oldest Fishing Shop.