Shakespeare Vintage Fishing Rods

Shakespeare Vintage Fishing Rods

Shakespeare Fishing Tackle began its story in 1896 when Williams Shakespeare, Jr. decided to improve on reel design. The development of a device that winds the fishing line evenly back onto the spool is now standard in fishing equipment. Shakespeare vintage fishing rods and reels come in categories like spinning rods, casting rods, and fly rods.

What are some of the vintage lines produced by Shakespeare?

One of the first lines produced by the company was the Wondereel in 1939. In 1947, the President Reel and Wonderod collections were introduced, which were some of the first to use fiberglass. The Wondercast spinner was first produced in 1953. The Ugly Stik was a design introduced in 1976. They produced several generations and types of Ugly Stik rods and reels including ones for “big game” and children’s fishing rod kits.

Did Shakespeare make vintage fly fishing gear?

The company began making fly fishing gear in 1992 when it decided to compete with Pflueger Medalist. They specialized in producing ultra-light spinning reels. For several years, they focused on the fly fishing industry but returned to the baitcast market in 1995. Vintage fly rods are made of fiberglass and can be identified by finding a three-letter code, which indicates the manufacture date. This code can be found on the blank near the model ID number or on the reel seat. These codes indicate the year and month the fly rod was manufactured. The first two letters of the date code correspond to the letters K, J, H, G, F, E, D, C, B, A with the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9 in that order to indicate the year of manufacture. The second part of the three-digit code corresponds to the numbers by month starting with January and ending in December. The order of the month codes are K, J, H, G, F, E, D, C, E, A, L, and M. The letter K represents January.

How do you date a Shakespeare rod and reel?

The earliest vintage equipment has no markings, but from the late 1920s until the late 1970s, each rod and reel had a two-letter code stamped on it. This code is typically found near the model number. These date codes are not a part of the model number and can be used to track changes in design through the years. However, this does not necessarily represent the year the antique reel was built, but rather the year that this model started production. The company uses a dating formula where the letters are translated into numbers. The letters K, J, H, G, F, E, D, C, B, and A correspond to the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9. A second series of letters were also used representing the same series of numbers only using V, U, T, S, R, Q, P, N, M, and L. For instance, a vintage model 1740 Tournament HE began production in 1936. The 1 and 9 indicating the century are assumed.

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