Shakespeare Memories

Deejay8

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Not of William the Bard, but of the tackle company. I began my angling journey back in 1982, aged 17 and my first rod and my small cantilever tackle box were from Shakespeare. I remember going to my local tackle shop in Totton nr Southampton and picking up the 1982 Shakespeare catalogue. The one with the pike on the front cover. I ordered my rod, a Sigma 12ft match rod from Bennett's who advertised it in the Angling Times, and bought the cantilever box from the tackle shop. I saw a page from the catalogue that I recognised in a recent post on seatboxes by Simon R, and it got me thinking about the old days and so I looked on EBay and managed to find the 1981 and 82 catalogues being sold together. So I bought them.
It has been like being transported back in time reading them. Seeing my first rods, the Sigma match and the Alpha Carp 10ft. And reading about the President Super Match rod, which I upgraded to after a couple of years. Reading about the newly formed Shakespeare Superteam match squad, led by Clive Smith and featuring Ken Giles among others, as the first pro match angling team. And remembering all of the pages of the catalogue, including the clothing line, featuring the T-shirt with the classic double entendre "Happiness Is A Rod In Your Hand", being modelled by a very attractive young lady. It really has been a trip down memory lane. There was always something very satisfying about sitting down with a catalogue. Much more enjoyable than scrolling through websites. Shakespeare were probably the biggest tackle company back then, closely followed by Daiwa and Abu. Since then, they seemed to lose ground to Daiwa and become a budget manufacturer. But back in the day, they were producing some of the best tackle on the market. I have always had a soft spot for Shakespeare. I still own and cherish my President Super Match rod.
 

sapperrich

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20211025_154146.jpg

Not of William the Bard, but of the tackle company. I began my angling journey back in 1982, aged 17 and my first rod and my small cantilever tackle box were from Shakespeare. I remember going to my local tackle shop in Totton nr Southampton and picking up the 1982 Shakespeare catalogue. The one with the pike on the front cover. I ordered my rod, a Sigma 12ft match rod from Bennett's who advertised it in the Angling Times, and bought the cantilever box from the tackle shop. I saw a page from the catalogue that I recognised in a recent post on seatboxes by Simon R, and it got me thinking about the old days and so I looked on EBay and managed to find the 1981 and 82 catalogues being sold together. So I bought them.
It has been like being transported back in time reading them. Seeing my first rods, the Sigma match and the Alpha Carp 10ft. And reading about the President Super Match rod, which I upgraded to after a couple of years. Reading about the newly formed Shakespeare Superteam match squad, led by Clive Smith and featuring Ken Giles among others, as the first pro match angling team. And remembering all of the pages of the catalogue, including the clothing line, featuring the T-shirt with the classic double entendre "Happiness Is A Rod In Your Hand", being modelled by a very attractive young lady. It really has been a trip down memory lane. There was always something very satisfying about sitting down with a catalogue. Much more enjoyable than scrolling through websites. Shakespeare were probably the biggest tackle company back then, closely followed by Daiwa and Abu. Since then, they seemed to lose ground to Daiwa and become a budget manufacturer. But back in the day, they were producing some of the best tackle on the market. I have always had a soft spot for Shakespeare. I still own and cherish my President Super Match rod.
I to was a massive Shakespeare fan back in the day. The Rubicon rods where things of beauty, I had all the models float, feeders and wands. Seatbox and topbox wish I could find them again.
 

tipitinmick

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Mmmmmm …. Shakespeare 12’ Sigma canal match with the spliced tip. Memories. ❤️

I’m the proud owner of the late Frank Barlow’s Shakespeare President 13’ and 14’ match rods. The ones he had before Shakespeare gave him the new Boron match rods. I’ve not given them a waggle in over 20 years. 😩
 

Zerkalo

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I never did have a Shakespeare box but my mate in the fishing club had one. Sometime around the millennium I won a Shakespeare Tetra Avon Specialist rod, not a well known rod and I have new rods but it’s still my favourite all round feeder rod (Avon top is no good) and has probably caught me more fish than any other rod, including my PB barbel the other day.
 

Deejay8

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I've still got the President Super Match I got for my 19th birthday in 1984, the blue plastic Shakespeare box I got for Christmas in 1983 and a Sigma Graphite reel. The reel has a weak bail arm spring, so I can't fish with it, but I use it when I'm respooling my other reels, so it's still used. Sadly my 12ft Sigma match rod was trod on by an idiot back in 1985, which was a shame because it was a lovely rod to use, despite being fibreglass. It proved to be a wonderful tench rod. I don't know what happened to my Alpha Carp 10ft rod, but it was a really good rod for stalking carp off the surface and also and floatfishing legering for tench. I have been looking for an old Sigma match and Alpha Carp 10ft, but haven't seen anything other than a very shabby looking 13ft Sigma match.
 

Deejay8

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Mmmmmm …. Shakespeare 12’ Sigma canal match with the spliced tip. Memories. ❤️

I’m the proud owner of the late Frank Barlow’s Shakespeare President 13’ and 14’ match rods. The ones he had before Shakespeare gave him the new Boron match rods. I’ve not given them a waggle in over 20 years. 😩
They are wonderful rods, especially on rivers. Quite a few of the Shakespeare Superteam kept using them after the Mach 2 Boron match, which was intended to replace them, came out, and I believe Shakespeare had to keep the President in production than longer than they intended because of this. And a new carbon fibre President replaced the Boron rod. When I got my President, it was only £90 because it was supposed to be end of line. I had a short chat with Matt Hayes a while back, who now promotes Shakespeare, and he had both the President and the Mach 2 back in the 80s and he felt that the President was the better rod.
 

TrickyD

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I had a Shakespeare box for many years, then got the Shakespeare Superteam box with the swivel out semi circle trays , it weighed a ton. One thing that sticks in my mind from Shakespeare is the time they tagged fish, catch a fish with a tag and you won a prize to a certain value according to the tag. I caught one at Kingston, never did claim my prize.
 

90sGear

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The half naked girls in the catalogue advertising the t shirts, teenage memories when skin was not available at the touch of a button 👏

Also I had a shakesphere pole it was about 50quid and 8m in the early nineties, a section got knocked by a cyclist into the canal I wrote a letter to Shakesphere who sent me a replacement free of charge and a goodie bag of bits n bobs, well played!
 

dave brittain 1

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Their glass rods in the Shakespeare Alpha with the soft tip and Match international were very good rods. Although I didn't care much for the President or Mach 2 Boron, the original Superteam 14m pole was a superb bit of kit equally as good as the Shimano Diaflash or the Daiwa Connoisseur despite being cheaper.
 

tipitinmick

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They are wonderful rods, especially on rivers. Quite a few of the Shakespeare Superteam kept using them after the Mach 2 Boron match, which was intended to replace them, came out, and I believe Shakespeare had to keep the President in production than longer than they intended because of this. And a new carbon fibre President replaced the Boron rod. When I got my President, it was only £90 because it was supposed to be end of line. I had a short chat with Matt Hayes a while back, who now promotes Shakespeare, and he had both the President and the Mach 2 back in the 80s and he felt that the President was the better rod.

Well that rings true as Frank jokingly asked for them back at a rip off toony match. He didn’t care much for the Boron in all honesty. 🤷‍♂️
 

John Step

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Funnily enough I used my old original Shakespeare Sigma Wand in a club match yesterday. I dont know if there is a modern equivalent where if a minnow burbs on the bait it registers a bite!

The picture is my mrs with a Shakey T shirt on in Cornwall. It was quite a conversation piece.
Some would say they didnt know the Bard went fishing and others would guess the double entendre ...

a penis is a rod in your hand.:D Still a cracker after 52 years of marriage.

1984-Gweek-2.jpg
 

Dave Spence

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You're right about looking through catalogues, it is far better than staring at a screen. I had a match international rod and c.f. reel as a second rod to my B&W carbon for Trent matches in the 70's and 80's.
 

tipitinmick

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Funnily enough I used my old original Shakespeare Sigma Wand in a club match yesterday. I dont know if there is a modern equivalent where if a minnow burbs on the bait it registers a bite!

The picture is my mrs with a Shakey T shirt on in Cornwall. It was quite a conversation piece.
Some would say they didnt know the Bard went fishing and others would guess the double entendre ...

a penis is a rod in your hand.:D Still a cracker after 52 years of marriage.

1984-Gweek-2.jpg

The fiesta in the background took me back. My grandad had one just like that. I think the inside matched the outside with beige seats and brown dashboard. 🤣🤣
 

tipitinmick

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You're right about looking through catalogues, it is far better than staring at a screen. I had a match international rod and c.f. reel as a second rod to my B&W carbon for Trent matches in the 70's and 80's.

Posh git. 🤣🤣😘
 

Bulldog

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Shakespeare memories..........................falling asleep to an am dram production of A Midsummers Nights Dream that my wife was in 20 years ago
 

JohnLondon

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I’ve still got my old Shakespeare seat box along with the Shakespeare tackle box that sits under the lid. I use it for storage nowadays but it must be 40 odd years old & I used it for many years. The Sigma rods were pretty decent in their day. I’m sure I’ve still got an old Sigma reel somewhere
 
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