Shakespeare Memories

Pompous git

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I was a stubborn (stupid?) chap and refused to fish with pole until around 1988/9 when I saw the light.

My first pole was a Shakespeare model and I wonder if anyone could identify which one it was; just for my curiosity. I seem to recall it cost £120ish, was 10.5 metres and was a brown colour with a crossweave pattern. Bought 1988 or 89. It came with a spare top kit. Although a heavy old brute it served me well for four years until I moved onto a Daiwa 12m Tom Pickering Matchwinner.

Like so many keen anglers I had a collection of the Shakespeare catalouges which I used to pore over! Probably had them back to the mid 70's but gave them away awhile back hence my question regarding the pole.

TIA,
Paul
You did not see the light, you got sucked into the angling underworld.

One day you will see the light and realise that you did not see the light.
 

minkyandbear

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You did not see the light, you got sucked into the angling underworld.

One day you will see the light and realise that you did not see the light.
Forgive me Father for my mortal sins. I am not a completely bad person as I do still use quills, Toppers and sliders. And as recently as two weeks ago I did trot a Topper controlled with a centrepin;)
 

Pompous git

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Forgive me Father for my mortal sins. I am not a completely bad person as I do still use quills, Toppers and sliders. And as recently as two weeks ago I did trot a Topper controlled with a centrepin;)
I knew you wasn`t all bad.
 

Bronsin

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My biggest memories of Shakespeare here in the states is from the late 70's and early 80's. At that time, cable T.V. was becoming widespread, and fishing shows with Bill Dance and Jimmy Houston were on the air, and the Bassmaster's tournaments were really getting popular. It was at this time that Shakespeare intoduced the famed and feared Ugly Stik, and completely took over the market, selling them as fast as they could make them. With ads in magazines and commercials on T.V., you would have to have lived in a cave to not know about them.

The price wasn't too expensive for most anglers at the time, and a kid with a paper route or mowing lawns could have one in a short time. They still sell them to this day, and even though modern rods have come along, many people continue to buy the Ugly Stik and catch tons of fish on them.
 

dave brittain 1

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Before I joined Shakespeare around 2005 or so, I popped into my old tackle shop, Darlington Angling Centre while visiting family the north east. Owner Pete Rambo grabbed me knowing I liked my river rods and said Dave come and have a look at this. It was the new Superteam LXL 12/16ft match rod and what a peach of a rod it was.

When I joined Shakespeare a year or two later James Robbins asked me what kit I wanted, top of the list was another LXL 12/16ft. Over the years the rods have won me a number of good matches including the Wye Team Champs individually and Wye Festival, not to mention some good opens. Even now 15 yrs later, despite their age they are the first rods out of the bag when I visit the Wye or fish a small river as the 12ft rod is a little beauty while the 16ft model is the perfect stick float rod.
 

dave brittain 1

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@dave brittain 1 ... was that the early 90s Superteam pole?? I've got a hazy memory of drawing next to Kim Milsom on the grand union (somewhere near Heyford iirc) on a really windy day. We both had mid 2 pounds of little roach and I think I won the section (but I could be wrong). I'm pretty sure that he'd moved to Essex County by that stage ... but was still using the superteam pole.

Could add to this thread with "memories" of the superteam ... I'm pretty sure that the original line up of six was
Clive Smith
Ken Giles
Max Winters
Steve Webb
Dave? Williams
Tony Davis (the colonel)
Alex yes it was the early 90's. My best mate bought the Superteam and I bought the Daiwa Connoisseur. Another friend had the Shimano Diaflash.

There wasn't a lot between them with the Connoisseur being stronger, the Diaflash being lighter with the Shakespeare sitting between them. Great poles at the time but a handful at 12.5m with arms like Garth required to fish them at 14m
 

mickthechippy

23/04/2008 - 25/12/2021
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Back in the early 70's ,being a bit poor , I saved a few quid from the paper round-milk round and uprated my Galion 12R reel to bright shiny dark green shakespere reel, it cost then about a fiver from Greenfields tackle in canterbury

like I said it was dark green with a black plastic spool and had the manufacturers name in either gold or white lettering on the semi egg shaped body, if I recall right it would of been about 2500 to 3000 sized, it was for the period a really good buy, far superior in use to the galion, had it for ages mated to a 12 foot ESS hollow fibre glass stick rod with a solid glass tip section

no idea what eventually happened to it, probably pinched by one of my brothers when i got a couple of mitchells
 

Sam Vimes

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As a young beginner during Shakespeare's ubiquitous period of the mid-eighties, it's almost inevitable that I ended up with gifted budget Shakespeare gear. The bits I remember were an Omni Carbon Match rod and a very cheap (might have been an Omni) reel. The blank itself wasn't the worst in the world. The big problem was the "Duplon" (was it called that back then?) handle. It was far removed from modern Duplon. It compressed badly in no time at all and had a tendency to act like a sponge in rain. In short order, you were left with sliding reel fittings that simply couldn't hold a reel without judicial use of inner tube rubber and electrician's tape.

The reel was a far greater magnitude of awful. If anyone were stupid enough to make a modern version of it, I doubt if it could retail for more than £2. Even that would be daylight robbery. Has anyone actually seen a reel with just a bent wire bail arm (no roller of any kind) in this century? I really hope that such things are no longer inflicted on anyone.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I can't really share the misty eyed nostalgia that many have for Shakespeare. It may not be entirely fair, but bad timing and circumstances contrived to put me off for life.
 

MarkW

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I had the daft notion of digging out my Mach 2 Boron 14ft rod this week and fishing with it. Action - brilliant, weight - diabolical (about 10oz). After an hour I took it down and switched to my Tricast at barely half the weight.
 

squimp

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Ive just remembered that back in the early 70’s I won a Shakespeare tackle voucher in a free draw. It might have been some kind of scratch card effort free with Angling Times or similar.

Anyway upshot was I became the proud owner (aged about 14) of a Shakespeare canvas tackle bag. It was actually quite decent and lasted many years. It even got used (eventually) for its intended purpose - fly fishing.

The only other item of their gear that I’ve used is a Superteam Quattro 12ft light feeder rod. It’s a fantastic light action rod and perfect for close range fishing for big roach. I still have it. It’s landed plenty of 2lb plus fish, but it complains a bit when a big chub comes along!

Ive also got an old wand somewhere -but I’ve never actually used it so can’t comment further. Bought cheap in a second hand shop purely on its reputation….
 

BARBELIN

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As a young beginner during Shakespeare's ubiquitous period of the mid-eighties, it's almost inevitable that I ended up with gifted budget Shakespeare gear. The bits I remember were an Omni Carbon Match rod and a very cheap (might have been an Omni) reel. The blank itself wasn't the worst in the world. The big problem was the "Duplon" (was it called that back then?) handle. It was far removed from modern Duplon. It compressed badly in no time at all and had a tendency to act like a sponge in rain. In short order, you were left with sliding reel fittings that simply couldn't hold a reel without judicial use of inner tube rubber and electrician's tape.

The reel was a far greater magnitude of awful. If anyone were stupid enough to make a modern version of it, I doubt if it could retail for more than £2. Even that would be daylight robbery. Has anyone actually seen a reel with just a bent wire bail arm (no roller of any kind) in this century? I really hope that such things are no longer inflicted on anyone.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I can't really share the misty eyed nostalgia that many have for Shakespeare. It may not be entirely fair, but bad timing and circumstances contrived to put me off for life.
I think they called duplon handles Hyperlon back then.

A bit of one upmanship Sam I had the glass Alpha glass match light blue blank and handle and then the mighty Alpha carbon match. Dark blue blank and handle. Next one up from the Omni. I really thought I was somebody with a carbon rod. It had full set of lined rings as well where the glass one had only a lined tip and butt.
Still got a grey seatbox in the garage as well as the top box.
I used to love those product catalogues from the 80’s I loved the look of the Sigma Supra rear drag reels so futuristic looking compared with the Mitchells and Abu’s.

Its hard to understand where Shakespeare went wrong after being a market leader
 

Sam Vimes

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I think they called duplon handles Hyperlon back then.

A bit of one upmanship Sam I had the glass Alpha glass match light blue blank and handle and then the mighty Alpha carbon match. Dark blue blank and handle. Next one up from the Omni. I really thought I was somebody with a carbon rod. It had full set of lined rings as well where the glass one had only a lined tip and butt.
Hyperlon! AKA sponge.;):LOL:

I was one upped by a fishing mate that got an Alpha the same Christmas as I got the Omni. They looked largely the same other than the colour schemes. The Omni being black with black whipping with red tippets and the handle was black. I recall the Alpha being a blue blank, blue whippings, silver tippets and a blue handle. Both Alpha and Omni must have been later versions as they both had a full set of lined rings, another first for both of us. As well as being more expensive, my mates Alpha was 14'. My circle of angling mates absolutely marvelled at that. I doubt that any of us had seen a rod over 13' at the time.
 

Simon R

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Back in the early 70's ,being a bit poor , I saved a few quid from the paper round-milk round and uprated my Galion 12R reel to bright shiny dark green shakespere reel, it cost then about a fiver from Greenfields tackle in canterbury
Does this look familiar?

1976 Shakespeare BB reels.jpg


1976 catalogue - this range carried on until 1980 when they were finally killed off due to the skirted spool revolution.

Simon
 

mickthechippy

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Does this look familiar?

1976 Shakespeare BB reels.jpg


1976 catalogue - this range carried on until 1980 when they were finally killed off due to the skirted spool revolution.

Simon
the very same Simon, was a pretty good reel for its time
 

NoCarpPlease

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Alex yes it was the early 90's. My best mate bought the Superteam and I bought the Daiwa Connoisseur. Another friend had the Shimano Diaflash.

There wasn't a lot between them with the Connoisseur being stronger, the Diaflash being lighter with the Shakespeare sitting between them. Great poles at the time but a handful at 12.5m with arms like Garth required to fish them at 14m
I had the Daiwa Conny from 1991 until I replaced With a 2nd hand tourny pro in (iirc) 2007. I’m still using that
i don’t remember it being too bad at 14m ... we all added a browning section to take it to 15.5m .... then I could only fish it for a couple of hours max.
When I was with Image ... all bar one of the team had the connoisseur ... the odd man out was Rob Hewison who splashEd out on an amorphous.
 

warrington63

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My father has known a few of the Shakey Superteam for years, which used to result in a few hand me downs and freebies. My first pole came from Max Winters, and I've still got a Mach 2 and a Sigma Wand that I occasionally use, my father has a few rods in the garage, both Shakespeare and a Diawa swingtip rod that was won in a competition (I think by Max). Max used to run 'teach-in' sessions on the Glos Canal which I used to attend. I don't actually remember catching anything on any of them..
Nothing has changed then about catching ,😉👍
 

nejohn

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Shakespeare kit for me is a very mixed bag with the bad unfortunately out weighing the good. I loved my beta box with the tackle box that sat inside also even now the original sigma wand takes some beating as a close range small fish rod on those days when the bites are nothing more than a tremor. I also still use a quattro feeder rod occasionally lovely soft action for silvers, the only other rod I have owned and liked has been the Excelsior, nice light float rod. Also like Dave Britton says the XL 12-16 is a very nice piece of kit, especially at 12' but I have not owned one but if one came up at the right price I would definitely grab it. Now for the bad I remember my 1st pole was a polystel it was horrible and certainly put me of pole fishing for a few years. I also had a 14' president again not nice. Then there was the Boron, it just didn't feel good at all. For some reason I also bought a Flavia power float when commies started becoming popular, tip heavy and way too powerful in the tip section. As for the reels the least said about them the better I have yet to own a good one and that includes the Mach 3 xt's even at the price Mike Ashley was knocking them out at I would avoid them as the quality was very erratic get a good one and you are ok get a bad one and they were awful.... unfortunately I bought 2 bad ones, the same with the Mach 3 Xt rods some seemed ok but others were not what they were hyped up to be especially the float rods that were longer than 11' ...there was a reason that Ashley could sell them at much less than half of the RRP
 

dave brittain 1

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Shakespeare kit for me is a very mixed bag with the bad unfortunately out weighing the good. I loved my beta box with the tackle box that sat inside also even now the original sigma wand takes some beating as a close range small fish rod on those days when the bites are nothing more than a tremor. I also still use a quattro feeder rod occasionally lovely soft action for silvers, the only other rod I have owned and liked has been the Excelsior, nice light float rod. Also like Dave Britton says the XL 12-16 is a very nice piece of kit, especially at 12' but I have not owned one but if one came up at the right price I would definitely grab it. Now for the bad I remember my 1st pole was a polystel it was horrible and certainly put me of pole fishing for a few years. I also had a 14' president again not nice. Then there was the Boron, it just didn't feel good at all. For some reason I also bought a Flavia power float when commies started becoming popular, tip heavy and way too powerful in the tip section. As for the reels the least said about them the better I have yet to own a good one and that includes the Mach 3 xt's even at the price Mike Ashley was knocking them out at I would avoid them as the quality was very erratic get a good one and you are ok get a bad one and they were awful.... unfortunately I bought 2 bad ones, the same with the Mach 3 Xt rods some seemed ok but others were not what they were hyped up to be especially the float rods that were longer than 11' ...there was a reason that Ashley could sell them at much less than half of the RRP
There were issues with the drag on the Mach 3 rear drag reels but in general the FD 035's were pretty good. They outlasted my Shimano's and to be honest I had no issues with them. I didn't like the 14ft/18ft Superteam LXL or the 13ft LXL at 17ft, noting the Mach 3's were made from the same blank/mandrel. I still have a 13ft Mach 3 and it does occasionally get used on the river.

Going back to the President's and Mach 2 Boron's most anglers in the north east avoided them preferring Bruce and Walker, the Sundridge Ashursts before Daiwa and Tricast came to be the in vogue brands. A few also had the Dave Thomas Craddocks at the time when the President came out.
 
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