Fly Fishing Rod - A Guide To Shakespeare Fly Fishing Rods

"Men and fish are alike.  They both get into trouble when they open their mouths"

The name “Shakespeare” is synonymous with fishing and as recognizable as the famous author with the same name.  Founded more than 100 years ago in 1897 by William Shakespeare, the company’s longevity in the tackle industry has culminated in immense popularity for a variety of reasons; one of which is for their reasonable and reduced pricing in comparison with other similar rods.  They maintained their stand that quality “can” be provided at a low cost.


William Shakespeare, Jr., was an avid fisherman, who wanted to improve on the then existing fishing reels.  The genius that he was - he patented the level-wind reel and it is superior to everything else in the market.  His Wondereel was one of the most popular reels.  Shakespeare company was also one of the first to manufacture monofilament line from raw materials. The company, when in the 50th year of its operation, under the charge of William Shakespeare’s son, Henry Shakespeare, has invented the glass fiber Wonderod, which revolutionalized the fishing rod market and went on to make bamboo and steel rods almost obsolete.  This was the beginning of a hugely successful business for Shakespeare.


Shakespeare has everything an angler could ever need, from saltwater fly fishing to telescopic rods. Their Ugly Stik tubular fishing rod is called the most remarkable product, which was the first to feature a clear tip and ferruless construction. 


The list of fly fishing rods introduced by Shakespeare over the years are many:

  • 1947 – The glass fiber Wonderod
  • 1976 – Ugly Stik tubular fishing rod
  • 1985 – President Rods with triple built construction, the Ugly Stik Tiger rods for big game
  • 1986 – Ugly Stik Jr. Kits for kids
  • 1992 – Pflueger Medalist fly rods
  • 1996 – Ugly Stik Lite rods with triple build construction
  • 1999 – Ugly Stik 100% Graphite rods and Ugly Stik Custom rods
  • 2005 – Introduction of the Synergy Titanium family with Ti10, Ti10 Underspin and the Ti20 rods.  This series also won the Editor’s Choice award for being the most exciting new design.

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik spinning rods are the most popular of all their rods.  In fact, some of these rods are priced as low as $30 and hundreds of reviews reveal that these low-cost rods offer excellent value for casual fishing enthusiasts.  These are said to be the most dependable rods for smaller fish and anglers of all skill levels.  The graphite core is covered by fiberglass, which makes them extremely strong while retaining their flexibility.  The longevity, seven-year warranty and the low cost are some of the factors that have been responsible for making Ugly Stik rods the most popular for over 25 years.  The fishing editor of the Field & Stream magazine is said to have snapped seven fly fishing rods, which were all more expensive than the Shakespeare Ugly Stik and found this to be the toughest of all.


Shakespeare ensures their rods are easy to carry.  Towards, this end, the best portable rods from them come in 7 sections.  This helps anglers who travel with their rods on a regular basis carry a big rod in a small package.


The modern day Shakespeare fly fishing rods have the distinction of earning the IGFA world record achievement award for freshwater fishing.  In fact, in 2007, Shakespeare rods received more freshwater world records than any other brand.


Many of America’s anglers trust Shakespeare to do the job for them.  Going by their highly successful past and the interest their fly fishing rods arouse even today, Shakespeare may very well be supplying rods to satisfied anglers for another 100 years.