I have a question regarding an old Shakespeare Wonderod that I own.
I bought it in 1978, new, from a close-out at a local sporting goods shop that was closing it's doors. When I got it home from purchasing it, it had a tag attached to an eye that was a mail-in card to get my "new 1964 Shakespeare Catalog", so OBVIOUSLY, the rod had been in their store for quite a while! Over the years, I've used it maybe 5 or 6 times as a long ultra-light rod, with a spinning reel and ultralight lures (or worms).
Now that I'm getting into fly fishing, I dug it out to see exactly what it is, and possibly set it up as a "back-up" rod. Unfortunately, I know nothing about it....
From the markings that I can read on it, it's a Shakespeare Wonderod, Omni-Action, 7'-9". There was (at one time) something written on the rod just ahead of the length, that ended in 10 (or 18 - as the second digit is partially worn away). I weighed the rod, and it weighs 4.6 oz.
From what I've read, I don't believe that rods were rated by line-weight back then, as we know it now, so I don't believe it to be a 10-weight rod.
Can anyone help me identify what it is, and what line size I should try on it? Is there any place that I should look to do more research on it myself?
I only paid less than $20 with a cheap no-drag line-holding reel (in 1978 $) when I bought it, so even if I just fool with it a little, it owes me nothing....
Shakespeare originated the fiberglass rod and produced at least 360 models in a number of different actions.
The Omni-Action Wonderod was described as "Bigger diameter butt section with progressive tapering blade gives unusual power to handle bigger fish, yet there's action enough to cast light lures"
There were quite a few models with the "Omni-Action" in the 7'9" length and at least 4 of those had model numbers that ended in a 0 or an 8.
However I could only find 1 that ended in "10", the FY-A710 Presidential Gold Cup
That rod is rated for C, D,HCH, HDH. Otherwise known as a 5/6
(as are all the other 7'9" "Omni-Action" wonderods )
There should have also been a 3 letter code that would have indicated the year/month of manufacture.
Thank you, Rip Tide! I had an opportunity tonight to do some real research into it, and I came to the same conclusion as you. We must have found the same website!
I can make-out the word "Presidential", as well, which I didn't previously report. I looked for the three letter mfgr date code, and couldn't locate it on what's left of the label. There is nothing stamped on the reel seat.
So it looks like I have a 47 or 48 year old fiberglass back-up to my new graphite 5-weight! I'll have to pick-up a decent reel and some line for it, and give it a try!
I have a Purist model that is still a very sweet stick to cast on small waters and has a great feel with a fish on the line. It gets paired with an old gray J W Young Beaudex reel and keeps me smiling when I'm fishing small headwaters.
No, I wouldn't fish a 7'9" rod with a 10 wt. line.
For rods in that size range, I'm usually fishing either a DT5F or a DT6F line. For me, DT lines just work better on old glass rods.
If I was going to use a WF line, then I'd go up one line size. I'd probably start off with a WF6F line and see where it got me. If it casts well with that line, then it really doesn't matter what's written on the rod.
Your Wonderod was one of the better ones; it should cast well and be fun to hook and land fish on. The old glass is old, that's for sure, but in my opinion it's still fun to fish.