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Old 11-16-2013, 04:19 PM
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Default Wonder Rod

I never could ignore an inexpensive old fly rod. So I picked up this Shakespeare 1451. It is 8'6", white glass, coded fbf. First I thought that was the line weight code, but discovered that was the date of manufacture, Sept '59.
It has no info on which line it was made for, but feels like maybe a 7 or 8 might be about right....
Any suggestions ?
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Last edited by siege; 11-17-2013 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 11-16-2013, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: Wonder Rod

This may be a bit of help: fiberglass fly rods / Shakespeare

Scroll down towards the bottom, the rods listed.
fae
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Wonder Rod

Thanks, Fred. That helped. Looks like D, HDH, or 4M.
Translates to a heavy 7, or light 8.
I was looking for a short rod like 6 or 6'6", running a lighter line weight, but I couldn't help myself. It was another bargain to go in the oak barrel in the den.
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: Wonder Rod

Thanks for the post! A few years ago I picked up a new Wonder rod on eBay. It was a nostalgia trip as my first fly rod was one of these back around 1960. The info on the chart showed me when my rod was made and that it was a Presidential model and 7 wt. This rod is absolutely brand new and casting it made me realize how far we have come in rod design. How I managed to catch the fish I did was amazing!
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Wonder Rod

I just bought one too. I got a purist 7 foot rod that had been restored. Mines a 5 wt that I plan on using for smallmouth this summer.
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Old 11-17-2013, 04:42 AM
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Default Re: Wonder Rod

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaevans View Post
This may be a bit of help: fiberglass fly rods / Shakespeare

Scroll down towards the bottom, the rods listed.
fae
It was interesting to take a look at the rod models listed and to be reminded that back in the day, there weren't many rods made less than a five weight. A five weight was considered a light weight rod primarily to be used for smaller trout and panfish.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:50 AM
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Default Re: Wonder Rod

I cut my teeth on and own several. I love my wonder rods. I used to use my Grandads bamboo and I remember my dad saying that rod was out of date use these lighter fiberglass rods...

Dad almost tanned my hide when I bought my first sage rod when I was 16years old. It was 192.00$.

He of course could not resist its casting excellence compared to glass and he was quickly converted.

Sadly my dad passed too early...but every time I pull out one of his sage rods or one of his wonder rods I get a great feeling. His very favorite rod was the 486 LL.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: Wonder Rod

Quote:
Originally Posted by cochise View Post
I cut my teeth on and own several. I love my wonder rods. I used to use my Grandads bamboo and I remember my dad saying that rod was out of date use these lighter fiberglass rods...

Dad almost tanned my hide when I bought my first sage rod when I was 16years old. It was 192.00$.

He of course could not resist its casting excellence compared to glass and he was quickly converted.

Sadly my dad passed too early...but every time I pull out one of his sage rods or one of his wonder rods I get a great feeling. His very favorite rod was the 486 LL.
I think you hit the nail on the head about a couple of points. A lot of us are buying the old, outdated rods and reels because of some kind of attachment to them. It's obviously not due to superior performance. We continue to hear from people who started with a particular brand, or who had a relative who used a certain model.
Fly fishing in general, or some specific piece of tackle can be a vehicle to take us back to a different time and place. It's a link forged to a memory.
One man's trash can be another's treasure, or treasured memory.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Wonder Rod

Back in the 60s a 7 weight was the standard rod for western trout fishing. Then came the 6 weight and today most feel the 9' 5 is the rod to have. I'm now using either a 4 or 6 for almost everything. Wish the Wonder rod was a 4 piece so I could haul it out to Montana in the fall.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: Wonder Rod

Quote:
Originally Posted by siege View Post
. A lot of us are buying the old, outdated rods and reels because of some kind of attachment to them. It's obviously not due to superior performance..
What makes a rod or reel outdated ?

Sitting next to me right now is a 1966/67 Fenwick FF70. A 7', 5wt. It happens to be a great small stream dry fly rod. No two ways about it.
A Phillipson 6wt is my regular "go-to" trout rod, and just the other day I was using a 50s vintage rod with a LLBean label that can cast a full 8wt line with no effort at all.

I happen to prefer the relaxed casting action of these high quality rods.
Just because they're old doesn't make them outdated. They still perform their function very well.
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