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Thread: Question on a old Shakespeare Wonderod

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Upstate NY (Albany Area)
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    Default Question on a old Shakespeare Wonderod

    Good afternoon, all!

    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....

    Thank you, in advance, for any guidance!
    - Rick

    "A leader with great passion and few skills always outperforms a leader with great skills and little passion." Chief Rick Lasky

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    quiet corner, ct
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    Default Re: Question on a old Shakespeare Wonderod

    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.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Question on a old Shakespeare Wonderod

    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!

    Thanks again for the assistance!
    - Rick

    "A leader with great passion and few skills always outperforms a leader with great skills and little passion." Chief Rick Lasky

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Merrimac, MA
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    Default Re: Question on a old Shakespeare Wonderod

    F_I, try this link. Probably more info that you're looking for, but you'll find a lot here, including the line weights that each Wonderod was built to cast.

    fiberglass fly rods / Shakespeare

    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.

    Pocono

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Question on a old Shakespeare Wonderod

    Now I'm confused.... it lists the FY-A710 rod as using C, D, HDH, HCH, and 8H lines.

    According to the conversion chart from the "old" sizes to the new, these are:
    C = Unlisted
    D = L7F or L8S
    HDH = DT6F or DT7S
    HCH = DT7F or DT8S
    8H = WF10S or WF11S

    So if I want to use this rod with a weight forward floating line (my immediate preference), it should be a 10-weight line?

    I was going to put my Clearwater II reel on it (loaded with floating 5-weight line) to give the road a try, but if I'm reading the charts correctly, this is too light a line....

    And I thought that calculating friction loss up a hill, through hose lines, and a multi-story building standpipe was complicated!!!
    - Rick

    "A leader with great passion and few skills always outperforms a leader with great skills and little passion." Chief Rick Lasky

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Question on a old Shakespeare Wonderod

    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.

    Good luck!

    Pocono

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Question on a old Shakespeare Wonderod

    Thank you, Pocono!

    As always, the good folks on this forum have the answers!
    - Rick

    "A leader with great passion and few skills always outperforms a leader with great skills and little passion." Chief Rick Lasky

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