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With a much lower price point than its English inspiration, the Russell boasted a robust stamped and riveted frame construction, a dual-spring click-pawl check system, and a large spool arbor. The deluxe models even featured a circular line guide made of chromium or agate. The Russell was inexpensive to manufacture and so was produced by the thousands, providing a low-cost competitor to the Pflueger Medalist and allowing many examples to endure over the years to today. To date, most information on the various models and configurations of this popular blue-collar fly reel exists only on a handful of threads on message boards of websites like The Fiberglass Flyrodders and The Classic Fly Rod Forum. My goal for this page is simply to collect existing information from knowledgeable classic fly reel collectors and display it on one page for easier accessibility.

Goite Jr. Reel with Box and Papers. Kiest Reel in Box. This box was never put into production.

Make Offer - Vintage SHAKESPEARE TRUE BLUE Model GE CASTING FISHING REEL with box 3 Vintage Shakespeare WonderCast Reels - 1 . Apr 05,   Here is a compilation of Date Codes for your Old Shakespeare Reels of Yesteryear and some codes for the Rods Too. SHAKESPEARE REEL DATE CODES. For reels the model number which is a two letter code is the first year a reel was manufactured, or the first year a major variation or innovation was introduced. Reels. Although my search is mainly for the older reels manufactured prior to , I would gladly consider anything including Swedish made Ambassadeur or Record reels, as there are particular reels manufactured after that date that do spark my interest. As with all antique lures, the same holds true with old fishing reels.

Henry Kiest died shortly after producing it. Willoughby Reel and Box. Indianapolis, Indiana. Shakespeare Hoosier Reel. Kalamazoo, Michigan. Shakespeare Hoosier. This painted style was made for only 2 years. Kiest Reel and Box. This box was never sold. Kiest died shortly after they were printed.

Shakespeare "Intro" version of the Hoosier Reel. This is a very scarce variety. A really neat 8-tined unidentified Reel with attached line guide.

Kentucky Style Fishing Reels

Chapman Reel. New York. Carlton Reel. Carlton Mfg. Billinghurst Birdcage Reel. Beetzle Reel. Pflueger Supreme. First Model. Pflueger Enterprises. Meisselbach Featherlight Fly Reel. Unique Expandable Line Dryer. Edsall Metals.

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Chicago Gentleman Streamliner. Chicago Fish Tackle Co. Hurd Supercaster. Pflueger Everlaster Surf Casting Reel. Julius Vom Hofe. Brooklyn, New York. Pflueger Interocean Surf Casting Reel. Montague Casting Reel Unmarked. Montague New Record Casting Reel. Abbey Casting Reel. Large unmarked Brass Reel. Very small unmarked Brass Reel.

Two Brass Reels. Hendryx left and unmarked right. Montague "Indian" Raised Pillar Reel. Shakespeare Criterion in early Gray box. Shakespeare Ideal in early Gray Box. Why was the lower line needed? Thanks, Robert from Hungary.

Ron : Guess that would be too easy. Is there something different with theor why no date code. Ron : I see one listed on with no letters, but not selling. Two letter code would be model. Tom : some great date info Rhead Louis : Excellent information past the basic date code matrix. This helps explain why a GA new in box Wondereel exists with white plastic knobs rather than yellow knobs - it was made in a slightly different time period. It still works, can you tell me anything about it?

MoDoc : Hello John P. Shakespeare in my estimation made some nice reels in their early years, but it was and is like everything else - the cost of manufacturing, labor, rules and regulations, etc. Let me know what else you would like to know about this reel. Sorry that the Shakespeare Dating Chart did not fit into the comment box, but maybe you can copy and paste and print; it may come out alright?

Or have you checked the InterNet - Shakespeare fishing reel You will surprise what you might find there!!! For reels, the model number, which is a two letter code, is the first year a reel was manufactured, or the first year a major variation or innovation was used on reel I hope you will find them helpful.

John P : Thank you MoDoc, for you info. I did find a stamp on the reel, made in USA.

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It seems in good shape. Thanks for the date chart. Thanks again John P. Chester : i have picked these fly reels p at a flea market for 10 bucks each one needs some TLC it is a little bent and not returning right easy fix i hope lol the model number is GD No and i have a nother one it is a model number GD No can you tell me any thing about them how old what year they where made?

Ron : GD indicates you reels first year of production was Struggling to reinstall bail spring and bail. Spring on which side?

Any thoughts? Ron : You reel went into production in It is a direct drive reel, meaning the spool and handle always turn together.

Shakespeare Alpha Low Profile Reel. Showing 1 - 2 of. Please Select One Best Matches Most Popular Top Rated Price High to Low Price Low to High Newest. Refine Your Results By: Conventional Reels. refine your results. Shakespeare Agility. Shakespeare Alpha. Tackle Included. Tackle not Included. T Fly Rod: 8 1/2' Cigar: 2/1: oz. Shakespeare WondOrod Made in U S A Howald Process No. T 8' 6" Mod. FDD: Circa: Condition: Remarks: Donated by: - Excellent: This rod built July Howald Process Fiberglass THE STRAIGHT-FIBER ROD WITH THE Spiral MARKINGS PAT. 2, ( Fiberglass) Please note the . A reel may have all the factors mentioned above, age, scarcity, and quality but if it is in poor physical or mechanical condition, or has replaced or missing parts, the value of the reel can drop dramatically.

It does have a drag system for fighting fish. No buyer or bidders. Linda Smith : Thank you, Ron, for the info. It is quite helpful. I just purchased a vintage Shakespeare Model NL from an online store. I have the Model DD which would indicate the model mfg start date in Thank you again. Ron : Your welcome.

In His Service, MoDoc Saint Joseph, MO Shakespeare Dating Chart Use the following charts to date Shakespeare Tackle Company reels and rods. For reels, the model number, which is a two letter code, is the first year a reel was manufactured, or the first year a major variation or innovation was used on reel I hope you will find them helpful. Shakespeare used a 2 letter dating code from to , they are usually on the reel foot or near the name or the model number. 1=K,V 2=j,u 3=h,t 4=g,s 5=f,r 6=e,q 7=d,p 8=c,n 9=b,m 0=a,l If your model number is a FA the F is 5 and A is 0, so it would be a , model. The condition of the reel, as with any other collectible, is very important when determining the reel's value. A reel in fair or poor condition is generally worth only a fraction of what a reel that is in very good or excellent condition is worth. It is also very important that all the reel's parts are original, replaced parts hurt the value of.

NL would be Could you please explain the Model ME? Thank you. Mark Vandlik : Dear Ron: Thank you very much for the clarifying information. I really appreciate it. Thanks again. Daniel : What year did the Shakespeare push button wondercast Model come out? Still a bit confused, and hope you can help me. I purchased two for gifts. The other is a Criterian GA Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks much, Val.

Ron : Welcome, and thank you. Here I am using an old Bronson reel. Thank you for all the wonderful information on the reels. Speaking of Jewels on the Criterion YOU are a jewel and a wealth of knowledge.

Most appreciative, Val PS Bronson Park is very close to a last remaining vestige of the Kalamazoo Shakespeare Company - a great concrete Art Deco building. Ron : Is there a two letter model stamped on the reel? Not to many reel manufacturers had a coding system that I am aware of?

Don Prince : Thank you. I now know my reel production started in ED or which is probably around the time I my girlfriend wife since bought it for me. MoDoc : Hello Mr. Ron : Depends on condition. When it comes to selling a fishing reel as it is with nearly everything that an individual has to sell. Ron is correct in saying that if you have the box that the reel came in that is a plus, the correct paperwork pertaining to the reel, tools that came with the reel and all of these factors will garner a better price.

Then if it would be a collector that you are dealing with it may be totally and I do mean totally different as they seem to notice more about the item. Again, the bottom line is a price that is agreed upon by both parties, etc. Just my input to this issue. DDRauch : I have a criterion model 26 with no letter code. When was the code introduced and can I assume that this old reel was made before then. DDRauch : Over the past 40 years I have managed to collect about Shakespeare reels and about 20 different models.


Since I retired a couple years ago my hobby has become an obsession. The reels I have I have cleaned and logged and displayed, but I have little to no knowledge of the history of the Shakespeare line. I have learned by reading your posting. I thank you for you time and sharing what you have learned. I have 6 reels that say only Honor Built Honor Sold.

As I continue to build my collection I will be looking to build my Knowledge base so I can share with my family and friends. Thanks again for the help.

agree, the remarkable

Ron : Great collection. I have collected about 40 of the Shakespeare Service reels, and had some new in the box with papers, box, and original receipt. I liked the feel, looks, and how well they were made.

I got my first one at a flea market and got hooked on them.

consider, that you

There are many around and not expense to buy. I have since sold them all. Do you ever take them out and fish with them? I find catching fish on vintage equipment lots of fun. Post some pictures of you collection.

DDRauch : I grew up in a Pflueger family and spent all my early years fishing with the bait cast type on solid fiber glass rods. I have not sold any of my collect and am blessed with a son who is also interested in collecting so I hope to pass them on.

Then I get to do the research Thanks again for the above info. Ron : You have come to the right place right here. We have Gene, and other experts here that can handle almost any reel issues.

All you have to do is ask. Ned Shelpman : I,ve collected shakespeare fly reels four years. How can I find out what they made each year.

this rather good

I hope you see what I mean. Also, B meaning bakelite I think. What year was that made? Ron : Welcome Ned. They look like dollar reels to me and both of these are in good to very good shape, but I was wondering if they were made for a larger firm Sears or major reel maker. Ron : I believe they were sold under the Johnny Walker brand. Here is some information. Eric : All of this is great info. I am collecting the spinner series of, I am seeing different numbers pop up as well like and I want the ones that came in the purple color but I am having a hard time figuring out the production run and what actually was part of this series.

Any place online or books that have this information? Thanks, Tight Lines. Pete V : Mine is a LH. Register and post Some pictures of the reel and we can see if we can date it. Jon : Thanks for the info, There is one that looks like a DH and it is a II. It is a closed face spinning Wondereel.

Then reel and box also bear the number Can you tell me much about this reel. I have seen the Model a number of times but never the Model Perfect. Ron : Register and post some pictures of the reel. It is a Majestic with a model HD.

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According to your date chart, this would have been made in This would have been during the heart of the depression. Does this make this particular reel rare?

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Before that, the Model or Model that was stamped on the bottom of the mounting foot was the start of that model. For instance, the is a Model Ideal reel on now that is marked Model on the foot.

There is also a reel marked Universal Precision on the tail plate and the stamped below the bearing cap. It is also marked Model on the foot. I think the is probably a serial number. The serial number will tell you how far into the run it was made.

nice answer

Mike : Yep. That one is mine. The more of these factors that a reel possesses, the more its chances of being valuable increases. Handmade reels took more time to make and were usually the products of small shops that did not have a high output but instead, made high-quality reels. The materials used by these shops were generally of better quality and, because they were handmade of fine materials, the price was consistently much higher. The higher the prices, the more people were precluded from purchasing the reels, therefore, making them scarcer.

Usually, when the reel-maker decided to stop making reels the shop closed down with him.

Dating Shakespeare reels

So, to sum it all up - A limited output of high-quality reels produced for a short duration, many years ago. This is the formula for a valuable reel! Keep in mind that the condition of the reel still plays a large role in determining the value independent of these other factors see " Reel Grading System " below. This is the most difficult factor to peg. Who is to say exactly what it is that makes a collector gravitate towards one reel over another?

One collector must have a particular reel while another collector might not even give the same reel a second thought. Some people are fascinated by reels with outrageous gismos while others drool over a reel with sleek, simple lines. Some collectors look strictly for vintage fly reels while others look only for older spinning reels. Some collectors look for reels as big as your head while others are seeking reels as small as a lemon.

Although market values are set for most reels there are times when one, or a combination of wonderful features, has turned a collectors head around which throws the whole "Value Equation" askew. For obvious reasons we can't use the "Collectibility Factor" in our formula for determining value as it is a wild card. Some reels are not marked with the maker's name and instead, are marked with a retailer's name or simply a model name, I have added these reels to this list as well.

Many of the large manufacturers are not listed here because the bulk of their reels are not considered terribly valuable, these companies are listed further down the page. Billinghurst Bluegrass Bogdan, S. Chubb, T. Maker Clerk A.

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Clinton, C. Coates, A. Conroy Coxe, J. California Cozzone Crook, J. Dingley Dreiser, J. Emery, John Farlow, C. Folsom Arms Co. Foss, Al Fowler, A. Frankforth Garey, George Gayle, G. Hardy Bros. Milam, B.

Shakespeare developed a two-letter date code that appeared on reel frames near the model number beginning in , and so all reels with these two-letter codes are iterations of the later-year reels. The dating formula is here. Get the best deals on Shakespeare Baitcasting Fishing Reels when you shop the largest online selection at Free shipping on many items Shakespeare Fishing Reel Axiom AXIOMLP. $ +$ shipping. Make Offer - Shakespeare Fishing Reel Axiom AXIOMLP. Shakespeare Sigma SS , Fishing, Baitcast Reel.

Spiral Wind Stead, A. Waltonian Willis, L. Wood Jr.

Dating shakespeare reels

Did you find your reel on the list? There have been several companies throughout the years that have manufactured many thousands of reels with dozens of different models.

Many of these companies even manufactured under several different trade names. For the most part, these reels were mass-produced in large numbers and a greater number of these reels are still easy to find today. Because these reels were so popular then, they may command a large following of collectors today, however, because there are still so many of them around they tend to be less valuable. Although most of the reels made by these companies are easily accessible and quite affordable, there are exceptions to the rule.

can look for

Some of the earlier models of reels made by these makers were handmade or manufactured in limited quantities making them hard to find and more valuable. These larger companies are listed below.

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