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Tim Mueller

Shakespeare Rods - What's the Deal?

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I have a couple Shakespeare rods but don't see a ton about them on forums? Are they not a good rod or something (78% 5 star rating on amazon)? I just purchased a baitcaster on tacklewarehouse and looking for a casting rod in their selection, Shakespeare wasn't available.

I'm not necessarily a dedicated fanboy, just looking to find a good casting rod for topwater within $100.00. 

FYI new to the baitercaster game.

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I really don't care for Amazon reviews.  As for Shakespeare, nothing is wrong with them.  They can catch fish like any other rod, if you like'm go ahead and use them.  Personally after buying my first Veritas at 40 dollars, it opened the door for me and haven't looked back.  The Veritas was so light and way more sensitive for plastics, I was like WOW.  This is what I was missing.  So I can't see myself going back to Shakespeare, Ugly Stiks..etc unless I need an a beater rod for cat fish or carp.  That is rare though as I spend most of my time bass fishing.  :lol:

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I started on a Shakespeare and an ugly stik. Now I'm at the point where all of my new rod purchases are custom rods in 300 dollar price ranges. It doesn't make me any better of a fisherman but it does mske fishing a little easier at times. You don't see them posted on the forum a lot because in essence they sre what they are, heavier, and less sensitive than higher dollar name brands like Shimano, St Croix, G Loomis etc. There's nothing wrong with them per say but they do appeal to a crowd who is often times less avid fishermen and women therefor less likely to visit a fishing forum in their spare time.

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The $70 to $100 rod price range is one of the most competitive price ranges out there. I would not say there is anything wrong with a Shakespeare rod, however their are other companies targeting that price range with much better rods.

 

If you can spend around $100 for a rod then look seriously at a Dobyns Fury, Powell Inferno, Irod Fiber, Abu Garcia Veritas rods and also several models from Daiwa.  There are other good choices but those are ones I know you work well. 

In the case of the Irod Fiber the owner of the company is using thew exact same blank as his Genesis II rods that cost $150 but uses a little less expensive guides and reel seat.  The rod will be just as sensitive as the more expensive rod. The Dobyns Fury fishes much more like a $200 rod instead of a $110 rod. The Powell Infernos are terrific also.

All of these sell rods for your budget and all have a good choice for topwaters.

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I started with a cheap Shakespere rod combo from Wal Mart, then when I got my second rod, a Veritas, I cannot go back. 

 

In the $100 range, you have the Veritas or Vendetta, or if you can wait for a sale, you might even be able to find a sale on one of them (my wife got me a MH Vendetta for $45). 

 

If you dont fish often, or just "for fun fish", nothing wrong with a Shakespere. But the higher priced rods will provide greater use/functionality. 

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They tend to run heavy. Even my Ugly Stick Lite, which I use for catfish, it's a 7' MH, it is a heavy rod compared to my St. Croixs...

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Thank you all for the feedback, I would agree that for "fun fishing", Shakespeare maybe the way to go. I guess I'm to that point where I want to "step my game up". I have been looking at a few other rods such as Daiwa, which is the same company as my baitcaster and No. 8 which is on sale right now on tacklewarehouse. I've seen many people mention Abu Garcia Veritas rods, is it weird to put a Daiwa baitcaster on a Abu Garcia Rod? 

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Shakespeare rods are fine for what they are. A budget, entry level offering.

 

Rods like my ugly stick were great until I bought my first Berkley Lightning rod. The Lightning rod was fine until I purchased my first Fenwick Eagle. The Fenwick Eagle was the best until I purchased my first St. Croix...

 

That's as high as my wallet will let me go. Hope you get the idea.

 

 

1 minute ago, Tim Mueller said:

 is it weird to put a Daiwa baitcaster on a Abu Garcia Rod? 

 

Yes it's weird but who cares?

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2 minutes ago, Finesse Wayfarer said:

Shakespeare rods are fine for what they are. A budget, entry level offering.

 

Rods like my ugly stick were great until I bought my first Berkley Lightning rod. The Lightning rod was fine until I purchased my first Fenwick Eagle. The Fenwick Eagle was the best until I purchased my first St. Croix...

 

That's as high as my wallet will let me go. Hope you get the idea.

 

 

 

Yes it's weird but who cares?

For the St. Croix, what model did you buy? (Avid X, Bass X)

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9 minutes ago, Tim Mueller said:

For the St. Croix, what model did you buy? (Avid X, Bass X)

 

I have a Triumph and a Premier. I am looking at the Bass X next.

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I just recently yard sold an old Shakespeare Liberty 98% graphite rod as well as an older 96%, both 5-6 pistol grips. They served me well for way more than a decade and were the only two rods I had at one time, but there are just better options out there now. Rods with better actions that cast farther and are more sensitive and better suited for specific techniques. Honestly, I look upon my 2 baitcasting Lightning Rods as old technology that I'll replace at some time.

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3 hours ago, Finesse Wayfarer said:

 

I have a Triumph and a Premier. I am looking at the Bass X next.

Definitely don't get an Avid X you'll be in a different class.  Triumph was like an ugly stik when I bought my first Avid.  FYI you can get AVIDs for 100 bucks used.  

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If you want to get a st.croix I would look at the NEW mojo's just cause its cheaper than the avid x..but the avid x and the avid are great sticks!!!

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This year Mojo bass has the same blanks as the AVID X or Avid

 

The differeance is the price range of the parts - I would get the Mojo Bass since I like to have Braid Line (15lbs) with 10lbs FC line (6 feet). the Guide is soo tiny on the Avid X unless I go "Straight" 10lbs FC Line. 

 

 

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It is not weird to put any brand reel on a different brand rod.

I fish rods from Abu Garcia ( 1 Veritas, & 1 Abu Ike Delay Series rod), several Irod Genesis II rods, a couple of Powell rods, a Falcon Bucoo Micro rod, some Dobyns rods, 2 Berkley lightning Shocks, a pair of G Loomis rods and a couple of Bass Pro rods. I prefer Daiwa reels for baitcasting and mostly Okuma and Pflueger for spinning. I will match any rod and any reel that fits and balances well. The combo must match and fit the correct gear ratio needed for what that rod is supposed to fish.

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