Small Stream Trout fishing in Michigan

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Shakespeare Wonderod

Back when Shakespeare was on the cutting edge of fishing equipment and my grandfather was doing trick casting demonstrations for them at trade shows, they would send Jake free equipment to try out. He stored his arsenal of fishing rods on a rod rack on a wall of his bedroom. Grandma didn’t complain that I know of but those were different times and I can’t imagine what my wife would say. As a little boy the fishing rods were a great source of interest to me and sneaking into his bedroom to look at them was a regular occurrence.

Jake had a favorite set-up – his “go to” rod and reel for most trout fishing and after he passed away it fell into my hands. I store the rod and reel in an old case and have not been tempted to use it even though as a kid I would have done anything to get my hands on it. The brown Wonderod stood out on his rod rack  and had a certain mystique mainly because over the years we associated that rod with Grandpa and many creels full of trout. It was like Minnesota Fat’s pool cue – there must be magic in it.

Back then fiberglass was the new thing – does that date this story? The rod was designed to go with the company’s closed face spinning reels, notably the 1810 and the 1756. The rod has a sliding reel seat over a lengthy cork handle and when the reel is attached it is attached at the butt of the handle. This allows the user to pinch the fishing line against the cork handle before releasing the bail. After the bail is released the cast is made and line released using the index finger – allowing great control over when to release the line and thereby helping casting accuracy. The line is stopped by using the same index finger to pinch the line against the handle – so the caster can stop the lure mid-air over the target. Jake achieved deadly accuracy (trout Point of View) using this set-up along with his underhand flip cast.

If you are a fisherman and ever wondered why 1810 and 1756 reels are mounted so close to the rod, that is the reason – so the line is easy to pinch against the rod handle. Modern spinning reels are mounted a good distance from the rod making manual control over the line almost impossible. I keep waiting for a tackle manufacturer to figure this out but I won’t hold my breath.

I am considering using Jake’s brown Wonderod and 1756 reel this spring as I know there is still some magic there and it will make my brothers jealous.  Note to myself: lock pole in trunk when not in use.

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