The USA is the market leader in the design and production of bait and spin cast reels.
With many of the lakes stuffed with large and small mouth bass most of the tackle companies designed and built reels for lure and bait casting.
The spin cast models were no exception with big names like Heddon, Shakespeare, Pflueger and others all piling in to supply the demand of the 1950’s post-war fishing surge.
The Shakespeare Spin-Wondereel No 1756 landed on my desk this week and what a quality interesting bit of kit.
It’s well designed with a few quirky features. First there appears to be no way to free the line, no casting button or release. Much like the French Crack 400 series it’s a sharp back wind of the handle that releases the internal line pick up. The maker’s leaflet recommends trapping the line against the rod with your free hand or finger, you then simply release to cast.
Internally it’s fitted with “Wind-weather Guard” to prevent water and dirt getting inside.
There is a Micro-Drag alloy ruling adjuster on the outside lip edge of the spool and it works well.
Various models exist; this 1756 model is part of the 1761 series and has a good line capacity holding 200 yards of 6lb line or 120 yards of 10lb for the bigger species.
If you find a mint or unused reel with paperwork and the classic Shakespeare red and blue box with original parts, they can sell for £75-100, more for unusual models, but what fun for very little money.