One of the most widely recognised names in the fishing world, this most famous of fishing brands was actually founded by William Shakespeare Jr. in 1896 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA.
An avid fishererman, he wasn’t impressed with the then ‘reels’ and so invented a device for winding fishing line evenly onto a spool which has actually endured to the present day and what we now regard as the level-wind fishing reel.
By 1915, The Shakespeare Company was well on the way and by 1920, more than 5000 dealers were selling Shakespeare fishing tackle.
In 1939 William invented the ‘Backlash Brake’ – the world’s first reel ‘drag’ to prevent overwind.
By 1946 Shakespeare was developing and making braided and fly lines and was one of the first to manufacture ‘monofilament’ from raw materials.
In 1947 Shakespeare introduced the world’s first Fibreglass ‘Wonderod’, (invented by Arthur Howald) which was arguably the biggest revolution in the history of fishing tackle.
The list goes on.. Shakespeare was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in March 1972 and since then has continued to invent, innovate, manufacture and source just about every type and style of fishing tackle used in practically every leisure fishing category. Shakespeare’s greatest success lies in its constant ability to provide quality tackle at real-world prices for every fisherman.
Under the latest stewardship of the Jarden Corporation, long may it continue.