Vintage Fishing Gear

My father in law gave me a tackle box today and a few poles pole everything appears to be mid 60’s which is pretty cool.

The list

1)Shakespeare 6.6ft wonderod 2 peace fly pole with reel “mint” I am using this set up asap.

2)Shakespeare 6.6 wonderod spinning reel pole with Garcia Mitchell 300 reel very nice eyes on pole need cleaned from surface rust but reel looks new also has 2 extra spools definitely usable after the eyes are cleaned.

3) Pole unknown but reel is an old abu garcia cardinal 454 decent shape.

That is the poles but some of the best stuff is the vintage lures.

Rocky Jr jointed minnow like new, big rooster tail like new shame they don’t make them like this one any more, a few popers and spinners, I also got some type of spinner bait in original package never opened.

I will use the poles but I think I will frame the lures and other odds and ends to display.

I have new gear but the old stuff is just cool. I always use mitchell reels rarely buy anything else but this old one is like new and fits perfectly in my collection.

Be Safe

Eric G

cleaning rod guides
Cool gift of good tackle from the 60’s. Enjoy it and use it - at least the rods & reels. The Shakespeare wonder-rods were the class rods until Fenwick introduced their Feralite glass rods. The best wonder-rods were the less common one piece models, as the 2-pc had a big steel ferrule. As you can see, the guides on those rods were steel (some had stainless steel or chromed steel of varying quality).

To remove surface rust, use the least abrasive methods that will do the job. First, a little wd-40 on a cloth (don’t get the wd-40 on the rod windings). If that doesn’t work, then I’d go with some automotive cleaner paste wax on cloth. You don’t want to use steel wool because the resulting scratches will damage your monofilament line. In theory, I suppose you could polish the inside of the guide with a polishing wheel on a dremel tool.

My first new freshwater spinning reel in the early 60’s was a Mitchell 304. All those Mitchell reels felt very nice & balanced in the hand. The weak spot of those reels was the bail spring. But they are easy enough to replace.

Have fun.

My Dad had (still has) a Mitchell 300 that dates back to the late 50s or early 60s. I have a 304 stored away somewhere, and another lightweight model the number of which escapes me.


Mitchell 308?
The black 308 was the most common light Mitchell reel. The less common 408 was blue and the “hi-speed” retrieve version of the 308 (all the 400 series were blue and higher retrieve versions). I still occasionally take out my 308 from the late 60’s with a 5 & 1/2’ Fenwick Feralite rod of the same vintage and 4 lb test for smallmouth bass.

Yep, a 308
Mine is on a Shakespear UL rod. Right now it is set up, in a closet, with a fur mouse attached.

“Fishing for kitties!”


nice to see I’m not the only one
who fishes for kitties. My wife disapproves of it in the house - so naturally, the indoor catfishing waits until she leaves…(good use for a broken rod)

I still have a 10 foot split cane
Carp Rod. Known this side of the pond as a Richard Walker Rod (Holder of the UK carp record for many years)

I was considering taking it to Florida to fish for the wide mouth bass but have been advised that the high temperature and humidity will be detrimental to the wood. Can anyone confirm this ?

I used a hand me down from my Father split bamboo fly rod and Martin reel for almost 10 years fishing for bass in south Florida. It wasn’t a collectors type rod then. I think but not sure it was from Sears late fifties. Litterally thousands of bass, some near 10 lbs were caught, cleaned, cooked and eaten from 1961 to 1971

My high tech graphite rods rarely last a couple of years!

Walker rod
If this is one of the rare original early Walker rods (see link for “5 known”), it may have quite a bit of value (especially in UK), so more research is needed before you start using it in FL. You’d really kick yourself if you destroyed a highly valuable collector rod that could have been sold and bought a house in FL with the proceeds…

If it was a later impregnated bamboo rod such as an Orvis, I would not be concerned about using it in FL.

I have a Shakespeare rod that I bought in Alaska in the mid 1960s.It is a 5 piece spinning rod with a fly reel attachment on the end of the handle and it came in a metal tube. It was called a “pack rod”

I carried the rod with a spinning reel and a fly reel every where I went. It wasn’t a great spinning rod or a great fly rod but I used it both ways and it served me well.