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Fishing/Shakespeare bamboo rod identification



Model number?
Model number?  
Hello Mr.McGaughey

I have just purchased a shakespeare bamboo rod. I have tried to do my own research but unfortunatley my findings have been limited. Any help on identifying year made, worth etc. and if it could be used to fish would be appreciated. I have attached 2 photos but in case they dont come through here is a description.
The rod is a 3 piece bamboo rod and is 8.5 feet long. The logo says Shakespeare in black sitting in an irregular gold rectangle which in turn sits in a green oval. The top of the green oval says "Honor Built-Honor Sold" the bottom says Made in USA.  Opposite logo has A-1308-7-8 1/2'. Above that says E.L. Harris which is on all three pieces of the rod.

Thank you

The decal makes the rod a pre-WW II rod.  The model number (1308) indicates about 1940-1942 as the date of manufacture.  The model 1308 is also called the Premier, sold for $18.00 when new and should have red wraps with gold tipping wraps.  This model was not made after WW II.

Shakespeare did not actually build rods.  They had other companies make their rods and put the Shakespeare label on the rods.  This is a common practice in the rod making business and one that is still done today.  Among the rod makers who built Shakespeare bamboo rods were Montague, Heddon and South Bend all of which would have been actively building Shakespeare rods at the time this rod was made.  The 1308 was likely made by either Montague or South Bend...I would guess probably South Bend.

Price Book:
Antique & Collectible  Fishing Rods: Identification & Value Guide Homel, Dan. 1997 (2nd edition 2000) add about 30% for age of book.
Homel gives the Shakespeare 9' model Model 1308 "Premier" trout fly rod 9' c.1940
fly rod with an extra tip, 3 sections the  value of  $25, 75 and $140 for poor, good, excellent condition respectively.          
Not the worst bamboo fly rod but not considered to be a great rod either.
Homel seems high but check ebay.

I believe  E.L. Harris put his name on all parts of his rod.

History :


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Rich Mac McGaughey


I can answer questions on graphite fly rod building and bamboo rod restoration and making. I can guide people to restorers . I can guide people to rod building components on the internet as well as catalog. I can help them identify and value their bamboo fly rods with a picture .

If you are asking for the id of an old rod

please give a complete description send pictures especially labels or logos with detailed thorough description** to me and a complete including as much the following as you can: Is it? fly or casting rod ? Reel seat is below or above the cork handle ? Check metal for id and patents ? What is it made of; bamboo ( flat sided) fiberglass or graphite ( round)? Weight in oz? What is the diameter of the rod above the cork? Where was it purchased ? What type of metal nickel-silver, tin, or chrome platted brass? A complete description of any logos or labels. Length of rod per section and number of sections. Total rod length.

Please read the following if the rod has either of the following two labels

Montague or H-I (Horrocks-Ibbotson).

They are looked down upon by the collecting community and often they are justified. They were mass produced , rather heavy and very slow. They are not going to resale for very much.

Two books are available at larger libraries to get history and or value:
Antique & Collectable Fishing Rods: Identification & Value Guide Homel, Dan. 1997
Bamboo Rod Restoration Handbook -Michael Sinclair

Commission Sales

Because of my knowledge I can help you sell and get a good price for your vintage bamboo fly rod. email email Mac


I have been restoring bamboo fly rods for 15 years and making graphite for 17 .

website = click home page

**example of a thorough description of a label: The Shakespeare decal is olive green ovals with gold foil banner bearing the word "Shakespeare" in script. The remainder of the of the lettering is block style reading on top Honor Built and on the bottom of oval , Made in USA. The writing is away from the grip.

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