Shakespeare Ugly Sapphire Spin 1520

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Shakespeare Ugly Sapphire Spin 1520

Fishing Rods

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100% positive

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Review of "Shakespeare Ugly Sapphire Spin 1520"

published 19/02/2005 | duck1979
Member since : 03/02/2005
Reviews : 83
Members who trust : 2
About me :
Pro Toughest freshwater spinning rods money can buy, well made, doesn't cost a fortune
Cons Nothing (yet)
very helpful

"A really good spinning rod"

Shakespeare have been making fishing tackle since 1897 when William Shakespeare (no, not that one... an American with the same name) starting making reels. The company also includes an even older tackle manufacturer, which started in Redditch (Worcs.) in 1880..... but if you want the full history you can get it at the company's website (shakespeare-fishing,;

In the mid 1970's, they introduced the "UGLY STIK" rods which took the UK by storm....... mostly used for heavy duty boat fishing, but since I wasn't around then I aren't 100% sure.
They're built to a unique design, called the "Howald Process" (after the bloke that created it) which uses a combination of Glass & Carbon Fibres and are virtually unbreakable.

Sometime between 1997 - 2002 while I was taking a sabbatical from fishing, these UGLY STIK rods were scaled down a little bit to create versions suitable for freshwater spinning..... and since I'd wanted one of the boat rod versions since I first saw one in a Shakespeare Catalogue in 1993 / 1994, it wasn't long before I bought one of these spinning rods.

The following year (2003), my Cousin's son James wanted me to teach him to fish....... and he ended up getting a cheapo Rod & reel combo, which not to put too fine a point on things, was crap.
Sometime around April / May 2004 came his first Freshwater fishing session (all other previous sessions being next to Whitby Swing Bridge)....... and as his fluorescent yellow saltwater spinning rod wasn't really suitable for the task in hand (and absolutely stank of sea baits) I lent him my old spinning rod........ though the little tackle tart soon took a liking to my smaller Shakespeare Ugly Stik Gold 6ft spinning rod, as he found my old 9ft Protec spin too heavy.

A couple of weeks later, the UGLY SAPPHIRE Spin I'm supposed to be reviewing here enters the story.
It was introduced sometime around November 2003 as part of Shakespeare's 2004 Model range, and I sort of noticed it in my local tackle shop around January 2004 when I was blowing my Christmas money on some fly fishing gear.......... anyway, having come to the conclusion that the little tackle tart liked fishing enough to keep on with it, I figured it was time to upgrade him to a better rod... so off I went to Whitby Angling Supplies on Haggersgate, and walked out around 20minutes later with the 7ft version of the UGLY SAPPHIRE spinning rod.

The UGLY SAPPHIRE is basically the same as the UGLY STIK, except Shakespeare have somehow made it more sensitive & responsive.
It's well made, and features lined TITANIUM OXIDE guides (the bit you thread the line through) as standard. The blank seems to right the way through the handle, so the part of the handle where you screw the reel onto doesn't sound hollow when you tap it (it's always a good sign this, when buying a rod).

It also feels really good to hold, and makes you want to race out fishing with it...... and would you believe it...... first session I took him out with it, and he'd already caught 2 blinkin' fish before I'd managed to get my hook tied on & baited up! (Though they were only little trout, about the size of my thumb).

It seems to handle lures really well when I've tried it, with this 1520/210 7ft version having a casting weight of 10 - 28g.

Others available include:
1520/180 6ft version (5 - 15g)
1520/240 8ft version (18 - 50g)
1520/270 9ft version (25 - 60g)

It's pretty good fun spending a day fishing with an assortment of lures with a light spinning rod such as this........ you should give it a go this summer...... and this rod doesn't cost all that much:
6ft = £29.00 RRP
7ft = £32.00 RRP
8ft = £36.00 RRP
9ft = £39.00 RRP

Obviously if you shop around you can get it for alot less...... I got the 7ft version for £17.95

One thing you should take particular note of, though is the bit where you attach the reel. Some reels are too fat to fit the slot properly.
I know the Shakespeare Potenza (040 model) is too fat to fit it, as I ordered via mail-order one to go with this rod, only to find it didn't fit..... well, it did fit a little bit, with a couple of millimetres in each slot but not enough to stop the damn thing falling out.
I went back to the same local shop, and picked up a Shakespeare Ambidex2001(?)..... well, some sort of spinning reel by Shakespeare, which fits it perfectly. I think the Ganza fits it alright as well.

Apart from that, you should give this rod a try :-)

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Comments on this review

  • gingelou published 03/03/2005
    I've been fishing once when i was 9 on holiday with my mum, I keep trying to pursuade my other half to go, but no luck so far! lou.x
  • mumsymary published 19/02/2005
    have not fished for ages occasionally have fished inlocal canal
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Product Information : Shakespeare Ugly Sapphire Spin 1520

Manufacturer's product description

Fishing Rods

Product Details

Long Name: Ugly Sapphire Spin 1520

Genre: Fishing

Type: Fishing Rods

Manufacturer: Shakespeare


Listed on Ciao since: 19/02/2005