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Not wanting to hijack getsome's post, I ran across a Shakespeare mod. 1827 "TRU-ART" Auto reel in a shop. Can anyone know anything
abut this reel? value ? seems to work well but some of lettering is worn off so it is well used.
Automatic reels are the cartridge razors of fly fishing. A number of manufacturers produced them and they had a certain level of popularity but serious anglers realized several problems with the system. They were heavy, could break off flies and even rod tips if they were improperly used, had limited capacity for line and eventually faded from the scene (unlike cartridges). The one place they seemed to fit was with anglers who were sculling a boat or canoe with one hand and casting to the bank with poppers and bugs for bass and panfish with the other. Proper line management with a single action reel will solve almost all the problems the automatic was 'the answer' to and give an angler far more control during the fight. Collector value would not be particularly high compared to many other fly fishing items.
They are not especially valuable, especially in well-used condition. They work fine if you like that style of reel but most people prefer a single action reel. Probably the most common use of an automatic fly reel is bass fishing from a boat, where the quick line take-up allows you clear the loose line quickly and thus keep it out of trouble.
If you look closely at your reel, you will find a two-letter code that is preceded by the word "Model". If you tell me this code, I can give you the approximate age of your reel.
I have one of those old Shakespear's that is probably close to 50 years old now. I have fished with it a lot. One drawback is the drag because there really isn't any. But it does pick up line in a hurry. Still works smoothly, but I don't use it much these days.