Shakespeare Agility fly rod review

The Shakespeare Agility fly rod range is one of the best value fly rods and is a great choice for beginners and junior fly fishers.

Shakespeare Agility fly rod review
© Fly and Lure
Shakespeare Agility fly rod review
Picture copyright © Fly and Lure
Shakespeare Agility fly rod review
Estimated reading time 3 - 4 minutes

What fly rods are in the range?

The Shakespeare Agility fly rod range includes three separate sub-ranges. The Agility Rise is a line up of smaller rods with lower line weights designed for fishing rivers and streams; the Agility range is for general trout use, while the Agility XPS range is a range of bigger faster actioned rods for larger rivers and stillwaters.

What is the build quality like?

Given that these are among the cheapest fly rods on the market, they're surprisingly good quality to be honest. They compare favourably to other rods in the £50-100 sector of the fly rod market and it's quite amazing that Shakespeare can produce these for typically sub-£50 prices.

The blank is typical for rods in the £50-100 price range and looks and feels somewhat similar to the cheaper Sonik Black and Orvis Encounter rod ranges, being matt carbon fibre and moderately light in weight. The subtle black fittings are neatly attached with black and green finishings, and the reel seat is a stylish grey-black anodised finish.

Cheaper fly rods generally have poor quality cork handles but the Agility range have reasonable quality cork, with only a bit of filler here and there. Overall, they look and feel more expensive than they really are and, as fishing tools, they're very good value for money.

That said, our first one did snap at the joint of the second section down on pretty much its first cast. Two new top sections (and even a spare rod tube) were provided by the supplier with no quibble whatsoever! I've heard of a few other people on forums experiencing breaks at the joints, but I guess you would with so many of these rods in use across the UK.

How do they cast?

George really likes his Agility and can throw very nice tight loops with it. I think it's OK. Definitely very good for the price, but it in no way compares to a more mid- to high-end rod, which is what you'd expect for such a small sum. That said, for beginners, those on a budget or children, it's ideal.

Length Line weight Handle Weight
8'6" #5 Half wells 3.59 oz
9' #5 Half wells 3.77 oz
9' #6 Half wells 4.75 oz
9'6" #6 Full wells 5.07 oz
9'6" #7 Full wells 5.25 oz
10' #6 Full wells 5.11 oz
10' #7 Full wells 5.33 oz
10' #8 Full wells 5.57 oz
11' #7 Full wells 5.60 oz

How much is the Shakespeare Agility?

The current Shakespeare Agility line was discontinued recently and replaced with the new Shakespeare Agility Two range. There are still some online retailers with stocks of the original Agility, so if you shop around you can pick one up for an absolute bargain price. We picked up a 9' 6# Agility for George for just £25!

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