Even though we won that particular event, the Belgians pushed us all the way. Their light-line tactics and sensitive rods were the topic of our conversation back at base as we discussed whether or not their match fishing approach would work on British beaches. That’s when Shakespeare introduced its three-piece rod called the K2. Match anglers quickly jumped on it as UK shore fishing began the transition to a lighter approach. To put it in simple terms, lighter lines, longer rigs and tiny baits were now easy to present perfectly and, more importantly, further. This is what set the trend for this type of angling, and Shakespeare’s superb K2 rod was to the forefront of it all. The market soon filled up with many other brands of rod carrying the Continental tag as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French and many others appeared and the choice became massive. The K2, though, was soon lost in the flood of three-piece rods landing on British soil, and quietly faded away. But, like all good things, it never really went away. Shakespeare started to receive phone calls, emails and letters from many shore anglers asking what had become of the K2 and, with this much interest shown in the rod, decided to bring it back.
SPECS AND PERFORMANCE
The Shakespeare K2 Titanium Team Extreme is by far one of the best three-piece beach rods I’ve used. It doesn’t have a quiver tip, nor does it have multiple separate quiver sections either. The fact is, it’s a rod designed for our style of beach fishing where strong tides, swells and crunching waves all play a part. It’s perfect for handling it all. This rod is certainly at home using Pennell rigs for cod or long three-hook flappers armed with tiny hooks for flatfish. Casting performance is fantastic too, one of the best I’ve experienced with this style of rod. It didn’t fold, collapse or die during my session using it. Originally designed for Shakespeare by the Dutch international team, it’s a highmodulus carbon blank that is absolutely stuffed with power. You will also notice that it possesses a unique titanium cross-weave on the butt and mid-section. This boosts the power even further without adding to the rod’s diameter or weight. The tip section, however, is hollow. This provides incredible bite detection, importantly from many of the smaller species that feed off our shores. Ringed for a fixed-spool reel, the Fuji threelegged guides are positioned perfectly so as not to affect the action at all. One thing is for sure, you won’t experience any flat spots on this outfit when giving it a proper hit. A genuine Fuji DPS screw winch reel seat is fitted in the correct position (for me anyway), so your hands can be utilised properly to get a powerful and comfortable cast away without any hiccups. Match this rod with a large surf fixed-spool reel loaded with either braid or mono and you will notice immediately just how good it really is. As I said earlier, it’s one of the best three-piece rods I’ve used, and can’t rate it highly enough. There are three lengths to choose from – 14ft, 15ft and 16ft – rated to cast 4-8oz. All are built to the exact same spec and finish. How the K2 ever fell off the radar is puzzling, but the good news is it’s back by populardemand.