Tackle Reviews

Shakespeare Bank Stick Review

Shakespeare Bank Stick Review

Although I spend quite a bit of time in a bass boat, bank fishing has always held a special place in my heart. If I’d have never sat on the tailgate of my dad’s truck and watched bobbers as a child, I seriously doubt I’d have such a big passion for the sport of bass fishing.

Whenever my schedule allows, I still enjoy bank fishing with my friends and family. For the past several months, I’ve had an opportunity to test the new Shakespeare Bank Stik combo and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why I never thought of this cool concept. It has proven to be an excellent system for those lazy Sunday afternoons on the bank.

It has several features that are particularly noteworthy.

  • Built-in rod holder
  • Breaks down for easy toting
  • Comfortable grips
  • Surprisingly smooth drag system
  • Hard to break

Built-in rod holder is an excellent idea

The Shakespeare Bank Stik has a fiberglass rod holder that stores in the blank of the rod. When I first heard about it, I was a bit confused as to how it would work, but after using it for several fishing trips, I think it’s an awesome idea for the casual bank angler.

When you first see this rod, you’ll immediately notice an orange cap on the end of the rod butt. By simply unscrewing this cap, you’ll gain access to the rod holder inside of the blank. This rod holder is designed to stick into the ground and provide a convenient prop for the rod and reel combo.


I’ve been very impressed by the rod holder’s ability to keep the rod in place, especially when a fish bites. It has a forked plastic piece that securely nestles the rod without worry of a big catfish or bass ripping your investment into the water. I found this especially useful because bank fishing is often a social event for me— whenever I’m not paying attention, the rod stays safely in-place when a fish hits.


The spiked end of the rod holder has also been very easy to penetrate into all types of soil. Whether I’m bank fishing on top of dried red clay during a drought or wet grass after a rainstorm, I have yet to have an issue when setting up the Bank Stik for a fishing trip.

The forked plastic piece I mentioned is also very smooth which is very important with this setup. If a fish pulls any drag while the combo is mounted in the rod holder, you don’t have to worry about any line fraying. I’ve had a few big catfish make the drag scream and I’ve yet to notice any line damage from the rod holder whatsoever.


To be quite honest, the Shakespeare Bank Stik is a pretty heavy combo but it doesn’t really matter in my opinion. This system wasn’t developed for repeatedly casting soft plastics or moving lures— instead, it’s designed to sit in one place when fishing with live or cut bait. Because of this, I haven’t had any arm or hand fatigue after fishing with it.

Breaks down for easy storage

When I’m strictly bass fishing, I tend to avoid two-piece rods because I feel like the thousands of casts I make each day put too much pressure on that connection point. But for bank fishing purposes, however, I actually prefer them. I always like to keep a few small combos in the toolbox of my truck because let’s face it— you never know when you’ll run across a sexy-looking pond!

Because the Shakespeare Bank Stik is a two-piece rod, I’m able to quickly break it down and store it in a relatively small space. Even if you don’t have a truck or a big toolbox, you can easily keep it in the trunk of your car or under the backseat. Sure, it’s a small feature, but I believe it’s a very practical one.

Comfortable grips that aid in fish fights


I’ve always liked EVA foam grips because they give me a little something “extra” to grab ahold of while fighting a fish. Not to mention, they seem to offer a bit more control whenever my hands are wet.

The Bank Stik features these EVA foam grips and I really like them. I’ve been using this combo primarily for catfish and smaller panfish— which can get your hands dirty in a hurry. After hours of hooking live worms, chicken livers or crickets, I don’t have to worry about getting the grips disgusting and dirty. Furthermore, if I rinse ‘em off in the water between re-rigging, I don’t have to pat them dry before grabbing the Bank Stik and setting the hook.

The drag is smoother than I expected


This entire combo is priced at just $39.99, so I had pretty realistic expectations as I began my testing. I didn’t expect it to be a world-class rod or reel, but rather a solid combo that can help anglers of all income levels catch some fish. As it turns out, I’m pretty darn impressed by this reel’s drag system.

When a fish makes a last-minute surge right at the bank, it doesn’t take much for the drag to “kick in” on the Bank Stik’s reel. It seems to handle these runs easily which has lead to a pretty high catch ratio for me. Whenever I’m catfishing, I like to set the drag fairly loose while the combo is propped against the rod holder so I can give the fish some time to hook itself. I’ve noticed that the drag doesn’t “surge” very much which is a great feature in my opinion— the more the drag pumps before the initial hookset, the better the chances of that big, ugly catfish realizing it’s hooked and spitting the bait.

Impressive durability


After years of experience with the Shakespeare line, I’ve come to expect outstanding durability and the Bank Stik hasn’t let me down in any way whatsoever.

The rod has stainless steel eyes that have held up excellently to my abuse. I don’t really “baby” my bank fishing gear like I do my guiding and tournament gear— I’m usually tossing it into the bed of my truck or banging it around in a small jon boat. I haven’t noticed any separation, cracking or chipping with these guides.


And of course, the rod itself is also very durable. Whenever I set the hook on a fish, I don’t hear any popping noises or feel any unwanted flex throughout the reel seat or butt of the rod. You can pretty much bend this rod every direction imaginable without any loss of structural integrity.

If you’re someone who enjoys drowning worms, crickets or any type of cut bait while bank fishing, I think you’ll find the Shakespeare Bank Stik to be a very convenient and practical tool for your fishing endeavors. It has played a major role for me in many lazy afternoons with family and friends.

The Shakespeare Bank Stik is available at Shakespeare-Fishing.com.


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