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Ugly Stik is a subsidiary company of Shakespeare, a fishing equipment retail company. Ugly Stik is primarily known for its fishing rods. Shakespeare, originally called William Shakespeare, Jr. Company, was founded by William Shakespeare, Jr. in 1897 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The William Shakespeare, Jr. Company changed its name to Shakespeare in 1915, then moved its base of operations to Columbia, South Carolina in 1970. In 1976, Shakespeare introduced the Ugly Stik rod.