It's an interesting comparison, mostly because of features the old model does not have compared to the new one. The old Shakespeare is direct-drive--meaning no free-spool feature--so that the gears, level- wind, and handle all spun along with the spool when a cast was made. There are no cast controls, such as centrifugal or magnetic brakes. As with new reels, there is a spool-tension knob on the side plate, which could be used to control backlash at least somewhat. Most significantly, there is no drag on the old reel. To control a fish back then, I and the rest of the world used thumb pressure on the spool.