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Split Cane rods

Joe Winstanley

Senior Member
For some time now I have had a hankering to start fishing with one.

Perhaps a 10-11ft rod to use primarily for chubbing on my local river Dane where the chub seldom grow much above the 4lb mark, as well as some stalking carp up to low double figures on a couple of local ponds, so an avon type rod with a reasonable amount of backbone is what I would be looking for, to be matched with a centre pin.

I'd be looking to try and source a second-hand rod in good condition that is not exorbitantly priced. Does anybody have any advice or recommendations? Not really having a clue about cane rods, nor knowing any anglers who fish with them, I've always been a bit wary of getting my fingers burnt and buying something a bit duff.

I'm not looking to start a cane v carbon debate, I know how good carbon rods are and won't be ditching my Harrisons, I just fancy trying something a bit different. That doesn't include wearing moleskin trousers and waxing lyrical about fruitcake..
 

Joe Winstanley

Senior Member
Thank's Edward - I will have a look into those.

ps - if anyone knows of anything suitable for sale anywhere then please let do let me know.

cheers,

Joe
 

Terry Harman

Senior Member
Great for growing runner beans ... but if I was forced to use one it would be a Richard Walker mk1V

 
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Gavin Hoe-Richardson

Senior Member
Our very own Mike Hodgkiss is a bit of an expert and cane restorer. He may be able to advise and offer something suitable..

For my barbel fishing I have a MkIV carp, MkIV Avon, a Barbel Perfection and a Chapman's 500.
 

Julian Marshall

Senior Member

Joe Winstanley

Senior Member
This is what you're looking for:
Go on, treat yourself!
Haha...I think Lucy would lynch me if I spent that much on a fishing rod!
 

Garry Howell

Senior Member
Hi Joe - having the same idea as you I bought a Chapmans 500 Deluxe which I believe is about the same as a mk4 Avon, not used it the river yet but it handled small carp and a zander with no problem, worked nicely with an old Trudex I have. Shouldn't be to expensive if you can find one, mine came from a Mullocks auction.
 

Terry Harman

Senior Member
This is what you're looking for:
Go on, treat yourself!
Owned by the great man himself
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
The Chapmans 500 is an Avon by any other name. Perfect for chub and small to medium barbel and they are affordable. They are roughly, give or take, 1lb test curve. For something a little heavier, a Mk. 4 carp rod will be about 1.5lb test curve and more suitable for using feeders or heavier leads.

Many of the Mk. 4 rods on sale were made by B James and have the Richard Walker signature. But what isn't widely known is that the B James rods came after Richard Walker caught his record carp. RW used rods made from blanks supplied by J B Walker of Hythe in Kent and that is what he caught the record carp on. J B Walker sold a lot of kits for anglers to make up their own rods. The cane is sound and the fittings, but obviously the workmanship of putting on the fittings and rings, etc can be variable with a kit rod. That said, there are some very good J B Walker rods out there at less money than the more well known B James rods.

Again Chapmans also made Mk 4 Carp rods, sold as the 550 and also as a Mk. 4. The Chapman rods are usually cheaper and are good quality rods.

Another brand to look out for is Marco, sometimes known as The Modern Arms Company and also by their trade name Elasticane. The Marco 'Test' (sometimes advertised incorrectly as the 'Jest' due to the scroll). This is a 12 foot rod and would double for trotting for barbel albeit for someone with the strength to hold the top heavy rod. Marco rods go for peanuts and yet the cane and fittings are first rate.

For the deeper pocket look at Priory rods. They made rods specifically for barbel fishing and are highly thought of.

For reels the Speedia is probably the best bet for barbel. and I would suggest a Trudex for chub. Both these are at the cheaper end of the market. Just make sure that it suns smooth with no wobble or grating.
 

David Craine

Senior Member
I use cane quite a lot for Barbel , in fact for virtually all of my fishing , although I still have all my carbon rods for when the mood or circumstances dictate, i.e flood and snag fishing.

I agree with all of the above, I myself have 2x Mk IV Carp Avon rods and a 3 piece Ogden Smith rod, which is very similar to a stepped up Mk IV, I think the most I paid for any of them was about £70.00, I have stripped them all back and rebuilt them though, they are all like new. Each one has accounted for Barbel in the low doubles .

These days split cane is quite a niche area, and decent rods are not so easy to come across, although you may find a Chapmans 500 or 550 as being more affordable than a Mk IV Carp Avon.

As said above, Mike Hodgkiss is you man on here, he may be able to help out locating something that will fit your pocket, and will be ideal but dont expect to see anything of the quality of a London Ealing B James Mk IV, they are true collectors rods.

If you do start using cane, it could be the start of a slippery slope, first a rod, then a vintage reel, then a steamed ash landing net ( I make those to order ) then bags, boxes, floats, rod rests , the list goes on and on.

Welcome to the " bean stick " club.


DSC_8186.JPG


David
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
Not a silly question Richard. Unlike fibreglass and carbon rods, cane rods are all different. In the early days the taper of rods was done by eye then machines were invented to plane them to exactly the same taper. However, not all cane is equal and therefore no two rods are exactly alike. That is why it is important to source one from a good maker as they will have the experience to grade the cane to get their rods to match in their action as much as is possible. Also, some makers are known for producing rods that are slightly stiffer, sometimes termed 'steelier' action than others. There has been great debate as to who produced the best cane. The obvious answer is the maker of the rod that is in your own hand.

There are also other differences. A Chapmans 500 & 550 rod is effectively a three piece rod as the butt is a separate piece. The conventional Mk. 4 Avon or Carp rod made by other manufacturers usually has two almost equal sections.

Just remember that the 'Avon' is usually around 1lb tc and the 'Carp' is usually around 1.5lb tc although for some reason the Marco Carp rod is 1.25lb tc and a Stepped Up Mk 4 Carp Rod is a little stronger than a conventional Mk. 4 Carp rod. Simple isn't it :rolleyes:
 

David Craine

Senior Member
Silly question but I know very little about these rods. Does the quality of a cane blank vary like a carbon one does? It seems you can spend pretty much what you like on them. What’s the differences between the 100 and the 1000 pound rods.
cheers.
You got there just before me Clive.

It can vary tremendously Richard, but it is not always apparent when one has a ‘ Waggle” of a rod , it is not always the cane quality that enhances a rods action, it can, as with carbon, be altered by the guide position, or the actual cane build, for instance you can have hollow built, or double built, or indeed plain whole Tonkin cane which is light but very strong.Tapers alter the action as well
I prefer rods that are mid to tip action,at best , and hate it when a rod bends right through to the butt, I was extremely lucky to find 3 “ Mk IV Carp Stepped up “ type rods that fit the above perfectly, all are ideal for Barbel, on most rivers I fish, at 10 ft , but I have yet to find a longer Cane rod (about 12 ft ) that would do for snag and flood fishing in a certain swim on a certain river I fish. I have been looking for several years but am coming to the conclusion that such a beast does not exist, Mike Hodgkisd had a go, and made a beautiful rod that would probably handle almost any fish I am likley to catch,in normal circumstances, but it would not have lasted two mins on the snagpit I am talking about, a snagpit that has produced mid teens, but needs carbon rods at 12 ft plus with minimum 2-3/4 lb tc .

As I rebuild rods myself I did think of converting a Salmon fly rod, but they all bend far too much for my liking , even though they are made to handle the “ King of Fishes “and I am sure a good Salmon would put a fight up to match any Barbel, but the thought of 12 or 13 feet of cane , even steel cored, bending double just leaves me cold .

I have a pristine Allcocks “ Lucky Strike” which from general concensus is a fine light rod for many smaller species, it looks nice , very nice , good cane , not cheap by any standards, but its just not for me at all .
Basically Cane is like Carbon in that everybody has their own opinions , one mans meat etc .
As to cost, well as with carbon, even with traditional enthusiasts, there are fashion trends.
A “ Barder’ rod will set you back a mortgage,


But will it do any better than a Chapman ?
Personally I doubt it .

David.
 

Richard Isaacs

Senior Member
2 absolutely sterling reply’s to my question thank you gents. I did feel a bit of a wally asking that so thanks very much for the detailed replies. Can’t beat a good bit of quality education 👍🏻
 

Paul Richardson

Senior Member
Slightly off piste but there’s a great film on amazon prime called “ the lost world of mr hardy” which details the history of hardy rods but also some interesting stuff with Mr Barder in manufacturing cane rods and also Chris Lythe pins
 
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