Fishing Lines: Just what I always wanted - a split-cane rod

READER DEMANDS for Christmas present ideas seemed to offer scope for the easiest column I've written in months. All I needed to do, I thought, was to pen a panegyric about my new magazine, Classic Angling. "What about all those who aren't interested in antique tackle or the history of angling?" my wife asked. "Well, they should be," I retorted. "What about those already taking the magazine, then?" she added. A curse on women's logic. She's right. It would be abusing my privileged position. So instead, I'll do the job properly and suggest some worthwhile presents for the fisher who appears to have everything.

Let's start with rods. You can never have enough of these. Each aspect of angling demands a specialist rod. At the highest level, you must take account of a water's width, flow, condition, fish size and the colour of your friend's hat. For non-anglers buying for a keen fisher, it's almost impossible to choose the right one. It's as personal as your underarm deodorant. The answer here is to go to a specialist maker producing split- cane rods (or to read a magazine that tells you about it).

Such rods are made by splitting bamboo into hexagonal sections and glueing them together. It was by far the best sort of rod until the 1950s, when glass-fibre, rapidly followed by carbon and boron, took over. But these modern developments lack soul, being made by robots rather than man, and have none of that delightful "feel" that a wood rod possesses. Yes, they are heavier, but that's a small price to pay for beauty and tradition. Talk to cane rodmaker Edward Barder - and prepare to wait.

Walk into a tackle shop, and you'll face a bewildering array of reels. Better still, don't bother. Get in touch with Hardy, the greatest name in fishing tackle manufacture, and ask about their limited edition specials. For example, the Alnwick company has produced a revival of the Bougle, a reel first made in 1903. This was named after Louis Bougle, one of the few Frenchmen to be accepted as a honorary life member of the English Fly Fishers' Club.

Try to buy one of the original reels now (they come up at auction occasionally) and it will cost you around pounds 1,500. but the limited edition specials, which are fine for modern-day fly fishing, will set you back only a few hundred pounds - and they could eventually rise in value too. (To find out if they will or not, you probably need to refer to a specialist magazine).

Not into fly-fishing? Then how about one of the modern reproductions of arguably the greatest English reel, the Allcock Aerial? Several companies turn out limited edition versions for between pounds 200 and pounds 300. Some are so beautiful it seems a sin to use them for fishing. Again, a super gift that could rise in value. Equally, you can still buy old Aerials - though you probably need to refer to a specialist publication to find out where to do so.

Still too expensive? Well, a few publishers are now producing modern versions of classic angling books. If you could find the originals of titles like The Art of Fly Making by William Blacker, Jones' Guide to Norway by Frederic Tolfrey and The Whopper, a rarely seen children's book by BB, you would need deep pockets. (A copy of The Fly Fisher's Guide, an 1816 book by George Bainbridge, sold at auction recently for pounds 6,500), but the reproductions, which are again limited editions, sell for between pounds 40 and pounds 90. If you can afford the original, of course, you have a tremendous investment and a piece of angling history. Why, there's even a bi-monthly colour magazine that writes about the great fishing books. Such a pity I can't possibly mention it...

l Rods: Edward Barder Rod Company, Ham Mill, London Road, Newbury, Berks (tel: 01635 552916). Reels: Traditional Angling, The Old Dairy, Newplace Farm, Pump Lane, Framfield, East Sussex (tel: 01825 890161). House of Hardy, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 2PF (tel: 01665 602389). Books: Medlar Press, the Grange, Ellesmere, Shropshire, SY12 9DE (tel: 01691 623225). Fly Fisher's Classic Library, 3 North St, Ashburton, Devon TQ13 7QJ (tel: 01364 653828). Classic Angling, PMA House, Free Church Passage, St Ives, Cambs PE17 4AY (tel: 01480 463565).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love and loyalty, say creators
News
people
Life and Style
tech
News
Justin Bieber performing in Paris earlier this year
people
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Accounts Assistant, Hammersmith

£25000 per annum: Charter Selection: Exciting sports company with a strong bra...

Contract Pipe Fitter - Stainless Steel

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I have a contract Pipe Fitter role avail...

The benefits of being in Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Executive Assistant - London - up to £40,000 + bonus

£33000 - £40000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Executive Assista...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil