Fishing lines: Yates' antiques rod show

Somewhere in the garage (hidden under an old electric lawnmower, hula hoops, a cage from a long-dead parakeet and a leaky canoe) is the first rod I ever owned. If someone out there would like to offer me a few thousand pounds, I could probably be persuaded to part with it.

You may think the price is a little steep for three bits of cane with significant wear and tear. The top joint is six inches shorter than it should be (an argument with my brother's bike), the whippings could use a coat of varnish and the cork handle is missing a few chunks, thanks to the resident field mice. But if Chris Yates can sell his rod, built in the same year as mine and in only marginally better condition, then I reckon my price represents an absolute bargain.

It's true that Yates's rod has a teeny bit more history than mine. It is the one he used to break the British carp record in 1980. The 51lb 8oz fish broke the legendary Richard Walker's record of 44lb, which had stood for 28 years. The rod was one of the first six that Walker himself made. Though the record has subsequently been broken several times, the carp-fishing trend of using high-protein baits which pile on the pounds makes Yates's fish the last "pure" record in many eyes.

What's it worth? Well, Yates has already been offered a large sum for it privately, but would not sell, largely because he thought the amount was ridiculously large. So why is he putting it into Angling Auctions' sale on 4 October? Well, after being content for many years to potter no further than the Hampshire Avon from his Wiltshire home, he has suddenly acquired a taste for travel. "That rod is going to finance next year's fishing," he said. "I want to go to Hungary and Norway, and this will pay for it."

He is curiously unsentimental about saying goodbye. "My place was becoming like a museum. That rod has not been used for years, and is a bit ropey. I am out of that kind of milieu, enjoying being part of the development of carp fishing. I don't mind that it is going to a collector. He will probably look after it better than I did."

The rod is not the only thing that Yates is clearing out. As proof of his oft-repeated claim that material things don't really matter to him, he is also auctioning the record carp certificate, a scale from 43lb 12oz carp (every home should have one) a wicker creel, some favourite rods and reels, his lucky hat and even his handwritten draft manuscript of Casting at the Sun, one of the best angling books ever written.

At one time, he survived between fishing trips as an accomplished photographer. (Most of the early Dick Francis covers were Yates's work.) He was one of the stars of A Passion for Angling, a series which was among the top BBC2 programmes.

Nowadays he is the editor of Waterlog, a whimsical angling magazine whose emphasis on good writing and offbeat issues has proved a refreshing antidote to the rest of the fishing media. But an editor's role on a small bi-monthly doesn't finance exotic trips. Nor do the occasional books he writes. He is a gifted but woefully slow author, largely because he still insists on writing in longhand with a fountain pen. His long-awaited book, Night, is now 12 years overdue.

Quite how much Yates will make from the auction is unclear, though I can reveal that he turned down pounds 5,000 for the rod earlier this year. That certainly makes my rod, which once accounted for 26 gudgeon and a 1lb trout in the same day, a real snip. I'll even throw in the page in my fishing diary detailing this momentous catch for free.

Catalogues detailing Yates's fire sale, plus nearly 600 other items, from Angling Auctions, PO Box 2095, London (Tel 0181-749 4175).

Waterlog costs pounds 19.80 for six issues from Waterlog, Bradley Pavilions, Bradley Stoke North, Bristol, BS12 0BQ (Tel 01454 620070).

Suggested Topics
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
News
i100(More than you think)
Sport
Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
News
The number of GP practices with 10 or more doctors has grown by 75 per cent
science
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Sport
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
FOOTBALL
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Arts and Entertainment
John Hurt will voice Prince Bolkonsky in Radio 4's War and Peace
radioRadio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial / Residential Property - Surrey

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Programme - Online Location Services Business

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior QC Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...

Recruitment Genius: Development Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game