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Dry Fly Trouting for Beginners cover photo
(Cover photo by Philippa Barder)
Edward Barder developed his love for angling from his father, Richard, in the 1960s and 70s.  Aged nine, Edward is seen here posing at one of his father's favourite stretches of the river Kennet in Berkshire (UK).  The photo illustrated the cover of Richard's highly regarded book, “Dry-Fly Trouting For Beginners".

At this time, split cane rods were still commonplace, although fibre glass was in the ascendant.  Edward and his father fished with rods made from both materials but it was split cane that they liked for its looks and tactile qualities.  Edward was a child who always had to dismantle things that interested him.  This habit led him to investigate the construction of split cane rods.  Inevitably, attempts at making rods followed.

While working for Hardy's in Pall Mall, London, he continued to refine his rod-making craft.  He also contacted a number of the old masters who passed on secrets of the trade and provided him with priceless raw materials.  These included large stocks of vintage Tonkin bamboo, whipping silks, best grade handle corks and appropriate rod rings.

“Advocates of cane speak of sweetness and control, but until now I have been doubtful.  After half an hour of casting, I am converted.  Edward Barder makes exceedingly desirable rods.  Reader, I ordered one.”
(David Profumo, Country Life magazine)
In time, working for Hardy's by day and making rods by night was too much.  The catalyst for the founding of the Edward Barder Rod Company was when fellow cane enthusiast, Chris Yates, did Edward the honour of co-designing a new range of rods.  Like him, Chris felt that there was a growing body of anglers who would welcome a fresh source of hand-made split cane rods.

By 1990, with the purchase of the original workshop equipment used by Constable of Bromley, the Edward Barder Rod Company was firmly established.  Since then, Colin Whitehouse, a near equally avid angler, has added his skills to the business.

Edward Barder Rod Company workshop photo
(Photo courtesy of The Field)
The Edward Barder Rod Company is located at a historic mill at the confluence of the Lambourn and the Kennet in Berkshire.  The proximity of these famous chalk streams affords ample opportunities to develop and test rods and of course, to keep in touch with the nuances of both fly and coarse fishing.

Our rods are designed to perform and formed to perfection: the result of years of experience, fanatical attention to detail, and a desire to work to the highest standards possible.

All of our rods are thoroughly tested and proven.  Marrying tradition with innovation, our designs, hand-building techniques, and equipment are constantly refined, ensuring that our rods maintain the highest levels of effectiveness, sophistication, and elegance.

“it’s only when you see the finished product that you see why people fall in love with cane, and why Barder is unquestionably Britain's finest rod-maker” (Keith Elliott, Independent on Sunday)
Based on our consistent press coverage including The Times, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Telegraph on Sunday, The Independent, Country Life Magazine, The Field magazine and Salmon and Trout magazine, as well as exclusive endorsements and customer responses, it may fairly be said that we design and build split cane fishing rods of the highest standard.

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